By Robbin Montero
"Be alert to pitches for "off season" discounts. In some destinations "off season" really means hurricane season." - Robbin Montero
Generally thought to be the most "honeyed" time of a couple's marriage, the honeymoon is certainly one of the most romantic trips you and your spouse will ever take. With careful planning, you will have many treasured memories of this occasion.
I highly recommend using the services of an experienced travel agent. Not only will you get the best prices, but most agents have traveled extensively and can easily provide first-hand information such as which countries are not in good standing with the United States, relevant current laws of the country, and what to pack. Most important, travel agents can insulate you from problems that commonly arise in self-booking.
Brides and grooms should agree in advance on the desired attributes for a perfect honeymoon. Decide whether you want warm or cold weather, active or relaxed recreation, a foreign country or a cruise, or perhaps an all-inclusive resort package. Verify the climate of the desired location during the time of year when you'll be traveling.
Be alert to pitches for "off season" discounts. In some destinations "off season" really means hurricane season. When looking to save money on travel, I do not recommend
"red-eye" specials. They appear cost-effective, can easily throw off your sleep pattern and significantly reduce your overall enjoyment of the trip.
When making reservations, ask the travel agent about honeymoon specials or discounts. Some locations will provide newlyweds with perks, such as an upgraded room, a bottle of champagne, or a gift basket upon arrival. Your agent will ensure you receive them.
If you travel outside the United States, a passport or visa may be required. Apply well in advance so you will have it in time. Inquire of your travel agent about the need for shots or vaccinations before traveling to your chosen destination. Moreover, if renting a car, check all possible driving permits and ensure that the reservation is booked in your unmarried name, or the name that appears on your passport. Your married name will not yet be recorded on any legal papers, and all documents need to match the passport name. Finally, purchase travel insurance for your baggage.
Traveling light is fine, but don't overlook crucial items. Make a list of necessary items to pack, such medications, antacids or digestive aids, birth control pills, sunscreen and eyeglasses. For cruises, carry motion sickness medication or wear a patch. Antiseptic wipes help prevent spread of germs when you can't wash your hands regularly. Take a credit card, travelers' checks, phone cards, and a cell phone if your carrier offers international travel service.
Utilize a carry-on for the plane that contains a change of clothes, your medicines, and eyeglasses, just in case your luggage gets lost. Ensure that your passport, visa and identification are secure on your person, along with plane tickets and hotel confirmations.
Pack sightseeing information and any appropriate foreign language translation books. Bring a camera, plenty of film and a camcorder. Think of photo-ops!
Foreign Travel Precautions
Ask your travel agent to provide the address and telephone number of the American embassy in any foreign country you visit. Take the information with you and leave copies with family at home. Before leaving, provide your family with an itinerary of where you will be staying, location telephone numbers, and the name and number of your travel agent. Make a copy of your passport and leave it with family in case you lose the original while abroad.
Once at your destination, be careful what and where you eat. Avoid street vendors and wash your hands or use antiseptic wipes frequently. If yours will be an extended stay, it is courteous to check in with your family and let them know you are safe.
Following these suggestions will help minimize any problems that could arise. Happy honeymoon.
"Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,"
is the tried and true philosophy of
, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding. Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and ImportantOccasions.com. Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, "The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country." For more information visit
. ©2009 Robbin Montero. This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero's expressed written permission. Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.