Photo: Courtesy of Turtle Island
Honeymoon planning often takes a back seat to wedding planning, but there's a skill to planning the vacation of your lifetime. We asked honeymoon planner Katie Frederick, founder of Ever After Honeymoons, for her professional tips on how to make it a trip to remember.
1. Don't leave right after your wedding.
Wait a day or two before you leave for your honeymoon, says Frederick. "The days leading up to your wedding and your wedding day itself are all about being on a schedule. So cut yourself some slack and give yourself a day or two with no plans — except to pack that is!"
2. Make sure the first few days of your honeymoon are relaxing.
Even if you're an adventurous couple, and love exploring or being active, Frederick advises that you spend the first few days just chilling out. "You might be jetlagged or still on a high from your wedding," she explains. "Spending the first few days relaxing will give you a lot more energy to enjoy yourself later on."
3. Be aware of hidden costs.
Weddings and honeymoons are already expensive, and the last thing you want is to be caught off-guard with any last minute surprises. "Sometimes visas, and airport transfers and fees can cost upwards of $1000," warns Frederick. "Make sure you understand what is included in the cost of your bookings — for example, if you're going to a really remote island, does your hotel rate include transportation to and from the airport?"
4. Decide on an activity each day, but don't plan too much in advance.
You're at an exotic locale with your new spouse, how could you possibly be bored? Well, it happens more often than you think, especially if you're just vegging out on the beach all day. Frederick recommends that couples decide on one activity they want to partake in every morning. "Most things like reservations for water sports or tours can be made day of or the day prior," she says. "In fact, I would recommend not scheduling too many things ahead of time, so you have the flexibility to change your mind if you want."
5. Let your hotel know of any special requests.
Even though you want to keep your schedule as flexible as possible, some things do need to be booked in advance. For example, many resorts offer just one private dinner on the beach each night, so that would need to be reserved as early as possible, advises Frederick. "Don't forget to tell the hotel that you're on your honeymoon — many places offer perks such as special turn down service or breakfast in bed. Most places offer honeymoon packages that include couples massages and other perks that you would have to pay for otherwise."
6. Think about what you like to do when thinking of where to go.
"The most common question I get from clients is 'where should we go'," says Frederick. "And I always ask my clients what they like to do during the weekends. Going to the beach or going to a European city are not the only options. I advise my more adventurous clients to go to South America, and foodies to go to Napa or Sonoma, and others to take a road trip. Be adventurous and remember that this is your chance to do what you want to do."