The Wedding “To Do” list is a long one—invitations, caterers, music, the dress…but wait! What about the honeymoon?
Steve Arthur, agent at Travel Lovers, laughs as he recalls the desperation of many couples who have come to him franticly looking for last-minute honeymoon help. “It’s the last thing couples think about…which is never a good thing. Choices are diminished, and costs are a great deal more,” he said.
Before you break into a sweat, Arthur and Elizabeth Huff from Travel Team weigh in on new trends and what to consider when planning your romantic vacation.
DIY vs. Travel Agent
Planning a trip to a nearby destination may not require special qualifications, but if international or distant travel leaves you feeling intimidated or deterred, a travel agent can be a wonderful resource. A common misconception is that using a travel agent is an added expense, but in reality, travel agents usually aren’t paid commission for their services.
Arthur says an agent can be an incredible resource for choosing ideal destinations and finding points of interest that fit your preferences and budget. The benefits also include matching or beating advertised deals, suggestions for daily itineraries and having the security of a person to contact in the event anything goes wrong.
According to Huff, while prices for bigger honeymoons can vary, a week-long trip to a popular destination generally ranges between $3,000-$5,000. However, working with a travel agent can help you find deals to accommodate a tighter budget. Huff gives couples a wedding questionnaire so she can, “…as realistically as possible tend to their needs… provide suggestions… [and] help with travel. We work with you!” No matter if you chose a sentimental nearby destination or adventures in exotic lands, enjoy the planning, as it can be just as much of an adventure as the wedding.
Mini-Moon vs. Honeymoon
Weddings have a tendency to both mentally and financially drain a couple, which is why the new trend in honeymooning is the mini-moon: a short weekend trip or stay-cation. As Huff explains, there is merit to this new trend, as young couples are just starting out, buying homes and starting new jobs. Time and money are limited so a mini-moon is more in line with what newlyweds need to start off on the right financial footing.
Mini-moons can be as versatile as the couple, but Huff says popular options range from short cruises to a romantic train trip to New York City. Mini-moons vary in price but average around $1,000-$3,000.
Immediate vs. Delayed
Remember the big Royal Wedding? Will and Kate delayed their honeymoon, because even the Prince had to go back to work. The benefits of the immediate honeymoon are obvious to anyone who has ever planned a wedding—you need a break! Planning a wedding is hard work and often the honeymoon is the first time you’ve been able to spend a quiet moment together. However, travel experts have noticed trends where newlyweds throw tradition to the wind and enjoy the perks of the delayed honeymoon.
“People like getting married on Saturdays in the summer…the disadvantage is that you’re competing with the most popular vacation time and it’s more expensive,” said Arthur.
If timing is flexible, the best months for honeymooning are March through mid-May and September through November. “If you go in the spring or fall…prices are 20-25% less,…you’re not facing the crowds… [and] the weather is almost always better,” said Arthur.
No matter the decision, delayed or immediate, couples should expect to have their reservations booked and paid for three to six months in advance to avoid higher rates and limited options.
After you’ve told the world you love each other, the honeymoon is a time to give each other that same message, in a more private setting. It’s the first and last time you will ever be together in this way and no matter the honeymoon location or timing, it will be perfect so long as you are together.
By Tiffany Lyttle0