Ahhh…the honeymoon. The long-awaited time when you and your new spouse get to relax and unwind from the many months spent stressing over the millions of tiny details that go into your big day. Unfortunately, if you’re a travel newbie, planning a honeymoon can be just as trying. Not to worry! With the help of travel agency Brownell Travel and wedding planner Lydia Noble, you can plan your honeymoon in a snap with this easy-to-follow timeline.
8 months in advance
Make a budget
The first thing you need to know is how much money you have to spend. Knowing these limits upfront will help make a lot of decisions for you. Look at your savings (and how much you plan to save over the next few months) and decide how much you feasibly have to work with for the honeymoon.
Decide where to go
Choosing a destination is the most exciting part! Hot or cold? Foreign or domestic? Keeping your budget in mind will help narrow down the choices. Once the destination is narrowed down, begin researching and decide what days you’ll need off from work. Go ahead and put these requests in as soon as possible.
Let a travel agent assist you
Find a travel agent that specializes in your destination. Agencies like Brownell Travel can assist you in finding hotels, transportation and activities so you can take full advantage of your time on your trip. Plus, they can often help you find deals and treats you might not have found on your own!
This can be a long process, so get started right away. And don’t forget: passports that expire within six months are not allowed to leave or enter certain countries. Make sure that both of your passports are up to date and ready for travel. (Also, check to see if you need certain vaccinations!)
Register your honeymoon
Most travel agencies are now allowing couples to register for their honeymoon. “We are living in a society where we have so much stuff and by the time we marry, we certainly don’t need another toaster!” Noble says. “It makes complete sense to ask your guests to help give you a honeymoon memory instead.” Websites like HoneyFund.com can help you do this, or simply registering for gift cards can go a long way in easing the monetary burden.
6 months in advance
Buy plane tickets
The longer you wait, the pricier they get. Find a ticket that accommodates your budget and selected travel days. Check for your desired flight early and often, and research to find good deals and discounts. (Pro tip: If you’re flying somewhere on a deadline, such as to board a departing cruise ship, plan a buffer day in between your arrival and the ship’s departure. You don’t want any flight delays ruining the rest of your week!)
Book your hotel
After consulting with a travel agent about budget, you should have a decent idea of where you want to stay. Find a hotel whose amenities and activities are compatible with your honeymoon plans. The travel agent should also be able to help with coordinating transportation if needed, including to and from the airport.
3 months in advance
Plan your days
Plan where you want to dine and look into fun activities, such as parasailing or a couples massages, and make reservations! But don’t forget to plan some time to relax in the hotel, too. “I like to remind my newlyweds to spend an extra day in the hotel to regroup and recoup after the wedding, ” Noble explains. “It gives the bride and groom the chance to pick up any last minute items that may have been forgotten in the hustle and bustle of the wedding week.”
Make a list of what you need
Do you need a new swimsuit or ski jacket? Begin thinking about small necessities you will need throughout the week. Don’t forget a camera to capture all of your first moments as husband and wife!
1 month in advance
Now is the time to go out and buy the new swimsuit or ski jacket! Don’t forget the small things: sunscreen, sunglasses, new shoes, etc.
Check your phone carrier’s international plans
If you are going out of the country, you may want to call your cell phone carrier to see what kind of international plans they offer so you aren’t stranded completely off the grid (unless you want to be!).
Check in with travel agent
Pick up any tickets or vouchers you may need from them. Go over everything one last time, and thank them for all of their help!
2 weeks in advance
Review flights, hotel, transportation and all reservations. This is one of the most important steps to a successful honeymoon. Make a list of confirmation numbers, phone numbers and addresses so you’ll have them handy if you need them.
Make copies of important documents: passports, drivers’ licenses and hotel/flight confirmations. Having copies of everything may be a lifesaver if something goes wrong. (Pro tip: Don’t pack all of these documents in the same bag! If a piece of your luggage gets lost or stolen, you don’t want to lose all of your documents at one time.) In addition, make a list of all the important phone numbers at your destination. This list should include the hotel, transportation, local hospitals, restaurants and any activities you’ve signed up for.
Get local currency
If the currency is different, exchange some before you go. Any amount around $100 is recommended for travel so you can tip drivers and bellhops without carrying a large a sum of cash.
Contact your credit card company
This is a big one! You don’t want your credit card frozen while overseas or even across the country. Let them know when and where you will be traveling. Follow up a few days before departure to make sure all is set. Just in case, make sure to have a backup plan such as a different company’s card or a family member who can sort things out if need be.
Make a packing list
Make a list of every possible thing you may need. This list should include clothes, toiletries, medicine, electronics, books and makeup. Don’t forget your passport, plane tickets or wall converters for electronics if leaving the country.
1 – 2 days in advance
Check the forecast
Check the weather to make sure you are packing the correct clothes. Go ahead and pack your rain jacket just in case the weather decides to surprise you!
Break out that rolling suitcase and get to packing! Don’t forget your camera and chargers or batteries. Stock your carry-on with necessities like lip balm, medicine and earbuds for your busy day of traveling.
Get ready to get married!
Sit back, relax and think about the exciting week ahead!