Your honeymoon is the romantic vacation of a lifetime, a dream getaway filled with unforgettable moments and adventures. The world is filled with gorgeous resorts, island escapes and overseas dream destinations, each offering unique indulgences and breathtaking scenery. How do you choose the right location for your honeymoon? The following 10 steps will help you select your dream getaway spot.
1) New or not new. Would you like to honeymoon at a destination that neither of you has visited before so that the experience is an entirely new adventure for both of you, or would you like to revisit a destination you've been to during your dating era? Going back to the first resort you vacationed at together creates an excitement that you're returning as a married couple.
2) List your dream destinations. Where have you always dreamed of going? Costa Rica? Hawaii? Tuscany? Very often, a honeymoon site choice is a lifelong dream come true, someplace distant and exotic that always has been on one's wish list.
3) Talk to recent honeymooners. Your recently married friends will be happy to recommend the stunning and sensational resorts where they honeymooned, and they can recommend activities for you to try. Firsthand experience is often more reliable than reviews posted on websites.
4) Check out recent awards. Outstanding resorts often are named to best-of lists, and one of the most popular websites for finding the world's best locales is Travel + Leisure's website (http://www.TravelAndLeisure.com). Search for "world's best" and you'll discover many different categories, including the best beaches and the best small resorts, as voted by the magazine's well-traveled staff.
5) Check out destination wedding magazines. Find the most recent issue of Destination I Do magazine, one of the most illustrious in the travel industry, to read about the hottest island resorts and learn the editors' most recommended locales. Editor Jennifer Stein and her team say they are invited to some of the best destinations in the world, and their travelogues offer insiders' secrets to booking the perfect packages and extras.
6) List the activities you'd enjoy most. The ideal honeymoon location for you probably isn't just a gorgeous beach and crystal-clear blue waters. It most likely offers such adventures as snorkeling, scuba diving, tennis, massages on the beach, rain forest canopy tours, etc. Check resorts' websites to see which amenities are free and which are not. For instance, Caneel Bay on St. John offers free snorkeling and kayaking, and other resorts often charge for equipment rental.
7) Think about travel time. How far away would you like to travel? Some locations can take more than a day to reach, and some require multiple flights and boat rides to reach. If you have less than 10 days for your honeymoon, would you like to spend two of those days traveling? Does traveling exhaust you? Perhaps a honeymoon locale situated closer to you would provide easier access and a quicker start to your vacation. Decide on a travel-time radius, and explore locales within that range.
8) Think about money. Some resorts and hotel chains are quite pricy by nature, and a week's stay might cost as much as your wedding! Though many people are used to booking their travel plans online, a travel agent may be a wise resource for locating all-inclusive resorts that suit your budget and getaway wish list.
9) Talk to your wedding coordinator. Wedding planners often arrange destination weddings at resorts near and far, and they also attend "familiarization trips" run by resorts to introduce wedding experts to their offerings. So your friendly wedding coordinator may suggest the perfect honeymoon spot for you, seeing as she may have worked a wedding there last week.
10) Choose a safe locale. The State Department publishes a list of worldwide locations that are deemed unsafe for tourism, so adhere to its warnings list to avoid getting caught in civil unrest or being targeted for tourist crime.