Planning a wedding is a full time job. You spend what feels like 40 hours a week picking out flowers, tasting cakes, trying on dresses, interviewing photographers and visiting venues. That’s why the honeymoon matters. Those perfect, blissful days after the wedding, when the toughest decision you have to make is picking a flavor of margarita or choosing how many croissants to have for breakfast, is a much-needed release from the pressures of wedding planning.
But, as fate would have it, you only honeymoon once—YOHO!—so you better get it right. Thankfully, getting it right is well within your grasp if you follow these simple tips.
There’s nothing worse than landing in Punta Cana, Rome or Bali only to realize the airline lost your luggage or you have no universal adapter to charge your phone that’s already at 5%. Keep the post-wedding glow going by packing smart and early, so you know nothing is missing. That means stuffing a carry-on with enough necessities to get you through the first few days if luggage is lost and triple checking that imperative items like chargers, medicine and toiletries are safely in your possession. And, if you’re taking a cruise, you won’t receive your luggage in your cabin right away, so it’s advisable to include bathing suits and sunscreen in your carry-on.
Escape the Resort
All-inclusive resorts are located in the some of the most amazing settings on the planet. But even if yours is nestled in a secluded jungle mountaintop beach safari park, it still pays to leave the hotel’s perimeter at least once to explore neighboring villages and dive into the culture. Either embark on your own or have your travel agent help you purchase one of the resort’s excursions. While the point of a honeymoon is to relax and take awesome selfies on the beach, your best memories will ultimately come from the unique moments you spend embracing the local scene.
Choose the Right Location
The real estate mantra “location, location, location” works for honeymoon destinations as well. The location’s vibe and energy needs to match your personal style as a couple. Paris is romantic as all get-out, but it’s not the ideal fit for adventurous types who would prefer hiking into volcanos and ziplining past howler monkeys. Consider using a travel agent to plan one of the most important vacations of your lifetime. They create personalized trips that match your dreams and expectations to the best-fitting destination for you.
Accept the Urge to Splurge
Don’t spend your honeymoon arguing over costs or stressing about activities. Before you book the post-wedding getaway, figure out how much you can realistically spend. Once you have a solid number you both agree on, create splurge and save lists. In one column, write down the things you’d love to splurge on, like a couple’s massage on the beach, a night out at the rooftop bar the celebs go to, or an upgraded suite with waterfall views. On the save side, look for items you can skip to save some dough, like a reduced beverage package or flight upgrades. The more splurging you can accomplish, the more amazing the honeymoon will feel.
After scheduling every single second of your wedding day, switch gears when it comes to the honeymoon. Your honeymoon schedule needs to breathe; it needs to have wide-open gaps for you and your beloved to explore freely and go with the tropical flow. Plan a few activities and excursions for the week, but spend the rest of the time reminiscing about your big day, sleeping in, getting lost in the local culture or watching the sunset from your private balcony.
Planning your honeymoon with a professional travel agent provides a surplus of benefits. They’ve been to the resorts and cities you’re considering, so they have no shortage of suggestions for unique activities to set your vacation apart. Honeymooning in Cancun? They can hook you up with an amazing guide who will personally and safely take you to the Chichen Itza ruins. A week in Barcelona? They know five different tapas restaurants you simply cannot miss. After spending so much mental energy on the wedding, making 1,001 decisions, you’ll love having a pro handle all your honeymoon details.