With all the work and stress that goes into planning a wedding, putting together a honeymoon itinerary seems simple. But whether you’re opting for a domestic staycation or a luxury getaway to a far-flung destination, there are plenty of factors to keep in mind when arranging a romantic trip. From leaving too soon to hastily unleashing your new married name, there are plenty of pitfalls to avoid. To help steer you toward the best vacation possible, here are nine rookie mistakes to watch out while planning a honeymoon.
1. Setting an Unrealistic Budget for a Honeymoon
Work out a realistic budget and stick to it. Hopefully, your honeymoon fund wasn’t funneled toward paying for an over-the-top wedding – a classic occurrence. No one wants to start married life deep in debt, due to a honeymoon whose budget ballooned, so work out what you can spend, then research hotels, flights, activities, and other incremental extras that fit the bill.
2. Planning a Honeymoon at the Last Minute
Sure, the wedding takes precedence, but make sure you allow some time to decide on the logistics of your honeymoon. That’s not to say you have to book things way in advance – because depending on where you’re going, a last-minute deal could be an option – but know your plans and be ready to execute them at the right time, whether that’s six months or six days before the wedding.
3. Not Choosing Your Dream Honeymoon Destination
So, your best friend spent her honeymoon in Tulum and your brother-in-law went on a domestic U.S. safari, but that doesn’t mean either of those trips are right for you. Take advice from friends and family, but ultimately spend some time researching your dream honeymoon location, not what the hottest destination happens to be on Instagram.
4. Leaving for a Honeymoon Too Soon After the Wedding
Tradition may dictate that you leave for your honeymoon the night of your wedding, but that’s a custom that can be torn up and thrown out. The wedding day itself is long, so taking an extra day (or more) offers the chance to stop, reset, and take stock of your wedding while looking forward to your honeymoon.
5. Timing Your Honeymoon Wrong
Timing is everything, so if your honeymoon destination happens to be in the middle of monsoon season, you might want to rethink your plans – or at least delay the trip. Similarly, if your honeymoon coincides with peak season, try to stall until it’s over and prices drop – unless money is no object, in which case go right ahead.
6. Booking Everything Under Your New Name
Booking airline tickets under your new married last name is an easy, but costly, mistake to make. Airlines charge a huge fee to change ticket details, so make sure the name you book under matches the name on your passport and driving license.
7. Cutting Costs on Activities on Your Honeymoon
If you’ve budgeted properly, then you’ve hopefully got enough money to do everything you want. Like the wedding, you only have one honeymoon, so don’t leave with any regrets. Decide on a list of must-do excursions and activities, like a couples’ massage, hot-air balloon ride, helicopter tour, or epic guided hike through tropical rainforest — and do it. If it’s something you really want to do, it’s worth squeezing into your itinerary.
8. Not Buying Travel Insurance for a Honeymoon
We all know someone who has had a holiday ruined by illness or injury, and whether its the flu or a freak water-skiing accident, there’s an insurance package that covers it. While monetary compensation is not going to make up for the fact that your dream honeymoon has been ruined, being able to make a claim and plan for a repeat romantic trip is far better than ending up with nothing.
9. Trying to Pack Too Much Into a Honeymoon
Whether you’re planning an epic tour of Colombia or an escape to Riviera Maya, you should mark a few days in your itinerary for downtime. Not only will you be drained from the wedding and all the planning that came before it, but you’ll want to relive the day while looking out at a shimmering ocean or relaxing in a quaint town – depending on the destination.
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