Whether you are looking to have a destination wedding and preparing to ask your guests to travel with you or are planning a getaway for two to celebrate your honeymoon – there are some important travel matters that you should be aware of. So, if you happen to have your eyes set on white sand and tropical waters or mountains full of adventure – give your plans careful attention so they don’t become quickly complicated. Here are tips for honeymoon bliss from experts in the industry to ensure that your experience is incredible.
While honeymoon travel can be planned within any timeline, planning early ensures availability and better pricing. As a general rule, booking six to twelve months ahead of time is most ideal. Specialty destinations, like Bora Bora and St. Lucia’s overwater bungalows are best planned eighteen months out.
INSURE YOUR TRIP
Anyone who has traveled recently will tell you, anything can happen! Travel insurance is a must. With flight cancellations, schedule changes, COVID-closings, and other circumstantial hiccups, having travel protection can alleviate many headaches. It’s the safest way to ensure that the trip, travel plans, and you are protected. This point easily makes the list of tips for honeymoon bliss considering you won’t experience much bliss if you don’t get to go.
BE PASSPORT PREPARED
Almost all international destinations require a passport for entry. If you already have a passport, make sure its expiration date is not within six months of your travel. If you do not have a passport, remember that routine passport processing takes eight to eleven weeks and expedited processing, for an additional fee, is five to seven weeks. Plan ahead and prepare your passport early!
US travelers may also travel without passports to any of the 50 United States and several US territories. These destinations include Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, the Mariana Islands, and American Samoa. Closed-loop cruises, which start and finish from a US port, are another great option for couples wanting to travel without a passport.
KNOW YOUR DESTINATION
An integral piece of our tips for honeymoon bliss is knowing where you’re going. All resorts are not created equal! Resort experiences may be either all-inclusive style or European style. True all-inclusive resorts offer the best bang for your buck. Their prices include resort accommodations, all food and top-shelf alcohol, gratuities, and endless amenities and activities. European style resorts are pay-as-you-go. Here, food and drinks, activities, and amenities are all separately chosen and paid for.
There are very few true all-inclusive resorts in the domestic US (including Hawaii). Several destinations advertise as all-inclusive experiences but do not include gratuities, top-shelf liquor, or other amenities and may charge resort fees upon arrival. True all-inclusive resorts can be found internationally, including in Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic. European style resorts are found all around the world, including in Turks and Caicos, Aruba, and the Virgin Islands.
TRAVEL YOUR BUDGET
Great destination weddings and honeymoons can happen within any budget! Be sure that your budget includes all of the necessary items, including airfare, accommodations, activities, food and beverages, and travel insurance. Curious about how various destinations compare? For international travel, Mexico, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic will be the most budget friendly, according to current trends.
BE FLEXIBLE WITH AIRFARE
Travel rebound post-COVID-19 has driven flight prices up and complicated air travel for many. Many airlines are struggling to keep up with high demand and flight delays and cancellations are prevalent. Additionally, the lowest-cost airfare rates often come with many restrictions and are non-refundable. Remember to shop around when booking airfare and be flexible with your air travel plans. Flexibility is a huge part of the tips for honeymoon bliss.
CHECK OUT TSA PRE-CHECK
Save time at busy airports with a fast-track through TSA screening. TSA Pre-Check allows low-risk travelers to queue in shorter lines, keep shoes on, and leave electronics in their carry-on bags. Apply at least six months before your planned travel for benefits that apply for all air travel for five years. Wave at those less prepared as you as you fly through airport security!
COVID-19 protocols vary by country, are highly specific, and are changing daily. It is your responsibility to educate yourself on these protocols, and your responsibility to comply with them. Destinations often have precise requirements for COVID-19 testing and vaccination. Guidelines may be more strictly enforced abroad than in the United States.
UTILIZE A TRAVEL ADVISOR
Many engaged couples looking to have a destination wedding or plan a honeymoon reach out to travel advisors because navigating the current travel climate and all the details can seem overwhelming. Experienced professionals have relationships with even the most remote destinations and will assure that your expectations will be met. Advisors that have ridden the waves through the last few years are especially committed and have a personal interest in your travel going smoothly. Travel advisors are your advocate through all stages of your planning. Look for a travel advisor that wants to know about you and your personal travel preferences!