Planning The Perfect Honeymoon
The perfect honeymoon, a well-deserved getaway, an escape to a dream location where the two of you can finally breathe and celebrate having taken one of the most significant steps of your lives, getting married.
Yes, you’re married and perhaps have spent the better part of this past year or even longer because of the pandemic planning your dream day. All of the work, thought, and stress you put into making your wedding day one to remember for the rest of your lives is finally over, and now, it’s time for both of you to embrace one another and begin your life’s journey together.
Of course, if you are reading this and saying, “Wait, we’re not married yet; in fact, we haven’t even spoken about our honeymoon or where are we even going,” That’s ok, as I would hope within this blog it would serve as inspiration for you and give you both something beyond your wedding day to look forward to. After planning your perfect day, you’ll deserve a grand getaway; trust me!
At Janene’s Bridal, we would love to talk about how to plan that perfect getaway which will serve as something both of you can look forward to.
Even if you’re planning a destination wedding, perhaps some of the same steps or suggestions mentioned could be utilized to help you decide where to go and, once there, what activities you may want to enjoy while building memories that will last a lifetime.
One of the best feelings all of us here at Janene’s Bridal get to experience, aside from seeing each of our beautiful brides in their wedding gown while “Saying Yes To The Dress,” is hearing from the newlyweds via social media once they reach their dream destination to celebrate either their destination wedding or romantic and adventurous honeymoon. These heartfelt messages are a direct result of the fantastic relationship we take great pride in being able to create with each of our beautiful brides and their families. So with that thought in mind, please don’t forget to “tag us” @janenesbridal in your destination wedding or honeymoon post.
From all of us here at Janene’s Bridal, we want to extend our most heartfelt congratulations to you and now encourage you to enjoy a well-deserved honeymoon filled with Love, Romance, and Adventure!
Communication is key:
As a couple, I’m sure you’ve realized the importance of communication throughout your relationship. Planning your perfect getaway is no exception because each of you will need to discuss,
* Potential Destinations
* Working with a Travel Agent or planning on your own
* Establishing a Budget
* Duration of your Honeymoon
* Types of Excursions
* Learning how to unplug while away
This is the first and perhaps most crucial step in the planning process, where to go. Will you need a Passport? With all that is going on in the world, should you travel domestically? Our recommendation is to follow your hearts and quench your desire for adventure and if that means becoming a “jetsetter” and going international, “Do It!”
If your heart is taking you internationally, you’ll need to get your passports in order. Do you need one? Do you need to update the one you already have? Either way, the sooner you act on it, the better.
It can take anywhere from six to eight weeks to obtain your passport, but once you have it, you can now begin to collect all of those fabulous international stamps worldwide. Then, every time you pass through a checkpoint, you can whip it out and “Bam” another fabulous stamp.
Check with your local County Recorder’s office, as I’ve found that is much easier than going through the U.S. Post office. For more information on how to obtain your passport, click on the following link: International travel passport
As the planning continues, perhaps you have friends who have traveled to beautiful and exotic locations worldwide and have shown you stunning photographs of their adventures, leading you to lean into some of those destinations. I have found that speaking with trusted friends about some of their adventures, especially if they have recently traveled, can help you in the decision process. However, I have also found this can hinder you because everyone’s idea of adventure may not always be the same. Take whatever information is offered, and talk about it amongst yourselves to determine if it works for you, but continue to research potential destinations that are unique to you and the memories you would love to create. Remember, this is your adventure and yours alone.
So let’s talk about some of the more popular destinations for honeymoons or destination weddings, which include:
Bora Bora (Passport Required )
One of the most romantic locations for newlyweds to travel because of the beautiful beaches where you can snorkel, venture to remote and spectacular lagoons where you can swim or layout and soak up the sun, take romantic hikes along Mount Otemanu trails while taking in breathtaking views of the sunrise or sunset, or simply relaxing in your overwater bungalow.
Traveling to Bora Bora, a French Polynesian Island, can be expensive. Still, because of how small an island it is, six miles long, two miles wide, it is also exclusive and could be well worth the investment.
The currency used in French Polynesia, Bora Bora, is the French Pacific Franc. U.S. currency may be accepted as direct payment in hotels, restaurants, and large shops, but you should expect a low exchange rate.
For more information about this potential destination, click on the following link: Bora Bora
Fiji (Passport Required )
Much like the Hawaiian Islands, Fiji welcomes newlyweds with open arms because of their culture’s rich traditions of love and marriage.
Fiji is a remote location that offers many of the same adventures as other tropical getaways. Still, it feels your soul with absolute peace because of how tranquil and remote this island is. It’s a great place to unplug and rejuvenate your inner self completely.
If diving or even snorkeling is your thing, rest assured with the crystal blue water and magnificent coral reefs, this would be an adventure of a lifetime both of you lovebirds would be talking about for the rest of your lives.
The currency used in Fiji is the Fijian Dollar. U.S. currency may be accepted as direct payment in hotels, restaurants, and large shops, but you should expect a low exchange rate.
For more information related to this beautiful island getaway, click on the following link: Fiji
Of course, Hawaii should always be on your shortlist of outstanding destinations where you can select any one of the islands in the chain as your destination,
- The Big of Hawaii
- O’ahu, also known as Waikiki
- Kauai or even Lanai
Hawaii is part of the United States, so no passport is required, but you can still try and get that fabulous traveling stamp at customs if you say “please.” Of course, U.S. currency is accepted everywhere.
As much as I love to talk about all of the islands in the Hawaiian chain, I think for the sake of time, I’ll keep this discussion limited to three of my favorite Hawaiian destinations, starting with:
If you want to catch one of the most amazing sunrises or sunsets you’ll ever see in your life, travel to Haleakala, the world’s largest dormant volcano in Central Maui’s Iao Valley State Park, is an absolute must! However, a word of caution, if you decide that an early sunrise is what your heart desires, you’ll have to get an early start because, depending upon where you’re staying on the island, South Maui, Wailea Beach, West Maui, Kaanapali, or even Lahaina, driving to the observation point, top of Haleakala can take up to two hours of travel time.
The other important fact you’ll need to know is “Dress Warm” because the early morning temperatures can drop, and it can get frigid at the top. If you’re in a tank top and shorts, looking like the one tourist who pulled the short straw while everyone else is layered up, you won’t enjoy yourself and have to rely upon others to keep you warm. I guess it could be fun by certainly not worth the risk.
As far as sunsets go, from the top, which is approximately 10,500 feet closer to heaven, the sunsets are absolutely spectacular. When in love like the two of you are, you will share a moment few will ever experience, the moments that will take your breath away, the moments that bond you together forever.
Of course, while in Maui, the road to Hana is a bucket list item that you can happily check off. The drive is fantastic, especially if you’re navigating an open-air Jeep with the wind blowing against your face leaving you with a feeling of sincere gratitude for being alive and very much in love.
O’ahu is one of the more populated islands with vibrant nightlife and multiple tourist attractions, some of which offer sobering historical perspectives on the attack at Pearl Harbor, which occurred on December 7, 1941. It’s a must-see attraction. The beaches are beautiful, snorkeling and diving excursions are abundant, and a hike up Diamond Head to capture all of the majestic views is an adventure worth taking.
Another great attraction is the Polynesian Culture Center, where you can truly experience the spirit of Aloha and enjoy a luau feast.
Of course, if you want to get your Disneyland Fix while in the islands, you can always visit Disneyland Park Hawaii next to Aulani at Ko Olina Resort & Marina.
Aulani offers excellent destination wedding packages, which perhaps may be just what you’re looking for. For more information related to potential options, click on the following link: Disney Hawaii
The Big Island
If you’re the type of person who finds romance in erupting volcanoes, the Big Island of Hawaii offers one of Hawaii’s most remarkable treasures; Kilauea. Kilauea is an active and glorious volcano, which continues to add to the island’s natural landscape to this day with continuous fire and lava eruptions, which are incredible to see, of course, from a distance. However, suppose you’re one for an E-Ticket edge-of-your-seat thrill ride. In that case, you can charter a helicopter to take you high above Kilauea, where you’ll be able to capture active fire and lava eruptions, not to mention other areas of the island that are almost impossible to access. These areas are deep within the rainforest and include views of majestic waterfalls and natural pools, which are beautiful and beyond anyone’s imagination.
Then, of course, you have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, some of which are referred to as “black-sand beaches” like Punalu’u Beach because of Kilauea’s volcanic contribution to the surrounding ocean water. Perhaps not the best beach for aquatic activity because of the vibrant surf, but undoubtedly worth capturing photographic moments because of the unique backdrop of the black sand.
Could you imagine taking a photograph of your names etched into the sand to mark your unforgettable visit? I can already see it!
For more information related to the beautiful Hawaiian Islands, click on the following link: http://www.hawaiitourismauthority.org
Let’s leave the tropical islands of the beautiful Pacific Ocean to visit Cancun, located in southeastern Mexico on the northeastern coast of the Yucatan Peninsula adjacent to the Caribbean Sea.
Cancun (Passport Required )
Here in Cancun, you can expect to be greeted by descendants of the Mayan people who work diligently to welcome you into their very proud culture. The hotel zone is comprised of “All-Inclusive” resorts staffed by some of the hardest working people I have ever seen.
The white sand beaches and turquoise water are among some of the most beautiful coastlines in the world. In addition, there are many historical sites to see in this region of the world, such as the ancient pyramids of Chichen Itza. In these underground caves, you can swim in beautiful Xenotes or take a drive to Tulum, where the beautiful coastline of Mexico continues and can be genuinely appreciated.
The currency used in Cancun is the Mexican Peso. U.S. currency is accepted everywhere and most likely preferred by the locals because the rate of conversion for U.S. currency is much higher. I would suggest using the Mexican Peso whenever possible as the conversion is not difficult to master.
For more information about this possible destination, click on the following link: cancun” data-type=”URL” data-id=”https://www.visitmexico.com>cancun”>Cancun
Additional honeymoon or destination wedding locations could also include the following incredible locations, which I’m, sure would offer the romance and adventure your heart is calling for. I would encourage you to research each of these locations, and of course, wherever you decide to travel, follow your heart and embrace every moment.
- Maldives-Passport Require
- Tahiti-Passport Required
- Bali- Passport Required
- Europe or the Mediterranean- Passport Required
Working with a Travel Agent or Planning On Your Own:
Working with a travel agent is no different than working with a wedding planner or one of our stylists at Janene’s Bridal when you selected that perfect wedding dress, or at Robert Paul when you picked out your wedding suit, “you left it to the experts”. Working with a travel agent can alleviate a tremendous amount of stress regarding your perfect honeymoon or destination wedding. A travel agent can research potential destinations to get the best price on airfare, hotel or resort information, transportation to and from the airport, and adventurous excursions; both of you are interested in booking because of the relationship they have established with these all-important vendors. In addition, they can provide you with travel insurance and explain all of the fine print, alleviating you from having to graduate “law school” before going on your trip. Ugh, I hate all the fine print!
Securing the perfect hotel or “All- Inclusive” resort is one of the most essential parts of your honeymoon. You want to enjoy your stay somewhere that offers “All-Inclusive” amenities both of you deserve. My recommendation is to book your stay at an “All-Inclusive” hotel or resort, which is the only way to go. Can you imagine enjoying unlimited dining and bottomless cocktails all day, all night? I certainly can, Yummy!
It can take a significant amount of time to research these all-important issues, not to mention the number of decisions you’ll already need to make in planning and preparing for your wedding day. So why not leave it to the travel experts. Although we can’t offer travel agent recommendations, we would encourage you to speak with others you may know who have established a relationship with a travel agent or conduct your research to locate your own. It would be well worth the effort.
The other advantage of working with a travel agent is they can assist you in establishing a budget based on the type of honeymoon or destination wedding you hope to plan and the duration of your romantic and adventurous getaway. Most newlyweds plan for an eight-day vacation, but it’s not uncommon to extend your honeymoon up to two weeks if your schedules allow. Knowing in advance how much money you will need to set aside is all part of the planning process for your perfect honeymoon or destination wedding. Of course, you’re planning for just the two of you with a honeymoon. Still, with a destination wedding, other factors and considerations seem to work their way into the equation, which is when a travel agent can become your best friend next to one of our very talented stylists at Janene’s Bridal, of course. So again, please leave it to the experts.
When looking for a certified and professional Travel Agent, attempt to stay local unless you’ve found someplace further away that has either been recommended or one with whom you’ve established a solid working relationship. Interview potential Travel Agents to determine if they are the right fit for the two of you and have the expertise to arrange the perfect honeymoon or destination wedding you have envisioned. Remember, relationships and trust are key!
- Verify if your Travel Agent is a member of the American Society of Travel Agents (www.asta.org)
- Verify if your Travel Agent is certified by The Travel Institute, which offers continuing education for its members in the Touring and Travel industry (www.thetravelinstitute.com)
- Does your Travel Agent carry Error and Omission Insurance
- Is your Travel Agent affiliated with the Association of Retail Travel Agents? Not a requirement, but certainly a plus (www.artaonline.com)
- How easy would it be to reach this Travel Professional if something goes wrong, delayed or canceled flight, hotel/resort booking issues, and transportation problems? Did they provide you with an after-hours phone number you could call to help resolve these types of situations?
Planning Your Own Honeymoon or Destination Wedding:
If you’re courageous and determined enough to plan your own honeymoon or destination wedding, “bless you,” and don’t worry about anyone thinking you’re an overachiever. Fortunately, all the information you’ll need is at your fingertips as there are a variety of travel sites you could research for all the information you will need.
Give yourself enough time for the required research, and don’t just settle on the first vacation package. If it sounds too good to be true, that’s because it probably is. Instead, continue researching travel sites and read the fine print before settling on your final decision. I suggest creating a checklist or spreadsheet with vendor information, payment timelines, and schedules to help keep your planning on track and very much in order.
- Research airfares to get the best possible price with the least if any amount of transfers. Direct flights are always the best and least stressful way to travel.
- Call each hotel or resort you’re interested in booking. Establish a relationship with the concierge and ask all the questions you’ll need to satisfy your answers.
- If you don’t speak the specific language of your destination country, ask to talk to someone who can clearly communicate with you.
- Research ground transportation either by asking the hotel or resort if they provide pickup or drop-off service from the airport
- Arrange your own ground transportation by researching transportation vendors
- Act like you are the Travel Agent Professional and ask for price breaks or travel deals for your accommodations and your adventurous excursions. Remember, these destination hotels and resorts want your business.
- Get travel insurance, and don’t forget to read the “Fine Print.”
Concerning honeymoon budgets, we could stick with tradition and let the responsibility of the honeymoon budget fall to the groom and his family, which, if that’s the case, is perfect, but assuming it’s not, there are a variety of steps you can take to establish how you will fund your dream vacation.
One of the more popular methods some couples have successfully implemented is a vacation registry where family and friends can securely contribute to your honeymoon by donating a monetary gift, which will go directly to pay off your honeymoon. This gives each person a unique opportunity to be a part of something significant and, in the process, alleviates the added stress of having to fund one more thing.
There are a variety of wedding websites that allow you to set up this type of registry, or you could stick with your standard gift registry and request that perfect air-fryer, toaster oven, coffee maker, or dish set. The beauty in all of your decisions is that they are your decisions. What is suitable for the two of you?
Concerning potential wedding websites or registries, here are two which some of our brides have used with success;
In conclusion, on behalf of Stephani and the rest of us here at Janene’s Bridal, we sincerely hope the information contained in our blog has been helpful. Leave us a comment, ask us a question, and we would love to hear from you. We want to not only assist you in finding your perfect wedding dream dress, but we also want to be a part of your journey beyond when you say “Yes to the Dress.“
When traveling to that perfect honeymoon destination or when creating memories that will last a lifetime, please tag us on Instagram or Facebook: @janenesbridal
We here at Janene’s Bridal would love to be a part of your journey, and thank you for trusting in us to assist you on the most important day of your life.
Cheers to Love, Romance, and Adventure!