40 First Cousins Taught Me Everything I Needed to Know About Honeymoons
By:Lisa Balistreri

I’ve been to a lot of weddings. Growing up in an Italian-American family, I had almost 40 first cousins just on one side. That’s a lot of weddings. I watched my cousins and eventually myself take honeymoons to all sorts of places. Why is that important? Because, what I learned very young is that it is a very individual thing. Honeymoons are not about showing off how much more adventurous, luxurious, or original you can be. They are about having that time with your newlywed selves.

In my personal life and as a travel advisor I’ve spoken to a number of honeymooners or newlyweds. And, here is my best, most important advice for planning your honeymoon.

Keep it stress free. I think I just heard you chuckle. But, I’m serious about this one. No matter how well planned your wedding is, you feel it. Will everything go alright, and will everyone have a good time? You both deserve a well-earned break after all that stress.

The honeymoon you plan should be about you. What do you and your fiancé like to do for fun? How often have you traveled? What do you picture when you close your eyes and imagine the perfect day with your new spouse? These are some of the questions to explore.

As I mentioned earlier, I talk with couples about their honeymoons all the time. Some have always known where they want to go. Some have a place that has special meaning. Sometimes, I get the couples who really toil over the decision.

It’s to these latter couples I am writing today. If you are sweating the details, here’s what to do. First of all, it’s going to be okay. Take a deep breath and let it out. Now, write down on a piece of paper all the things you really like to do together. Do you like art, adventure, hiking, reading, history, swimming, going to the theatre, wildlife, etc.? Did you leave anything out? It’s okay, you can look at this again later. Now, underline the things on your list that make you feel close and that you both enjoy.

Now that you have your list with underlined interests, think about what time of year you are traveling and what your preferred climate would be. Write that down. Maybe you both like golf. But you are traveling in September and you hate the heat. Ireland and Scotland may be a good fit if it’s in the budget. Colorado Springs is also a great choice. This is where a travel advisor can be a great asset!

See how easy that is? Now, it’s time to get very honest with yourself and your travel advisor. What’s your budget? How much are you willing to spend including food, tour guides, and souvenirs? This isn’t like buying a car. You don’t have to worry about showing your hand.

f you’ve done very much travelling, you know what type of accommodations you prefer. You may like to upgrade a bit this time. Make sure the airline, hotel, and tour providers know it’s your honeymoon. There are very often perks offered at no additional charge at most hotel chains.

Whether you use an advisor or are booking on your own. These are the things that will narrow down the choices. Here’s the most important piece of advice I can give anyone about honeymoons. Plan as though you will have lots of opportunities to travel again and can have as many honeymoons as you like. And, hopefully, you will have many, many anniversaries to explore someplace new each time. So, above all, keep things stress free. This is your time to enjoy.

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Photo By: Lisa Balistreri