Archive for the ‘Honeymoon Planning’ Category

Avoid These Common Honeymoon Mishaps

Monday, March 4th, 2013
common honeymoon mishaps

The two words that honeymooners fear most.

By Andrew Marino, Honeymoon Pixie

Even though you think your honeymoon will be perfect, chances are something, at some point may go wrong. It could be something simple like forgetting the sunscreen in the tropics and leaving your sandals at home. Other problems, like stolen credit cards or a lost passport, are more serious.

Just knowing about common honeymoon mishaps is the start to avoiding them. Here are some of the most common mishaps you may not be able to avoid on your honeymoon:

Lost Passports and Credit Cards

It’s vital that before you leave on your honeymoon, you make copies of your passport and credit cards. Copies can be immensely helpful when you need to replace these items. You’ll also need to write down the international contact numbers for your credit card company and bank. It’s a good idea to scan these documents and email a copy to yourself. The information can then be retrieved from any computer in an emergency.

If you lose your passport, go to the nearest US Consulate as soon as you can. It’s a good idea to write down contact information for the nearest Consulate to where you’ll be staying before you leave. You can find this information at http://www.usembassy.state.gov.

If your credit cards are lost or stolen, call your credit card company or bank immediately to suspend use of the cards. It’s a good idea to have some backup methods of funding – even a spare credit card stashed in your luggage.

You Miss a Flight or a Connection

Always plan to be at the airport extra early so you’re less likely to miss your flight. Sometimes, though, unpreventable circumstances cause you to miss a flight or a connection.

If you miss a flight or connection, don’t panic. Instead, talk to your airline’s representative as soon as possible. If there is a long line at the counter at the airport, you may get faster service by calling the airline directly on their toll-free number. If it’s the airline’s fault that your flight was missed, late, or canceled, you’ll probably get a hotel voucher, and the airline will likely rearrange your flight plans for free. If you’re the one at fault (or if airport traffic causes you to sit on the tarmac and miss a connection), then you may not get these benefits. It’s always a good idea to have a little extra in your budget just in case something like this occurs and you have to pay for another plane ticket or an extra night in a hotel.

honeymoon kiss on beach

Avoiding the common honeymoon mishaps will lead to this..

You Encounter Weather Problems

The best way to mitigate the risk of encountering this honeymoon mishap is to plan your honeymoon for the right month in the right location, so that you miss most of the worst weather in your chosen destination. However, you can never fully predict the weather, and you might just find yourself encountering weather issues on your honeymoon.

It’s a good idea to consider travel insurance, which can cover some of your expenses if you run into weather problems. Sometimes, you may even be charged extra if a hurricane lays over your cruise ship in port for another day! Travel insurance and a flexible, adventurous mindset can keep the weather from ruining your honeymoon.

You Get Sick

Honeymooners across the globe have experienced everything including allergies, colds, dysentery, food poisoning, serious illness and injury on their honeymoons. It’s frightening to get sick or hurt in a foreign country, especially if you don’t speak the local language. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any scenario. Here’s a list of recommended medical safety precautions that should be followed by anyone who is traveling:

1. Check with your insurance about coverage in foreign hospitals. If you have to go to a hospital, then you don’t want to wonder what your insurance coverage will be like. If your health insurance doesn’t cover you in a foreign country, you might consider purchasing a health insurance rider for your travel insurance policy.

2. Pack basic medications with you. Packing things like antacids, cold tablets, and motion sickness prevention medication can make minor illnesses less severe. Also, pack a small first aid kit for minor cuts and insect bites.

3. Know which immunizations you need. Sometimes you can’t get into a foreign country without certain immunizations, and other times they’re only optional. Speak with your doctor or a travel agent about the immunizations you should have for your destination, and get them well before you leave.

4. Wash your hands on a regular basis and use an antibacterial sanitizer when traveling. Avoid touching your eyes and mouth with your hands to minimize the spread of harmful bacteria.

5. Make smart decisions. Drink plenty of water and wear sunscreen in sunny, hot destinations. Be careful about using the local water supply in questionable situations (bottled water is recommended), and use the safety gear required for all your adventurous honeymoon 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.

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disclosure: honeymoon pixie is a sponsor of groomsadvice

What’s your worst travel disaster story? Share your not-so-great memories in the comment section below.

9 Tips for Taking a Great Honeymoon on a Budget

Monday, February 4th, 2013

honeymoon registry travel

More and more couples are concerned with taking a honeymoon on a budget. Luckily, there are many ways to make that happen. You can have the honeymoon of your dreams without breaking the bank if you follow these tips:

1. Set up a honeymoon registry. Many couples live together before marriage and have set-up house and have most everything they need. Other couples may live independently and will have the challenge of merging two households into one. The challenge is deciding what to do with two toasters, two blenders, and two sets of dishes.  In these scenarios, the usefulness of a traditional wedding registry is limited. As an alternative or a supplement to a traditional wedding registry, many couples are using a honeymoon registry. Guests can contribute towards honeymoon activities that will help ensure a memorable honeymoon. Many couples value this type of special experience over more material gifts that they don’t particularly need nor want. For more advantages of using a honeymoon registry, click here.

2. Check out bed & breakfasts. A quaint B&B can be less expensive than a hotel in the same area, and a home-cooked breakfast is included. Typically rates are lower mid-week vs. the weekends. Many B&B’s will often have a “special suite” and may include a romantic canopy bed and a Jacuzzi tub. This is ideal for honeymooners.

3. Look at condos and villas. If both or one of you likes to cook, a condo or villa can be a great way to save on your honeymoon. With a fully equipped kitchen, you’ll be able to prepare many of your own meals. This can also be a fun time to cook with your spouse while sharing a bottle of wine.  The money saved by cooking your own meals will allow you to splurge on one or two nice dinners out without the guilt of spending too much money.

4. Shop for deals online. There are all sorts of great places to get deals online. Conduct an Internet search for food or lodging discounts in the city you will be honeymooning. For example, websites like restaurant.com can provide you with dining discounts, and hotwire.com can provide lodging discounts. You may be surprised to see all the options that you will help you save money on food, lodging, transportation and entertainment.

tropical beach honeymoon

5. Travel in the shoulder season or off season. In Florida, the off season is actually the summer, when most people never think of visiting. And yet during this time of year there is great weather throughout the state. As a result of fewer tourists and a lower demand, hotels lower their rates to attract business. The same is true with Hawaii. Most people flock to Hawaii during the cold winter months, not during the warm summer. Each destination will have an off season that is worth considering so you can score better deals on airfare, hotel rooms, and activities. Just make sure you research when the off season is at various destinations and coordinate it with your wedding and honeymoon dates.

6. Use air passes and train passes in Europe. If you plan on visiting multiple countries in Europe, an air pass may be ideal. It makes travel within the EU affordable.  Most of Europe has an excellent rail system that connects the major cities. So if you are visiting a country like Italy, you can purchase a Eurail train pass to travel throughout the country. Passes can be more economical than booking individual flights or train routes separately!

7. Get a cheaper room. Let’s be honest – luxury accommodations are nice, but they aren’t a necessity for most couples. But this is your honeymoon, so one strategy to employ is to book the least expensive room in a real nice hotel or resort. You then get to enjoy all the amenities that the hotel has to offer while paying a lower room rate. And your room will still be more than adequate!

8. Plan well ahead of time. Booking air travel and lodging 6 to 9 months before your honeymoon will save you money. Many of the automated pricing models are based on demand which is determined by the number of seats sold on a flight or the number of room booked at a hotel. If you book early and use an online discount service, you will save money. There are “last minute deals”, but you don’t want to gamble on getting the lodging or flights you want on your honeymoon!

9. Know your priorities. Setting a budget and sticking to it is all about prioritizing. Determine what is most important to you. Is it the actual destination, the amenities at a resort, a romantic suite, cultural activities, adventurous excursions, sightseeing, dining, or simply sitting by the pool with a cocktail? Put your money towards your top priority and cut back on the items that are less important to you. You’ll then get the most out of your honeymoon.

These nine tips can help you save money and still enjoy the honeymoon of your dreams… even if you’re on a tight budget!

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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.

How are you saving money on the honeymoon? Share your tips in the comment section below.

Honeymoon Road Trip Ideas

Friday, September 14th, 2012

honeymoon road trip ideas

Just as tying the knot is a major life milestone, so is taking that first trip together as a married couple on your honeymoon. With the rising cost of weddings and the economy at a standstill, it might feel like the honeymoon is nothing more than a pipe dream. Fear not! All you need is your sweetie, a car and the open road to make an unforgettable honeymoon. No matter where you live in the continental United States, there are countless destinations within a manageable drive. Turn your post-wedding celebration into a honeymoon road trip with the following ideas:

Beach
Whether you’re living on the East or West Coast, or smack dab in the middle of the country, there’s a beach calling your name. Florida is an obvious choice as it boasts some of the country’s best beaches including Siesta Beach in Sarasota and Caladesi Island State Park in Clearwater. Along the East Coast, you’ll also find popular ocean destinations in the Carolinas including Myrtle Beach and the Outer Banks. Or head further north to Nantucket or Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. Ocean Beach in San Diego is a great choice for West Coasters, as is Harris Beach State Park in Oregon. While Texas may not be the first state that comes to mind when picturing a beach vacation, the Lone Star State is home to South Paradise Island and features a sandy coastline and beachside waterpark. Even the Midwest boasts one of America’s best beaches, Oval Beach, on the shores of Lake Michigan.

Big City
Your honeymoon road trip is a great time to visit that one city you’ve always meant to see but haven’t had a chance. Major metropolises like New York City, Chicago, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Boston and Washington, D.C., offer the chance to sightsee, shop, dine at trendy restaurants, experience the nightlife of a big city and take in local entertainment. Think of a specific site you’d really like to see. If you’ve always dreamed of catching a game at Fenway Park or you’d love to stroll down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, now is your chance to enjoy it with your new spouse. Find a city that appeals to both of you and offers a variety of activities.

Theme Park
If adventure and thrill-seeking is your idea of a good time, consider taking a honeymoon road trip to one of the best theme parks in the United States. Hands down the best amusement park for rollercoasters is Cedar Point in Sandusky, Ohio, which features 17 coasters including some of the fastest and tallest in the world. If you’re a lover of all things Disney, East Coasters can turn to Walt Disney World in Orlando, Fla., while West Coasters have Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, Calif. For waterpark fans, check out Schlitterbahn in New Braunfels, Texas, with more than 40 rides, three lazy rivers and three miles of tube rides.

National Park
Take in the natural beauty of our country on your honeymoon road trip by stopping at a national park. America’s most popular park is the Great Smoky Mountains National Park bordering both North Carolina and Tennessee. Featuring 800 miles of hiking trails, the park offers beautiful scenery and wildlife watching. Arizona’s Grand Canyon comes in second in visitor popularity. One of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, it’s a jaw-dropping sight to behold. Other great national parks include Yosemite National Park in California, Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, and Yellowstone National Park, which spans Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

Before you leave, make sure you have insurance for your car
Now that you have several honeymoon road trip ideas to choose from, it’s time to get ready for the trip. As a newlywed couple, make sure that you have up-to-date insurance for your car that covers both drivers. Be sure to let your insurance company know of any name changes. You can shop around for the best rates using auto insurance quotes online. There’s no need to keep separate policies once you are married; in fact, you’ll likely save more money combining your car insurance.

Have you considered hitting the road for your honeymoon? What would your destination be? Let us know in the comment section below.

All You Need to Know about Passports for Your Honeymoon

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012

By Andrew Marino, HoneymoonPixie.com

Do you need a passport for your honeymoon? If you’re traveling outside the US, Puerto Rico, or the US Virgin Islands, you definitely need one. With some countries, you also need a visitor’s visa. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a valid passport for your honeymoon:

getting honeymoon passport

Your passport will be the most important item in your possession.

Getting a Passport

If you don’t have a passport, apply for one as soon as possible since they can take several weeks – or even months – to be delivered to your home. You must apply for a passport in person. Print the application form and fill it out before you go to the passport office. Just don’t sign the application because the person authorizing your passport application needs to watch you sign.

You can apply for a passport in person at several places, including the Bureau of Consular Affairs for your state, the Passport Services Office nearest to you, many public libraries, and many post offices. To check out the closest passport application site, go to the Department of State website and search for a location based on your zip code.

When you go to apply for your passport, you’ll need to bring evidence of your citizenship, such as a previous passport, a certified birth certificate, a naturalization certificate, or a certificate of citizenship. You’ll also need a current form of identification, which can include a naturalization certificate, a military ID, a government ID, a valid driver’s license, or an old passport. Before you apply for your passport, photocopy all of the documents front and back. The originals will be returned to you, but the copies will be mailed in with your passport application.

Finally, you’ll need to get a passport photo that meets the current requirements. Most local drugstores will take and print passport photos that should meet all the latest requirements.

The cost of a passport varies from year to year, but should be around $110, plus a $25 processing fee for first time applicants. You can get a passport card for $30, which is valid for entering the US from Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Bermuda. The main limitation to the passport card is that it cannot be used for international travel by air.

honeymoon tsa passport probe

A current passport will help you avoid an uncomfortable probe.

Renewing a Passport

Even if your passport is currently valid, you may need to renew it before your honeymoon if you have less than six months of validity left. In certain countries, your passport needs to be good for six months out from your arrival date before they’ll let you in. Check the expiration date on your passport, and renew it by mail if you have your most recent passport in hand. If that passport was issued when you were a minor (under sixteen) you’ll have to re-apply in person as you would when getting a brand new passport!

Expediting Your Passport

If you don’t have time to wait on the normal passport application process, you can pay extra to have your passport expedited. You can pay a $35 expedite fee at the application location to get it faster. The fastest way to get a passport in an emergency is to travel to the nearest passport office location. There, you’ll apply in person and pay a $60 expedite fee. Passports can be ready the day you apply if you get there early in the morning, or by the next day at the latest.

To qualify for this extra service, you either need to be traveling within two weeks or need to get a foreign visa within a month. You’ll need to call the nearest Passport Agency to schedule an appointment. If you already applied for a passport for your honeymoon but don’t have it within a couple weeks of your departure date, you can call the National Passport Information Center to expedite the completion of your passport within seven days of your trip.

Changing Your Name

One concern with honeymoon passports is that you may be changing your name, technically, right before you leave. Don’t worry, though. Be sure to book plane tickets and do your visas in your maiden name as it appears on your passport. You can travel under that name legally, and then change your name on your passport by filling out the name change application and sending in your old passport after you get home from your honeymoon.

newlyweds at airport before honeymoon

Having your passport in order will ensure a romantic honeymoon trip

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.

How to Make Your Honeymoon Experience a Flawless One

Tuesday, July 24th, 2012

When you want a flawless honeymoon experience, all inclusive couples resorts remain destination #1! After all those months of wedding planning, it’s nice to have someone else take care of all the arrangements and romantic details plus, all-inclusives offer some of the best bargain deals on the planet! All you need to do is pack your bags and get ready for some love and relaxation. With just one click, you can book an all inclusive honeymoon package and kiss your cares good bye.

all inclusive honeymoon

Island Wedding and Honeymoon Packages
If you’re still in the planning stages of your wedding consider an all inclusive wedding and honeymoon package from your favorite island resort. Wedding packages begin at rock bottom rates for an intimate ceremony for two or may be built up to accommodate over one hundred special guests. For instance, the Caribbean is a steal of a deal. Like most packages you can customize it to meet your budget. Your island bride will be radiant with an exotic backdrop of powder white sands, turquoise waters and a warm breeze from the tropical Trade Winds.

What’s Included In An Island Wedding and Honeymoon Package?
From Jamaica to Aruba and everything in between, weddings and honeymoon packages are your best bet to have it all at the price you want to pay. Island brides may elect a basic package to include the ceremony on the beach, a sumptuous champagne dinner for two and a fabulous honeymoon suite situated on the sand. Added amenities are available for nominal fees and include perks such as photography and video packages, additional banquet seating, live entertainment and more.

Things To Do At the All Inclusive Couples Resorts
In addition to enjoying a comprehensive wedding and honeymoon package, the bride and groom have access to a host of free amenities at the resorts. Spend the day water skiing, snorkeling, windsurfing or take a romantic horse ride down the shore at sunset. In most cases, all non-motorized water sports are included in the one low resort price with additional recreation and entertainment available nearby. Try full and half-day excursions hiking, biking and flying through the rainforest on a zip line. Island weddings keep on giving with abundant natural beauty and a built-in itinerary of fantastic things to do.

Early reservations are best to snap up the best deal of the day. However, last minute island weddings and honeymoons are plentiful and fiercely competitive to earn your business. Regarded as one of the best deals in the travel industry, pick your pleasure from the South Pacific to the Caribbean for unbeatable late travel deals and fabulous romantic escapes. Some top picks for value and hassle-free arrangements include Jamaica in Montego Bay for beaches, nightlife and golfing, or Ocho Rios for beaches, shopping and affordable excursions.

Happy Honeymoon!

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