How To Plan The Perfect Honeymoon
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Just as location is important for your big day, for both the ceremony and your reception, choosing the right honeymoon destination is key to your enjoyment once all the hard work is over.

Whether it is the bride or the groom planning your honeymoon, there are a range of things you should consider.

Selecting the right place to stay
Finding the perfect place for your honeymoon is a big decision, but don’t let it overwhelm you. The following outlines some key areas that you and your partner should decide on well in advance:

  • One of the first things to decide is whether you want to go overseas, or stay somewhere local and simply hide away.
  • How long can you afford to take off (how long will your boss give you and how much will it cost).
  • Will you be driving, flying or a combination of both.
  • What is your budget per night, or in total (this may help you to determine how long you want to go for).
  • Are you planning an active or passive honeymoon and is this what you partner has in mind too (if you have not yet checked, best to ask now).
  • By when do you need to book?

Travelling overseas
Travelling overseas sounds exotic, and it can be, but it can also be mean dealing with both long flights and the unknown. If you or your partner has your heart set on a specific destination, then go for it… to make the most of your overseas stay it is best to use a reputable travel agency in your local area.

Researching international destinations online can also be done quite easily now too.

Staying closer to home
If staying closer to home is more your style, then you still have a range of options from which to choose.

  • Where do you want to go? Beach, mountains, desert.
  • Which state or region.
  • What type of accommodation, do you want to stay in a hotel and get service, but perhaps not have the run of the house, or do you want to stay in a self-contained secluded cottage high up where no-one can find you?

Choices, Choices and more Choices
Without wanting to go and check every place out, how do you make a decision as to where is the best place to take your honeymoon. Our advice is to start by narrowing down the type of accommodation you want, then think about the type of honeymoon you want (do you want to go bushwalking, diving, skiing, sightseeing, or simply laze around). Look for places that meet your needs, then make a shortlist of, say 10 and contact those properties to find out:

  • Are they available?
  • How much do they cost?
  • Do they have the facilities you are looking for? (do you want a spa, a pool, an open fire, resort facilities or a secluded location)

There is no point ending up smack bang in the middle of Surfers Paradise, if you are looking for a wilderness escape. Looking specifically for adult only retreats, or something advertised as specifically ‘honeymoon’ may be the best approach.

Booking Your Perfect Escape!
There are a few different options for booking your honeymoon. Understanding these options will give you a head start in your search.
You can:

  • Book directly with the accommodation by searching through the yellow pages, or local tourist directory. This option may be cheaper, but may also be a lot of hard work.
  • Ask friends and family for recommendations (especially friends who have recently looked into this themselves).
  • Book through a travel agent. A travel agent can help to put a package together including flights, transfers, car hire and accommodation, depending on what you want. Travel agents typically take a percentage of the value for each of the items they book.
  • Booking online through a dedicated travel directory. This type of site is often able to offer lower rates than available through travel agents and the added benefit of also dealing with the property direct, just make sure that you can book the property well in advance. A dedicated website is often much easier to navigate than using a search engine and you can look for specific accommodation places and types.

The Must do’s

  • Book well in advance.
  • Read the terms and conditions of bookings regarding cancellations and deposits.
  • Ask for a written booking confirmation.
  • Advise the property if you will be arriving late, or have any special requests, well in advance.
  • Confirm payment options (can you pay by credit card, cheque and/or cash)
  • Remind them it is your honeymoon, you never know what extra special touches they might add

by Penny Young