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Planning That Perfect Honeymoon

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

With all the planning for the ceremony and reception, the honeymoon can sometimes get neglected. Don't let that happen to you and your hard-earned money. Here's some advice to make the honeymoon as special as the wedding.

Do your homework. Before seeking out a travel agent, decide what type of trip you're interested in and approximately how much you want to spend. The more specific your destination and activity wish list, the less time you'll waste on unrealistic dreams which are beyond your budget. Select your travel agent with care, as all agents are not created equal.

Don't forget to mention to your travel agent that it's a honeymoon. Have he/she ask for any available honeymoon perks. Resorts, hotels and tour packages will sometimes offer honeymoon perks such as room-upgrades, champagne, flowers, a free breakfast, etc.

Do know your budget and stick to it. Be up front and honest about your honeymoon budget. Don't budge if the agent tries to steer you toward a more expensive trip or larger resort. For example, if seeing the sights of a European city are more important to you than a deluxe hotel room, tell the agent. Knowing what you can and can't live without will help them build an itinerary that's meets your priorities and your budget.

Don't pick the wrong destination. Unless you're going to Walt Disney World, select a location geared for couples. Avoid places that have singles, families or seniors in mind.

Do stay flexible with your plans. You'll have greater access to discount fares and other promotions if your time frame is flexible. Can you leave two days after the wedding, instead of the very next day? Tell the travel agent. This flexibility could save you hundreds of dollars.

Don't book an early morning flight. With all the last minute details and perhaps a reception running late into the night, opt for a later flight or the following day, if possible.

Do keep your expectations realistic. No trip is ever one hundred percent perfect. Train conductors go on strike, it rains at the beach and flights gets cancelled. Be mentally prepared for quirks of travel.

Don't over plan. Allow for some down time in your honeymoon. Take some time to relax and unwind from the stress of the wedding. Make time to just do nothing.

Do consider an all-inclusive resort for convenience and luxury. One of the most widely known is Sandals, which operates in the Caribbean. Included would be airport transfers, three meals a day, plus snacks in your choice of restaurants, accommodations, beer and wine, activities and much more. You pay up front, but then you're free to eat, drink and be merry without counting your pennies each evening. To be on the safe side, however, be sure you find out exactly what is included and what is not.

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Ask your travel agent about all the nitty gritty details of your trip, including any drawbacks. Ask for a phone number you can use for after-hours emergencies... preferably a toll-free or collect number.

Do prepare a master packing list well in advance of the wedding.

Don't be surprised if your travel agent charges a fee. Due to the changing nature of travel planning, and commission cuts from the airlines, some agencies have been forced to charge, whereas in the past, they did not.


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