Couples get plenty of wedding advice about how to plan for their big day, but they may not get any helpful hints for planning their honeymoon. Your honeymoon will be the trip of a lifetime, and the last thing you want is any kind of snafu along the way. Get prepared with these five essential honeymoon planning tips.
One: Check the Weather Before Booking Your Trip. Sure, a beach honeymoon is a classic way to unwind after tying the knot, but running from a Category 4 hurricane? Not so much! Before you book your honeymoon, find out what the weather is usually like in your destination at the time of year in which you will be married. Hurricane season in the Atlantic happens to coincide with prime wedding season, so if a beach honeymoon is your dream, think Hawaii rather than the Cayman Islands. If you do decide to risk it and book your trip to a destination where severe weather is a possibility, get travel insurance in case you have to reschedule your trip.
Two: Check Your Documents. Plenty of people do not have passports, but you now need one to travel to any international destination, including Canada and Mexico. Applying for a passport can take a couple of months, so this is not something you can leave until the last minute! If you have an old passport buried in the back of a drawer somewhere, get it out to verify that it is still current. You may also need a visa for travel to some countries. Check the US State Department’s website for specifics.
Three: Plan For Your Spending. How do you plan to pay for things while you are on your honeymoon? When vacationing within the US, you can pretty much expect to pay for things in your usual preferred way, but if you are heading overseas, you need to plan ahead. It is a good idea to have some cash in whatever the local currency is where you will be going. Currency exchange rates are usually the least favorable at airports and hotels, which often tack on fees as well. Your best bet is to exchange your dollars for euros or pesos at your local bank before leaving town. Be aware that the bank may need to order in the type of currency you need, so do not leave this task until the day before you fly out.
Traveler’s checks or traveler’s check cards can be a useful way to pay for things while honeymooning, but they may not be accepted in more remote regions. If you plan to put your souvenirs on your credit card, call the issuing banks of all your accounts beforehand to find out which one has the lowest fees for international transactions. It is also a smart idea to inform them that you will be using your credit card out of the country so they do not think it has been stolen when you start charging up a storm in Paris.
Four: Pack Wisely. The appropriate apparel will obviously vary depending on where you are going, but plan to bring along some nice things to wear. Even if you are just going to the beach, pack nice quality shorts and polo shirts rather than cut offs and ratty old t-shirts. It is nice to look good for your new spouse after all, and the locals where you honeymoon will appreciate the effort as well. If heading to Europe, bring stylish walking shoes (no white sneakers!), and skirts instead of shorts. Leave your expensive jewelry at home, and instead bring along your crystal bridal jewelry for dressing up in the evenings.
Five: Keep Memories Alive. A key piece of wedding advice is to hire a great photographer to capture your wedding day memories, but what about your honeymoon? Bring along a high quality digital camera with plenty of extra batteries so you can take lots of photos. Save tickets and programs for a honeymoon scrapbook, and if you like to write, keep a travel journal of your adventures. You will enjoy revisiting the memories of your perfect honeymoon year after year.