There is an infinite number of ways to have a lovely honeymoon, whether it is an extended tropical sojourn six months after the wedding or just a couple of nights of room service in the hotel across town before getting back to the daily grind. And with the way things are currently in the world, you also have to keep local, state and federal travel regulations in mind. The number of ways to ruin a honeymoon is a much more limited subset. From forgetting to pack travel rings to not planning in advance, here are some basic traps to avoid (beyond the obvious “make sure you marry the right person”).
- Don’t Forget to Build in a Buffer
Weddings are incredibly special, but they are also exhausting – even if you are the kind of couple who shares an endorphin rush from maximally efficient travel and sees an hour’s flight delay as an opportunity to pack another museum into the itinerary. Even these couples should consider a bit of decompression time pre-honeymoon. That doesn’t mean that you have to hang around and help your spouse’s nephew look for his retainer, but take some time to enjoy each other that doesn’t include shuffling through an airport security line. Do this even if you’ve delayed your honeymoon. Just take a bit of time to get set and make sure you have everything. Build in plenty of time to catch a flight. Even if your wedding lived up to expectations, be prepared for post-wedding blues, which can be a natural reaction to processing everything.
- Don’t Panic Spend
Don’t be afraid to splurge a bit on spontaneous treats and make sure that you put a bit of extra aside so that an unexpected expense doesn’t leave you subsisting on the continental breakfast for the rest of the trip. But while you shouldn’t feel anxious about celebrating your partner, don’t feel like you have to showboat to impress them. You’re married! The petals-on-the-table upgrade on the couple’s massage is nice, but coming home to credit card debt is no bed of roses. If your wedding experience didn’t teach you that there is a whole industry depending on you panic-buying bells and whistles that you didn’t understand, rather than researching affordable engagement rings or calmly asking if every centerpiece needs its own videographer, then don’t compound your mistakes during the honeymoon.
- Don’t Forget to Communicate
In some relationships, surprise is part of the love language. However, just because some of the honeymoon particulars are meant to be a surprise, it doesn’t mean that the other person should be shut out of the planning process. One of the real joys of marriage is discovering new things about your spouse, or finding exceptions to general rules. Don’t miss a chance to cross off your significant other’s secret life-goal of ziplining just because they got a little dizzy on a hike one time and you assumed that meant they were scared of heights. In the same vein, don’t get so attached to a plan that you aren’t paying attention to the other person. No matter how much they were looking forward to ziplining, take them at their word when they say that last night’s shrimp isn’t sitting well.
- Don’t Leave It to the Last Minute
The last minute is kind of the middle of your wedding, and there is a lot going on. Put in the prep work on all the little things, whether it is making sure you’ve got the bags packed before the wedding or making sure you know when the rainy season is. Make sure the rings fit! Otherwise, it might slip off during that first surf lesson and you will spend the rest of the honeymoon searching the bottom of a lagoon lined with lost rings. We suggest opting for a pair of affordable travel rings and keeping expensive jewelry at home, so you don’t have to worry about losing them or even worse, being at risk for theft.
4. Don’t Be Jerks to Other People
Your focus should be each other, but it’s all right to interact with other people on your travels. No matter how much online research you did, it probably isn’t half as useful as a five-minute conversation with the guy who lives next door to the bed and breakfast. Enjoy the pleasures of exploring the world and meeting new people as a married couple.
Whatever you do for your honeymoon, make sure it is the honeymoon you both want to take. Don’t take an older sibling’s dream vacation. Or even your own dream vacation if it’s a dream your partner doesn’t share. Even though about 99 percent of couples who have a traditional ceremony take a honeymoon, that doesn’t mean that you are under any obligation to do so. The honeymoon is all about investing in getting your marriage off on a good start, and there are other ways to do that besides booking a honeymoon suite.