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6 Honeymoon Tips for Couples who Can't Agree on a Getaway

 
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," Miller adds.
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.

  1. 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, if necessary.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 room.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

    HOT DESTINATIONS

    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:

    DOMESTIC

    Hawaii; San Francisco; Orlando, Fla.; Disney theme parks; Florida; Las Vegas; California; Key West, Fla.; Napa Valley, Calif.; and New Orleans.

    INTERNATIONAL

    Paris and Tahiti (tie); Caribbean; Jamaica; Italy; Greece; Bermuda; Bali; Fiji; and Bora Bora.




    © Copley News Service

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