Planning a wedding can be incredibly stressful. The honeymoon should be the escape from all the crazy and a celebration of being together —but then you discover planning a honeymoon that has a bunch of stresses of its own! "So much work and anticipation goes into the wedding, so the honeymoon is a great way to decompress after getting married. Therefore, the ideal time to go is soon after the wedding because it's a perfect way to continue the celebration intimately and privately as a couple," says says Dr. Jane Greer, marriage and family therapist.
If timing doesn't allow for that, certainly plan to go in the few months afterwards while the wedding still feels fresh and new, before you get lost in the daily routines.
Travel can be your biggest "fun" spend in any given year, complicated further when your planning your wedding… so make sure it’s done right, says Andréa da Rosa, Director, Vacations Sales & Marketing, Balboa Travel, Inc. " An advisor can give you insider tips and advice, using their education and personal experience and their own personal travel agent network, advise you if a visa is needed, provide insights you can’t get on TripAdvisor or other social media sites… that will help guide your honeymoon decisions in a way that provides you with the best possible match for your visions and hard-earned money.
After you met with your advisor and planned with your soon-to-be spouse, you may discover there is no universally perfect time — deciding on the type of vacation a couple wants is a great place to start, this will help narrow down the list of potential destinations, says da. Rosa. "The vision and budget may further determine the time of year that best suits them," says da Rosa.
There are other factors that may determine the right time to go like weather, crowds, and value. Here's what else you need to know.
1. Don't Leave On Your Wedding Night
"Even if the couple is able, i would strongly, strongly discourage leaving the night of the wedding post reception," says Lara Goldman, a destination management consultant with a specialization in romantic travel. "Not only will the couple be tired, but they'll be completely stressed all night keeping one eye on the clock so as to not get a) too drunk to fly or b) too wrapped up in their own fun so they just miss the flight/departure!" says Goldman.
The mindset is the same for 'day after' travel, says Goldman. "While many couples do this to maximize their time away from work, in reality, it usually winds up having a deleterious effect on their actual honeymoon AND their wedding. By leaving the day after the reception/ceremony not only will the couple face the same challenges as the "Night of" departure option, they also have exhaustion as their main adversary!" says Goldman.
Leaving at least one full day of 'transition time" will ensure a much more effectively enjoyable honeymoon, says Goldman. Allowing that day of buffer builds in time for several things. "First, it allows the couple to have one moment of pause - to reflect and transition in their minds from "couple" to "spouses". That's a super important life changing time and allowing it to seep into their psyche can really help solidify their new roles. Second, that extra day allows for last minute adjustments based on the wedding itself," says Goldman. Perhaps you received some new gifts (lingerie) for your honeymoon, and having a day allows you to pack appropriately.
August in the Caribbean is hurricane season, which could possibly turn it from a dream to catastrophe, but it may be perfect for another destination that you both love.
Be extra careful that you get accurate information about weather conditions. "I've often come across conflicting information online and when booking a trip as big as your honeymoon you want to make sure that you choose a good time of year to go. Hurricanes and bad weather are not welcome!" says Katie Lara of Travelingpanties.com.
3. Timing Is Everything
After a wedding, chances are your budget is kind of tight. You can have your dream trip and save lots of cash if you just time things right. The best deals for Caribbean travel exist in off-seasons, which really have weather very similar to peak season, says Kelly Williams of Honey Travel. And that's not the only place that timing is everything.
"One example is Tahiti, from November to March there are steep discounts on airfare and hotels. While that time is considered off season the out-of-water and in-water temps are still 80, and travelers don't have to stress too much about rain!" says Williams.
High time for weddings in the U.S. is generally May to September, if newlyweds can wait even to October before heading to Europe they will face less crowds and, therefore, cheaper rates, says Williams. Trips should still be booked 6-8 months in advance when possible.
Couples seeking a little R&R at an affordable price should plan their vacation during the shoulder seasons of the month, says Senior Vice President of Supplier Relations for CheapOair, Thomas Spagnola. "During the shoulder season, the time frame between high and low seasons of travel, the volume of tourists will decrease and hotel and resort prices will have dropped. This season varies depending on the destination, so I recommend researching when the shoulder season takes place for wherever you're going to be honeymooning," says Spagnola.
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