You only get one honeymoon, so you want to make sure it's done right! But when it comes to perfect honeymoon planning, it's just important to know what NOT to do. That's why we asked romance travel expert Nancy Barkley, of HoneymoonsandGetaways.com, what she would pick for the top five pitfalls to avoid when you're honeymoon planning. Here's what she told us:
Don’t Choose A Destination Just Because You Saw It on Instagram
Don't get me wrong, Instagram is a great place for honeymoon inspiration. But do you really want to have the same locales, the same backdrops, and the same destination in your photos as all these other Instagrammers? Plan a honeymoon that's uniquely your own, and the result will be much more rewarding than if you mimic a friend or a travel influencer you encountered online. And if someone you know went somewhere, and loved it, and you have a lot in common, by all means follow your inspiration. But don’t stay at the same resort, or engage in the same exact activities. Put your own signature on it, and tailor it just for the two of you.
Don’t Plan Yourself
Use an experienced honeymoon professional. We have expert knowledge on destinations, insider tips as well as extensive connections we can leverage to your benefit. We know the places to go, best times to visit, and can find you the best local vendors. We will help you choose the perfect destination for you based on your wishes and budgets. You will benefit from our personal relationships with hotel and resort management by receiving exclusive honeymoon wishes that we can put in for you with the right people. We also save you a lot of time and stress as we do all the planning and research. We are here for you before, after and during your honeymoon, so you have an expert resource throughout the process.
You Don't Have to Leave Right Away
Why rush off to your honeymoon immediately after all the chaos of the wedding? Most couples appreciate a little bit of time to decompress after the incredible magical, but also very tiring wedding festivities. Allow yourself a couple of days to rest and relax after your wedding day, leave on Monday or Tuesday, giving yourself time to decompress. You might also consider a mini moon and taking a longer honeymoon later in the year depending on your work schedule, weather factors to where you are traveling, and your finances
While you need to relax, you also don’t want boredom to set in. A mix of adventure and relaxation, with plenty of romance throughout, makes for a wonderful honeymoon. Just make sure you plan enough that you can book ahead of time for some of your destination's more popular activies activities that sell out in advance. Allow time for spontaneity in your itinerary, and explore “off the beaten path” experiences to make sure you go are left with a completely unique getaway.
Sought-after resorts can sell out quickly, and airfares can increase as your honeymoon date approaches. You don’t want to have to settle for a less than ideal destination just because you put off planning. For everything you want to be available, the earlier the better. Try to incorporate your honeymoon planning into your wedding planning schedule, so they both happen at the same time -- well in advance of both. Don’t leave required documents to the last minute, either. Many countries require passports to have 6 months validity and some destinations require a VISA. For exotic destinations, you might even need certain vaccines.
The same goes for packing. Make a packing list as soon as your destination is booked, as there are things you'll think of along the way. If you start packing last minute, you're more likely to forget essential items. You might also, in your haste, not be able to figure out what is and isn't essential and end up over packing. You want your honeymoon to be relaxing, so you don't want to have lug around more baggage than is necessary.
-Nancy Barkley, Romance Travel Expert
Nancy has made a name for herself helping couples make their dream honeymoon come to life. In addition to offering her years of honeymoon expertise to Honeymoons.com, Nancy has been featured in outlets like Forbes, CNN, The Knot, and The New York Times. She is an internationally-respected romance travel specialist and global speaker, widely sought after for her knowledge in the couples' travel space. If you're looking to plan the perfect honeymoon, you can reach out to her at [email protected] or at (215) 793-4808.