Friday, April 17, 2009

Honeymoon planner

Putting together a wedding can mean a mountain of stress and a ton of work, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel: your honeymoon. As far as tunnel lights go, this is one of the best. You'll be newly married, fresh off the high of your party, and now you get to spend some quality time alone with your new wife just relaxing, kicking back, and doing whatever the two of you feel like. Life just doesn't get any sweeter.

To ensure that your honeymoon is the reward you and the missus truly deserve, you should start planning well in advance. Whether the two of you are heading for white sand beaches and drinks with little umbrellas in them, a cruise along the majestic Alaskan coast, or any other destination on Earth (beyond that is out of our jurisdiction), there are some steps you can take to make sure that everything goes according to plan. You may not be able to control the weather, you may not be able to control the airlines, but is here to make sure that everything that you can control goes as planned.

Let's start at the beginning:

6-12 Months Before the Honeymoon

Starting early, huh? Good for you. It looks like we've been getting through to you with this site. Six months to a year before you actually say those vows is the right time to start the ball rolling on your honeymoon plans. Sit down with your fiancée and try to come up with a short list of possible honeymoon destinations. You might have different ideas about what makes the perfect vacation getaway. But the world's a big place, and if you do a little research, you're bound to find a destination that meets both of your approval.

The big thing to keep in mind at this stage (and frankly, at every other stage, too) is your budget. The honeymoon comes after the very large expense of the wedding itself, so plan accordingly. Go online and dig around for price estimates. Most airline websites will let you see the price of tickets months in advance. Don't forget to factor in accommodations, leisure activities, a rental car, and other such necessities. You'll want to set aside a chunk of change for food and drinks, too.
4-6 Months Before the Honeymoon

Now's the time to start making reservations. Booking this far in advance increases your chances of getting the rooms/seats/tickets you want and gives you some wiggle room if plans change down the line. Some places may require that you send in deposits before they will make your reservation. Best to just get that out of the way now. Be sure to get written confirmation of all your various reservations. There's nothing worse than making a reservation at a swanky resort, only to find out with just weeks to go that the paperwork didn't go through and you've got nothing to prove you made the reservation except an empty bank account.

This is also the time to purchase travel insurance - both medical and trip cancellation - and to apply for any passports or visas that you might need. If you're heading out of the country, check with a doctor to see if you need to get any additional vaccinations. If so, do it now, before your schedule gets too hectic to squeeze in a trip to the doctor's office.

2 Months Before the Honeymoon

It's closing in on the Big Day. Time to make any final payments for hotels, travel, and other previously booked expenses that you haven't already paid for in full. If you're thinking about going on a tour or seeing a show while you're on your trip, this is the time to start investigating what's available. Go ahead, get some culture in you!

You should also do a little detective work and see if your destination will honor your ATM and credit cards. More and more remote locations accept credit/debit every day, but you don't want to get to your destination and find out that your wallet is full of useless plastic.

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