Archive for the ‘Honeymoon Planning’ Category

What to Bring Back from the Honeymoon

Thursday, July 18th, 2013

honeymoon-horseback-ride

When you’re planning a wedding, your mind is going a mile-a-minute. So, when the honeymoon finally rolls around, you’re more interested in relaxing and doing “other things” besides planning, budgeting and, well, thinking.  While this is the time to soak in the rays and your new wife, you should make sure that you don’t leave your little slice of paradise completely empty-handed. Below are four things that, upon returning home, you’ll be glad you snagged during your romantic getaway.

1). Photographs – during the honeymoon, you’ll undoubtedly be swept up in the moment. However, as vivid as meaningful these experiences may be at the current time, they’ll soon fade to a memory that gets buried beneath the passing of time. Do your older self a favor and snap plenty of pictures that will remind you of those precious little details. Besides photographing each other and the famous monuments, capture the exotic foods, beautiful sunrises, quirky boutique shops, off-the-beaten gems and the other specifics that embody your special time together. One day, you’re children and grandchildren may curiously leaf through these photographs, so don’t forget about this important takeaway.

2). Remember how Angelina Jolie and Billy Bob Thorton wore each other’s blood in vile around their necks? Well, now you can do the same, just without the blood. If you’re going somewhere tropical, collect a little bit of sand while you’re there that you can later place into your own decorative vessel. Perhaps the two of you will elect to house it in a cylinder on the mantle or, for her, why not gift her a family heirloom or engraved locket from Blue Nile? If sand sounds a bit messy, seashells or polished rocks are great alternatives.

3). Many marriages grow and strengthen with time, just like a fine bottle of wine. To honor the next chapter of your life together, buy a bottle of wine during your honeymoon that is made from local grapes; during your ten-year-anniversary, the two of you can pop the cork and share a glass while reminiscing about the good times and, specifically, your starry-eyed honeymoon.

4). Your wedding and honeymoon is about two people coming together to share a life together. However, it is also about friends uniting to celebrate each other’s joys and the merging of two families.  Undoubtedly, a lot of people probably helped out with the wedding, and a small souvenir from your honeymoon will let them know that they were on your mind and that you appreciate their assistance. Sound expensive and time consuming?  There’s nothing wrong with cheating a little, especially if you won’t be venturing far from the special area that is regarded as a “tourist trap”. The Internet allows you to have exotic goods shipped overseas and, if you want to further fudge prices, you can have goods like T-shirts, poker chips, water bottles and more designed with the locale’s name by companies like Pinnacle Promotions.

When things are fresh and exciting, regardless of whether it is with a job or new house, it is called “the honeymoon phase”. Undoubtedly, you and your wife will, together, experience sublime joy, days of cold shoulders and bickering, and stretches in which the other person is not the center of your universe.  Your love and appreciation for each other will flourish, but the two of you may want to one day reminisce about that head-in-the-clouds “honeymoon phase”.  Do the legwork now so you have the right props to keep the memories alive and dear to your heart.

What activities are you most looking forward to on your honeymoon? Keep it clean and leave a comment below.

Why Honeymoon Travel Trends are Changing

Monday, July 8th, 2013

cruise honeymoon trends

By Andrew Marino, HoneymoonPixie.com

Many honeymoon travel trends right now are interesting to both engaged couples and the travel industry. Travel trends seem to be changing for a number of different reasons on opposite ends of the spectrum: some couples have less to spend on their honeymoons, but others have more to spend. These two reasons are generating specific travel trends in the honeymoon area.

More couples are going on honeymoon cruises, as many cruises are very affordable. And the best part about cruises is that you know exactly what you’re going to spend, without having any surprises. For some couples, being able to stick to a set honeymoon budget is even more important than being able to do a honeymoon on the cheap. They have a certain amount of money to spend and they want to stick to their budget and not incur additional debt.

This trend for more affordable honeymoons is also taking many European honeymooners to Eastern Europe. They can benefit from better exchange rates and lower overall prices without missing out on the Old World experience of Europe.

Many couples, however, have more to spend on their honeymoons than they have in the past. With the average age of the bride at 29 and the groom at 31, more couples are established financially before their weddings. They have time to save up money for a luxurious honeymoon, and they are looking for every luxury they can get. Many honeymooners are now staying in the world’s top hotels or are finding resorts with amenities like private plunge pools and outdoor beach beds in secluded areas.

lake louise honeymoon

Canada’s Lake Louise

Another interesting trend for honeymooners is to go green. Lots of couples are choosing eco-friendly honeymoons. For some, this means doing ecology-related volunteer work on their honeymoon, but for many it just means making careful choices about where to stay, how to travel, and where to eat on the honeymoon. Hotels and businesses that use green principles in their buildings and practices are likely to get more patronage from these eco-friendly honeymooners!

Destination weddings have also added to the changing trends in honeymoon travel. More couples are opting for small, intimate weddings in exotic locations, and those locations end up being their honeymoon locations. Since a limited number of family members and friends typically attend a destination wedding, part of the honeymoon might involve group activities with the people who are there to celebrate, though many couples still break off on their own private vacation after the wedding ceremony.

Some couples are now starting to delay their honeymoons by a week or so after their wedding. Unlike a generation ago, most of today’s couples are already cohabitating before the wedding. They don’t feel the need to rush off to a private honeymoon suite, and delaying the honeymoon may be more convenient.  They may wrap up loose ends from the wedding, pack at a more leisurely pace, and enjoy their honeymoon more after recovering from the stress of the wedding planning at home!

Whether couples are eco-friendly, on a budget, or have lots of money to put towards a luxurious honeymoon, more and more are also using honeymoon registries. These registries allow couples to invite their guests to give experiential gifts for the honeymoon. For instance, guests might be able to put $100 toward a scuba diving adventure or a spa massage for the couple.

couple walking on beach

Honeymoon registries are great for boosting the budgets of couples who don’t have a lot to spend, but they also allow luxury honeymooners to add even more amenities to their vacations. The best kind of honeymoon registry basically works like a cash gift registry, where couples can withdraw the cash gifts out of their account at any time before the wedding. This can be helpful when booking and paying for your honeymoon accommodations, since couples have access to the cash as soon as it’s in their account.

Setting up a honeymoon registry allows a couple to take any type of honeymoon they want, from a budget-friendly Eastern European tour to a luxurious week in a Caribbean resort. It offers the flexibility today’s couples want when it comes to planning their honeymoon!

About the Author: Andrew Marino is the CEO of HoneymoonPixie.com, an industry leader in providing honeymoon gift registries for engaged couples.  Couples create their free honeymoon registry website and receive honeymoon planning advice and travel tips.  Andrew also serves as a contributing Senior Travel Editor.

honeymoon pixie is a sponsor of groomsadvice

Which evolving honeymoon trend is your personal favorite? How will you be incorporating it into your own honeymoon. Share your story in the comment section below.

Top 10 Most Romantic Honeymoon Cities

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

paris honeymoon

Do you want to honeymoon in a city? While many couples still have traditional honeymoons on tropical beaches, more and more are choosing to honeymoon in urban cities. Romantic cities have several advantages including gourmet dining, rich cultural experiences, and luxurious five star accommodations. Throughout the year, cities also hold a variety of activities and festivals to enjoy. Here are the top ten most romantic cities for honeymooners.

1. Paris, France

It goes without saying that the City of Lights is at the top of the world’s most romantic cities list. There are many romantic hotels in Paris and you can enjoy some of the world’s most picturesque city scenes here. Plus, in Paris, you’ll find some of the world’s best restaurants, where you can get everything from croissants and café au lait at corner bistros, to five-course meals at five-star restaurants. And, of course, the Eiffel Tower at night is a romantic sight not to be missed by honeymooners in Paris.

2. Rome, Italy

If you decide to travel to Rome, you can enjoy some of the world’s most beautiful architecture, monuments, and art. The Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Cathedral, Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, and much more are all within walking distance of downtown Rome. When you’re not sightseeing, the next best thing is to enjoy the excellent Italian food at the many restaurants. Not to be missed are the small shops that sell gelato, the world’s best ice cream.

3. Barcelona, Spain

If you want warmer weather in a city that still has all the romance of traditional European culture, Barcelona is your destination of choice. Again, you’ll find great food in Barcelona and enjoy some of the best tapa bars in the world. Don’t miss the lively night life to spice things up. You must tour the city’s breathtaking cathedrals and stroll down colorful La Rambla, one of the most famous boulevards in the world.

4. Vienna, Austria

This is yet another city where you can get European culture while walking through winding streets full of interesting shops and cafes. In Vienna, definitely book tickets to a Vienna Philharmonic concert, and enjoy some of the local foods, like Wiener Schnitzel.

prague honeymoon

5. Prague, Czech Republic

If you want a European romantic feel without the expenses that come with honeymooning in a European Union city, Prague is one of the best destinations. You can enjoy great views of ancient Eastern European architecture, excellent cuisine, and bustling nightlife in this romantic city. If you go to Prague, you must take a carriage ride through the Old Town Square, where you’ll get a unique view of some of the city’s most beautiful historic buildings.

6. Edinburgh, Scotland

For a more traditional European feel, enjoy high tea in Edinburgh, where you’ll find plenty of museums, shops, and historical buildings to keep your honeymoon busy. Edinburgh is also the perfect destination if you want to blend cityscape and countryside on your honeymoon, since you can travel to Holyrood Park and enjoy the scenic lochs, hilly pasturelands, and quaint chapel ruins.

7. New York, NY

New York is buzzing with events, theater, museums, concerts, shopping, and more. You might not think of the city of Wall Street as a truly romantic place, but you can make this American destination into the ultimate romantic honeymoon. Stroll through Central Park for an afternoon, or enjoy a Broadway musical together. And, of course, any ethnic food you’ll find in any of the other top ten cities, you’ll also find in New York City!

8. Bruges, Belgium

What’s more romantic than a canal boat tour in Bruges? This quaint city is both romantic and scenic and is ideal for lovers. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride over the city center followed by a De Halve Maan Brewery tour.  There are medieval museums and cathedrals for art buffs and outdoor sidewalk cafes that ooze with romance. As you browse through town, visit the lively outdoor market and the delicious Chocolate Museum.

9. San Francisco, CA

Want a romantic, warm city honeymoon in the United States? Travel to San Francisco and enjoy a cable car ride on the city’s steep streets, or a sunset boat cruise under the Golden Gate Bridge. Hike through the Redwoods in Muir Woods, or enjoy the booming nightlife in some of the world’s hottest clubs. There are several five-star restaurants in the city for the ultimate culinary experience. And don’t forget to head to Angel Island for a romantic day on the Bay.

10. London, England

London is a little like New York City in that you can find just about everything here. Enjoy a play at the Globe Theater, and get food from any part of the world in this multi-cultural city. Visit St. Paul’s Cathedral, and snuggle while you enjoy the city view from the London Eye Ferris wheel.

These top ten city destinations will give you everything you’re looking for in a romantic honeymoon – great cuisine, luxury accommodations, terrific sightseeing, and a cultural experience. You can set up a honeymoon registry to help offset the cost of your honeymoon by inviting your guests to purchase activities, room upgrades, meals, and more for your romantic city honeymoon.

london honeymoon

About the Author: Andrew Marino is the CEO of HoneymoonPixie.com, an industry leader in providing honeymoon gift registries for engaged couples.  Couples create their free honeymoon registry website and receive honeymoon planning advice and travel tips.  Andrew also serves as a contributing Senior Travel Editor.

honeymoon pixie is a sponsor of groomsadvice

Which of the 10 cities listed above would you most like to travel to for your honeymoon? Tell us your choice and why in the comment section below.

8 Secrets for a Romantic Honeymoon

Monday, May 13th, 2013

honeymoon sunset

By Andrew Marino, Honeymoon Pixie

Romance is the ultimate goal of any great honeymoon; but a romantic honeymoon can look dramatically different from one couple to the next. Some couples prefer lying on the beach sipping cocktails together, and others prefer sightseeing through European cities side by side. No matter what your honeymoon preferences, these eight secrets will help make your honeymoon even more romantic and memorable:

1. Set up a honeymoon registry

This best kept secret for a romantic honeymoon is now becoming well-known among engaged couples.  By using a honeymoon registry, couples can opt to have the experiences associated with their dream honeymoon as a viable alternative to traditional wedding gifts. These honeymoon gift activities can raise the bar for anyone’s definition of “romance”. A couple’s honeymoon registry can include a romantic candlelit dinner, a couple’s massage, a swim with dolphins, a honeymoon suite upgrade, or a chilled bottle of Champaign and chocolates in bed!

2. Choose the right location for you

The key to having a truly romantic honeymoon is to choose the right honeymoon destination for the two of you – rather than simply choosing a tropical beach because that’s what most people seem to do. Think about the times you feel most connected to your fiancé, whether that’s when experiencing new adventures together, snuggling in a luxurious bed, exploring a new city, or simply relaxing. Then, choose a honeymoon destination that will allow you to experience those things together.

3. Plan some little gifts

You can enhance the intimacy and romantic connection on your honeymoon by planning gifts for your new spouse. Pack little secret presents for every day of the honeymoon and present them to your new spouse at just the right time.

gifts on honeymoon

4. Tell people you’re on your honeymoon

One of the least-known ways to make your honeymoon more romantic is to tell other people on your honeymoon. It can get you discounts, upgrades, or maybe a table with a better view at a seaside restaurant. If you want romantic honeymoon upgrades from your hotel, pack a copy of your new marriage license to verify that you really are on your honeymoon.

5. Bring your own romantic items

Don’t expect your hotel or destination to provide you with all the romance you’ll want on your honeymoon. Instead, bring some of your own romantic items, such as tealight candles, your favorite music, bubble bath, massage oil, and new lingerie.

6. Book a room with a Jacuzzi

There’s nothing more romantic than relaxing together in a dimly-lit, luxurious bathroom with a Jacuzzi tub for two. It’s more romantic than a hot tub at a resort pool because it’s private.

7. Enjoy breakfast in bed

Splurge on room service at least once or twice on your honeymoon. Breakfast in bed gives you time to wake up slowly, making your whole day feel less rushed and more romantic. Depending on what you enjoy, you can even bring a board game to play or a movie to watch while you enjoy your luxurious breakfast in the comfort of your room.

breakfast in bed honeymoon

8. Tell your spouse why you love him/her

Telling someone about all the reasons you love him or her is possibly one of the most romantic gestures there is. Before your honeymoon, spend time making a list of the reasons you love your fiancé. Then, on your honeymoon, present this list of reasons in a creative way – as a scrapbook, on strips of paper you leave around the room, or just in a list form that you can read during a romantic dinner together.

About the Author: Andrew Marino is the CEO of HoneymoonPixie.com, an industry leader in providing honeymoon gift registries for engaged couples.  Couples create their free honeymoon registry website and receive honeymoon planning advice and travel tips.  Andrew also serves as a contributing Senior Travel Editor.

honeymoon pixie is a sponsor of groomsadvice

What tricks do you have up your sleeve to make the honeymoon extra romantic? Leave a comment below. Don’t worry, your secrets are safe with us.

Why You Need These 5 Honeymoon Stress Busters

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

relaxing on honeymoon

By Andrew Marino, Honeymoon Pixie

Before you leave for your honeymoon, it’s a good idea to intentionally think of some stress busters to take with you. It can take some time to wind down from the stress you’ve experienced leading up to the wedding, but these five stress busters can make the process easier.

1. A Folder of Lists and Information

One of the most stressful things that can happen on any vacation or honeymoon is not being able to figure out what numbers you need to call, where to find a good restaurant, or how to get to your hotel. Take time to print off lists of important local phone numbers, directions to places you know you’ll be going, and addresses for the places you’ll be staying, which are particularly important if you’re using public transportation or catching a cab.

Another thing you might want to put in this folder is ideas of things you can do in the area you’re visiting. You probably already have some ideas, but you might find that certain activities don’t interest you like you thought they would, or they may simply not work out. Look around at local travel information to find out what there is to do where you’re traveling, and list out a few activities you can do in different types of weather.

2. Lighter Bags

Over-packing so that you have to carry heavy bags can add to your honeymoon stress. Think carefully about all the decisions you’re making as you decide what to pack for your honeymoon, and be cautious about over-packing. If you can each take one suitcase and one carry-on, things will be much easier for you.

honeymoon registry lingerie

Massages & lingerie. Think of the possibilities…

3. Massage Oil

What better way to bust stress on your honeymoon than to give each other sensual massages? Pack a little bottle of nicely scented massage oil, and prepare to give each other neck, back, and foot rubs every evening. You can, of course, schedule a couple’s massage, too, but there’s just nothing like being massaged by your new husband or wife as you relax together in your room.

4. Books and Music

Just because it’s your honeymoon doesn’t mean you need to be talking or snuggling the entire time. Sometimes it’s nice just to enjoy one another’s closeness on the beach or at a park as you read your own separate books or listen to music. It’s especially nice to have books and music on plane, bus, and train rides, when it’s harder to have a private conversation.

You can also include crossword puzzles, movies on your iPad, electronic games, or whatever else will keep you personally entertained for an hour or two. Having a little bit of alone time where you’re near one another, but not really interacting, can help you both relax.

bottled water honeymoon

Never underestimate the importance of hydrating.

5. Water

It might seem obvious, but one of the easiest ways to get stressed on your honeymoon is to let yourselves get tired and dehydrated, which leads to headaches and bickering. Avoid this problem by purchasing some nice water bottles before your honeymoon. Reusable water bottles can be refilled with bottled water or tap water, depending on where you are, and you can keep water with you all the time. Even if you’re just planning to lie on the beach and enjoy a margarita, having bottled water nearby can help you stay hydrated, healthy, and happy. Remember, though, that you can’t take full water bottles with you through airport security. Leave them empty, and fill them up when you get through to the other side.

Your honeymoon should be a time to relax and enjoy your new spouse’s company. Just think ahead about things you can take with you to help you relax and unwind on your honeymoon. Also, give yourself one or two days of free time at the beginning of your honeymoon, since you may just want to relax in your room or on the beach instead of jumping straight into your agenda of activities.

About the Author:
Andrew Marino is the CEO of HoneymoonPixie.com, an industry leader in providing honeymoon gift registries for engaged couples.  Couples create their free honeymoon registry website and receive honeymoon planning advice and travel tips.  Andrew also serves as a contributing Senior Travel Editor.

honeymoon pixie is a sponsor of groomsadvice

What are your top ways to de-stress? Will they come in handy during your honeymoon? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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