A I write this, it is just a couple of weeks until I try to unsuccessfully zip up a stuffed suitcase and wonder how many kilos I’ll be over the luggage limit. Well, at least this would be the scenario for someone who has given little to no thought about their destination. However, being a planner at heart, there is no way that I could consider a weekend away in my own country, let alone eight weeks exploring foreign lands, without prior planning and proper research.
For those of you who usually grab your toothbrush and wing it, let me tell you that your honeymoon is not one of those times! A little thought into planning your honeymoon can seriously go a long way and earn you brownie points with your loved one.
Image courtesy of Airbnb – Vernazza, Cinque Terre
The following useful tips are applicable regardless of budget, destination, or duration – they are my go-to list of sites that help make planning that wee bit easier.
Ah Pinterest, how I love thee… thousands of pins and endless hours were spent looking, dreaming, and pinning to my own Pinterest travel boards. If you haven’t come across Pinterest yet then you are in for a treat – a virtual pinboard if you like. I started with a board entitled Wanderlust, but once we knew what countries we were headed to, I created individual country boards to inspire. See a beautiful pin? Click on it, follow it back to the original source, and locate it on a map. I have discovered gems of places by doing this.
Lonely Planet and Trip Advisor exist for a very good reason… they are the kings of all things travel related. I suggest you go to these sites as your first port of call. They give the BEST tips to travellers, have online forums, contain honest reviews, and are a great way of finding out what’s good and what’s not! Prefer hardcopy? No worries, Lonely Planet has over 500 travel guidebooks.
You may be headed to a destination that requires some flight time, so if this is the case, then head to your nearest travel agent. My travel agent is invaluable – she is patient, willing to look at rates I’ve found on other sites, and see what she can do to help me. Travel agents are pro’s so can tell you if you require a visa, what insurance options there are, etc. For shorter flights, Jetstar‘s Friday Frenzy, Virgin‘s Happy Hour, and easyJet all offer great rates.
Image courtesy of Agriturismo.it – Agriturismo Incrociata farmhouse, Tuscany
Accommodation Types and Sites
Travel agents will be able to quote you on accommodation, but personally I like being able to do the legwork and see what’s out there. Try to keep an open mind on the type of accommodation available too: 4-5 star hotels are generally a safe bet, B&B’s are a little more homely and have the added bonus of breakfast, and unique accommodation like an over-water bungalow or ski lodge can really make your honeymoon! Trip Advisor (mentioned above) is a great tool for comparing accommodation prices and traveller ratings. I will be thanking Booking.com for finding my Tuscan farmhouse for our stay, along with Airbnb which is a firm favourite of mine and responsible for half of our bookings.
My Maps on Google
Combine organisation skills with a lack of geographic knowledge, and My Maps on Google became my best friend. You can use this tool as much or as little as you like, and customise the icons to suit (or choose from one of the 91 pre-loaded icons). I personally have plotted our accommodation with a red bed, relevant airports with an aeroplane, wine/champagne regions with a martini glass, and tourist attractions with a pink marker. You can share your map with a friend or make it public. The best part is it gives a visual representation of where you’re headed and assists you in mapping out a path.
Hopefully this go-to list is a hand in the right direction for planning your honeymoon!