Wedding Wednesday: Lessons Learned from Booking Our Honeymoon

By 300 Sandwiches

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Two months into marriage, and we’re taking a break. We’re going on our honeymoon in a few short weeks!

E and I’s mission for our honeymoon was to travel around the world. This is probably going to be one of our last major trips before we start thinking about having children, so we wanted to make it big. Months ago, we fantasized about a five week honeymoon with multiple stops along the way. But, there’s that whole job thing, and employers like when you actually work for the money they pay you.

So, we edited our plan. And we still ended up with a fabulous vacation to Mauritius and Japan to celebrate our marriage. Mauritius is going to be the kitesurfing and beaching leg of the honeymoon. Japan will be the city, fashion and food segment. And yes, I’ll be blogging about both while we’re there.

Planning the honeymoon takes just as much thought as planning the wedding. I got solid advice on mine from my married friends. Herewith, some tips for new couples looking to book a trip of a lifetime:

FIRST, GET A CREDIT CARD WITH GOOD REWARDS POINTS, AND PAY FOR EVERYTHING WITH IT: Best advice ever: as soon as you get engaged, look for a good credit card that gives rewards points for purchases, and use the points you accrue to pay for rooms or flights for your honeymoon. Pay for everything you can for your wedding with the card—-rehearsal dinner costs, invitations, wedding dress and clothes, liquor—and put bills like cell phones, insurance and others on the card. You’ll have a good chunk of points to use for your honeymoon by the time you’re ready to book. I used this card, had enough for a free night at a 5-star hotel by the time I booked our trip.

TALK TO YOUR MATE ABOUT YOUR DESIRES: Discuss with your partner what both of you want to do on your break. Sleep? Have sex and eat? Snorkel? See museums? Pick a place, or two, that satisfies both of your wishes.

DON’T PICK TOO MANY DESTINATIONS: When E and I thought about visiting five locations in a five week honeymoon, a friend of ours said we were nuts. Not because no sane employer would grant that much vacation time, but because “we would be so exhausted from all of the flights, moving hotels and hauling bags, that we wouldn’t be relaxed.” If you want an Outward Bound type of honeymoon where you’re carrying camp gear from site to site, have at it. But if you want a relaxing week or two in paradise, pick one or two destinations, and settle in for at least four days in each. You should stay long enough to completely unpack your suitcase.

LOOK AT THE WEATHER: You may get so caught up in your wedding planning that you forget to check the seasons in your honeymoon destination. Don’t forget to check before you book to see what to expect. And don’t just consult the Internet. Speak to some locals, or a travel agent, who has visited the place. It might be hurricane season in the Bahamas in September, but locals will tell you storms are rare during that time.

CHECK YOUR INSURANCE: I live with an adventurous kite-surfing adrenalin junkie who will spend our honeymoon chasing waves and flying through the air attached to a huge kite. If he breaks a bone, I want to make sure we can get good medical treatment abroad. If you’re going someplace remote or plan on partaking in some strenous activities, check with your insurance company that you’re covered outside of the U.S., or consider getting travelers’ medical insurance during your trip (which I am currently researching).

CHECK OUT: Turn off the phones and the e-mail, and focus on each other. Sure, post a few photos on Instagram. But perhaps put a one or two post a day limit on social media. Remember, it’s about you two, not everyone else.

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