After all the fun and hoopla of a wedding is finished, the idea of finally being able to relax and enjoy time as a newly-married couple is fantastic. However, with all the amazing honeymoon destinations and options available for brides and grooms these days, you’ll want to be sure you’ve made all the right plans before jet-setting off to some remote exciting location. I spoke with Knoxville travel agent Alexandra Tucker of AAA Travel of East Tennessee to learn about five of the most common honeymoon planning mistakes and what you can do to avoid them. Also, be sure to check out an earlier post with Alexandra’s advice for Ten Honeymoon Must-Haves for Safe Travel!
1. The bride and groom wait until the last minute to get honeymoon plans set.
With all the planning involved with your actual wedding day, it may seem next-to-impossible trying to carve out some time to work on the honeymoon. However, Alexandra tells us that one of the biggest mistakes couples make is not giving themselves enough time in working out the details for their post-wedding travel. She explains that by figuring out the details for the honeymoon at least nine months or so before you plan on traveling, you’ll be sure to save yourself some headaches and money. The more time you allow to make reservations and buy airfare, the better chance you have for scoring the best deals.
2. The bride and groom try to do their honeymoon planning without any assistance.
For the more independent brides, trying to plan an entire wedding themselves and not knowing when to ask for help, can turn a happy time into a disaster in a hurry. Not being afraid of asking for help and knowing when to turn to the professionals for advice is key in managing the stress that often accompanies a wedding. The honeymoon is no exception! Alexandra explains that because most people do not have enough travel experience to know all the ins and outs of planning a successful honeymoon, enlisting the help of an experienced traveler may open the bride and groom up to locations or attractions they hadn’t even considered for their trip.
3. Couples over-pack or pack their luggage incorrectly for their honeymoons.
Whenever I head for a weekend get-a-way, my luggage always seems to be filled with enough clothing for a two-week trip instead! Of course, it’s nice to have outfit options when I reach my destination, but I loathe carrying around all the extra baggage. I’ve gotten better over time, but have yet to perfect the art of luggage-packing. Alexandra tells us that this is a common mistake for honeymooners as well. Because there are so many safety and security checkpoints for travelers these days, by packing too much or packing incorrectly, she explains you run the risk of losing items or having things unnecessarily damaged during your trip. Also, she urges couples to ALWAYS bring a carry-on bag for airplane travel…if the airline loses your luggage, you’ll at least be able to get by for a few days until your items can be returned to you.
4. The newly-married couple assumes they won’t need travel insurance.
In your newly-married, blissfully-in-love state, you may not be thinking about contracting some sort of foreign virus abroad or having to unexpectedly cancel your flight the night before you’re due to head out to Cabo. Alexandra says that because airfares are often nonrefundable, and you never know what may happen while traveling in a different country, making sure you have travel insurance is extremely important when planning your honeymoon – no matter what your destination is. Before you even say “I do,” make it a priority to check and see if you have cancellation and/or medical insurance for your travel plans. Although it may take a little extra time to plan, it’ll save you a ton of stress down the road if some sort of unforeseeable emergency occurs!
5. Brides and grooms are unsure of the proper documents needed for their honeymoon travel.
Imagine arriving at the honeymoon destination of your dreams and finding out you need a passport to stay there (yes, the same passport you know is sitting on a shelf in your closet back at home). You’re forced to cancel your perfect honeymoon plans and delay your trip for another time or choose a different location. To avoid this sort of disappointing honeymoon situation, Alexandra encourages couples to make sure they know exactly what documents are needed upon their arrival at a destination. She goes on to say that, again, with all of the safety and security checkpoints travelers have to go through these days, you’ll definitely want to be aware of any passports, visas, tourist cards, or even documentation of vaccinations you’ll be needing – a must for foreign travel!
Alexandra has been a travel agent for about three years now and loves helping brides and grooms plan their honeymoons. Because couples often get to travel to exciting locations, she enjoys helping them plan out their trips and appreciates getting to live vicariously through their experiences in amazing destinations. A travel-lover herself, Alexandra would be an excellent travel agent to assist you with all your honeymoon planning needs! For more great travel advice, be sure to take a look at the AAA website, and connect with them on Facebook too. Give Alexandra a call at (865) 862-9155, and tell her The Pink Bride sent you!
Bottom photo courtesy of Alexandra Tucker via e-mail.
Fourth photo courtesy of Winter Park Photography via the AAA Facebook page.
All other photos courtesy of the the AAA Facebook page.