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After all those months planning your wedding and going through one of the happiest moments of your life, another unforgettable moment awaits you: the honeymoon. Planning a honeymoon can be confusing if you don't know how to start, so we've compiled a few steps to get you going.
How do I plan my honeymoon?
1. Find a common thread
First things first, discuss what you like to do when travelling as individuals, then find the common thread. For example, if you both love relaxing on the beach, then great! You can plan a honeymoon on an exotic beach destination, like the Maldives, right away. If you don't share the same interests, take some time to discuss a solution that will make the both of you happy. Are you a foodie while your spouse is a history buff? End a day of museum-hopping with a nice dinner at that Michelin-starred restaurant. Adrenaline-seeker and shopaholic? Learn surfing in the morning, then have a stroll at the local crafts market. The possibilities are endless.
2. Lay your budget on the table
Remember that your life as a couple will start after the honeymoon ends, so you should only plan something that fits your budget. If you haven't talked about your financial priorities and expectations yet, this is a good time to start. Have an agreement on what you should splurge on and on which parts you should cut corners. Also consider whether you want to go during the peak season, which is more expensive but has the best weather and festivals going on, or during the low season when you can get a better prices even for luxury hotels.
3. Decide on the length of your honeymoon
Yes, Bali is a great honeymoon destination, but if you live in San Francisco and only have less than a week off work, it won't be the best choice for you. You might still have an incredible time, but you'll return feeling more exhausted than when you left in the first place. If you don't want to have more pictures taken at the airport than at the beach, carefully consider the distance to your dream destination and how long it will take to go back and forth.
4. Do thorough research
Before you jump on the first "amazing deal" you find, work the search engine and do some research as most probably, there is a reason behind that steep discount. What's the use of saving a few dollars to find yourself traveling during the hurricane seasons or getting stuck in a shady hotel located far away from the city center. Look for reviews, suggestions, and alternatives before booking anything for your honeymoon trip.
5. Get professional help
Even if you don't have time to plan a complete honeymoon itinerary from scratch, you can still get someone else to do it for you. Professional travel agents such as Bulanmadu.com, Honeymoon Concierge, Gogonesia, Avventura Indonesia, Bobobobo, and Honeymoonkita.com have the experience, network, and insights to plan the perfect trip. Let them do all the work to make your dream honeymoon come true, all you need to do is pack that bikini and get ready to go.
What should I prepare for my honeymoon?
What better time to feed your wanderlust soul than on your honeymoon especially now, when you have the best companion you could ever ask for to go on adventures with, your newly-wedded husband? Whether you're planning to explore cities you've never visited or immerse yourself in nature, here are 10 things you should prepare before going on any trip.
1. Get a guidebook
Though you no longer need a physical one thanks to the internet, a guidebook comes with a convenient set of maps, lists of attractions and restaurants, along with a few local phrases that might come in handy. Try to memorize basic conversations to help you communicate with local people easily.
2. Plan your first day
As you'll arrive at unfamiliar surroundings, it would be best for you to plan your first day beforehand. On Figure out how you will reach your accommodation from the airport, find local attractions nearby, and enjoy light activities that won't tire you out too much.
3. Buy tickets in advance
Whenever possible, try to get train or plane tickets in advance, especially if you're going during holiday season. At the very least, find out how you're going to get the tickets and how much will you spend on them.
4. Remember about required visas
If you're planning to hop from one city or even country to another, don't forget the visa requirements just in case the next destination requires you to have one. Prepare them in advance and always double check whether they have visa on arrival or not.
5. Research local events
Make sure you won't miss any fun events going on in the city, like festivals, cultural ceremonies, and natural events such as flower viewing. This step includes researching a few local cuisines to try. Get a real taste of the city while you're at it!
6. Find out about any specific interests
If you have any particular hobbies or interests such as collecting rare fabrics or children's books, make sure to do some research before you leave. The places you're looking for might be hard to find, especially if the locals don't speak your language.
7. Rain check, literally
Weather is an important factor that can impact your trip in a good or bad way. You might be aware that it will be warm during summer in Italy, but will it rain a lot? Have you considered wind chill when packing clothes for a colder destination?
8. Write down important details
The most important phone numbers you should write down for your trip are those of your airline and hotel. It's also important for you to save your hotel name and address in the native language in case you need to take a local cab there. An easy way is to just take your hotel's business card wherever you go.
9. Bring copies of your passport
As important as anything else, bring copies of your passport just in case it gets stolen or lost. Nobody wants that to happen, but it's better to be safe and sure that you can still get back home without too much of a fuss.
10. Money talks
Find out about the exchange rates before you go, and don't forget to have some local currency at hand. As an extra measure, prepare a credit card that is accepted internationally. Remember to not keep all your money in one place, so you'll still have some emergency cash left in case you lost your wallet.
What should I bring on my honeymoon?
Now that you've decided on a honeymoon destination and done your research, you're ready to pack your bag! We've prepared a few honeymoon packing lists so you won't forget the most important things for your trip.
Once you've prepared all the essential items above, now you can move on to other items according to your honeymoon destination. Whether you're a beach bum or worldly cosmopolitan traveler, we've prepared a suitable list that you can simply print out below.
A classic honeymoon option, the beach is still the most popular destination for newlyweds. Who can resist the dreamy blue ocean and soft, white sand?
Whether you're planning to lay on the beach all day long, go on an adventure deep in nature, or perhaps hop from one shop to another, there's one thing you should always have in your bag: sunscreen. Overwhelmed by all sunscreen you can choose? Worry not, we have a short guide that will help you choose the right one.
How to choose the right sunscreen
The first thing to look in sunscreen is the SPF rate. If you think you'll be outside for long stretches, like more than two hours, we recommend you to choose products with SPF 30 or higher.
Then, look for "broad spectrum" on the label. This indicates that the product is deemed effective against skin-burning and skin-aging rays. If your itinerary for that day involves a lot of water activities, or basically any activity, opt for the sweat- or water-resistant ones.
When to apply sunscreen
For the sunscreen to work, you need to apply it on your body at least 30 minutes before sun exposure. A lot of people assume that sunscreen works like clothes: the minute you apply it is the minute it will protect your skin effectively. Nothing could be further from the truth. Remember, it takes 30 minutes for sunscreen to be fully absorbed into your skin. Also note that you should re-apply sunscreen every two hours for it to really protect your skin from sunrays.
Quick tips on sunscreen
Use high SPF sunscreen on thin-skinned areas, such as your nose, ears and backs of hands. It's also the better choice if you're exposing skin at high altitudes, polar regions, or areas with intense sun exposure, including reflective surfaces such as snow. If you feel a little too heavy or greasy, you can carry separate tubes of SPF 50 and 30, and apply it on particular areas only.
If the beach is not on your list, take a look on some honeymoon options you have here.
If you're a fan of white snow and jolly wintertime, a romantic winter holiday might be a suitable alternative for your honeymoon. Don't forget to enjoy the blissful treat of hot springs during winter if your honeymoon destination has them.
If you have a particular city you've long dreamed of going to, then this is a great time to cross it off your bucket list. Go to places you've never been to before, indulge in its culture and beauty, and don't forget to take lots of pictures too! Or, you can also try wine-tasting trip somewhere around the city.
Do you have another honeymoon destination in mind? Tell us in the comment section below!
What should I leave at home during the honeymoon?
We're sure it's happened before. You've brought plenty of things that you thought might come in handy during the trip, but as usual it wasn't the case. Sometimes you can get blinded by excitement and start packing things that will only slow you down. To avoid this from happening, check out our list below.
1. Full-sized pillow
We understand the misery of being a light sleeper. However, bringing a full-sized pillow with you wherever you go, especially on your honeymoon trip, will only wear you down.
Instead of bringing your own pillow from home, take the advantage of modern innovation with an inflatable one or simply ask a flight attendant to lend you an airplane pillow.
If you still have a comfort blanket, maybe it's time to start sleeping without it. Carrying a blanket will only take a lot of space. It won't do you any good.
Leave your fluffy blanket and take a versatile and lightweight sarong instead. It's multi-functional, as you can use it as a towel, bikini cover-up, shawl, or even picnic mat.
3. Full-size toiletries
Unless you're going somewhere remote and isolated, you can be sure you can find shampoo, conditioner, or toothpaste in any convenient store nearby.
Simply pack travel-sized toiletries to save space and also help you to avoid violating your airline's flight regulations regarding liquid items.
For ladies, please take note: even a travel-sized hair dryer can take up unnecessary space in your luggage.
Your hotel will have a hairdryer inside the bathroom cabinet, so take it out of your suitcase right away. It's also a good time to embrace that sexy, messy beach-hair look.
5. More than two pairs of shoes
Especially if your shoes come with boxes and thick chunky heels, you better cross it off your packing list.
Limit your shoes to casual and dress shoes or dress shoes and sandals. Remember, the more comfortable, the better.
6. Thick books
It's always such a temptation to tackle the long hours of layovers by finishing that epic trilogy you're currently reading. But, keep in mind of how heavy your bags will be if you bring thick and bulky books.
Get the e-book version on a tablet. You can take hundreds of reading materials without the weight of actual paper books!
7. Jewelry and valuables
Don't risk bringing all your valuables on your honeymoon trip. Simply leave them at home or ask a family member to keep them for you.
You can bring your wedding rings and engagement ring, but you should store them in a safety box in your hotel room or front desk if you're going to have an active itinerary.
8. Unnecessary gadgets
Two tablets and a third phone? Leave it. Laptop? No. Portable DVD player? Really?
"But what if I get bored and need some entertainment?" You won't. You're on your honeymoon, so entertain each other and go have fun!
After you're done with your bags and are ready to go, you might start worrying whether you'll be able to get great pictures together during the whole trip. Unless you're planning to bring a professional photographer with you, you can easily take wonderful photos without relying on anyone else. Use our short guide below to learn how.
How do I take great pictures on my honeymoon?
1. Bring the right camera
Finding the right camera is actually easier than you think. First, you should consider your priorities. If you're not a particularly skilled photographer, you should consider light and easy pocket cameras. But even if you happen to be a photography enthusiast, we would advise you to take it easy and not burden yourself with bulky camera equipment. You can opt for mirrorless camera or high quality point-and-shoot one instead of a heavy DSLR with multiple lenses.
Before your trip, read the manual thoroughly, then practice by taking some pictures at home. Get familiar with the camera's functions so you can get the best results. Last but not least, purchase backup batteries and memory cards.
2. Be at the right place, at the right time
A pro will tell you that the best pictures are taken before 10 AM or after 3 PM, as the light has a warmer look to it and you'll have more contrast and color saturation. This applies whether you're taking pictures with a smartphone or a really expensive camera. To take daytime pictures, note that the sun should be behind the photographer, unless if you want to have a silhouette effect on purpose.
Quick tip: If the sun is too bright and you can see a glare, use your hand as a shield.
3. Think outside the box
You'd want to have a visual story to tell in years to come, or even right after your honeymoon trip, to your extended family. Therefore, you should avoid taking every photo from the same angle or position. You can always spice things up with some creativity.
Think of a visual story line. Get a picture from the windshield of the car, or get close-up or panoramic shots. Climb up, lie down, and you'll get more pictures from different angles.
4. Remember this before making an album
You'd want them to be printed out, so that you won't worry about corrupted memory cards. However, before you print them out, make sure to edit them. After all, there will be many different pictures taken at the same place, and perhaps, with the same angles. Delete some and pick the best ones.
A layer of acid-free paper in your album will help you avoid a finger-smudged, mishmash of prints.
5. Hire a professional holiday photographer
You can use professional photographers to capture every moment of your honeymoon, one of them is SweetEscape, which is managed by a photographer from Axioo. You can look for local photographers from your honeymoon location. Usually local photographers will understand and know good photo spots, and the right time to take pictures in that location.