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The amount of time between the date of your honeymoon and booking a travel package depends on what sort of honeymoon you have in mind. If you're thinking about a cruise, it's a good idea to plan well in advance--a year ahead, while not always necessary, wouldn't be unusual.
If you're planning to honeymoon in a very popular destination or at a popular resort or beach hotel, it's also a good idea to plan way ahead, in order to get the best (and best deals) on the accommodations you really want. Six months in advance is usually a good idea.
If you're interested in luxury rail travel (Orient Express, Canadian rail travel, etc.) it's necessary to book at least a year in advance.
If you're going to honeymoon during the off-season of the tropical island, resort, or what have you, you'll find great deals; but again, it's wise to book several months in advance.
Aside from lengthy cruises, we generally recommend that couples book anywhere from 3 to 10 months ahead, if possible. It's difficult for travel agents to know what the packages, airfares, etc., will be if you try to book too far ahead of time.
To find out about when you'll find the best prices, when will be the off-season, or when to make reservations, check with your travel expert. He or she will know where to look and when to book. Really helpful romantic travel specialists, like the ones at TheBigDay.com, will keep an eye out for exactly what you want, and send you a reminder when it's a great time to book.
Not so sure you really want to lie around on the beach? Would you rather plan out your days and nights according to your own tastes, rather than take part in whatever entertainment or cuisine is provided by an all-inclusive honeymoon resort? Are the two of you more sophisticated cosmopolitans than laid-back beach bunnies?
If you answered “yes” to any of the above, why not consider spending your honeymoon in a big city? Sure, you'll want to spend pretty much every moment as a couple; and yes, the two of you could have a romantic time anywhere, as long as you're together. But when you do venture out of your honeymoon suite, major cities have a lot to offer!
∑ You'll be having all of your meals away from home, so you might as well eat what you really want. In a big city, you'll get to decide if you want 5-star cuisine or burgers from a chain restaurant. Maybe you actually prefer breakfast at an out-of-the-way greasy spoon to brunch in a hotel dining room. In a major metro area, you get to decide if you want French food every night (easy to do in Paris!) or Kosher deli at lunch (a piece of cake in New York!) or pasta 24/7 (Roma!).
∑ The people you'll meet in any big city will be real, everyday people—not employees who are paid to be nice to you. Genuine smiles can be so much more...genuine!
∑ Not much chance of second degree sunburn in town (unless it's a tropical town), although you'll still want to slap on the SPF when you go out on a summer's day.
∑ Shopping! No gift shop on earth can compare with big city shopping, even if you aren't honeymooning in Chicago or London.
∑ Cheap and plentiful transportation abounds in the city, whether by rickshaw, rental car, jitney cab, cable car, limo or bus.
∑ Museums, art shows, theatre, jazz, comedy clubs, pubs, film festivals, cabarets...and
∑ last, but not least, in a big city hotel, you'll still have access to the honeymoon couples' best friend: Room Service!
Question: What's the most relaxing thing about getting married?
In order for your honeymoon to be the perfectly romantic dream vacation you've imagined, though, you'll need to put your heads together.
First things first: where do each of you want to honeymoon? With so many destinations at your fingertips (via online travel booking), it's easy to come up with the ideal compromise, even if you each have different ideas of "perfection." For example, there are packages to resorts on tropical islands with great diving AND museums and gourmet restaurants. Mexico's Puerto Vallarta and Martinique in the Caribbean come instantly to mind.
If one of you loves to loll in the sun with a frosty drink, but the other gets more out of hiking and wildlife preserves, the active volcanoes, trekkable terrain and gorgeous peaceful beaches on the Big Island of Hawaii might be just the ticket.
Maybe you love the neon nightlife and your sweetie prefers to be out in glorious nature. How about a suite in fabulous Las Vegas--just a daytrip away from the must-see Grand Canyon?
Or how about a cruise! nowadays, cruise ships offer something for everyone--from casinos to aerobics classes to miniature golf!
The possibilities are seemingly endless, and with a little reseach, a bit of discussion and some help from a knowledgable travel professional, you will find the honeymoon location and itinerary that's just what both of you have in mind!
If you're not sure what to pack for your honeymoon, whether your destination is rafting and a camping trip under the stars or a romantic Caribbean cruise, ask your travel agent, if you're using one.
If you'll be staying at a hotel or resort, they can tell you whether or not to bring your iron, hairdryer or alarm clock. They can also give you an idea of what kind of whether to expect.
Wherever you're going, it's a good idea to limit your clothes to just a few colors. That way, you can mix and match and come up with lots of outfits from just a few items.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|