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No one knows more about travel than Wendy Perrin, founder of WendyPerrin.com and travel advocate for TripAdvisor, the trip-planning and booking site. We asked her to share some of the biggest mistakes she sees honeymooners make and how you can avoid them.
1. Leaving the day after the wedding
You don’t want to start your trip exhausted from the wedding, jet-lagged, and cranky. Give yourselves some time to decompress so you can start your trip fresh.
2. Packing too much
When I’m traveling, I can always tell who the honeymooners are because they’re wearing fancy new dresses, heels, and jewelry. I totally understand wanting to look fabulous, but don’t bring too much; no one wants to lug around a lot of luggage on a honeymoon.
3. Splurging on your first resort
Honeymooners often want to pamper themselves right after the wedding, but psychiatrists and happiness experts say that people remember the peak and the end of their trip most. Obviously, if you have the budget, every hotel you book should be fabulous. But if you’re staying at more than one resort and can afford to splurge only once, save your money for a grand finale of your trip.
4. Going for quantity instead of quality
A lot of people think that if a trip is longer, it’s going to be better. But, again, you don’t remember every moment of the trip; you remember the peak moments. So instead of stretching out your trip, consider cutting it by a couple of nights and using the money to punctuate it with some really memorable once-in-a-lifetime experiences, like a balloon ride or a helicopter to the top of glacier. Check out Viator for some ideas.
5. Doing nothing
A lot of honeymooners think, “I just want to go to a fabulous resort and lie on the beach all day.” But if that’s all you do, you’ll regret it. I recommend signing up for an adrenalin-pumping activity you’ve never done before, like a jet-boat ride or an ATV tour or bungee jumping. Mastering a challenge together can be a huge bonding experience.
6. Doing too much
A lot of people try to cover too much territory. They write to me and say, “OK, we want to do Australia and New Zealand.” And the thing is, it’s a lot of time and expense to fly between countries. Why not simplify and enjoy yourselves?
7. Saving the adventure for last
Many honeymooners do a two-part trip, with adventure and relaxation. I think it’s best to save the pampering for the end so you can return to real life as relaxed as you can be.
8. Forgetting about school vacations
Before you book your honeymoon, check school schedules so you don’t end up traveling when there are a bunch of screaming kids running around. And avoid family resorts. Instead, choose a resort that caters to couples and has all the romantic bells and whistles, like outdoor showers or daily breakfast in bed.
9. Not doing your room research
Say you want to be in a suite on the west side of the hotel so you’ll be able to sip champagne and watch the sunset from your balcony. It’s important to have that room intel. The reviewers on TripAdvisor post room tips, and some even share photos of their views.
10. Scrimping on your trip
If there’s any time to splurge, it’s on your honeymoon. The next time you go back to your honeymoon destination, you might have kids with you, and then you’ll really be scrimping.