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Destination I Do
Thursday, February 6, 2020

Top 5 Honeymoon Planning Q's

Words by Susan Moynihan
Photos courtesy of Unsplash

I’ve been planning honeymoons for six years now, and writing about them for even longer. Here are the top questions I get from clients.


1. Should We Leave Right After Our Wedding?

I discourage leaving the day after your wedding. You’re going to be tired and you need to shift gears from being in host mode to just-us-two mode. I recommend giving yourselves anywhere between one day and one week before setting out. You can always wait longer if it times better with weather in your dream honeymoon locale, like avoiding monsoon season in Southeast Asia. But don’t wait too long or you may never get to it!

2. How Do We Make the Most of Points?

Once you get engaged, sign up for a rewards credit card either with a major airline or a travel-focused one like Chase Sapphire or Capital One. Then put all of your wedding expenses on it and use those points to get you to your destination. If you already have a lot of airline points, but aren’t sure the best way to use them, an award-booking company like Juicy Miles can help you make the most of them – for a fee.

3. How Do We Weed Through Conflicting Reviews?

It’s a sad truth: photos lie. And so may some Instagram influencers, magazines and review sites. A travel blogger on a comped stay may be placed in the best room and never see the unrenovated section of the hotel. An award-winning restaurant may have lost its head chef. Some review sites promote advertisers and bury other options. So use these resources with a wise eye and seek the overall truth between the lines. To me, the best source is someone who has been there, recently, and has great taste. That’s why I keep a wide network of travel pros I can tap into for honest feedback.

4. What’s a Resort Fee?

Hotels compete for customers online, where lower rates can get more clicks. But sometimes the lowest number isn’t the true lowest price, thanks to resort fees. These in-house fees are added at checkout and may include anything from parking to gym access or coffee service in the lobby – and you have to pay these fees whether you use those features or not. Fees can range from $25 to $50 per day, so look for them in fine print, especially at larger resorts in warm-weather climes like Hawaii and the Caribbean.

5. Can’t We Save a Bundle with Airbnb?

Short answer: yes. Longer answer: you can, but you may not always want to. I have a love-hate relationship with sites like Airbnb. I’ve used them to good success, but I’ve also booked rooms that looked (and smelled!) nothing like they purported to be online. So know that it may be great, or you may not get what you think you’re getting – and if it’s not what you want, you may not have anyone to go to for recourse like you would with a hotel. (Google “Airbnb horror stories” and you’ll see what I mean!) 

Bonus: I Thought Travel Agents Were Free?
That was true for a long time. But as airlines cut commissions and booking modes moved online, business models changed. Today, top travel advisors will charge a planning fee; some put it towards the cost of trip and some don’t. This gets extra time upfront in creating unique itineraries, and builds trust on both ends. A good travel agent should have strong knowledge of where you’re going, multiple methods for booking, and affiliation with a respected consortium like Virtuoso or DWHSA (Destination Wedding & Honeymoon Specialists Association), so they have extra pull when you need it.

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