We plan a lot of honeymoons here at allé, which also means we know the ins and outs to all the important considerations and tiny little details you need to make to ensure you have absolutely the best honeymoon ever. We’re also not into keeping secrets. So here you are, everything you need to know on how to plan the best honeymoon ever:
1. Decide the all-important question: will you travel right after your wedding
Honeymooning right after your wedding
The biggest benefit to going on a honeymoon right after your wedding is that you can continue to ride the emotional high of your wedding weekend/ week and not have to go back to work right away. You’ll still be recounting memories and funny stories from your wedding day as you embark on your adventure; honeymooning right after your wedding definitely caps off the festivities in style and is the best flow of events from the big dramatic high of the wedding to time spent away enjoy each others’ company.
You’ll be incredibly tired after all the events leading up to and on your wedding day, the most tired you’ve ever been in your life, I guarantee it. This means that 25 hour flight to Thailand might be really extra painful, and it also means that you’ll probably want to leave the first day or two of your honeymoon to just relax, no matter how big of adventure buffs you are. Because the timing of your travels in this case are tied to your wedding, your hands will be a little tied with destination options (for example, say you’re getting married in June, a New Zealand honeymoon will be essentially out of the question because it’s winter there then).
** If you choose to honeymoon right after your wedding, please don’t book a flight for the day immediately following your wedding. You’re going to be exhausted, your friends and family from out of town are going to want to say goodbye to you, you’re going to have to tie up loose ends following the events of the wedding with vendors. Trust me, leave at least one day completely empty between wedding and travel.
Delaying your honeymoon
There are many, many pros to giving yourselves a few weeks/ months before you on your honeymoon (ideally, I like to recommend the gap be no longer than a year, otherwise, by the time you go on your honeymoon the wedding will be a distant memory). Weddings are expensive, so this will leave you with a little time to let the bank account recover. Honeymooning later also means that when you’re planning the wedding, you can focus 100% on wedding stuff, then once the wedding is out of the way, you can focus on the honeymoon. It also means you won’t be as tired. One last pro is that you aren’t tied to specific dates and times of year of travel, meaning you can pick to fly when it’s most affordable, and you can pick the time of year that’s best suited to your destination of choice.
Presumably, this means you’ll have to go back to work right after your wedding, which can be a bit of a buzzkill. Other than that, there aren’t many concrete cons to delaying your honeymoon. I suppose one other one that can be added to the list is that the honeymoon may end up feeling like any other trip you’ve taken together if it’s not right after the wedding- of course, that’s easily avoided with the right kind of planning to make things special.
2. Register for honeymoon funds
I know you think you need that cake platter and that really fancy knife set, but in all reality, they won’t make you as happy as a really great honeymoon will. That’s scientific fact. Instead, ask your wedding guests to contribute honeymoon funds! There are many ways to do this without having people give you an envelope full of cash- I really like Zola and Honeyfund, for example.
3. Decide how long you can get away for
Try to do at least 7 days, anything less than that will feel rushed and probably not worth it, if you count flying time (especially if you’re going somewhere far away). 14 days is really ideal, and hey, if you’re swimming in lots of time off, make it even longer! But really, you’ll want to have a clear idea of how much time you’re working with, because it will have a huge impact on where you choose to go.
4. Get realistic with budget and adjust expectations as needed
Take a good look at finances (especially taking into consideration everything wedding-related) and set a clear line in the sand for what your budget is for the honeymoon. Weddings tend to go over budget routinely, but honeymoons are much easier to keep within budget.
5. Decide where you want to go (and make sure you can stay in budget)
Take a look at a map of the world, do some googling and (I recommend the New York Times list of best places to visit in 2017 as a good place to start). Have a good conversation with your significant other about the places you’re interested in and then do some research on how much things cost there- for example, though you may really want to go to Hawaii, it’s one of the most expensive places to honeymoon/ vacation in the world. There’s a huge difference in how far money goes in certain destinations. Do a few sample searches on booking.com and airbnb and see if the places that come up within your budget are generally appealing. If they aren’t, back to the drawing board.
6. Think outside the box in choosing your destination
This is YOUR honeymoon, not your co-workers’ or your friends, think outside of the typical destinations that everyone else goes to and make your honeymoon really unique to you two. Check out our favorite options for unique honeymoon destinations.
7. Start watching flights
There’s a whole art and science to finding the best deals, and it feels like everyone has their own secret sauce for finding the best flights. Generally speaking, 6 to 3 months before time of travel is a great time to look and book. Use tools like Hopper to watch flights and get alerts of when the best time to book is. Momondo is my favorite place to actually book the flights from.
8. Remember to keep the balance
Even for the most adventurous and go-go-go of couples, you’ll want to definitely factor in some relaxing and kicking it time (especially if you are planning to travel right after your wedding). And the opposite is true of couples who like to relax and get pampered- trust me, a whole week or more of that will start to get really boring; make sure to plan some adventurous activities to mix things up. In short, remember that variety is the spice of life and it couldn’t be more true for honeymoons; make sure to keep things varied and interesting throughout your stay for the kind of honeymoon that will both invigorate and recharge you.
9. Mention it’s your honeymoon
Though most hotel and resort properties definitely won’t trip over themselves with excitement and free amenities and upgrades for honeymooners, they’ll still usually do something for you, to honor that you’re celebrating your honeymoon with them. In fact, I’ve even had airbnb hosts go out of their way to leave roses and champagne for honeymooners! At any rate, it’s worth mentioning that you’re honeymooning, you’ve got nothing to lose.
10. Actually turn on vacation responder and use the time away
Yes, life goes on while you’re on your honeymoon and your coworkers are still working, your friends are still posting on Instagram. Perhaps my most important honeymoon tip is to make your trip all about the two of you. Fight the urge to connect to the world back home and focus on where you are and who you’re with. That email from your boss can certainly wait for a few days.
11. Have a plan for when you return home
Coming home from an amazing trip is tough. Most likely, your fridge is empty and everything at home is a state of disarray (if your packing methods are anything like mine). You’ve got a suitcase full of dirty clothes and you’re jetlagged from the long flight home. That’s why we generally have a meal delivered for our honeymoon clients when they arrive back home. We’ve also had clients who have had their family pick them up from the airport and pick up food with them- anything to ease the transition from amazing paradise to being back home is a great idea that you’ll definitely appreciate having thought of in advance!