Travel restrictions won’t last forever! Use this down time to plan an exceptional honeymoon, starting with these tips from writer Emily Hummel!
Whether you usually travel first class or no-frills, you probably don’t want to scrimp on your honeymoon. You made enough compromises on the wedding day, opting for the photo booth instead of hiring celebrity photographer Annie Lebovitz. But you want a honeymoon full of perks that will look great on the ‘Gram.
First, you have to book a flight to paradise and secure the ultimate lover’s hideaway. Deciding what to pack is another hassle; weather in many cities can be entirely unpredictable. No matter where you land or what you wear, you can put together a postcard-perfect trip with a little extra planning.
Living the good life, even for just a week or two, isn’t cheap. The average honeymoon now costs $5,342. That includes $1,565 for international airfare and $2,635 for the hotel or resort.
If the sky’s the limit, and your budget can handle it—hooray for you! If the practical bones in your body are rattling a bit, it’s time to get creative. Who can you count on to help with the financial heavy lifting? Your in-laws? Probably not. Your best bet is to pull out the plastic.
Do: Maximize credit card rewards.
Many credit card companies offer generous welcome bonuses to entice you to open an account. They range from free nights at four-star hotels to points or miles worth a round-trip plane ticket.
One enterprising couple enjoyed a $78,000 honeymoon for less than $1,500. After opening credit cards with their chosen hotel and airline, they racked up points and miles to reach their goal. Smart spending landed them in the lap of luxury after they said their “I do’s.”
You’ll need to plan well ahead of time to pull off the credit card travel hacks, but they’re worth it. You generally have to spend a certain amount, often $1,000 or more, within the first three months to get the bonus. (You likely spent more than ten times that on your wedding.) Taking the time to map out these plastic perks pays off.
Booking your trip sooner rather than later also boosts your chances of getting the flight and hotel room you want. Don’t forget to mention that you’re booking your honeymoon; you never know what upgrades or freebies you’ll get!
Do: Make sure you’re rested.
Making the most of a dream vacation means actually having the energy to enjoy it. Many couples regret jetting off the day after their wedding when they’re too tired or hungover to have fun. Taking a day or two to recharge can make a world of difference.
Don’t: Overbook yourselves.
You can exhaust yourselves with planned activities. Sure, you want to take advantage of the local sites, but leave room for winding down. After all, honeymoons are about one-on-one time.
Make sure you and your spouse are in sync when it comes to your ideal mix of activity and relaxation. Schedule the adrenaline-pumping adventures early in your trip. This will give you time to slow down and refuel
before returning to reality.
Do: Get help from the experts.
A hotel’s concierge is a valuable (usually free) resource to help you find the local treasures and skip the tourist traps. Travel agents can add real value to the experience. Seasoned agents have cultivated a web of connections throughout their careers. They can help you avoid the dud hotels, uncover hidden gems, and reap the benefits of special treatment.
Emily Hummel is a freelance writer and journalist in Austin, Texas. She enjoys gardening, investing, and watching classic films.