Relaxing on a secluded palm-fringed beach for two weeks, a short break skiing in an exclusive Alpine resort or an extended glamping expedition on safari in Africa, honeymoons come in many different shapes and sizes. Surprisingly, the average honeymoon is planned and booked just four months before the wedding takes place. Whether you’re ahead or a little behind, this outline of how to design the perfect honeymoon will help you get on track.
Before You Begin: How much time can you get off work?
In an ideal world, a honeymoon might last as long as a month. However, life and work responsibilities can get in the way. Knowing how much time you have can help you create a more realistic plan. And, even if you have, say, two weeks, you may want to take a few days to relax and settle into your new lives as a couple back at your home base before heading off. That may cut down on the time you can spend away at your chosen destination, but if you have had a particularly busy and exhausting schedule, it may be a good use of time, allowing you to start your honeymoon feeling refreshed rather than worn out.
Create a honeymoon wishlist
The first step to planning the perfect honeymoon is to create a list of all the things you want to do. If you’ve had an idea of what you want to do all your life, then this step should be easy. Be as detailed as possible. Include a destination, any specific hotels or other venues, and activities you can’t see yourself missing out on. If you need inspiration, search for honeymoon ideas on the internet and appropriate hashtags on Instagram. Your partner should make their own list.
See where interests overlap
Now, once step one is finished, this can be the tricky bit, it’s time to compare your list with your partner’s. If things match up in a lot of places, that’s great. If they don’t, it’s not the end of the world. Perhaps you could opt for a two-centre honeymoon or seek a destination that encompasses more than one type of holiday, but it’s important to remember that once the two of you are married, there will be plenty of future trips and vacations.
Now that you know where both of you stand, try to come up with the best place for you to both relax and bond on your perfect honeymoon.
Make smart compromises
If one of you wants to go skiing and the other wants a beach vacation, you can still come up with something to keep both of you happy. One of the easiest ways to do so is to figure out the why behind the activity.
If beaches appeal because you want to maximise your chances of having perfect weather for your entire trip while skiing appeals because of its athletic nature, maybe you can compromise by trying a beach-related sport. Or you could explore the various apres ski activities that would make skiing a less daunting and more appealing activity.
Create an easy to follow budget (including spending money)
On average, in the USA, couples spend over $30,000 on their wedding and engagement. Consider realistically, what the budget for your honeymoon is? Again in the US, it’s generally about $4,000. Depending on your specific situation, it could be more, and it could be less. Either way, there are ways to make your perfect honeymoon happen.
For example, if you’re a little under budget, you can ask wedding guests to contribute to your trip instead of giving you a wedding present. This can help save you from owning three “spare” toasters for the next four years and enable you to make lasting memories instead. It can also allow guests to contribute just as much as they are comfortable with and know they are providing you with something you actually want.
Be ready to handle stressful situations
During both the planning process and the honeymoon itself, circumstances may arise that will test your relationship. However, by keeping a positive attitude, staying open-minded, and being prepared, you can both make the most out of any situation. That said, during your honeymoon, make sure to schedule some free time. This allows you to spend a little more time on an activity you didn’t expect to enjoy as much as you are, or gives you a degree of flexibility should something unforeseen delay you, making everything less stressful.
To have the perfect honeymoon, prepare in advance (and ask for advice.)
The more time you have to prepare, the less stressful the whole thing will be. Just do a little at a time, if possible. If it’s getting close to the last minute, don’t rush around like a headless chicken, just pick up the pace a little.
If you do have the luxury of time, consider asking friends, family, and colleagues about potential destinations. Web research, while an excellent resource, isn’t the be all and end all. By asking around, you may be able to come up with options and deals you’d never even dreamed of.