Compared to the time and effort that goes into planning a wedding, booking your honeymoon may seem like a cinch. Don’t be fooled, though—there’s plenty of opportunities for mishaps in the planning process. Whether you’re jet-setting out of the country or opting for a staycation, here are seven honeymoon planning mistakes to avoid.
Don’t overestimate your budget.
We can’t emphasize this enough: At the beginning of your honeymoon planning, create a realistic budget and stick with it. Work out what you can spend (based on your own savings, rewards points, or contributions to a honeymoon cash fund) then look into flights, lodging, activities, and extras that fit into that number. It may be tempting to book an especially expensive getaway (you’re celebrating, after all), but it’s not worth going into debt to finance. Take the time to carefully crunch some numbers, that way you can be worry-free throughout your trip. No one wants to start their married life with steep debt.
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In the meantime, avoid taking money out of your honeymoon savings or cash fund to pay for your wedding. Saying you’ll replace the money before you need to start booking is often a false promise. Place the funds in a separate savings account and don’t touch it until it’s time to book.
Don’t wait until the last minute.
Organizing your impending nuptials can be overwhelming. Even so, we highly recommend not letting that put off your honeymoon preparations. Yes, your wedding takes precedence, but it’s crucial you give yourself enough time to figure out the logistics of your vacation. Don’t confuse this with having to book things far in advance. In some cases—depending on the destination and travel season—you can book your flights and rooms much closer to your trip dates and score a great deal. Rather than attempting this on your own, though, we suggest enlisting the help of a travel agent.
Don’t skip researching your dates thoroughly.
There’s more to deciding on your honeymoon dates than figuring out what works best for your schedule. Good timing is everything, so do some research to make sure there won’t be any inconveniences or interferences. For example, if you’re watching your budget and your dates fall in peak season, you might want to consider delaying your honeymoon until after when prices drop.
Be sure to also look to see if schools are out on holiday during this time. If so, chances are plenty of families will also be taking trips, which can mean higher costs and crowds. Lastly, check (and continue to check) the weather report for your destination on your chosen days. A coastal vacation might sound lovely, but you’ll want to avoid visiting during hurricane season.
Don’t book under your new last name.
This is a common mistake that doesn’t make for an easy fix. If you’re changing your name, in most cases, the paperwork on your name change won’t be complete until a few months after your wedding. As thrilled as you are to be using your new last name, be sure to book all of your reservations under the same name that appears on your passport and driver’s license. Changing your ticket or booking details is time-consuming and not cheap.
Don’t forgo important add-ons.
Flight tickets, room reservations, must-do activities—there’s a lot to consider when booking your honeymoon. There are a few additional things, however, that you don’t want to forget amidst the chaos. Two additional costs worth remembering are travel insurance and a phone plan if you’re traveling internationally. Here’s why:
- Travel insurance: Despite your (and your travel agent’s) best efforts, something may happen that’s out of your control. It’s in your best interest to purchase travel insurance that allows you to cancel for reasons such as medical issues, work schedule conflicts, acts of nature (dangerous weather), etc. Just be sure to carefully read your contract, because some reasons won’t be accepted. Overall, this is a case of better safe than sorry.
- Phone plan: While it’s true that you probably want to disconnect during your trip, it may be helpful (or necessary) to have cell service. Most service providers have a range of international plans to choose from, depending on your needs. Consider setting one up if you’re going abroad. If you’re weary of service charges, use Wi-Fi when available.
Photo Credit // Zakaria Boumliha - Pexels
Don’t plan too much—or not enough.
Every couple has a unique ideal honeymoon. Some look forward to some major R&R, while others prefer a trip packed with adventure. Your safest bet, though, is to strike a good balance of both. Booking a resort with the intention of relaxing by the pool all day could leave you with some post-trip regret—especially if you’re traveling to a destination that’s new to you.
On the other hand, overbooking yourself can be exhausting. Plan activities and reserve excursions that you absolutely can’t miss out on, but leave room for free time. A good balance allows time for both adventure and unstructured exploration or relaxation with your spouse.
Don’t leave too soon after your wedding.
We see it in movies all of the time: The happy couple makes their final wedding exit, hops into a car, and drives off to the airport. This is what you don’t want to do. Your wedding will likely be a long, emotionally and physically tiring day. Plan to take a few days off after to decompress. This in no way takes away from the exhilaration and romanticism of your honeymoon. In fact, it offers you some time to soak in your wedding, say goodbye to out-of-town guests, finish packing, and get some much-needed sleep.
If you’d like some more time to sort things out or save for your dream vacation, opt for a mini-moon. It’ll give you the chance to celebrate while allowing you a few months before you take a bigger trip.
Honeymoon planning may not be as complex as wedding planning, but there’s still room for mistakes. Avoid sinking extra time and money into your trip by giving yourself enough time to be meticulous and enlisting a professional if needed.