Destinations and planning

If you have ever needed a vacation, it’s after months and months of planning a wedding.

Many couples have a good idea where they would like to go for their honeymoon. They have imagined standing on the white sands of a tropical paradise or cutting through fresh powdered snow on their way to the bottom of a mountain. Once you both can agree on one or several destinations it is time to shop and compare.

To make sure your honeymoon goes as flawlessly as your wedding, you will need to do some planning. Here’s how:

Begin with a budget that you can realistically afford. In some instances, you might check with your banking institution or travel agency, they may have vacation loans or money saver accounts to help you reach your budget goals.

At a year to six months

At a year to six months prior to your wedding, begin checking in to vacation packages and destination spots. You might find if you are planning to travel during holidays or over peak vacation periods, lodging and popular resorts are already booked. You may also find some resorts close in their “Off Season”.

Put a wish list of destinations together of where you would like to travel on your honeymoon. Check in to each to find out costs and options you may have. Call resorts and tourism offices and ask for guidebooks. International travel may require you to work through a travel agency.

Talk with friends and relatives. Find out if they have traveled to your destinations you have in mind. Ask them what they liked and disliked, what would they have done different?

Six months prior

Six months prior to your honeymoon, apply for a major credit card if you do not have one. You will not have to use your card, however, it can assist you in emergency situations. Many hotels and resorts will not guarantee rooms or reservations without one. Have a card that you will use only for the honeymoon if you are not good at finances or are using other cards to pay for your wedding. A credit card that is at or over the limit is no good to you when you are on vacation. Be money wise, only purchase and use your credit cards when you have the cash to pay off outstanding bills.

Four months prior

Four months prior decide on your honeymoon destination. Contact your travel agent or destination spot and ask to reserve accommodations. Be very specific on the type of room you want (ocean view, pool side, whirlpool suite), and ask them to send you a confirmation of your reservations with the room type specified. You may be required to give a credit card number to guarantee your rooms or reservations, or you may be required to pay a percentage to reserve a package. If you will be traveling to a foreign country, you will need a passport.

Two months prior

Two months prior make sure you have ordered any tickets you may need. Contact rental car agencies if you are going to need transportation once you arrive and set-up for a car rental.

You will most likely want to do some clothes shopping for your honeymoon. A dress outfit, pants, shorts, swimwear, skiwear, make sure you have plenty of clothing to fit your vacation.

Is luggage going to be a problem? You will now be traveling for two, and the old duffel bag that worked for you in college, may not be a welcome addition to the luggage lineup.

One month prior

One month prior refill any prescriptions you may need, begin collecting travel-size toiletries and other needs for your trip.

Two weeks prior

Two weeks prior make sure you have all your tickets you need, if not call and confirm your arrangements and find out when and where you can get your tickets. Double check that all your paperwork is in order, and call to reconfirm your arrangements with hotels, airlines, and rental agents. Make a list of items you will need for your trip with your fiancé.

One week prior

One week prior you will want to purchase traveler’s checks. If you are traveling internationally, you may wish to purchase foreign currency (from a bank or currency broker) before you leave. Next, begin packing for your trip.

The day before

The day before make sure to finish packing any last minute items. Calculate your inventory with your list you made up a couple of week’s prior. Double-check your list making sure to have all tickets, reservation information and medications. Leave a list of contact information for parents and friends of where you will be or how to contact you in case of an emergency. Confirm your flight or train is on schedule and have fun!

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