Choosing your honeymoon destination is one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process—and a beach honeymoon is one of the most relaxing honeymoons you can take. Deciding that you want to hit the beach for your honeymoon is only half of the equation, though. Now, you have to decide which beach you want to spend your honeymoon chilling on.

With so many beaches out there (from white sand and calm waters to rugged coastlines and epic surf), it can be hard to narrow down your choices. Best to get started now. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help narrow down your beach honeymoon destinations.

INLINE Unsplash 1080x720 (4) Photo Credit // Unsplash

What’s your budget?

Your budget is going to dictate everything about your honeymoon, from where you can go to how long you can stay—so it’s important to get clear on your budget before you start looking at the best honeymoon destinations.

The good news? You don’t need tens of thousands of dollars to plan a beach honeymoon getaway. You can find amazing beach locales within a variety of budgets—and once you know what budget you’re working with, you can use it to evaluate whether a particular beach honeymoon is the right fit for you.

Your honeymoon budget will need to cover any of the costs associated with your trip, including:

  • Travel (airline tickets if you’re flying, gas if you’re driving)
  • Transportation (rental car, taxis, airport transportation, etc.)
  • Food and beverage
  • Excursions
  • Visas (for international travel)

Plan for hidden costs.

It’s also important to keep in mind that many popular beach honeymoon destinations are a bit “off the beaten path”—which can add extra expenses to your budget. “Think about any hidden costs,” says luxury honeymoon planner Christina Vidal. “For example, in the Maldives, many of the resorts are only accessible by seaplane, a cost that the resort charges after booking and is often upwards of $500-$700 per person.”

She adds that in other luxury honeymoon destinations like Bora Bora, hidden costs will often come via expensive drinks and food. Because you’re quite isolated to the resort in these locations, you’re usually stuck with those steep prices.

If you have your heart set on a remote, hard-to-reach beach locale, no worries—just make sure you set aside extra budget for those unexpected costs.

“I tell my couples to budget an extra 25% for hidden costs—just so you aren’t stressed about money at all on your honeymoon and you’ve prepared for any hidden costs that come up,” Vidal says.

What time of year are you traveling?

You might have the perfect beach destination in mind for your honeymoon. Remember, though, even the most perfect beaches in the world aren’t perfect all year round.

“The time of year is extremely important to factor into a couple’s decision to choose a honeymoon destination,” says Vidal. “For example, a couple might want to honeymoon in the Caribbean, but if their wedding is in the summer that’s prime hurricane season. Or if a couple wants to go to the Greek Isles but their wedding is in the early spring, they may not realize the weather is much, much colder that time of year, and not ideal for a beach vacation.”

When you’re narrowing down your options for beach honeymoons, make sure you’re looking at destinations that offer ideal weather during the time of year you’re getting married and planning to travel—and you’re not hitting your dream beach in the height of the wet season or when temperatures top 110 degrees.

How long do you have to travel?

When you’re narrowing down options for your beach honeymoon, consider how much time you have to (and want to) travel.

“[Couples should ask themselves] ‘Does travel time to get to a destination matter? How long do we plan on being away?,’” says Andrea Norfolk, founder of Maryland-based travel agency Shoreline Destinations. “These simple questions can narrow down their destinations.”

So, for example, if you only have four days to enjoy your honeymoon, traveling to a beach that’s a 20-hour plane ride away doesn’t make much sense. Instead, you want to choose a location that allows you to be on the sand in a few hours or less. That way, you have more time to enjoy your honeymoon.

Another thing to consider when it comes to travel time? “Jet lag,” says Vidal. “If you only have one week, you don’t want to waste two or three days of it jet-lagged while adjusting to a 15-hour time difference.” Make sure that whatever beach honeymoon destination you choose, it makes sense with how much time you have budgeted for your trip.

INLINE PexelsStephenGitau 1080x720 Photo Credit // Stephen Gitau

What's your idea of the perfect beach honeymoon?

Not all beach honeymoons are created equal. The perfect beach for laying on the sand and drinking cocktails all day might not be the perfect beach for snorkeling, kite surfing, or other outdoor adventures. It’s important to define what the perfect beach honeymoon means for you.

“When we have our first consultation with couples planning their honeymoon, we start off by asking them, ‘What does your dream honeymoon look like?,’” says Norfolk. “Through this conversation, we are able to understand what the couples’ interests are and what they would like to do while away.”

Compromise, if necessary.

A clear idea of your ideal beach honeymoon will help you narrow down your options. If you and your partner want different things, then it just comes down to compromise. Consider that there are beaches that can suit multiple needs.

Vidal explains, “If one person wants nothing but lying on the beach and pure relaxation, but another wants nothing but a lot of adventure and exploration, find a destination that has both.” She recommends a place like Bali, “where you can spend half of your trip in the jungle chasing waterfalls and hiking volcanoes, and half of your trip relaxing on the coast with a coconut in your hand.”

There is an endless variety of beaches in the world. Now, all you have to do is choose the beach that’s perfect for you—and then go enjoy the honeymoon of your dreams.