6 Honeymoon Tips for Couples who Can't Agree on a Getaway
By Alison Ashton, Copley News Service
Forget the dress, flowers, invitations and reception crudites.
All that occupies just one afternoon. The honeymoon is a week
or two of uninterrupted togetherness that can be bliss or
misery - depending on how well it's planned.
"It's the first test of the relationship," says
Lloyd Miller, spokesman for the American Society of Travel
Agents. "It's actually the honeymoon when you have to
sit down and relate to each other."
Honeymoons are a major expense, too, and fraught with expectations.
Couples look forward to the honeymoon as the romantic adventure
of a lifetime.
"For many couples, this is their first major trip - ever,"
Traditionally, the groom still plans and pays for the honeymoon,
but both partners should have a say in how it shapes up. And
don't be surprised if each has a very different idea of what
constitutes the ideal honeymoon. With that in mind, here are
six tips to plan a getaway that pleases both of you.
Start planning early. Six months ahead
isn't too soon to start, says Miller. In fact, as soon
as you set a wedding date, you can start saving money
and considering where to go. Some cruise lines and resorts
offer attractive early booking discounts. Leaving the
country? Remember to apply early for passports and visas,
Share your expectations. "We'll
get couples where one wants to go to Lake Tahoe and the
other wants to go to New Zealand," says Miller. That's
OK. Allow time to dream, collect brochures, clip magazine
and newspaper articles, and share ideas. Once each knows
what the other wants, you can start looking for a compromise.
Create a realistic budget. Because
so many honeymooners are novice travelers, they
get sticker shock when they find out how much
it really costs to travel to exotic destinations."They
give you a budget of $1,000 and they want to
go to Tahiti to get married," says Miller.
OK, that's a little extreme, since a thousand
bucks won't even get one of you on the plane
to the South Seas, but virtually every couple
has to adhere to some kind of budget. For his
clients with tight budgets, Miller often suggests
all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean or cruises.
You can also stretch your budget by visiting
popular destinations or high-end resorts during
their low season. Or, if you have your hearts
set on a particular type of trip, consider alternatives.
For example, if two weeks touring the French
wine country is out of the question, consider
a week in California's Napa Valley.
Splurge on special extras. If you're
not working with a shoestring budget, consider spending
a little more to make your trip that much more special.
Flying to Thailand? Upgrade to business class and the
long flight will be much more comfortable. Both of you
will arrive well-rested, well-fed and ready to enjoy (the
flight back home will be a softer transition back to the
real world, too). Other options include upgrading to a
suite at your hotel, or paying extra for a spectacular
ocean view. After all, you'll spend a lot of time in your
Respect each other's travel style. He
loves to rough it in the wilds, but she'd prefer more
civilized surroundings. Both would probably be happy at
an eco-lodge in the wilderness. Another strategy: Divide
your time between different settings. In Jamaica, for
example, you might spend your first few nights at a luxurious,
all-inclusive resort on the beach in Negril, then head
to a small inn tucked in the Blue Mountains.
It's OK to spend some time apart. You
don't have to spend every minute gazing into each other's
eyes. In fact, you'll probably want a break from each
other's company. One advantage to a full-service resort
is that it allows plenty of opportunity for each partner
to do what he or she wants. He can spend the morning on
the golf course while she unwinds in the spa, or she can
take scuba lessons while he lounges on the beach with
the latest John Grisham novel.
Finally, don't fret too much over the trip. The key is
to plan a pleasant adventure to start your new life together.
"Couples really want an opportunity to be with each
other," says Miller.
Where do couples head for honeymoons these days? The American
Society of Travel Agents and Fodor's asked agents across
the country for their top domestic and international picks:
Hawaii; San Francisco; Orlando, Fla.; Disney theme parks;
Florida; Las Vegas; California; Key West, Fla.; Napa Valley,
Calif.; and New Orleans.
Paris and Tahiti (tie); Caribbean; Jamaica; Italy; Greece;
Bermuda; Bali; Fiji; and Bora Bora.
© Copley News Service
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