The Honeymoon Checklist For Military Newlyweds
If you’re headed to the chapel and down the aisle this year, you’re probably in the midst of matrimonial planning mayhem. And with all the excitement and preparation for your dream wedding day, it’s easy to forget the fun adventure that comes after – the honeymoon! Many military brides and grooms get so wrapped up in wedding prep, they neglect to plan their honeymoon. If you’re without an itinerary, on a budget, or just started planning your first trip as a couple, this checklist might just be for you!
1. Save room in your wedding budget. The cost of an average one-week honeymoon is about $3,400, according to Condé Nast Bridal Infobank. Make sure you choose a spot you can afford and leave room in your budget for airfare, hotel/lodging, food, entertainment, and spending money. (After all, you’re going to want to buy souvenirs!). If money is tight, you may also want to consider a military loan to help finance part or all of your vacation.
2. Consider the weather. Going on an African safari or trekking to the Taj Mahal may seem like exotic and wonderful ideas, but they’re not all that fun if you’re heading there in the middle of summer or rainy season. Same goes for tropical locales, such as the Bahamas and Mexico, which can be battered by hurricanes if you travel in the fall. Make sure to consider the time of year and weather when choosing a honeymoon destination.
3. Reserve early and shop online for the best deals. Once you pick your destination, book your reservations as soon as possible. Travel sites, such as Travelocity or Kayak, offer some of the best rates on hotels, airfare, car rentals, and even food. You can save even more money by booking a package deal through one of these sites. If you’re staying in the states, you may also want to check whether there’s a base near your destination. Oftentimes, bases will provide accommodations to traveling members of the military.
4. Be flexible. Keep your travel dates flexible and you can potentially save hundreds of dollars on the price of your trip. For instance, if your wedding is on Saturday, wait until Tuesday or Wednesday to depart – airfare is cheaper midweek than it is on the weekend. If you’re flexible with your travel plans, you may also be able to catch a ride on a military Space A Flight.
5. Utilize frequent flier and rewards cards. If you have a frequent flier membership or credit card that provides travel-related perks, make sure to check their websites or call customer service to find out if there are any special deals available. If you don’t have one of these cards, sign up for one with the airline, hotel, or website you choose. These miles, points, and bonuses can add up to significant savings on future trips.
6. Get your travel documents. Nothing ruins a romantic getaway like an expired passport or missing visa. If you and your spouse are headed overseas, make sure you have the necessary travel documents and don’t forget to get your immunizations several months before your trip.
7. Pack wisely. Packing for a honeymoon can be chaotic, especially if you’re leaving soon after your wedding. If you’re traveling abroad, you may also want to pack an electrical converter, insect repellant, any over-the-counter medications you might need, such as aspirin or motion sickness pills. Also, keep in mind that most airlines charge a fee for check baggage, so pack only what you need…unless you’re prepared to pay the fee. To ensure you don’t forget any of the essentials, here’s a list of must-haves for your suitcase:
- airline tickets
- travel documents
- driver’s license
- credit/bank cards
- hotel reservation confirmations
- travel insurance documents (also leave copies of all the previously mentioned documents with a family member or friend)
- weather-appropriate clothing
- phone numbers for your doctor
- house/pet sitter
- credit card companies
- emergency contacts
- prescription medications
- travel locks
- ID tags for luggage
Planning your dream honeymoon doesn’t need to be stressful. Just plan early (if you can!), be smart and flexible about your itinerary, and pack what you need, and you’ll be saying aloha, bonjour, or ciao to your dream destination as military newlyweds!
Do you have another helpful honeymoon planning tip? Want to share your unique honeymoon idea? Share it with us!