You may have seen my post a couple of weeks ago when I mentioned we were finally booking our honeymoon, having got married back in September. I was reluctantly looking at booking a week in Egypt at the time, but after having some really bad vibes about it, we eventually booked to go to Mexico instead.
This has its own negatives, as I am terrified of flying long haul, but it was ultimately more of a dream honeymoon for us than Egypt was, so I am trying to fight my fears before we fly out in April!
Planning a honeymoon is a little different to any other holiday, in the sense that it is usually your first trip away as a married couple, and generally speaking, it’s more of an experience than other vacations. Having recently planned my own, I thought I would share with you some of my tips on planning that dream honeymoon.
I’m not saying get into debt for the sake of an amazing honeymoon, but if you really want to go somewhere then make it happen, even if it means pushing your honeymoon back by six months, or even a year or two.
We knew we wouldn’t be able to afford to go on honeymoon straight after the wedding as it had cost a fair bit.
If you really want to get away straight after the wedding, why not consider booking a minimoon in the UK or somewhere nearby to tide you over until the ‘real thing’.
Have Kids? Do What Feels Right for You
For us, we wanted to book somewhere for just the two of us. Having the three kids, it wouldn’t feel like a proper break away if we took them along.
We are going away on two holidays later in the year as a family, so I don’t feel bad about leaving them with relatives so that we can have some time alone.
However, I totally appreciate that for other parents, this either isn’t an option, or isn’t something they’d be comfortable doing. Don’t feel you have to justify your decision either way.
Consider Temperature and Weather
So you fancy going on honeymoon to the Maldives (I don’t blame you, so beautiful)? Make sure you check out what the local temperature and weather is like at the time of year you are looking to book for, and if necessary, consider delaying your honeymoon to avoid rainy seasons.
Having said that, you can often get amazing deals for off peak seasons to some destinations, and sometimes a bit of tropical rain is worth the risk for a cut in the price of your dream vacation spot.
For us, we knew we wanted somewhere hot enough to sunbathe in the Easter holidays. We wanted an average daily temperature of above 25 degrees, which cut our options right down for that time of year. Mexico is due to be in the late twenties when we go, and this is perfect for our itinerary of sunbathing and sipping cocktails by the pool.
Perhaps you are looking to do something a little more active whilst on honeymoon, and want to avoid temperatures that are too high. Think about what you want and go from there.
So you have a destination in mind, and you know roughly what it is you want from your honeymoon but have no idea who to book it with? Head online and shop around on different websites until you find the best deal for you.
For us, although some people (ourselves included in the past) have had negative experiences with Thomas Cook, we had a voucher for some money off if we booked with them. Using this, alongside booking last minute, meant that we knocked around £750 off the total price of our holiday.
If you are booking in advance, try and wait for offers to become available before booking. Lots of travel companies put up discounts around Black Friday and in the new year, or if you are able to wait until a few months beforehand, you may be able to bag a last minute bargain like us.
Just remember that sometimes, if a deal looks too good to be true, it probably is. Always ensure you use a reputable site if booking through a third party, and check the booking is ATOL protected for peace of mind, and always take out insurance before you travel.
Listen to your Gut
If something doesn’t feel right, trust your instincts. On the day I was about to book our honeymoon to Egypt I literally felt shaky and sick. I was so nervous, having read the government travel advice page, and realising we would be flying out during religious celebrations out there.
Ed tried reassuring me it would be ok, but I couldn’t shake this feeling of dread, and you shouldn’t feel like that about your honeymoon. Ultimately it wasn’t right for us, and I am so glad we didn’t choose to go there in the end. It most likely is perfectly safe, but I just couldn’t risk it. If you aren’t sure about something, don’t do it.
Comparison is the Thief of Joy
You are quite happy going for a week in France self catering, but your friends headed off on a safari in Kenya? So what? Don’t let comparison steal your excitement for what is right for you as a couple. Different people have different budgets, and different ideas of what their dream honeymoon is.
Comparison is the thief of joy, so forget about what everyone else did for their honeymoon, and focus on what it is you want to do, as you’re the ones going!
Ask for the Upgrade
Don’t feel cheeky asking if there is the chance of a complimentary upgrade as it’s your honeymoon. Yes, they may say no, but there is a chance they may be able to offer you upgraded seats on the plane, priority boarding or access to the premium airport lounge, a free glass of fizz on the flight or a better room at the hotel. If you don’t ask, you don’t get.
Start as you Mean to Go On
It’s your honeymoon. It’s one of those holidays that won’t happen again, so don’t be afraid to splash out.
Start your break with an indulgent breakfast in the airport, follow it up with a browse in the duty free shops and order that extra glass of champagne on the flight.
Planning a wedding is stressful so make sure you kick back, relax and enjoy your time out! You totally deserve this.