Thursday, February 28, 2008

What You Need to Know

When Planning Your Honeymoon

From Nina Callaway,Your Guide to Weddings.

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Too often, a honeymoon takes a backseat to all the wedding planning. But shouldn’t you give it just a little more attention? After all, the wedding is for your family and friends, but the honeymoon is just for you. It’s a time to relax and reflect, but most of all enjoy each other.Here are the basic things you need to know:

Decide on a Honeymoon Budget:You may have already decided this when planning your wedding budget. If not, sit down and do this before you decide anything else. Figure out if you have any frequent flier miles or hotel miles that can be used towards your trip. Consider putting all of the wedding expenses on a credit card that earns frequent flier miles for your honeymoon. (Be sure to pay it off every month – you don’t want to start a new marriage with a ton of new debt.)

Decide When to Go and For How Long:First, figure out how many vacation days you have accrued, and how many of them you’ll need before the wedding for last minute planning.

(It’s not uncommon for brides to take a week off, and grooms to take a couple of days.) Do you want to leave the morning after your wedding? Or, do you want to have some time after the wedding to unwind and pack when you’ll be more focused on it, and take your honeymoon a few days or even a few weeks later? Another option, for those who don’t have a lot of vacation days, is to take a weekend “mini-moon” after the wedding, and then take a long second honeymoon on your first anniversary.

Decide Where to Go on Your Honeymoon: Each of you should take a few minutes to separately write down what you envision doing on your honeymoon. Do you want somewhere warm or cold? Do you want to go someplace far away and new, or someplace close to home? Do you want a resort where there will be other honeymooners to socialize with, or someplace secluded where it will just be the two of you? Do you want to be in a city with museums, restaurants and nightlife or, do you want there to be lots of athletic activities available? Perhaps you’ll just want to spend a lot of time in the room! Once each of you has your list, compare. Where there are differences, see if there’s one place that might have the best of both worlds.

Consider Visiting a Travel Agent:While most people are booking travel online these days, a travel agent can be extremely helpful when planning a honeymoon. Not only will he or she have ideas about places you might not have thought of, but they’ll be familiar with those details like “do you need a visa?” and when the rainy season is. They might also have special packages or deals to pass on to you.

Learn More about Where You’re Going:It’s never too early to get excited. As soon as you’ve picked a spot, buy a travel book, so you can read about all there is to do and see.

Arrange for Passports and Visas, if Necessary. Make Sure Your Driver’s License is Up to Date.These pesky little details can take time and therefore are one of the first things you should do, once you know where you are going. I’ll never forget the trip where I got to the counter of the rental car agency only to be told that my driver’s license had expired only days before. Luckily the person I was with could rent the car, but I would have been better off with a little forethought.

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Best Honeymoon Ideas for Every Type of Couple

From Nina Callaway,Your Guide to Weddings.

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Looking for a hot honeymoon idea that will fit your style? Here are the best and most popular honeymoon locations from beaches and romantic getaways to hot nightlife and adventures.

If You're Looking for Beaches

It's hard to beat Hawaii. With amazing beaches with surfer-quality waves and romantic scenery, you can hit the surf by day, and still turn up the romance at night. When you're ready for more adventure, ride a mountain bike down a dormant volcano, or witness the amazing scene that is an active one.

Mexico also offers amazing waves, a sophisticated culture with artwork and amazing food, and can be more affordable than other beach honeymoon destinations. In fact, it is overall one of the most cost-effective places to travel, especially if you can find a good flight deal.

Avoid the touristy Cancun, and instead head for surfer hotspots like Puerto Escondido, Puerto Vallarta or Tulum.

If you're looking for a spot where every day is a great beach day, head for Aruba. The desert-like atmosphere and location far south of the hurricane belt means that you're practically guaranteed to have every day be sunny and beautiful. The hundreds of miles of white sand beaches, and turquoise waters will help you enjoy sunbathing and watersports, while at night you can hit the nightlife in Oranjestad.

And don't forget Fiji, a great choice for October brides, when you can go scuba diving and see the coral reef system bloom. You'll also get the wonder of leaving wintery weather behind for Fiji's 80 degree temps.

The Most Romantic Honeymoon Spots

You'll feel like you're on a movie set when you're in Tahiti sitting on the deck of a resort looking out over stunningly-blue waters while drinking fresh pineapple cocktails. In fact Tahiti, along with its sister islands of Moorea and Bora Bora, is a favorite vacation spot of Hollywood couples. While you're there, eat delicious tropical fish, watch Polynesian dance performances, walk through rainforests and waterfalls, before falling asleep in an overwater bungalow.

Paris usually gets all the credit for romantic European spots, but I recommend honeymooners check out the beautiful cities of Italy, where the piazzas of Rome and Florence are full of lovers eating at al fresco cafes with strolling musicians nearby. Spend a few days a short trip away in Venice where you can be serenaded by a Gondolier, and set a goal to kiss on every bridge in the city. Or visit Tuscany where wine tours can be combined with seeing Renaissance churches and lush countryside.

Closer to home, upstate New York is brimming with romance in fall, when Mother Nature puts on a show, or in winter where you can find reasons to snuggle on a snowy sleigh-ride. New York now boasts some world-renowned wineries, and a wine tour is tailor-made for lovebird honeymooners.

Or for a change, see the world's most spectacular sunsets from the private terrace of your hotel room in Santorini Island, Greece. Perched on the crater or caldera, formed when an ancient volcano erupted, there's hardly a bad view in the house. For the most romantic vacation, avoid the tourist-packed months of July and August.

Go to Page 2 to read about adventurous honeymoon ideas, winter wonderlands and hot nightlife