When you can go anywhere, where do you go? That’s the first problem facing couples when they sit down to book a honeymoon.
It’s a sweet problem, sure — but it can also be a stressful one. How do you narrow down a world of choice into one memorable trip for two very different people?
Here are six honeymoon travel tips to get you started.
1. Set a date night
How do you plan the perfect honeymoon? Photo: Deposit
No parents, no friends, no kids. Just the two of you, a bottle of wine, pens and paper. Ideally, do this 12 months out, and try not to rely on devices (an old-school map is good). Ask the dreamy questions — where have you always wanted to go? It could be snorkelling in the Seychelles, a lost week at Burning Man or a 5-star ski trip.
Don’t get bogged down in the nitty-gritty at this stage. Shoot for big ideas you both love, jot them down, and enjoy it.
2. Fix your budget
On the tourist trail… Photo: Deposit
This needs to happen when the wine bottle is in the recycling bin. The average Irish honeymoon budget is between €4k and €9k — but you can get a great holiday for less by travelling off-season, going all-inclusive or shortening the trip length.
“People think honeymoon means long-haul,” says Sunway’s Barry Hammond. “It doesn’t have to.” Shorter journeys can mean more time on the ground, too.
As well as savings, consider asking wedding guests to pay into honeymoon gift lists or accounts. The main thing you need here is a topline figure.
3. Watch the weather
Seaplane transfers are common in the Maldives. Photo: Pól Ó Conghaile
“The when is going to determine the where,” says Andre Migliarini of thesafariexpert.com. Lots of weddings take place in July/August, for example, when it’s wintry in South Africa and can be wet in Indian Ocean destinations like the Maldives.
Mini-moons are a growing trend, adds Caroline O’Toole of Galway’s Fahy Travel Worldchoice: “We’re seeing more couples take four- or five-day breaks after a summer wedding, and then doing the big trip in January, February or March, when the weather improves.”
4. It’s good to talk
It’s good to talk. Photo: Deposit
As with any big purchase, an expert view is essential to complement your research. Talk to at least three travel agents for a reality check on cost and logistics, as well as visas, vaccinations and insurance. You’ll get a sense of the expert, and vice versa — leading to personal suggestions based on experience.
“Don’t take too much on,” is the advice of Jill Maguire of Tropical Sky. “So many honeymooners want to do an awful lot in a short space of time, but travel can be very tiring.”
Try to come away from each call with concrete options, and gather competing quotes.
5. Don’t be coy
Yes, you should tell people you’re booking a honeymoon. You have a big budget, and that’s attractive, but honeymooners can also be offered perks — room upgrades, bubbles or chocs in the room, and so on.
6. Check in with each other
Seychelles offers stretches of white beach sand.
Is your honeymoon going in a direction you both want? Ask yourself the question regularly. There’s no point hitting the Maldives if one of you wants city life. What about a twin or multi-centre trip, combining a beach or city with cruise or safari?
Ultimately, the destination is a backdrop. Put in the research, and spend wisely, but don’t worry unduly about choosing one dream holiday over another. What really matters is not the destination, it’s the time and space you take to enjoy each other.