Now if you have been following along our travels for a few months, you may have seen our photos from our lovely, romantic and adventures Honeymoon in Italy (see Travel Guide: The Perks of Gaiole in Chianti, Italy, Travel Guide: The Perks of Florence, Italy Part 1, Travel Guide: The Perks of Florence, Italy Part 2). Planning this honeymoon was probably one of the most exciting parts of the wedding we planned because it was something we both were equally invested in. Don’t get us wrong, Chris was a huge support in wedding planning, but the joy I (Allie) received from planning my dream wedding was a lot different than Chris’s. I was invested in every single detail, every last flower, while Chris’s 3 biggest excitements was the food served to be served, his tux and the honeymoon (I’m sure a lot of people can related to this!) Here are some tips on how to plan the perfect honeymoon!
1. Shared Interests
What is the thing you want to do on your honeymoon? Be a beach bum? Explore an exotic location? Hike some beautiful destinations? Explore a foreign country? If you’re like us, we chose all of the above. We wanted to take a dip into the Mediterranean, relax in the middle of wine country, we wanted to explore a foreign country, indulge into new foods and beverages, visit museums and so much more. If you just want to getaway and not have to worry about anything, some island with an all-inclusive resort is your best bet. But, if you want to explore, still get to relax and have a memorable experience, we recommend you think outside of the box and make your honeymoon unforgettable!
Italy has been on my bucket list since I grew up going to Italian Festivals in Brasil with my family. For Chris, he grew up with Italian grandparents, Italian cooking and an Italian influence. When we first met I told him Italy was my dream destination (Besides New Zealand) and once we got engaged I asked if we could go to Italy for our honeymoon. Planning this honeymoon was the highlight of wedding planning because we were both equally excited to look at hotels, activities, tours, spa packages and more! If you have a place you have always wanted to go to, we’d highly recommend you making that a goal for your honeymoon. Italy was already special to us and now it truly is the best decision we made and the perfect way to begin our married life. What is your Italy? France? Thailand? Australia? Fiji? Whatever that location is- I promise it’s doable and you can make that dream come true. Don’t just settle for Mexico if your heart is somewhere else.
Note: Nothing wrong with a honeymoon in Mexico. But having worked in the wedding industry for almost 2 years, I also know a lot of people toss the honeymoon aside while wedding planning and then opt for Mexico because its close and easy- but not their first choice.
If you are planning a wedding of any kind, you have a budget. Budgeting a wedding can be hard, challenging and stressful, but most of us need it to keep us in check. Where most couples go wrong is not including their honeymoon in the budget. People often think a wedding budget is only wedding day related, but a honeymoon should be accounted for (if you have decided to go on one). Chris and I knew we wanted to go to Italy and we included it into our budget. Instead of adding extra details to our wedding (ie. Chargers, printed menus, etc) we decided to use that money and fund our honeymoon.
Traveling doesn’t have to be expensive- just start planning early with ample amount of time to book. Here are some resources we used:
- CheapDFW (If you are in Austin or Houston, see website for sister accounts)- they are constantly posting deals when deals pop up- you just have to follow them, pay attention and book instantly when the deals are on- you never know when they’ll go away.
We are no experts, but we have found that booking 2-3 months in advance is the best time to book. There are plenty of flights & seats still available and that time frame, for us here in DFW, is usually when we find the best prices for our travels, especially internationally.
- Chase Sapphire – There are many credit card options out there and we know plenty of people that have one for every airline and some hotels. Personally, we love Chase Sapphire because we aren’t limited to 1 airline or 1 hotel. Every time you use this card on travel (restaurants, hotels, airlines, car rentals, etc) you get 2x the points. Even if you aren’t traveling and you use your card at dinner, you still get 2x the points.
For more information on Chase Sapphire, click here for more benefits.
- Booking.com– we stayed at 3 different hotels while on our honeymoon and booking.com is our favorite source for checking out reviews and for filtering multiple amenities. Though I usually book things on Booking.com, I also like to see if the hotels have any specials, and most times they have great packages!
For lodging, book as early as you can and as soon as you’ve picked a destination and have decided where to go.
Note: Now, we love AirBNB, but for our honeymoon we wanted to stay in hotels that could cater to our needs and take care of us during this once in a lifetime adventure. But if you don’t feel the need to have someone clean your room daily or have meals included- AirBNB’s are always great!
Planning your honeymoon should be fun, exciting and something you & your partner do together! Don’t just toss the honeymoon planning aside- make it part of your wedding experience. After all, if you decide to go on a honeymoon right after your wedding, it will be your first experience as a married couple or the first time alone since having your big celebration.