Honeymoons

Q & A

Q. My fiancé tends to get seasick, but I really want to try a sunset sail. Any ideas?

A. Does he get queasy just sitting on an inflatable floatie, or does his fear stem from one stormy fishing trip? According to Dr. Richard Dawood, author of Traveller's Health (Oxford University Press), "Many people who experienced a bout of motion sickness years ago may find later that they don't have the same problems." So he may do fine, especially if he avoids alcohol and takes an over-the-counter anti-nausea drug like Dramamine or Bonine. (Studies have also shown ginger powder, most palatable when sipped like tea, to be nearly as effective as pharmaceuticals.) Be sure to ask the charter company plenty of questions in advance: How long is the sailing? Is the boat fairly large—and therefore stable? Are you headed into the open ocean? Finally, stay flexible. "Choose your moment," Dawood says. "Be prepared to change plans if the water is choppy or the weather isn't cooperating."

Q. Can my guests donate frequent-flier miles toward our plane tickets?

A. Many programs allow members to transfer a small amount between accounts, and some also let pals buy you points in increments of 1,000 miles (weddingmiles.com even lets you register for them). But there are limits: American Airlines, which has one of the most flexible programs, allows fliers to receive 40,000 miles a year, only 15,000 of which can be transfers. (If more are needed for a flight, the couple can pay for the balance themselves.) And since frequent-flier tickets can go quickly—sometimes a year ahead—you may want to buy cheap seats now, then use donated miles for an upgrade, car rental, or part of your hotel stay. For more advice, visit webflyer.com.

Q. I've always dreamed of a trip to Fiji, but my fiancé starts a new job a week after our wedding. Any tips?

A. Even West Coast dwellers need at least 10 hours to get to Fiji. And it's absolutely worth it, as long as you're staying long enough to get over your jet lag. So postpone your official honeymoon for six months until your husband is established at his workplace. For now, pamper yourselves at a closer beach getaway like Mexico or Florida. You'll get to live the postnuptial dream without forsaking your fantasy.

Q. Are hotel packages for newlyweds worth it?

A. Certain ones save you time and money; others are simply marketing tools. Do some number crunching to figure out whether you'll be getting a discount on luxuries you'd splurge for anyway (a Jeep tour, a junior suite, a couples' massage) or if you'll just be paying the à la carte price for ho-hum goodies you normally wouldn't bother with (T-shirts, fruit baskets, a silver frame embossed with the hotel logo).

Q. How far ahead can you book a trip? Our wedding is next year, but we want to start planning now.

A. As well you should, says honeymoon specialist Sue Brown, of Sue Brown Travel in Boca Raton, Florida. Begin researching a year ahead, and try to make reservations at least six months before the big day. Most airlines accept bookings 330 days in advance, and many hotels schedule stays years into the future. (Start planning those anniversary trips now!) While you're at it, be sure to ask if you qualify for an early-bird discount.

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