Planning your “dream honeymoon” can be exciting, however time-consuming. Researching on the Internet is a good idea, but when it comes to booking a flight or holiday ,whether it’s a trip on the Orient Express, a Nile cruise or a jungle safari you should seek the advice of a professional travel agent.
Travel agents have access to travel promotions, cheap flight offers, that are not available to the general public or on the Internet, and their expertise can save you lots of time and money in the long run.
How do I find the right agent? Finding a good travel agent is just like finding a good doctor, advocate, accountant or dentist. Ask your friends and family members for referrals. Make sure that whoever you choose has accreditation from the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA) and if you are considering a cruise, the Cruise Line International Association (CLIA). If you can’t get a personal referral, visit the ABTA website to find someone local. You have to feel comfortable with the agent you choose and believe that they have the same vision for your honeymoon.
When you meet with your agent, have a budget in mind. Be wary of any travel agent that pushes you too much for a package that is beyond what you are willing to spend. A true professional will find something that suits your budget, but may recommend an upgrade or two in order to make it extra special. Their goal should be for you to return home raving that your dream honeymoon came true.
Know what your priorities are: location of your hotel, resort facilities and activities provided, dining options, or the view and/or size of your room. Communicate clearly to your agent what are the most important elements for you.
Every honeymoon couple hopes for upgrades due to their special status. Keep in mind, upgrades are only given outIF there is availability. So if you are traveling during a peak travel time, do not count on any special treatment. Never demand or expect anything extra; you are most likely to get a perk if you are nice and friendly to the front-line staff.
Consider a cruise – it certainly provides “value for money”, and it’s not just for older people anymore. Your accommodations, all your meals (including 24 hour room service), shipboard activities, shows, movies, lectures and classes are all included. A big advantage is being able to visit several destinations without having to pack and unpack. Cruise lines are now attracting people of all ages and provide activities as diverse as rock climbing, ice skating, and virtual golf. There are even some cruise lines that have changed the way cruise passengers dine – you have a choice of several smaller specialty restaurants, instead of the traditional one large dining room with different themes and dress codes every night. Consider upgrading to a cabin with a private balcony – it’s worth the extra expense to be able to enjoy breakfast in your robe or cocktails at sunset snuggling with your new spouse and overlooking the ocean.
And of course, if you’re in the UK or elsewhere, let’s not forget Jersey, which has been a popular honeymoon destination for many years. Whether it’s a honeymoon during the long warm summer months or during the peaceful tranquility of spring and autumn, Jersey has a unique romance that many couples often return to on their special anniversaries.
You were very particular about choosing your partner and selecting all the details of the wedding, so why risk this trip of a lifetime? Whatever you choose for your honeymoon, seek a professional agent’s advice and you will save yourself time, money and it will give you one less thing to worry about.
Top Ten Traditional Destinations* for UK couples
best time to go: November to July
best time to go: April to June, September to November
best time to go: November to July
best time to go: April to October, busiest in July and August
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best time to go: May to November
best time to go: all year round
best time to go: February to September (Koh Samui); November to April (Krabi and Phuket); November to March (Chiang Mai)
best time to go: April to October
best time to go: November to May
best time to go: April to mid-November
*source “The Good Honeymoon Guide”