I’ve been immersed in the book Bossypants this week, laughing out loud at Tina Fey’s hilarious antics including her horrifying honeymoon cruise story. Like most brides, when I planned my honeymoon I had no idea where to start. I wanted everything to be perfect because you only get one shot at an amazing honeymoon. After planning my own honeymoon – and reading up on the topic – I’ve learned a thing or two (or fifty) and I’m sharing the best honeymoon tips with you today. If you only took three pieces of advice, I’d want them to be: 1) RELAX, 2) plan ahead, and 3) have fun. That’s all you need. And, a honeymoon isn’t any better because of the amount of money you spend; it’s fun because it’s your first trip together as a married couple. So, get ready to plan the most memorable vacation of your life and read on to find out which fifty best honeymoon tips made the list!
50 Best Honeymoon Tips – Do’s and Don’ts
1. Start a honeymoon fund early.
Put a little money aside each week, even if it’s a small amount. When the time comes, you’ll be happy you did!
2. Select a location you’ll both love…
… with activities you’ll both enjoy.
3. Stay within your budget.
4. DON’T rely on wedding gifts of money to cover your trip.
5. Read reviews of accommodations prior to booking.
Online reviews are so important and can save you a headache down the road. Do your research. (TripAdvisor is one place to start. Even Dwight Shrute would agree.) Also, make sure to read the terms before booking a hotel. Some hotel rates are limited time only or require payment in full. If you may need to change travel plans down the road, hold off from booking until you’re ready.
6. Make an itinerary – but feel free to skip items if necessary.
You might want to, uh, stay in!
7. Do one thing that exhilarates you.
Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.” A honeymoon shouldn’t be scary, but exhilarating. Pick a spontaneous activity you wouldn’t normally do; it will make your trip more memorable!
8. Consult a travel agent.
Travel agents are there to help! And, believe me, they’ve helped thousands of couples plan a perfect honeymoon.
9. Allow for adequate travel time.
Some flights are long – make sure you don’t end up spending most of your time traveling; give yourself plenty of days to enjoy the destination.
10. No expectations.
If you don’t expect anything, you can’t be disappointed. If it rains, your hotel is crummy, the tour is cancelled, or a million other what-if’s happen on your trip, shrug it off! Laugh, move on. Don’t let the little things ruin your amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience.
11. Arrive home at least one full day before returning to work (if possible).
12. Not sure where to go? Search the web for inspiration.
13. Pack ahead of time.
If you pack your bag early, you’ll have less to do after the reception when you’re oh-so-tired. Write the last-minute things you’ll still need to use (like toiletries and makeup) onto a post-it and stick on the front of your suitcase so you don’t forget.
14. Get yourself a really great cross-body bag or tote for day trips.
15. Keep your wallet and cash in a secure place.
Use a hotel safe, if possible, when away from the room. Also, carry cash in a cross-body purse or in your front pocket when sight-seeing.
16. One word: lingerie.
Pick out something you’ll love to wear.
17. Buy airfare tickets as early as possible.
18. Pick your seat ahead of time OR fly first-class.
When booking your flight, try Seat Guru to get a visual of where you’ll be sitting. It’s so helpful!
19. Arrange for house-sitting (and pet-sitting) early.
20. Can’t afford a honeymoon? Take a mini-moon instead.
A weekend (or four-day weekend) is plenty of time to relax and unwind!
21. Fly off-peak.
Save money and fly at time and days that are most affordable; consult Fare Compare.
22. Book at least one tour.
23. Use hotel or airfare points if possible.
24. DON’T forget your passport if traveling overseas.
25. Make a list of three must-see places.
A list of three (one you want to see, one he wants to see, and are both equally excited about) is a good rule of thumb.
26. DON’T over-pack.
You’ll need room for souvenirs on the way home!
27. Make one rule: THERE ARE NO RULES!
This is the rule I apply to all vacations. It’s a good one to have!
28. DON’T forget to bring necessities along.
Get yourself a clear travel pack and fill it with travel-size must-haves (in addition to your typical hygiene products like toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, conditioner, etc.) You’ll need aspirin, band-aids, tweezers, Pepto (or similar), mosquito repellent, sunscreen (and plenty of it), along with aloe. Going on a cruise? Don’t forget sea sickness medication just in case. Bad case of the allergies? Bring the Benadryl. You get the idea.
29. Ask each other fascinating questions.
This game is fun to play + easy to pack! Plus, it gets you talking about interesting topics.
30. Sleep in.
31. Be romantic.
Burn candles. Fill the suite with roses. Throw petals on the bed. Wear your favorite perfume. Play music. Drink champagne. Watch the sunset.
32. Put down your cell phone.
As long as someone back home knows you arrived safe and sound, you don’t really need to be attached at the hip to your cell phone. For emergencies, I totally recommend having one ON you – I mean, I’ve seen the two Taken movies to know that we can’t all rely on Liam Neeson to have our backs. But, other than that, keep the ring volume on low and don’t sit at dinner surfing the internet.
33. DON’T go on Facebook. Or Twitter. For any reason.
This one’s obvious, but I can’t tell you how many times I see people updating their statuses with ‘check in’s’ on Facebook or “On my honeymoon! #relaxation”. No hashtagging. No status updates. No check-ins. Spend time with your spouse. Keep this trip on double-lock down secret status, one only the two of you will really know. Facebook doesn’t need to be in the loop about everything.
34. Don’t worry so much about not doing everything on your list.
If you can’t make something, don’t drive yourself crazy trying to make it. Tired? Sleep. Don’t feel like taking the sea tour? Skip it. Take it as it comes.
35. Stay hydrated.
36. DON’T forget a map or GPS.
Getting lost is no fun for anyone, much less on your honeymoon. Don’t lose valuable time – bring along a GPS just in case.
37. Check the weather.
… but don’t let it totally ruin your plans. Weather can be unpredictable.
38. Bring plenty of music.
A + I drove around on our honeymoon blasting this album. There’s something about the music you listen to during your wedding planning and honeymoon: you never forget it, ever.
39. Shop local.
Don’t rely only on the tourist-y attractions: get a taste of the local flavor by shopping at little boutiques, dining at the local restaurants, and checking out local hot spots. Check out reviews before you do, just to ensure it’s a good experience. (Use an app – like Yelp – on your phone for reviews on-the-go.)
40. DON’T be late for your plane.
True story: on my return flight for my honeymoon, they CALLED OUR NAMES on the speaker system in the airport. We ran a little behind packing (nothing ever seems to fit back into the bag, does it?) and had to run the entire way through the airport. When they called our names on the speaker system, I paused for a minute and enjoyed the fact that they used my new name. Nerd.
41. Remember to take lots of photographs.
One of the best honeymoon tips someone gave to my husband and I was, “Don’t forget to take photos. And, ask people to take photos OF you.” Since self-photos don’t usually come out that great, make sure at least one photograph is taken of the two of you together with a nice background. People don’t mind, especially if you tell them you’re on your honeymoon.
42. Order room service.
43. Try a bed & breakfast.
44. Road-trip it.
Not sure where to go? Go to multiple locations! Road-trip it (plan a general itinerary ahead of time) and stop at places that spark your interest along the way. Don’t forget to crank up the tunes (and stop at some really relaxing hotels along the way).
45. Surprise your spouse.
Order surprise breakfast-in-bed, plan a day outing, a romantic sunset walk, etc.
46. Buy a souvenir.
It doesn’t have to be expensive, just memorable. My husband and I went to this little restaurant on the water and we ordered bottled beer beverages with dinner. They came in these cute hot pink cozies with the name and location of the restaurant. They said we could take home, so we did. I love ’em! And, they were essentially free.
47. Treat yourself to at least one ultra-fancy dinner.
48. Cross something off your bucket list.
Always wanted to try clams? Go pair-sailing? Visit a particular city? Swim with dolphins? Learn a new hobby together? There’s no better time than the present!
You’ve earned it!
50. Have fun!