Monday, June 22, 2009

Honeymoon Research

Planning a honeymoon can seem stressful and daunting, especially since there is a LOT of pressure for your honeymoon to be the "best vacation of your life". Not to mention the thousands of places you could choose to go! Should you stay in the United States or go international? Would you like a hot, sandy beach or a cultural hotspot?

I'm here to help. The best advice I can give you is: Do your research!

The most robust of all vacation research websites I've ever used is (if you know of other great vacation sites, please leave me a comment!).

I used this site extensively and pretty much exclusively when planning my honeymoon to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Even if you're starting from square one - figuring out where to go - Trip Advisor can help. Just check out their Travel Inspiration tool:

Just choose the type of trip you'd like to take (and talk this over with your fiance so you're both in agreement!), the region you'd like to visit (or just select "Anywhere" if you want the widest array of options) and click "Inspire Me!". You'll be given a list of potential honeymoon desitinations from which to start your research.

For each destination you look into on Trip Advisor, you'll be able to read about the following information:
  • Before You Go - learn about the airports, public transportation, weather & when to travel
  • Things to Do - read about local nightlife, tours & excursions and hidden gems
  • Restaurants - search local eateries by cuisine, cost and rating by other travelers
  • Map - view a map of all hotels in the region
  • Traveler Photos & Videos - browse through travelers' pictures of the destination
  • Forum - review what travelers are saying about the destination
Once you decide on a location, you can research flight fares & hotel reservations directly on the site. It is truly a one-stop-shop for planning your honeymoon!!

Also, Trip Advisor has written over 9,000 free Travel Guides, which are available for free download if you are a Trip Advisor member (free). The travel guides help you choose a place to stay, list restaurants to try & provides lots of tips for making the most of your honeymoon.

If you still find the task of honeymoon planning to be too daunting, there's no shame in working with a travel agent!

Another bit of wisdom: Your honeymoon might not end up being the best vacation of your life (mine definitely wasn't). No matter how much research you do, there can still be things that go wrong or don't live up to your expectations. The more pressure you put on your honeymoon to be blissfully amazing, the higher your odds of ending up disappointed. So after you've done your due diligence and picked a location, sit back, relax and hope for the best! The most important thing is to be with your new spouse and enjoy your time together.

{All pictures from}

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