For today's #honeymoon hump day post, we look at your honeymoon planning checklist to help you work out where you're going, how you'll pay for it and when you should leave.
Planning ahead as far as you can allows you time to budget and also to book in and take advantage of earlybird deals before they book up.
While the movies tell us differently, you generally aren't taking off to Paris after your 8-12 hour wedding day/night. Most couples will stay in a local hotel for their wedding night and jet off to their honeymoon destination either a day later or up to a couple of months later.
Another consideration is the weather - while you may be getting married in Summer, if you're planning on jetting off to the Northern Hemisphere, you're heading straight into their Winter. Similarly, if you're wanting to spend quality time alone on a theme park tour, then the Summer months in the Northern Hemisphere will find you knee deep in holidaying families and ride lines a few miles long.
Where are we going?
Depending on how long you have available, your options may be vast or very limited.
For those who are only able to get a day or so off work, a nearby hotel or one that is a short drive away will be your best bet for arriving rested and truly making the most of your time.
A week or so allows travel to nearby islands and Asian countries without too much in the way of jet lag or lost time. Imagine yourself enjoying each other's company in an inland private villa in Bali or milling around Hanoi, Vietnam, admiring the incredible fan-like sails of the junk boats.
If you have an abundance of time at your disposal, the European countries beckon! Without the worry of days lost in the air or travel time, you're able to be truly liberal with your planning and your choice of destination. We hear Paris calling our names!
How will we pay for it?
Looking at the budget you devised in step one, you should know the limitations of your travel capabilities. The intention is to find a destination where you have time to relax and be with each other without the travel dramas lugging each other through airport after airport.
While your budget is the main dictator of how far you can go, you can also offset some of this cost by eschewing gifts at the wedding itself and opting for a Honeymoon Registry - common with most travel agencies, guests can contribute a dollar figure to your total or select an activity from your itinerary to pay for - and you don't end up with three toasters at the end!
You'll also need to bear in mind, the kind of deposit required. A lot of hotels and resorts offer a book now, pay later option with no deposit down like those found on www.booking.com. Other items, like your flights may require a large deposit with the balance paid 60 days before departure. It's definitely important to check online or with your travel agent to ascertain the due dates for each element of your honeymoon.
Another purchase which is necessary and usually an afterthought, is Travel Insurance. There are so many reasons why your circumstances may change or a provider needs to cancel. Similarly if you happen to get in an accident or require emergency medical treatment while on holiday, your travel insurance is your ticket to health and safety or in some cases, your early ticket home. Southern Cross offer really cheap travel insurance plans that make it almost crazy not to take it up!
What kind of honeymoon are you looking for?
Are you the outdoorsy couple who wants to spend their honeymoon trekking the alps? Perhaps you're the beachy couple who would prefer a villa over the water on a quiet island? There are so many options to suit whatever your couple style. Some couples opt for regional Contiki tours to see the most of a country or if you're the unconventional type, we have the best, most unconventional destinations to suit you!
Discuss with your partner to agree on the feel and style of the honeymoon you both dream of and that'll help you refine your destination list significantly.
Does your hotel/resort offer anything special for honeymooners?
Many hotels and resorts offer special honeymoon packages or upgrades which can be purchased either in advance or on the night. For instance, a villa in Bali might offer a candlelit dinner in your private courtyard while a villa in the south of France might offer dinner under the stars or complimentary massages.
Lastly, you'll need to look at the formalities - some countries require you to have a Visa for entry (your travel agent should help you with this otherwise many can be applied for online).
For may flights, your passport will need to be valid for 6 months after entry so best to check this ASAP and also while you're at it, if you're planning to change your name, you'll need to decide whether this is done before or after the honeymoon to avoid issues down the line at the airport.
Finally, check with your travel agent and doctor to check which vaccinations you'll require while you're overseas and if you're up to date on all those you should already have. You may be ok with the Malaria but your unvaccinated Chicken Pox may cause you drama while overseas. Get checked out!
Remember, we want to help you in your planning and answer all those questions you're really stuck on so please send through your queries, qualms and dramas and we'll help to soothe away those wedding stresses.