The honeymoon is often so built-up it is doomed to fall short — like a fairy tale, no reality can match up with unreal expectation. But it doesn’t have to be this way. Here are my six tips for a perfect honeymoon:
In This Honeymoon Article You Will Discover:
- How to Relax on Your Special Vacation
- How to Use the “H-Word” Properly
- Tips for Budgeting
Sorry, ladies, I’m a married man now. Well, for about four months now… and really for eight years previous. And trust me, one of the best parts of getting hitched is the honeymoon to follow. Here are six tips, from experience, to help you make the most of your honeymoon vacation:
1. Mention “It” Strategically
I assume you were going to throw around the “H-Bomb” anyway. But the trick to getting the best perks is to use it wisely. In honeymoon hotspots like Hawaii and Mexico, hotel and restaurant staff hear this word everyday.
Don’t expect them to be terribly impressed if you gush about your honeymoon with clear intention at every forced interval.
Wait for an opening, then casually mention it. For example, when checking into our hotel, I calmly waited for a natural segue. When the clerk offered me a minor room upgrade for being a loyalty club member, I saw my opening and took it. “Thanks — we’re happy to be spending our honeymoon here,” I said, blasé. That led to an oceanfront room upgrade (worth more than $400 above what we paid) along with the standard free bottle of Champagne other gushing honeymooners received. Same goes for restaurants. Make an online/phone reservation and mention, “It’s our honeymoon and we’re very excited” in the “comments” section online or at the conversation’s end — and don’t ask for anything. Remember: you’re mentioning it like it’s the time of day. They’ll take care of you.
2. Temper Your Expectations
A honeymoon should be flowers and rainbows, euphoric joy from rise to sleep and flawless in its planning and execution, right? Well, you can try. Or you can accept that, for the most part, it is a vacation like any other. It might rain. A restaurant might be sub-par. The airline may lose your luggage. The trick is to roll with it and relax. Almost nothing can ruin your honeymoon, so don’t let it.
Laugh about a rude waiter. Hotel sucks? Spend more time exploring. Pouring rain? Buy an umbrella. Airline lose your luggage? Go shopping.
Truth be told, while I’m sure there was something that didn’t go as-planned on our honeymoon, I can’t for the life of it remember what it was… which speaks volumes. And remember: the biggest joy of a honeymoon is that it’s likely the first time that year you and your spouse can truly relax, not spending every free moment in preparation for the biggest event of your lives. No rainstorm can spoil that.
3. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
I failed at this one. We had driven into Kailua for dinner and were denied entrance to a local pub as my wife had forgotten her ID. I now chalk it up to being “hangry” (angry due to hunger), but then I was super annoyed, not wanting to drive to the hotel, grab her passport and head out again after spending all day road-tripping Hawaii’s Big Island.
Essentially — I overreacted.
After I relaxed, we ended up having a delightful dinner at Rays on the Bay, back at our lovely hotel, and watched a half-dozen manta rays swim in clear view while drinking our favourite craft beer and nibbling appys. (Sorry honey.) Lesson learned: your partner may be too tired to go out dancing, may forget something important, or something will go sideways. However, if you start an argument with your wife/husband while on a honeymoon — you’re the one who is in the wrong.
There is nothing worse than logging into Facebook and seeing a status like: “Lovin’ the First Day of our Honeymoon! (127 photos)” It makes me want to wring the person’s neck. Put down the iPhone and enjoy yourself, dammit! If you departed immediately following your nuptials, you no doubt just spent the last few days socializing with every-single person in your address book. You planned. You primped. You made phone calls and sent emails and texts. You poured over seating charts. You worried about everything.
Now unplug and forget the world outside. There’s no need to live-Tweet your honeymoon and the photo-upload can wait until you return.
Studies have shown that unplugging from Social Networks lowers stress and anxiety levels — which is exactly what a honeymoon should also do. The choice is literally in your hands.
5. Justify the (Reasonable) Splurge
Another trick to a successful honeymoon is to include the holiday expense in your wedding budget. In doing so, you’ll have pre-set a specific amount and you can feel OK about spending every last penny of it. Of course, I temper this advice: stay within reason. People often get carried away, justifying everything on a honeymoon as a “once-in-a-lifetime” experience. While you’ll hopefully never honeymoon again, spending triple what you can afford may well make a vacation itself a “once-in-a-lifetime (or at least for a couple of years)” experience.
And spend wisely on things that will really enhance your trip, like fine dining, a convertible car or a room with a sunset view — not silly upgrades like valet parking.
Failing to set a budget may result in either being too worried about cash flow the whole time, or just spending willy-nilly and returning home to a eye-popping, unexpectedly high Visa bill. Both of these things can cast a shadow on what should be an occasion of pure celebration. (You don’t want to ever regret your honeymoon!)
6. Buy One Nice Souvenir
I used to drive my now-wife crazy with the junk I’d pick up abroad: wooden figurines, cheap knives, knock-off shirts… Nowadays, I’m done with clutter and generally indifferent about bringing home souvenirs. The honeymoon is one exception.
Make sure you buy at least one quality keepsake, as decades from now it’ll be nice to have an item tied to lovely memories of newlywed bliss.
For us, it was a ukelele — I’m learning it now, and in the future, I’ll be able to pick up the uke and say, “We bought this on our honeymoon,” before strumming my wife a tune. Instant memory-rush.