How to Plan the Perfect Honeymoon

July 15, 2015
Words by Amber Harrison
Photos courtesy of Dennis Kwan Photography

Before starting The Honeymoonist, Susan Moynihan was editor in chief of a national destination wedding magazine, so she has insight into what couples really want – as well as what places are really worth it and which are more hype than hot. She is constantly on the go, researching for her clients and writing about romance travel for outlets from Destination I Do to USA TODAY. As The Honeymoonist, she plans unforgettable, custom honeymoons as well as seamless travel for destination weddings.

When is the best time to go on your honeymoon? 

Time your honeymoon to what works for you (as long as it’s within six months).

There are no rules about it. Some couples leave the day after the wedding; others wait a few days to recover from the wedding excitement and leave mid-week the following week. I also have couples who delay a few months, in order to have a longer trip or better weather in their dream honeymoon spot. It’s all about what works for you two. But, be sure to plan the honeymoon before your wedding; if you put it off too long, you just might not get around to it!

How can you get the most out of your honeymoon?

A honeymoon is a different kind of trip; you will be remembering this and talking about it for the rest of your lives. It’s also your first official “just us” trip as newlyweds, so you want to take time to enjoy every moment. Some couples want to see as much as they can for their honeymoon, but you also need to have some downtime for lazy mornings, impromptu wanderings, much-needed massages or just time to explore on your own. Most couples I work with start off busier at the start of their trip, when they’re excited and rearing to go, and then slow down as they get into the vacation groove.

What are the hot honeymoon spots right now?

Bora Bora is the honeymoon dream, with its romantic vibe and amazing overwater bungalows. And it’s an amazing honeymoon, no doubt! But there are also overwater bungalows in other parts of the world, from Panama to the Maldives. Or maybe you want a luxury hotel with romantic extras like a plunge pool or Jacuzzi. There are great honeymoon options all over the world, you just have to know where and how to look. (That’s where The Honeymoonist comes in.)

Exotic travel is big. Couples are taking advantage of their vacation time and using their honeymoons for bucket-list trips, be it touring through Thailand and Southeast Asia or finally seeing Machu Picchu in Peru. Europe is so romantic, especially Italy for first-timers, or Eastern European spots like Croatia and Montenegro for couples who have already been to Europe once or twice. New Zealand is a fantastic honeymoon spot for adventurous couples and you can pair it with some island time kicking back in the South Pacific.

Cruise honeymoons are a great option for couples looking to see a lot with minimal stress; not mega-ships, but smaller ships like sailing tall ships or river cruises in the Mekong River in China or in the Galapagos Islands. A cruise honeymoon is equal parts relaxing and invigorating, especially when you end it with time on-land at a gorgeous hotel.

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