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How to Plan a Stress Free Honeymoon in 5 Easy Steps

June 15, 2023

My longtime friend (and client!) Annastasia McPherson is guest blogging some awesome advice for my friends for me this week, since I am crazy busy with traveling and unpacking our house. She’s an experienced travel agent who has helped so many people plan a stress free honeymoon! I thought she’d be a perfect person to share top tips for planning a destination honeymoon – so here we go!

How to Plan a Stress Free Honeymoon in 5 Easy Steps

You found your soulmate, and you are in the midst of planning the wedding you’ve dreamed of.

Many couples are so busy with that process, the honeymoon planning often takes a backseat. I encourage you to give the honeymoon planning greater attention. The honeymoon is a private ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ getaway for you and your new spouse to celebrate your marriage. Honeymoons are a wonderful escape, where you get the opportunity to enjoy being newly married, spending time with your new spouse and experiencing new, exciting and romantic times together, as a couple.

Perfect honeymoons don’t just happen.

Just like your wedding, it requires planning and thoughtfulness. There are many decisions to make when planning a honeymoon, from location to adventures! I am going to share with you the 5 steps I take my clients through, to plan the most amazing and stress free honeymoon.

honeymoon planning tips from a travel agent

1. Dream Vacation Destination

Step one, is to sit down together and compile a list of your top dream vacations. There are so many possibilities, but don’t let this overwhelm you. Narrowing down some key
areas will help you come up with a good idea. Do you prefer a tropical beach, a big city, or big adventures? Or do you want warm weather, or cool weather? How about somewhere distant, or close to home? What about a vibrant location, to meet other people, or seclusion? Or maybe you want an adventurous option, like a small group tour to Machu Picchu followed by a stay at an eco-lodge nestled in the Amazon rainforest where you may see monkeys, sloths, and toucans? Maybe you want a more traditional, tropical vacation on a beach, all inclusive amenities with a private view of the ocean? Figuring out a destination that suits your personalities will make a huge difference in the mutual enjoyment of the honeymoon.

2. Budget

Once you’ve narrowed down some locations, your next step is a budget. I suggest first seeing if you have any frequent flier miles you can use towards the trip. Often, family members will gift these to the newlyweds to help with the airfare cost. The total cost of the honeymoon will be the total cost of accommodations, activities, transportation, meals, tips, souvenirs, and other travel costs. Keep in mind, all inclusive resorts take care of most meals, drinks, resort activities, and more. Many cruises, and small group tours also include many of these items. Be sure to discuss, and come up with a budget that you are both comfortable with. In recent years, many couples have decided to spend less on the wedding and more on the honeymoon. This keeps the wedding small for friends and family, and puts the majority of the budget towards the couple’s new adventures on their honeymoon. Couples have been able to plan 2-3 week long honeymoons, at multiple locations this way. Be sure you are both on the same page with a budget, before you move on to the next steps.

3. Time

Once you have an idea of where, and with a budget in mind, the next question to consider is how long? If you both have jobs, you will have to figure out how many vacation days you each have. Next, figure out how many days you will need prior to the wedding to take care of wedding prep and any last minute things that come up. Be sure to discuss how long you both feel comfortable being away from work and commitments so you are both on the same page. I always encourage couples to build a “back to reality” 1-2 buffer days into the end of the honeymoon. No one likes coming off such a magical trip, and getting straight back into the grind. Another time factor to consider is when you want to leave. Do you want to leave immediately after the wedding? Do you
want to wait a few days/weeks to give yourself more time to shift from wedding mode to honeymoon mode? The last consideration is What if you don’t have much vacation time? In this circumstance, what many will often do is plan a ‘mini-moon’ the weekend of the wedding, and have the longer second honeymoon on the 1 year anniversary.

4. Planning in Advance

In most instances, when it comes to a honeymoon (or any vacation) planning, planning as far out as possible will give you the most options, lowest cost, and most extras to add on (spa day anyone?). Last second planning, for a momentous event like a honeymoon can easily put you over budget, and may prevent you from experiences and places you’ve always wanted to go. Planning as far ahead as you can, and getting reservations set will help ensure your budget is met, and your honeymoon is just the way you want it – filled with all the experiences you would like to do together. This also will give you time to ensure any travel documents needed for the locations you are going will be in order. Getting a passport can even take quite some time. Plan early!

5. Use a professional

You may be a DIY guru who has been planning your whole family’s vacations with Expedia or Priceline. While that's certainly admirable, there are certain things that are best handled by a pro – like planning your dream honeymoon with a travel agent. After all, why stress yourself out when there’s an expert who can do all the heavy lifting for you?

An experienced travel agent can take all your interests, hobbies, passions, and desires and craft them into an epic trip that's tailor-made just for you. Think of it as a custom honeymoon that’s crafted just for you and your soon-to-be spouse. Besides, let’s be honest – planning your wedding is already stressful enough. Why add the extra burden of vacation planning too?

This is where the pro comes in. Travel Agents are experts in their field, and have first-hand knowledge of destinations, personally visit locations and have well-established relationships with vendors. All of this gives them a comprehensive understanding of the ins and outs of travel planning – right down to the tiniest details. When it comes to planning a honeymoon, there are numerous logistics to consider, and it can be overwhelming. By having a travel agent manage the details, you can start your relaxing and stress-free vacation right from the start.

So, let go of the stress, and let your travel agent handle everything – because sometimes, it really is best to leave things to the experts!

If you would like to learn more about Annastasia:

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Annastasia McPherson destination honeymoon travel agent

Author’s Bio:
Annastasia is a Travel Agent/Owner at Dream Vacations, and loves to help plan stress free honeymoons for couples all over the world. She has been married to her husband Adrian, for 18 years. They met in Oregon, and soon after being married Adrian joined the Air Force. As a military family, they have had many adventures. They have lived in Okinawa, California, Oregon, Indiana, North Dakota, and Nevada – so far!! This lifestyle has given the family a unique perspective on the world and a deep appreciation for new experiences. The kids have been in more oceans than most their age, and have a rich vault of experiences to take with them into adulthood.

Annastasia specializes in romantic getaways for couples, with a special expertise in Mexico/Caribbean. She holds many location and vendor certifications that range from luxury cruise lines to resorts, and island tourism boards. She also specializes in family getaways. So whether you want to stay in the US (but feel a world away), take an epic family cruise, or adventure abroad together – Annastasia has a vacation for you! All trips are custom curated for each client, to best reflect the desires of said client. Annastasia can accommodate groups also. Some examples are Destination weddings, Bachelor/Bachelorette parties, birthday celebrations, family reunions, or friends yearly get together( “girls trip” anyone?), and more.

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Heyyyy ... I'm Ashley Durham and I'm a luxury wedding photographer in Phoenix, but I travel all over Arizona and the desert southwest to hang out with the most incredible people. I am obsessed with puppies, extra hot coffee, sunrise and firmly believe that love conquers all.

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