Honeymoon Travel Considerations
FINALLY! The much needed and anticipated honeymoon trip is here! All you want to do is get out of town and celebrate your new marriage with the love of your life, but let’s put on the breaks for a second and make sure we have checked all the traveling boxes. I know, I know, what a pain. Can’t I just jump on that plane and forget all my worries for the time being? As easy and as nice as that sounds, there are certain things to consider depending on where you decide to vacation.
A honeymoon is typically booked 4 months before the wedding and, on average, is 8 days long. As of 2019, only 25% of honeymoon vacations are taken outside of the U.S. and Canada with the most popular destinations being Mexico, Jamaica, Bahamas, Italy, St. Lucia, France and the U.S. Virgin Islands. A rising popular trend is to instead take a mini moon a little closer to home. These trips tend to be both easier on the pocketbook as well as on the planning side of things. They are typically only 3-4 days long and much of the time don’t even involve a plane, but somewhere you can drive.
However, if you plan to be part of the 25% and take your honeymoon somewhere exotic, there are a few things to take into consideration. First things first, definitely consider what time of year you plan to travel and what the climate is like at your destination. Humidity is a real thing and if you have never experienced it before, be prepared to be sticky and not able to style your hair the entire time you are there. Next, I would recommend doing a Google search of the area you are considering to determine if there are any dangerous disease outbreaks or any CDC vaccine recommendations. More often than not, nothing alarming will come from your search, but it’s always better to be safe than sorry. Also, I always recommend looking at destinations with all inclusive resorts because, let’s be honest, that is the way to go! On another note, there are certain places in the world where it is best and safest to just not to leave the resort or at least not without a local tour guide – especially after dark and never by yourself. Some of these places include certain parts of Mexico, Dominican Republic, Venezuela, Honduras, and India.
Now that you have done your research and started narrowing down your list of vacation spots, I would investigate what their currency and exchange rate looks like. Most places, especially if their economy is tourist driven, will gladly accept the American dollar, but why not get into the culture and use the currency of the place you are traveling. If you exchange your currency before you leave, which many times gets you the best exchange rate, the best place to do this is at your local bank. Most big banks sell foreign currency to customers in person, but it’s always a good idea to call first and verify with your bank of choice. Keep in mind, there are currency exchange stands in most airports once you land at your destination, but typically their exchange rate is not as good.
After you have taken the time to discuss and decide on your honeymoon location, if it is needed, make sure you have up-to-date passports, keeping in mind it can take 6-8 weeks to get a new passport or to renew an expired passport. If you are planning to take your new spouse’s last name following the wedding but are also planning to travel within three months of your wedding, I would recommend not officially changing your last name until you return due to processing time limits. As you slowly start checking off these travel boxes, next you will want to research custom and visa requirements. For the most part, it can be as simple as filling out the customs paperwork that is handed out on the plane before arrival, but sometimes it can be a little more complicated. Places, such as Australia, do require that you apply and are approved for a tourist visa (also know as Electronic Travel Authority) before travel. This process is fairly easy and can all be done online, but will need to be completed and approved before you get on that plane.
Okay! You have decided where you want to honeymoon, you have all the proper currency and paperwork in order, there is one last piece of advice I have for you and it comes from experience… after you arrive to your destination (if it is outside the United States), always try to drink bottled water! Most resorts will use filtered water at their restaurants, but it is a good idea to verify that information or just carry a bottle of water with you whenever you leave your hotel suite. Many countries have bacteria in their water that, while it will not kill you, will make you sick and extremely uncomfortable for the duration of your trip. Often, our bodies’ immune systems are not accustomed to certain bacteria in the water like the locals are. Most of the time if you stay at your resort you’ll be fine, however, if you go to local restaurants keep in mind simple things like, maybe the salad you have at lunch has been washed in unfiltered water, so it is best to ask your server how the restaurant handles that sort of thing. Better safe than confined to the bathroom for days!
Whether you decide to celebrate your new marriage with a honeymoon or a mini moon trip, this time is a fun and amazing way to connect with your new spouse! When considering where to honeymoon, keep in mind, the trip does not have to cost a fortune and you do not have to leave the U.S. to have a memorable experience, but if you do choose to travel to another country make sure you do your research first!
If you found this short article helpful and want to learn about how I can make your wedding day as stress-free as possible, head on over to the services page for packages and pricing information. If you have any questions, feel free to contact me or leave a comment below!
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