Tips for planning your perfect honeymoon

Tips for planning your perfect honeymoon

Planning a wedding can be stressful – but the honeymoon shouldn’t be… From excursions to jabs or passport help, our top tips will ease the holiday pressure

As if planning the wedding of your dreams wasn't enough of an undertaking, many couples find themselves swamped with the added worry of organising the perfect honeymoon too. But never fear, we've compiled a quick checklist of handy tips to help you stay organised when orchestrating the romantic trip of a lifetime.

Which passport?

Deciding which name to travel in is essential before planning the honeymoon. Ladies - if you travel in your maiden name then things stay pretty simple but, if you decide to travel in your married name, it becomes tricky. You'll have to figure out the finer details well in advance; be sure to book the ticket in your married name and request a new, matching passport in ample time; four months before your departure should be enough. HM Passport Office will issue you a passport with your (to-be) married name up to three months before your wedding date, BUT it only becomes valid on the day of your wedding. If you're already overwhelmed with the wedding and honeymoon itself, it might just be easier to save yourself some hassle and travel using your current passport (with your maiden name) - after all, you'll have a whole lifetime to sort out a new one when you get back!

Get vaccinated      

When you were dreaming about escaping into the sunset on your honeymoon, I'll bet you didn't plan on spending any of it in the hospital. Nothing ruins romance like malaria; do your research, pay your GP a visit and get all the relevant recommended vaccines before you leave. Don't put the 'in sickness and in health' vow to the test just yet, try to get them all done at least six weeks before you travel to make sure you're fully protected from any nasties. Having the jabs will ensure peace of mind, meaning you and your belle or beau can focus on spending quality time together. Read more about honeymoon health woes and how to tackle them here.

Research your destination

There's nothing worse than hopping on a jet the morning after the perfect wedding, arriving on the beaches of Thailand as blissful newlyweds, only to realise it's monsoon season. To avoid disappointment, make sure the destination you choose is going to be right for the time of year you travel. It's also worth trying to avoid the crowds at peak tourist times; so beware if your intended trip falls on any school or bank holidays.

In spring search for sun in the Caribbean, Mexico or Morocco, or in summer why not try Malaysia or South Africa? Autumn honeymooners could head for Australia, New Zealand and winter newlyweds may venture to Argentina or Belize. Couples wanting to break tradition and try something a little different might consider one of our unique skiing honeymoon ideas.

Buy a camera

Treat yourselves to a good camera if you don't already have one, as you'll want a few nice snaps from the romantic holiday of a lifetime. Or, if you fancy a more exciting wedding gift than a useless kitchen utensil, why not register for a camera? Be sure to try it out before you leave - make sure you understand the controls, how to use it and check that it works properly. Take spare memory cards and batteries too - just in case! The honeymoon celebrates the start of your life together and, after months of planning, you don't want to find out that your camera is confusing or broken when you arrive.

For a little excitement after the trip bring a disposable camera too; you won't be able to see the results until you get the film developed upon your return, which could leave you with a unique, but wonderful, honeymoon photo album!

Booking the hotel

Just like fixing passports, visas, travel insurance and vaccinations, hotels are best organised in advance to avoid any disappointment. When you book, enquire about their romance packages and mention that you will be on a honeymoon - some hotels will offer an upgrade to honeymooning couples. They may be able to give the romance a helping hand too by leaving fresh flowers and chilled champagne in your room. Some packages may also include airport transfers, luggage handling tips and general odds and sods, ensuring your honeymoons gets off on the right (stress-free!) foot.

Booking excursions

To add something a little excitement to your honeymoon; look into booking an excursion or three! Start by researching the destination before you leave and seeing what's on offer, that way you can plan around day-trips or book any activities in advance. Popular and adrenaline-pumping choices, such as tandem skydiving or bungee jumping, may require you to sign up well before you arrive to secure your place, ensuring you manage to do everything you dreamed about on your trip of a lifetime.

TripAdvisor is a great source for honest reviews and reading up on other honeymooners' experiences. It's a great way to avoid wasting any of that precious time with your new spouse on disappointing excursions. You can also follow other contributors' advice and possibly hear about more romantic opportunities you may have missed! Bookings made with trusted tour operators will set your minds at ease: you can read up on different companies online, as well as double-checking the reputation of your hotel too.

Upon arrival, it's also worth speaking to your hotel concierge and asking them for any recommendations. Not only are they a helpful fountain of local knowledge, they may also be able to book excursions for you.

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Image: iStock

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