10 Tips for Planning your Dream Honeymoon
10 Tips for Planning your Dream Honeymoon
After the initial excitement, months of planning and last-minute rushing around, not to mention the exhilaration of your wedding day, it’s understandable that you’re more than looking forward to a well-earned honeymoon with your new husband.
The idea of relaxing and just being together is often what gets many stressed-out brides (and grooms!) through the wedding planning process. But planning a honeymoon can take a lot of work and organisation in itself, not to mention adding extra financial stress at an already expensive time. Read on for our top 10 tips on how to get the most out of your first holiday as Mr and Mrs (Image below taken in beautiful Sri Lanka by Liz JvR Photography!
1) Stick to your budget, just as you (hopefully) did for your wedding
In the UAE, it’s easy to get swept away in terms of how much we spend, and a few of us may be guilty of occasionally living beyond our means. If the cost of your honeymoon is not included in your wedding budget, plan for it in the same way and be sure to stick to whatever limits you set. Just as you may splurge on a photographer and save money by doing DIY for your wedding, decide what matters most to you on your honeymoon. For example, you may elect to spend two or three nights in a five-star hotel before moving to more reasonably priced accommodation, or perhaps you’ll choose to eat at fine dining restaurants instead of buying a whole new wardrobe for the trip. There are many low-cost airlines operating out of the UAE, and our central position means that budget destinations are only a stone’s throw away.
2) Do what makes both of you happy
The word ‘honeymoon’ often conjures up images of idyllic beaches, turquoise waters and luxury accommodation. However, if this is not you or your husband’s idea of fun, then you don’t need to subscribe to it. Perhaps you’re both history buffs who would prefer a multi-stop city break, or maybe you’re adrenalin junkies who have an action-packed two weeks in mind. As with weddings, honeymoons should be personal and reflect what both of you enjoy.
3) Mention it’s your honeymoon when booking everything!
Take along a copy of your marriage certificate and make sure you let the hotel where you’ll be staying know that you are there for your honeymoon. It’s more than likely that they’ll do something special for you in the room, and you may even get an upgrade! Similarly, mention that you’ve just got married at the airport check-in and when you go out for dinner. Basically, say that you are newlyweds whenever you can. It won’t always work, but you’re only going to honeymoon once, so you may as well see what little extras you can get.
4) Don’t let paperwork jeopardise your trip
There would be nothing worse than getting to the airport to check in for your flight, finally ready to relax after months of wedding planning, only to be told that you don’t have the relevant documents for travel. As part of your honeymoon preparation, be sure to check all the visa requirements for the country (or countries) that you intend to visit. For some places, it may simply be a case of obtaining a visa on arrival, but other destinations might need an application in advance. Also check how many spare pages you need in your passport, as some countries’ visa stickers take up an entire page. A simple check on the internet can let you know about any visas that you may require. Input your nationality, your country of residence, and where you plan to visit, and go from there. In addition, it’s always a good idea to ensure that your passport has at least six months left before it expires, and to renew it ahead of time if not.
5) Ensure that the name in your passport matches your travel documents
As a newly married woman, one of the visions of your dream honeymoon will be travelling as a ‘Mrs’ and perhaps using your new husband’s surname on your hotel reservations and flight tickets. However, if you’re jetting off immediately after your wedding, make sure that you’ve had your passport changed in advance so that all of your travel documents (including any of the above mentioned visas) are in your married name. In some cases, it’s best to wait until after the honeymoon to change your passport, which means that you’ll have to book everything in your maiden name. Do whatever is most convenient for you, but bear in mind the length of time your passport will be away for if you do wish to change your name.
6) Pack appropriately
In Dubai, we are lucky to have year-round sunshine and warm temperatures. It goes without saying that you should check out what the weather will be like at your chosen destination before you book, in order to avoid monsoon seasons and the like that may (quite literally) put a dampener on your trip. If you need to, and if it’s within your budget, update your wardrobe by buying a few key pieces that will make you feel special. For inspiration, check out our honeymoon lookbooks.
7) Look after yourself on the flight
When packing, also consider bringing toiletries that come in bottles under 100ml, so that you can take care of your skin on the flight. After all the pre-wedding facials and spa treatments, it’s even more important to keep yourself looking amazing for those honeymoon photographs. Ensure you stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, and, if the flight is long haul, wear as little make-up as possible, remembering to moisturise throughout. Bring along some lip balm to keep your lips kissable, and remember those all-important in flight exercises to avoid swollen ankles.
8) Don’t feel like you have to have your honeymoon immediately after the wedding
Let’s face it; weddings are certainly not cheap, and you may find that planning a wedding and a honeymoon in close succession adds both financial stress and yet more things to plan at an already busy time. Furthermore, if you’re having your wedding in the UAE, you may have friends and family travelling from all over the world to celebrate with you, in which case you may want to maximise your time with them rather than jetting off immediately after the big day. There’s no harm in waiting a while to have your honeymoon, but do make sure that you eventually have one, even if it’s to celebrate your one-year anniversary.
9) Consider a ‘staycation’
If you’re not honeymooning straight away, you’re still going to need some time to relax and just enjoy being married after the wedding. One option is to stay a couple of nights at the venue where you married (you should hopefully have one night included as part of your wedding package). This way, you can enjoy a bit of luxury and still spend time with friends and family – arrange some lunches and dinners at the venue where people are free to join if they wish – before heading home and getting back to reality.
10) Don’t expect it all to be perfect
Have a glance around any airport, and you’re sure to see at least one couple arguing about check-in gates, the time, their luggage….travel is stressful and this easily translates to disagreements at a time when you want everything to be perfect. Just like your wedding, things will not always go to plan. The best that you can do is prepare as much as possible and always allow yourselves plenty of time. Don’t worry when small things go wrong, and treat it as part of the experience.
Honeymoons are very similar to weddings; they can be costly, difficult to organise, and there’s a range of things that can go wrong. But also like weddings, they can be some of the most magical and memorable days of your life, in a way that makes all the effort worthwhile. Your honeymoon is the chance to recover from and reflect upon your wedding, whilst spending some quality time together as newlyweds. Enjoy the experience, and embrace this special time together. You both deserve it!
Looking for more honeymoon inspiration & advice? Click here.