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Honeymoon Travel

Planning for honeymoon travel is important. Get tips on how to plan for a smooth journey.

Wedded bliss in a tropical locale. [© Jupiter Images, 2009]
© Jupiter Images, 2009
Wedded bliss in a tropical locale.

Once the wedding date is set, it is time for couples to plan their honeymoon travel. A couple may decide to spend a quiet week in the mountains or opt for a European tour. No matter what they choose to do, the honeymoon is likely to be one of the most important and memorable trips a couple ever takes. There are many pitfalls that honeymooners can get caught up in, though, if they're not careful.

Weather - Beware

If couples don't want to be swept up in a monsoon or hurricane, they need to pay attention to the seasons of their destination, and when those destinations are prone to bad weather. Some areas, such as Hawaii, have relatively calm weather year-round. The Caribbean, on the other hand, has a hurricane season that can wreak havoc on a honeymoon. Southeast Asia and Central America have monsoon, or rainy seasons. Traveling to Australia and New Zealand during July might be of interest to those who enjoy winter in those locales, but most prefer to go during their summer season. When researching seasons of possible destinations, couples should ask themselves if they mind delaying the start of their honeymoon until the weather is ideal.

Off-season Travel

Summer weddings are popular, but delaying the honeymoon until the fall can cut down on costs and give the couple time to settle down, relax and write thank you notes. Couples on a budget might consider traveling off-season. Summer is a great time to get married, but summer travel in Europe, for example, is expensive and crowded. A couple might enjoy Paris more during the low season when crowds are lighter, and costs are down.

Couples need to be aware of things to take into consideration when going off season, however. The Mexican Riviera is still gorgeous in early December (end of low season and just before the holiday rush), but that area of Mexico is on Central time, so the sun sets earlier in the day. In order to get a full day of sun, honeymooners need to get up early.

All-Inclusive Honeymoon Travel

All-inclusive resorts offer couples meals, unlimited drinks, tips, taxes, entertainment, airport transfers and activities for one flat fee. They are ideal for people who like to have their trip planned and paid for in advance. There is no surprising bill at the end of the vacation.
Couples can save 25 percent off their vacation and have the opportunity to try sports and activities they've always wanted to try, at no additional cost. However, according to Forever Wed, couples who prefer to be spontaneous and go off on their own may not enjoy an all-inclusive honeymoon. Be aware that all-inclusive resorts don't include airfare, departure taxes, phone calls and souvenirs. In addition, it can be monotonous eating at the same place every day, and those newlyweds who want to be alone may be annoyed because all-inclusive resorts encourage interaction among guests.

What's for Dinner?

Food plays an important role in honeymoon travel. Some couples want to be adventurous and try the local cuisine, while others prefer to stick to American and European menus. Cruises and all-inclusive resorts offer a more affordable option for those wanting to enjoy upscale dining. Resorts that are not all-inclusive may charge more for food at their restaurants, however.

Couples who want to experience the local flavor should choose a resort that is in or near a large town or tourist area. This will offer more dining options than a resort in an isolated area. It's important to note that some resorts offer meal plans, but are not officially all-inclusive. They may offer breakfast and dinner, allowing couples to try the local cuisine for lunch.

Check Out the People

A honeymoon problem can occur when couples don't take into account the people by whom they will be surrounded. Couples who are in their 20's probably don't want to be stuck on a cruise ship with people in their 60's. Unless a couple is going to Disney World, they should avoid destinations that are geared toward families, seniors or singles as newleyweds' needs are entirely different than those of other guests.

Couples should investigate whether other guests are within their age group, whether the energy at the resort is as lively or quiet as the couple desires and whether there's privacy at the pool or whether kids will be splashing around. Those are all valid questions to ask when booking honeymoon travel.

Density is also an issue. Some resorts are high rises with hundreds of rooms. Others are smaller hotels that allow for more immersion into the town or city. Couples should take this into consideration as well.

Photographs Can Be Deceiving

Gorgeous photographs of a honeymoon travel destination can be deceiving. Travel websites and tourist boards are supposed to capture the best pictures possible. Even if a storm damaged the resort early in the season the Web site may still be showing the perfect photographs from last year. It's a good idea for couples to work with a travel agent who knows first-hand the condition of destinations. That way, they don't get stuck staying at a damaged hotel with limited amenities.

Losing a Passport

Losing a passport can quickly turn honeymoon travel into a nightmare. According to The Knot, honeymooners should make several copies of their passports. One should be kept in their pocket, another in their room and a third should be given to a friend or relative at home. While an original passport is needed to leave the country, having a copy will make getting a new one much easier. Couples who lose their passport, or have it stolen, should immediately contact the nearest U.S. Consulate.

Getting Sick During Honeymoon Travel

Honeymooners who get seriously sick in a foreign country should not hesitate to go to the hospital. The resort or hotel should be able to help. Those who feel sick or come down with a cold can use a guidebook to translate their symptoms and go to a pharmacy for medication. Couples honeymooning in an exotic location should get appropriate vaccinations and medications two months before leaving -- visit the U.S. State Department Web site when planning travel to understand what vaccinations to get and other travel restrictions or warnings that may apply. It's always a good idea for newlyweds to call the resort ahead of time and express concerns about the food and drink. They should also research the likelihood of getting sick, by looking into reviews of the resort.

Avoiding Honeymoon Sunburn

Sunburn can quickly turn honeymoon travel into a miserable experience. Couples visiting warm destinations should wear hats while sightseeing or sitting on the beach. While many Americans prefer baseball hats, broader rimmed hats offer better sunburn protection. According to There Are Places, the ideal hat protects one's neck and ears as well as face. A floppy hat is ideal because it can easily be rolled up and placed in a backpack or pocket when not needed.

Couples should also slather themselves with sunscreen that is 15 SPF or higher. It should be reapplied after sweating or swimming. If honeymooning in a tropical or sub-tropical area, newlyweds should bring extra sun block and reapply often.

Missing the Flight Home

Honeymooners who miss their flight home should immediately speak with an airline representative. They should then find a hotel nearby and put a room on hold in case they can't fly out that day. If the entire flight was cancelled, the airline may pay for all the customers to stay overnight. It is a good idea for people taking a honeymoon cruise to stay in the port city one day prior to departure and one day following arrival. That way, there is a cushion built in should there be travel trouble.

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