Congratulations! You’re getting married.
Part of the fun of planning your big day is plotting your honeymoon.
“It can be easy to push honeymoon planning to the back burner when you have a wedding on your mind, but if you want to get the most … for your [money], it’s best to start planning your travels early on,” said Megan Velez of Destination Weddings Travel Group.
Velez advises couples to become familiar with travel and accommodation rates well before booking so they can have a better idea of when they’re getting a good deal.
“Think about what excursions and activities you’d like to take on so you can start creating a budget and an itinerary that you can stick to,” she said.
Before searching for destinations, discuss your honeymoon ideas, said Beth Johnston of Beth’s Beautiful Getaways.
“Talk to each other about your must-haves and non-negotiables,” said Johnston, who specializes in creating unique custom trips. “Be willing to compromise. You want it to be memorable for the right reasons.”
Planning a wedding can be stressful, so Johnston suggests hiring an experienced travel designer. “It’s to help you figure out what is best for both of you and to take the stress off your plate,” she said.
Know how much you want to spend as well.
“Come up with a realistic budget for what you are looking to do,” said Katie E. Levent, vice president of Elite Travel. “This is very important for not only the couple but for the travel agent .. .to not waste time sending them a proposal on Bora-Bora if they have a budget better suited for the Caribbean.”
Don’t forget to let people know you’re on your honeymoon.
“See what the resorts offer honeymooners,” Levent said. “Some resorts have great honeymoon packages and benefits, some even for free.”
With some planning and creativity, you can have a nice honeymoon even on a smaller budget.
“Save big by redeeming frequent-flier miles or travel rewards from a credit card,” Velez said. “Look for upgrades to business or first class for maximum comfort. At the very least, opt for the roomier seats in economy. Now is the time to treat yourself.
Velez thinks all-inclusive properties are the best way to maximize your stay at any destination.
“For one flat rate, newlyweds can take in all a resort has to offer in terms of cuisine, drinks, accommodations, entertainment and other amenities without having to worry about carrying their wallet around,” she said.
After the stress and expense of a wedding, some couples may choose to delay their post-wedding trip.
“Flexibility is key when it comes to honeymoons,” Velez said. ”Couples can … take some time to relax and then schedule their honeymoon for a time that is both cost-effective and friendly to their schedules. Check your destination’s off-season to see how the rates compare to peak season.
“In most cases, you’ll find that you can save big on travel and accommodations, which can equate to a few extra days of traveling in newlywed bliss.“
Finally, consider buying trip insurance, Johnston says.
”It is worth the peace of mind,“ she said. ”Honeymoons often cost a bit more than a regular vacation. They are often on an island where an evacuation for an emergency would be costly. Better to be safe than sorry.“