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East Carbon, UT Honeymoon Planning, Selecting a Honeymoon Destination, Planning a Honeymoon

East Carbon, UT Wedding Guide


Honeymoon

Once the wedding planning is over and you’ve just had the party of a lifetime, you’re due for some rest and relaxation.  It is now time to head to the dream destination you’ve been planning and kick-off the first days of your life together. There are a number of honeymoon options, and whether your dream is to relax on a tropical beach, ski the slopes, travel the outback, wrestle a lion or explore the big city, there are considerations to investigate prior to making your final decision.

Find time to include the honeymoon planning as part of the wedding planning as well. This will ensure there is enough time and budget for the vacation of a lifetime. Remember to allocate budget to the honeymoon so you are not scrambling near the end and short change key elements in order to afford it. Leverage the information and tips found in this section to begin your honeymoon planning. Following the advice and guidance will ensure nothing is forgotten or overlooked.



Plan Early
Travel Agencies & Bureaus; Wedding Travel; Airlines; Airline Ticket Agencies; Cruises

Like wedding planning, honeymoon planning should also begin early.  This may sound terrifying because you are overwhelmed by the myriad of wedding planning items on your to do list, but this aspect of planning should be fun.  These decisions allow you to unwind from all the other pressures. Use the honeymoon planning as a welcome escape from regular wedding planning.

Booking the honeymoon early will save you significantly. The best pricing for hotel and airfare is extended the longer out you reserve.  Depending on the time of year you plan to honeymoon, rooms and seats could book up quickly, especially if planning to travel during peak seasons. As this is your reward for all other planning efforts, don’t regret last minute choices because you waited too long to plan.



Choosing a Destination
Travel Agencies & Bureaus; Wedding Travel; Airlines; Airline Ticket Agencies; Cruises

Determining where to go is one of the hardest honeymoon decisions you’ll make.  Each of you has your own ideas of where to go and they may not be the same.  Remember, marriage is a compromise and honeymoon planning will need to follow suit. 

Agree to visit the other’s destination on your first vacation rather than the honeymoon, or if they are similar and close, try and visit both.  In choosing your dream location, start with the basics and determine your priorities.

Pick a Style:  What is your vacation style?  Are you more of the rugged, back-packing adventurer, do you prefer bathing in the sun, or is cutting your own path through fresh powder more your style?  This will need to be determined before you can begin selecting a destination.

Dream Weather:  Do you enjoy the heat or do you cringe at the thought of melting in the hot sun?  Are you planning a Caribbean vacation in the heart of hurricane season?  Depending on your ideal weather while on vacation, consider the time of year you'll travel, along with where you would like to go.  Maybe your dream vacation will need to be saved for an alternative time due to the type of weather or season when you will be traveling.

Do You Mind a Crowd?  Does the thought of a crowded beach make you consider staying in bed?  If you prefer a secluded setting, or avoiding a large group of tourists, think about where you are going and what time of year you’ll be there.  There are pros and cons to traveling when the majority of tourists are around. Determine if peak season is a good or bad idea for you.

Sense of Adventure: Are you one who likes to live on the edge? Does the trill of adventure define where you spend your vacation? Do you like to experience new things, experiment with new foods and cultures? Or are you more of a home body who likes to stay within a secure comfort zone? This will help determine how far you travel from home or choose a destination based on the level of adventure it provides.

Seek Recommendations:  Ask recent honeymooners where they went and what their experience was like.  They can often be a wealth of knowledge when selecting a destination.  Ask family and friends about their favorite vacation spots and where they dream of going.  Call a travel agent for advice on trendy locations and where the best deals can be found.  Do some internet research and weight the options of a few different destinations.

Determine Your Budget:  Most likely, budget will be a strong consideration as at the same time you plan the honeymoon, you are also planning the wedding.  Remember to set aside budget for the honeymoon when you set your wedding budget.  Depending on the type of honeymoon you are considering, work to discover a good approximation of what will be required to afford it.

Do you find you are short and could use a little more?  Save a little every month leading up to the wedding and when it arrives, you have the needed funding.  Remember to include the cost of meals, transportation, tips, activities and shopping in addition to the airfare and hotel.

Popular Destinations
If you need help choosing a destination, consider the locations most often used by those who have gone before.

According to “Honeymooner’s Review Guide” the top destinations for honeymooning are as follows:

  1. Hawaii
  2. Mexico
  3. Jamaica
  4. St. Lucia
  5. Bahamas
  6. Dominican Republic
  7. Tahiti
  8. Fiji
  9. Antigua
  10. Italy

The Travel Channel's list of top worldwide hottest honeymoon resort destinations is as follows:

  1. Amankila, Indonesia
  2. Camino Real Acapulco Diamante, Mexico
  3. Hyatt Regency Aruba Beach Resort & Casino, Aruba
  4. The Bellagio Hotel, Las Vegas
  5. Bora Bora Lagoon Resort, French Polynesia
  6. Four Seasons Resort Hualalai, Hawaii
  7. Caneel Bay, St. John
  8. Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Canada
  9. Walt Disney World, Florida
  10.   Grand Hotel Florence, Italy

 


Consider a Travel Agent
Travel Agencies & Bureaus; Wedding Travel

As you consider honeymoon planning, seriously consider using a travel agent to plan and book it.  The internet has made making your own travel plans a quick and easy experience.  You may have extensive experience at using the resources, but when planning a honeymoon, you will be wise and very thankful you used a travel agent.  Even though you are using an expert to help you plan, get moving right away.  They will need as much time as possible to secure discounted rates.

Valuable Experience:  A travel agent has a wealth of both first and second hand experience in planning a honeymoon.  They may offer advice, from having stayed at the location, as to which rooms are more ideal, what is best to order from the menu and what activities must not be missed.  They have long-term relationships with owners and staff and can get upgrades and extras you might not be offered on your own.  Their years of planning experience help you know the best time of the year to go, the true value of one resort over the other, the best way to stretch your dollar and what you should avoid once you get there.  As this is a once in a lifetime experience, take advantage of the knowledge and understanding that comes from an experienced travel agent.

Tricks of the Trade:  No one knows the travel industry better than travel agent and they offer a wealth of information and advice, as well as the pros and cons of the considered destination.  They work to provide upgrades and other special features that may not be extended if booked on your own.

Full-time Advocate:  Should anything go wrong, you have an advocate who can re-route you to the destination, work to resolve a lost reservation or resolve any issues that arises.  It will provide you with piece of mind, knowing you won’t have to deal with any logistical problems on the honeymoon.  Someone is available for you 24/7.  It is an added relief to not have to worry about booking a honeymoon on top of the other wedding planning responsibilities.  This frees you up to concentrate on other planning needs and leaves this to the experts.

Finding the Right One:  References, again, play a strong part in finding a good travel agent.  Ask friends and family who they have used in the past and who they recommend.  If a travel agent knows they have been referred, they will work harder to ensure you will recommend them in the future, as well.  Searching online and particularly, MyYP.com, the Valley Yellow Pages online directory, can point you to travel agents in your area who are ready to help.  Verify if they are accredited with national travel agency associations and have a good standing with them.  When you call the agency, ask if they have an agent who specializes in planning honeymoons.  Most likely, they have someone on staff who is more familiar with honeymoon destinations versus other travel agents.

Agency Fees:  As part of their service, they will seek a compensation or agency fee.  Often times, they are willing to credit this back to the customer after booking the honeymoon.  Don’t let this discourage you or be a deal breaker.  Their services and expert opinion are well worth the charge and most likely, they saved you that and then some applying their knowledge to the honeymoon planning.



Budget Saving Ideas
Travel Agencies & Bureaus; Wedding Travel; Airlines; Airline Ticket Agencies; Cruises

A number of budget saving ideas can help stretch the budget, allowing you to upgrade your room, pick a higher end resort or include a few additional activities on the honeymoon.  Some ideas revolve around the time of year you travel which may not be applicable. If traveling in style and a high-end experience is extremely important, consider postponing the trip.  Determine if leaving right away or going in style is more important.  A number of brides and grooms wait to take a dream vacation until it is more affordable and they can make it the experience they dreamed of.

Off-Season Travel:  Plan the honeymoon after everyone else has gone home.  Resorts and airlines charge more when their services are in higher demand.  Opt to schedule the honeymoon during less busy times and you can save a lot of money.  Resorts often upgrade for free when they have a number of rooms available.  Stay away from flying on the weekend and try to leave during the week.  Airlines charge higher prices on Fridays, Sundays and Mondays when they believe more business travelers are flying.  Avoid these days and you’ll find you can get the flight you need at a lower price.

Go Smaller:  Plan to leave from a smaller airport, in lieu of a major airport. It may require additional travel time but it may be worth the savings.  Opting for a smaller resort or hotel can provide significant savings.  Secure a higher value room at a three star hotel versus booking a lower room at a five star hotel.  Choosing a lower priced airline can also provide savings.

Leverage the Rewards:  Use frequent flier miles to pay for the airfare.  Mention you need them to friends and family, they may be willing to give you theirs to help make the honeymoon more special.  If you don’t have one already, get a credit card that offers frequent flier points.  Charge the wedding expenses to the card during planning and you’ll find that you may have the miles you need before you go.  These points can also be used for upgrades to first class flights, hotels or car rentals.  It can help stretch the honeymoon budget further.

Meal Savings:  Search in the local market for buy one get one free meal opportunities or coupons for local restaurants.  Eating your meals exclusively at the hotel will add up quickly.  Their restaurants are often higher priced and traveling outside the hotel can provide lower cost alternatives.  Also, plan to prepare a few meals on your own.  Make it a fun activity by planning a picnic on the beach or at a beautiful scenic location.

Tell Everyone:  That it’s your honeymoon, that is.  Most people are true romantics at heart and if you make them aware you are on your honeymoon, you’ll be amazed at what is offered for free.  Airlines may offer you an upgrade to first class or free drinks, hotels may offer you a room upgrade or complementary champagne, restaurants may offer you a prime table or a free dessert.  Take advantage of this time and you’ll be amazed at what you received by the end of your trip.  After all, you are only planning to go on a honeymoon once!

Good Exchange Rate:  If you are traveling internationally, look for the best exchange rate possible.  Airports and hotels will not offer the best rates.  Most likely, you will need to go in the city areas or local banks to find the best rates.  You may also want to hold off on visiting some destinations where the dollar is currently weak.  Choosing an alternative location can increase the value of your honeymoon and you can postpone your travel to your dream destination for a time when the dollar is stronger.

Online Deals:  Some online sites, particularly ones that can offer a package deal of hotel and airfare, can provide some strong cost savings versus booking each one separately.

Resort Packages:  There are a number of options for finding an all-inclusive resort.  If you are using a travel agent, they can provide some good advice as to which options will work best for you.  At an all-inclusive resort one fee includes everything; cost of the room, food and drinks, activities, taxes and tips, airport transportation and entertainment.  Airfare is generally not included.  There are a number of advantages to these types of packages, and after having to make a number of decisions in the last year, you may want to go somewhere where everything is already taken care of for you.  Significant cost savings can be found with these types of packages and you won’t have to carry a lot of money around with you.

The downside to these type of resorts is staying at one place may cause you to be a home body and keep you from really venturing out and seeing the locale.  If the resort is more remote, this could also be a good thing.  Eating at the same restaurants every day could also get boring after a while and many activities are done in large groups.  If more of a private experience is your preference, you may opt for a couples’ only resort.  These resorts cater exclusively to couples. 

Cruises also offer an all-inclusive experience in terms of room, food, sporting activities on board, and entertainment.  You can often find packages that also include airfare and transportation to the ship from the airport.  Your drinks will be a separate charge, as well as all excursion activities.  Make sure to read the contracts well to make sure you are aware in advance what is or is not included.



Honeymoon Registry

A growing trend in honeymoon planning is to create a honeymoon registry.  Just like a bridal registry, a honeymoon registry offers gifts guests can purchase which go toward the cost of the honeymoon.  If you are a couple that is already established this may be an alternative for you.

Creating a Registry:  A number of online sites offer this type of service.  Couples create an online registration page outlining the type of honeymoon they are looking for, the destination, the cost of the airfare, room accommodations, activities, restaurant meals and even special souvenirs.

Each item represents a gift that guests can choose to purchase.  Like a bridal registry, once the gift is purchases it alerts the couple and any other guest who come.

Higher priced items can be divided into a number of gifts, such as airfare.  The total cost is broken up into three or four gifts, making the cost of the gift one-third or one-fourth the costs of the total airfare.  Rooms could be purchased by the day until the total desired number of days is purchased.

Is It Right for You?  No one really knows this but you.  You know your relationship with guests and whether this is something they would be happy to help with, or if they would rather pass.  Guests often like their gifts to have a long term meaning for the couple. They hope it will be something you use frequently and remember the love that was extended to you.

Make It Personal:  Some reservations about the registry can be eliminated if you make it as personal as possible.  Give background on why you chose the location, the hotel, the activities or gifts you have included.  Make them feel they are helping in fulfilling a life long dream, or making a contribution to a once in a lifetime opportunity.  Make the choices personalized and descriptive so they know more about what they are giving you.

Instead of listing a dinner for two, indicate the gift is a honeymoon sunset luau for two.  This helps guests know they are giving you something special and personal, something that can be remembered for years to come.

Offer a Variety:  Like a bridal registry, offer a variety of gifts in a number of denominations.  Not everyone will want to spend $150 for a gift.  Include a variety of price ranges for a variety of guests and varying financial circumstances.

Review Your Contract:  Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you thoroughly reviewed the contract.  Be aware of the financial obligations or liabilities associated with the registry.  Find out in advance if you are responsible for any items that did not get purchased.  Can some elements be eliminated at the end, or will the entire cost of the registry need to be purchased?  What fees are included by the registry company and do they offer a cancellation or a refund policy?



Additional Considerations

With any travel, plan for a number of considerations.  A few are listed below to jog your memory and make sure you plan ahead for them.

Passport and Visas:  If traveling abroad, you need a current passport and any visas required.  Some visas can take weeks to obtain. Make sure you have adequate time to acquire one.  It is now mandatory for anyone traveling outside of the U.S. to have a passport, even to Canada or Mexico.

Vaccinations:  Check for vaccination requirements you need and how long in advance you need to receive them before traveling.

Exchange It:  Before leaving, consider exchanging up to $100 in the destination’s currency.  This can cover any transportation needs from the airport, smaller food or drink items you purchase before arriving at the hotel or anything needed prior to making it to a bank or exchange location.

Having spare money can really save you.  Tourists are often taken advantage of when paying internationally with U.S. dollars and exchange rates at airports and hotels are often not in their favor.

Book Ahead:  If certain excursion packages are a must, book them in advance.  Try to book them when booking the hotel or resort.  Don’t wait until you get there, only to find the one you wanted is full.

Capture the Moments:  Don’t forget to bring your digital camera.  If you haven’t made the investment yet, borrow a friend’s or family member’s.  A digital camera will save the expense of film and development, and make it easier to pass through security at the airport, which can destroy regular film.

Extra Suitcase:  If you like to shop, plan for room to bring everything home.  Consider throwing an empty duffle bag into the suitcase for gifts and souvenirs.


Simple Getaway

Perhaps the ideal honeymoon vacation isn’t in the budget right now. No matter how frugal you get between now and the wedding, it just isn’t going to happen. Maybe, for now, a weekend at the family cabin or at a local resort will have to do. You can still make it a great activity and an enjoyable time together as a newly married couple, without getting on a plane.

Even you just stay at home, rent great movies and unplug the phone. Take a few days and enjoy each other’s company. Use this time together to remember the wedding and discuss guests who attended, the cutting of the cake, how good the food tasted and what you loved most about the day.

If the photographer captured digital pictures, review them together and use the time to get a jump on creating the wedding album. It doesn't matter how you spend the time as long as you spend it together.

 
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