The First 5 Steps to Planning Your Honeymoon

Couple lounging on the beach

What you should know before booking your getaway.

Right now you’re scheduling fittings and sweating about Spanx. But pretty soon, it’ll be free time, beach reading, and (hey, if you’re heading to Italy) all the gelato you can eat. Sound sweet? That’s why it’s called a honeymoon. Robyn Mark, a honeymoon specialist at Absolute Travel in New York (absolutetravel.com), offers tips for planning your big escape.

1. Discuss how much activity you want. Are you itching to see a dozen museums and attend cooking classes? Or do you want to lie on a beach for a week? Even if you are planning a cultural tour of Thailand, says Mark, start with some R&R—book a couple of nights at a beach resort to unwind after the wedding, then hit the streets.

2. Determine a budget. Price plane tickets and hotels, so you can narrow down your choices based on how much you can spend (bye, bye Patagonia). A tip: Postponing the honeymoon to a less expensive season—or scoring cheaper plane tickets because you’re booking farther in advance—might be worth it.