What is the best part of getting married? Getting far away from it all on the honeymoon, of course. It's the least you can do after months of party-planning meetings, wedding related events and constant to-do lists leading up to your wedding.
Don't short-change yourself by cutting corners on arranging this once-in-a-lifetime getaway. Here are nine budget-friendly secrets for nailing down the most romantic trip of your life.
1. FIND TRAVEL PACKAGES
From a Kenyan safari to a 10-day Caribbean cruise, there are incredible honeymoon packages for newlyweds on any budget, craving any kind of destination.
A tour package appeals because it usually means transportation, food and lodging are all included in one fixed price. The benefit: no sticker-shock when your bill comes.
2. MORE ON TRAVEL AGENTS
Or, skip the time-consuming task of searching out destinations yourself and get thee to a pro. Let a travel agent who specializes in honeymoon travel work with your wish list and your budget requirements and show you the way.
3. GO ON, CHARGE IT
If you've thought ahead, consider charging all of your big-ticket wedding-related expenses on an airline-affiliated credit card. Those miles--and those charges can add up with a wedding--may be enough to get you free upgrades or even free tickets. Wouldn't traveling first-class be a lovely way to embark for the first time as Mr. and Mrs?
4. SEEK FREQUENT-FLYER DEALS
Join a frequent-flyer program now. There are many deals and upgrades offered from partner car rental companies, hotels or cruise ships you can take advantage of.
5. BOOK PRESTIGE ROOMS
The art of a fabulous honeymoon experience comes down to planning ahead--and making it clear to the powers that be that you'll be a newlywed. It's code for getting special treatment.
When you make your hotel reservation, state right away that you're arranging your honeymoon before requesting specific niceties like that ocean view or a quiet room away from the elevator. Then get all the details confirmed in writing, by email or fax.
6. CALL THE CONCIERGE
Booked your rezzys? Now speak to the concierge to plan any of those romantic extras you want. Whether it's an intimate dinner on the beach or passes to a major museum show, the concierge makes it happen. Create a rapport with the manager.
The hotelier will bend over backwards to make sure your stay is enchanting. (You may even find chocolates and bottle of bubbly chilling in an ice bucket upon arrival.)
7. PRE-DEPARTURE PAPERWORK
Take care of any paperwork needed for traveling way before your wedding week. Is a passport or a visa needed? Does your far-flung destination require inoculations? Print and organize your itinerary so you have all the addresses, reservations and confirmation numbers well in advance of your departure.
8. ESCAPE RIGHT AWAY
Truly, madly, deeply try to depart for your honeymoon immediately after the wedding. Why not even go away that same night or the following morning? Scheduling may make it more practical to delay your trip for a week or so. But you know what? The momentum just may be lost if you wait.
Besides, it's not like you don't deserve to escape right away--you just planned a party for months! It is time for your payoff. Just saying.
9. STAGE ELEMENTS OF SURPRISE
Your new spouse may know where you're going, but you can still awe your partner with special surprises along the way. Perhaps it's breakfast in bed on the first morning, or arranging a night when your room is illuminated by candles… You get the idea…
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