The wedding is just the beginning. There’s plenty of excitement planning the honeymoon as well, from choosing a travel adventure to deciding on what to bring along on the journey.  And for many, planning this great “escape” is just as important as planning the actual wedding.  Regardless of where you decide to go, there are some things you should know to make it the kind of experience you want it to be.

First, you must decide on a budget.  If money is not an issue, bon-voyage!  However,  if you’re like most engaged couples, you’re already paying more than you anticipated.  Establish a budget and use it as a guide to decide on your honeymoon.

You’ll also need to decide whether you want an all-inclusive, one-price-does-it-all, leave-the-wallet-at-home type of trip, or a more do-it-yourself package with car rental, lodging, food, and activities on an a la carte basis.  Cruises technically fall under the all-inclusive category, as do resorts.

Of course, honeymoon budgeting takes on a new meaning if you decide to do a “destination wedding”.  These are becoming very popular as more and more couples decide to forego the traditional wedding costs in addition to the honeymoon expense.  There are especially popular with second marriages.  It’s easier to get married in some countries than others, so be sure to check with a reliable source, like a country’s consulate or the U.S. Department of State, before making any arrangements.

Now you need to book and pay for this trip.  Many honeymoon suppliers offer special rates for early booking, which may or may not include airfare.  Packages that include airfare can offer significant savings because retailers buy airline seats in at a discount, then package hotel, and sometimes car rentals as well.

You may also want to consider using a honeymoon gift registry to help with expenses.  Check with your local travel agent to see if they offer this kind of service or you can investigate more on the internet.Honeymoon registries allow guests, friends and family to contribute toward specific elements of your honeymoon, like shore excursions, parasailing, spa services, and tours.

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