Whether you’re travelling far or near, splurging or saving, you want your honeymoon to be a once-in-a-lifetime trip you’ll always remember.
1. TELL EVERYONE IT'S YOUR HONEYMOON
“It may seem obvious but tell the travel company it’s your honeymoon. It’s amazing how many doors will open as a result, from free upgrades to fizz in your room,” points out Journey Latin America. The company’s 11-day Luxury Cuba: Colonial Classics and Coast honeymoons currently includes a complimentary salsa lesson and one-hour spa treatment for two if booked by 31 October 2017 for travel by 31 August 2018.
2. TREAT YOURSELVES TO SOME VIP TOUCHES
Forget all the endless queuing at airports – VIP transfers and fast track options needn’t cost a fortune, so consider booking a meet-and-greet service to be whisked through customs.
For example, if you stay at Laluna in Grenada for example, the VIP Airport transfer picks you up in a golf cart from the plane stairs and ushers you into a private lounge while immigration and customs are sorted.
Don’t forget the return trip too, says Nick Clark, at Experience Travel Group. “You don’t want to return from romance and relaxation only to be faced with airport mayhem as soon as you touch down. An airport transfer ensures that the honeymoon bubble isn’t burst before you get home!”
3. SPEAK TO THE EXPERTS
With all the planning of the wedding, it can be a relief to hand over the honeymoon legwork to someone else – and a travel expert won’t just take away the stress, they’ll know the secrets and the special extras you can set up. Oliver’s Travels has a dedicated concierge to arrange everything from private catering to unique and authentic tours and experiences, for example.
4. STRETCH YOUR BUDGET
If your bank balance doesn’t quite go far enough to get the amazing trip you’d set your heart on, look at the ways you might be able to stretch it, suggest the experts at Turquoise Holidays.
“Consider shoulder seasons - the months pre and post peak season are always more affordable, often with just as good weather and far less people. And think ahead of the game. Flights go on sale 11 months before departure and honeymoon offers are all about booking early.”
Book early at the Six Senses Laamu in The Maldives and you can get two free nights, 10% early booking discount and complimentary half-board with Turquoise Holidays – seven nights in a Lagoon Water villa, including flights and speedboat transfers, starts from £2,895 per person, saving over £2,900 per couple.
5. START SLOW
If you’re travelling straight after the ceremony, or planning a long-haul flight, it can be worth taking the first few days nice and slow. “If opting for a long-haul multi-centre trip, I’d recommend starting with a few days on a beach to relax after the frantic stresses of the wedding, then putting a city break or cultural tour second,” says Ricky Coates of Western & Oriental. “This generally also means getting the longest flight out of the way first and works well for combinations like Bali and Hong Kong, or Koh Samui and Bangkok.”
6. MAKE DINNER MEMORABLE
Candlelit dinners are all very well but a private dining experience can be one of the most memorable moments of your honeymoon. How about a five-course cave dinner at Heritance Kandalama in Sri Lanka with Barefoot Traveller, an exclusive complimentary offer for honeymooners? Or be serenaded by grand piano on the beach as you dine together at Danai Beach Resort in Halkidiki, suggest the experts at Exsus Travel as well the unbeatable experience of dining underwater at the Ithaa underwater restaurant at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.
7. DO SOMETHING YOU'VE NEVER DONE BEFORE
“Experience something new together whether that’s scuba diving, white water rafting, diving with great white sharks or bungee jumping!” suggests Chris Goldring of Mahlatini. “Book it in advance and have something thrilling to look forward to!” Or if your future spouse loves to be surprised, arrange an extra experience that he or she will love to ensure extra special memories.
8. SWITCH OFF
Tempting though it is to share your honeymoon photos on social media, the chance to switch off from the outside world is hard to beat. Audley Travel recommends Denis Private Island in the Seychelles with just twenty-five beachfront cottages, no mobile reception, internet or TVs in the rooms – instead there are white sand beaches, fabulous diving and plenty of chance to relax together.
9. ESCAPE THE WORLD
If switching off from the world back home isn’t enough, how about getting away from everyone else (or nearly). Young Island in St Vincent and the Grenadines is already a private island all-inclusive resort, with only twenty-nine rooms and suites, but if you sail away on a private catamaran, you can have two nights alone, with a skipper and cook to look after the practicalities. Includes stops at Bequia and Mustique to snorkel and optional sightseeing. Book with Essential Detail.
10. END WITH A BANG
Don’t end on a whimper - save the best until last with an accommodation upgrade or unique stay to finish the honeymoon. If you’re on safari, how about fly-camping - sleep under a mosquito net at Sand Rivers Selous in Tanzania or stargaze from your treehouse bed at South Africa’s Lion Sands Ivory Lodge – book ahead though, suggests i-escape, as these experiences are understandably popular.
Or Artisan Travel suggests a night under the Northern Lights, staying in an insulated Aurora Dome on the shores of Lake Torassieppi in Lapland. What could be more magical than watching the world’s best light show together to finish a trip of a lifetime?
For more inspiration, visit 101honeymoons.co.uk