Honeymoon how-to

Where, when and how long you go is at the mercy of budgets and time up the sleeve. The honeymoon is your first time together as man and wife, you’re away from home, work is on hold and odds are you’re offspring-free. It may not always be that way. Make the most of it.

Where to go
How long is a piece of string? There are nearly 200 countries in the world, four seasons happening at any given time and more flight routes than you’ve had hot dinners. The choice is yours… and hers. Agree on a few basics and let the negotiations begin: local or abroad, sun or snow, new or familiar, action-packed or chilled, luxe or laidback? Find somewhere you both want to visit and check that your dates don’t coincide with school holidays or monsoon season. Consider off-peak months to save cash and avoid crowds.

What to do
Make the honeymoon special and about the two of you. She may not begrudge you a morning tackling a left-hand break in the Maldives if she gets a leave pass to get plucked and prodded at the spa. Ultimately, activities should be mutually gratifying. That goes both ways—you won’t insist on trekking and she won’t insist on shopping. All-inclusive resort packages can be good way to control the budget. Try to get a feel for the kind of crowd that stays there (young, old, singles, families) to make sure it’s right for you. If it’s a choose-your-own-adventure approach, get a feel for the cost of restaurants, activities and transport before you book.

Go it alone
It seems rudimentary, but there are stories of hapless souls bringing along a parent, sibling or friend on honeymoon, seemingly unaware that such a thing is frowned upon. Or the couple ‘just happens’ to bump into a bunch of the groom’s mates at the resort. Not cool. Plan to meet up with mutual friends on the final leg, by all means, but if being together isn’t a priority now, the honeymoon is the least of your worries.

Drop the ‘H’ bomb
When booking, always mention that you’re honeymooners—there’s often a deal, upgrade or degree of special treatment to be had if you do. Same scenario once you’re there. Restaurants and service providers may want to shower you with extras. Feel the love.

Get in early
The sooner bookings, passports, insurance and visas are in order, the better chance of getting exactly the dates, price and vista you want. Otherwise the dream of Rome in spring might be downgraded to Little Italy in winter.

Photo by: Getty Images
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