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"HOW-TO" AFTER "I DO"
So you’re planning your honeymoon? Congratulations! The honeymoon is an important part of the wedding experience, and a much-needed escape after months of exciting, yet exhausting, wedding planning.
To unlock the secrets of honeymoon bliss that will make all your friends envious, check out these tips from the American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA). Some of the most travel-wise people in the world, ASTA members know that planning your honeymoon should be as relaxing as the honeymoon itself.
First Things First – Let’s Define Ideal
Most people grow up with a preconceived notion of what an ideal honeymoon should involve. However, a bride’s idea of tropical paradise and a groom’s idea of a ski resort could conflict.
Communication and compromise are needed from the start (and preferably the duration) of the marriage, with the goal to make your honeymoon romantic, memorable and stress-free. Consider these questions as soon as honeymoon talks begin:
› What is most important? Suntan lotion, sand and surf or the privacy and seclusion a cozy mountain retreat?
› Are you looking to experience new cultures in distant lands or do you just want to get away from it all?
› Are you more interested in going around the corner or around the world?
› Do you want to spend more on the wedding or the honeymoon?
› Niagara Falls like your parents? The Caribbean like your friends? Europe like your ancestors?
› What sounds better: a cruise, a package vacation or an all-inclusive resort?
Paradise Comes in Many Guises –Types of Honeymoons
When it comes to honeymoon planning, most couples try to select the destination first, yet travel agents suggest a more productive way to begin. Unless your dream destination has already been set in stone, first decide what type of vacation you want and then narrow down your list of destinations accordingly.
Resorts are the most popular honeymoon destinations, for they transport you into another world for a miraculous escape from the daily grind. Often set in the most picturesque places in the world, they include pools, private beaches and golf courses, as well as culinary delights and relaxing spas.
All-inclusive resorts streamline the enjoyment process by including everything — your room, transfers, recreational facilities, meals and drinks — all in one price. Without the worries of wondering how much everything little thing will cost, you are free to live the high life and experience everything you want as often as you want it.
If an all-inclusive resort sounds tempting but too stationary, consider taking a cruise. Cruises are floating resorts that whisk you away to one exotic port after another. Whether you want a cultural cruise to the Mexican Riviera or a wildlife adventure up the Alaskan coast, your travel agent will match you and your betrothed to the perfect floating experience.
If the idea of lying on beach sounds about as exciting as a nap, then shift to a higher gear and take an adventure vacation, especially if you and your fiancé share a kindred spirit for outdoor exhilaration. Whether it’s white-water rafting in Colorado, hiking through the Alps or taking an African safari, sharing the experience will become a vital bond you both will share forever.
Cultural and historical trips are fascinating and romantic ways to reconnect with the past. Visit a famous European city — Paris, London, Rome…the list goes on — and inhale the culture, soak in the sights and experience the art of living. Or dive into the rich history of the old world country from which your family originated. The unique perspective you gain will become a central root for your future family tree.
Want Stress Free? Leave it to a Professional
After “I do,” your two favorite words will be “stress free,” and we can’t stress that enough. Planning for the most important day of your life will be a wonderfully crazy time for you, so finding someone you trust to aid in your decision making will be a welcomed relief.
Would you try and bake your wedding cake yourself or ask a professional for help? For stress-free travel plans — especially those with multiple steps like a honeymoon — seek out the expert advice of a travel agent.
A good travel agent can save you money as well as time — two enormous factors for a couple trying to plan a wedding and a honeymoon simultaneously. Through incomparable experience and valuable resources, travel agents specialize in providing personalized suggestions to suit your interests and your budget. And visiting their office for a chat is absolutely free!
From Their Lips to Your Ears—Travel Agent Tips
Begin early and share the planning. To ensure that you both enjoy the honeymoon, make all the decisions together.
Make time for yourselves. Pad your honeymoon schedule with generous amounts of free time, for a rushed and overly organized honeymoon might feel too much like your wedding. Instead, plan a few enjoyable activities and leave lots of opportunities to just enjoy each other's company.
Set a tentative budget. Talk about your expectations and priorities from the very beginning and decide what you might splurge on and where you might cut corners.
Splurge on whatever accommodations you choose. No matter what type of vacation package you choose, you will spend an enormous amount of time in your room or cabin. Make it special — make it unforgettable.
Use your maiden name. Unless you’re taking a delayed honeymoon, you won’t have time to change the name on your passport and driver’s license. Use your maiden name on visas, airline tickets, etc., so they match as it appears on your official documents.
Tell the world you’re on your honeymoon. Stand up on every chair, on every rock and shout, “We’re on our honeymoon!” Everyone from strangers to airlines to hotels will take notice and cheerfully offer you such special treatment such as complimentary champagne in-flight or a gift basket in your room. Go ahead, it’s your honeymoon.
Starting Your New Life
Marriages should start out on the right foot, and there’s no better right foot than the perfect honeymoon that’s romantic, stress free and unforgettable.
Wherever you spend your honeymoon, ASTA members want you to remember to pack a good attitude and simply enjoy your time together. With a little TravelSense, a few guidelines and some helpful tips, your honeymoon will be love at first night.