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Planning for your honeymoon can almost be as daunting as planning for the wedding and a lot of couples struggle with how to determine where to honeymoon. There is a lot to think about when it comes to picking the right destination. Couple that with the pressure of the “once in a lifetime” trip mentality and your head can be spinning in no time. Our friend and expert Pittsburgh honeymoon planner Jaimie of Jaimie’s Going Places is sharing five hard questions you should be asking yourself before choosing your destination.
1.) What’s our budget?
Before you can figure out where you want to go, it’s important to sit down together and decide how much you want to spend. Knowing the budget first will help to narrow down other key planning components, such as where you can visit, how long you can visit, and how many activities you can do while you are at your destination. Remember that the budget can go beyond accommodations, flights, and transportation. Be sure to consider other expenses that can add up quickly, including excursions, food and beverages, and gratuities, to name a few.
2.) When do we want to go?
This is a big one and can mean a lot of different things when narrowing down your destination.
If it’s important to you to travel immediately following your wedding, you may want to consider a destination that is easy and quick to get to from your area – one that offers a lot of relaxation and gives you the opportunity to rest and recharge while enjoying the company of your new spouse.
If you’re dreaming of a once-in-a-lifetime destination to celebrate this big milestone, you may want to consider planning at least a few weeks post-wedding to give yourself more time to gear up for such a trip. Do you really want to be packing for a two-week adventure while also putting the finishing touches on your wedding?
There are other factors to consider when determining when to travel. What will the weather be like in the destination you are considering at that time you want to travel? Will it be peak travel season? What is your company’s vacation policy, and will being away for a long period of time ultimately hinder your ability to be present and in the moment during your trip?
3.) How much time do we have?
Traveling takes time…a lot of time. When thinking about a honeymoon destination or a multi-destination trip, think about how much time you are comfortable spending on a train, plane, automobile, or ferry. Will visiting multiple places in one trip have you spending too much time packing and repacking, waiting for check-in and check-out times, waiting in airports or in train stations? Will those situations stress you out or will they be a welcome part of the adventure? Do all of these factors coincide with your budget and the length of time you are able to travel for?
4.) What matters most to us?
Make a list and write down the things that are most important to you while traveling for this trip and have your partner do the same. Then, number them in order of importance and pick the top three things that will make your trip most memorable. Finally, work on destinations that incorporate those things. Be specific, keep the list short, and know ahead of time that you can’t do it all. When you plan to do less, you’ll enjoy more and open up the possibility of the unexpected.
5.) How flexible are we?
Flexibility is the key to having the best experiences while traveling. There can be a lot of pressure to make your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon happen in a once-in-a-lifetime destination. But there is also a lot to be said for keeping the destination simple and without the added pressure/stress of being completely out of your comfort zone. The best thing about traveling is no matter where you choose to go there, will always be the ability to explore new things and find a great adventure.