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.
3. Check the weather. Summer is a popular time for weddings, but our summer is winter in parts of the world like South America. It can also be unbearably hot and humid in some destinations. Does your fiancé turn into an ogre when it’s 100+ degrees? How reliable is the air conditioning at that eco-friendly resort your eyeing? You should also consider the season in terms of crowds. Summer can be a popular time for all tourists, not just honeymooners.
4. Don’t forget travel time. If you only have a week off of work, don’t spend two days on an airplane. Look at how long flights are—and consider jet lag—before falling in love with Fiji. You might want to pick somewhere closer to home, so you can maximize your vacation time.
5. Talk to a travel agent. If you’re already overwhelmed with wedding planning, it could help to have someone else manage the honeymoon details. Travel agents have relationships with hotels, and can get you upgrades, like champagne in the room or private meals. “You’re not necessarily paying less, but you’ll get more out of the resort,” says Mark. “And we often have access to rooms, even when the website shows it’s full.”