Congratulations on your engagement! An exciting and stressful time, weddings can undoubtedly be exhilarating and exhausting all at once. Your honeymoon will provide a great escape for you and your new spouse to relax, renew, and begin married life on the vacation of your dreams. Communicate expectations, set a budget for your trip, and decide what style of honeymoon is suitable for both of you – are you adventure-seekers who would love to take an African Safari, or do you long to unwind in the sun, sand, and surf? Either way, tons of options exist for any couple planning a honeymoon!
First, you must realize that you and your fiancé may have different ideas about what a ‘perfect’ honeymoon is, so talk about your preconceived notions. It could be that your fiancé grew up thinking his ideal honeymoon would be a trip to Europe, while you have always envisioned taking a tropical vacation to the Caribbean. Figure out what is important, such as whether you want to be close to shopping, activities, and nightlife, or whether you would prefer a secluded cabin or villa. Do you want to travel far away, or would you rather stay close? Would you like to bake in the sun or ski down a snowy mountain? Also, would you like an inclusive package where drinks and food are included, or do you want the freedom to try a new restaurant on the town each night?
One major concern for newlyweds is money; setting a budget now will help guide you to make financially sound decisions when booking your trip. Vacations can really be as expensive as you want to make them, so if you decide to spend more money on the honeymoon than on the wedding, it’s quite easy! Set a budget that will let you enjoy your time together without worrying about the debt that’s racking up on your credit card. Remember, a honeymoon is meant to be enjoyable – but that does not mean you have to travel to the most distant country and spend thousands upon thousands of dollars. Once the honeymoon is over, you will have to repay the debt that you have created; set your marriage up to be financially successful from the beginning by setting a reasonable budget for you and your spouse.
Once the budget is set and your ideas thought out, investigate your options! For a lower-cost beach vacation in the summer, renting a home on the New Jersey or Carolina shores will cost around $500-800 for an entire week, and airfare to either of those places is quite reasonable. Cruise ships also offer a great way for couples on a budget to visit exotic places as prices include airfare, lodging, meals, and beverages. Cruises are a great option for those that find resorts to be a bit too stationary. For nature lovers, the Grand Canyon and Yellowstone National Park offer hiking and wildlife watching, and accommodations are very affordable (you can set up camp for $10.00 per night!). If you have decided that traveling out of the country is what you desire, keep track of airfares to your possible destinations, as some airlines offer discounted fares throughout the year. Try to set up your travel during off-peak times if possible, as it can save up to 40% on total travel cost.
For those couples that decide cost is not a factor in planning a honeymoon, extravagant resorts offer any kind of amenity ever dreamed of. Fiji and Tahiti are two popular destinations for high-rolling honeymooners; the island of Nukubati in Fiji is completely private and only accessible by sea plane or boat. Couples will spend over $3000 per person for a week stay, but can enjoy total seclusion and unspoiled beauty. For a cultural and historic trip, Dalhousie Castle in Scotland will helicopter couples in to stay in one of their 14 historic rooms. You can even hire an owl to deliver your ring if you decide to have your wedding there. Cost for a castle room is nearly $500.00 per night. Other luxurious resorts in Hawaii and the Caribbean offer spa treatments, private beaches, world-renown golf resorts, and spectacular views.
No matter what you decide on, whether you budget is $1000 or $10,000, choose a destination that appeals to you and your spouse-to-be, and make your trip a memorable one. Ask friends and coworkers for recommendations, and if your budget is really tight, you can register with a travel agency so that your wedding guests can help out with the honeymoon expenses! Try to stay within your budget, but remember that of all places, you will probably be spending most of your time in your hotel room, so do not skimp on your accommodations. Planning a honeymoon that is enjoyable and relaxing will help your marriage start out in the right direction – plan wisely and have fun!