How are your wedding plans going? Where are you going for your honeymoon? Couples planning their wedding are frequently bombarded with these questions.

Brides and grooms look forward to the wedding, many can’t wait to get away on their honeymoon. Time to spend time together and relax, enjoy lazy days, be pampered with massages, try new restaurants, see something new, get away from the boss. Honeymoons are fabulous for all sorts of reasons.

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Is your destination going to be local or overseas? Aussies travelling overseas over the last few years have enjoyed the historically high value of the Aussie dollar. Recent drops in the value of the Aussie dollar and fuel prices are expected to encourage Australians to take a fresh look at domestic travel options.

Depending on your destination, planning a honeymoon can take some doing. It’s tempting to do it all yourself online however a honeymoon is perhaps not the time to become a travel disaster story.

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I’ve known Wayne Budge of Premier Cruise and Travel for a while now, they offer fabulous advice. I asked Wayne if he’d share thoughts about planning a honeymoon.

Getting married is the most important day in a couple’s life, so once you set the date then it’s time to look at the honeymoon. The most common things couples ask about honeymoon’s are:

“How much is it going to cost?”

Well, how long is a piece of string? A weekend down the coast is relatively inexpensive compared to 6 weeks in Tahiti. Discuss with your partner how much you can afford to spend on a honeymoon, then decide where you would like to go and how long for. Quite often there are specials that come out regularly through travel agents. Discuss with them when you are getting married, and when the best time of year would be to travel to a destination of interest. 

Don’t rush in and book the cheapest trip, do some research. Remember, you always get what you pay for! 

Maybe instead of asking for wedding gifts, suggest to your invited friends and guests that you are having a “Honeymoon Registry” at your travel agent. Friends and family can then help take away some of your honeymoon costs by helping you with airfares, hotel nights or accommodation, tours, dinners, and even cash in the destination currency.

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“When should we start organising our honeymoon?”

Plan your honeymoon as soon as possible. Planning a wedding can be stressful for everyone involved, leaving organizing the honeymoon to the last minute can add to your stress levels. Once you have started the planning of the “Big Day”, take some time out to discuss when and where you would like to go, and how long you both can afford to be away. 

Most couples choose to depart a day or two after the wedding day, however some couples for various reasons defer the honeymoon to a later date. 

If you intend to fly to a destination, it’s also good to know that most flights and airfares are available for purchase up to 11 months in advance so get in as early as you can. 

Airfares need to be paid for within a couple of days of booking so be prepared to outlay money once you have decided to book your flights.  The same goes for hotels – ask your travel agent to book your accommodation as soon as you decide on where you want to stay, however you won’t need to pay for this until later. It is wise to discuss all of these things with your travel agent because some of these payments may vary.

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“Where should we go?”

Discuss locations with each other, and do your research into places you would both like to visit. Honeymoons usually conjure up an island getaway, however your time away doesn’t necessarily mean it has to be a beach location. Maybe travel to a destination that both of you have never been to. Do you want to trek Machu Picchu, cruise to Fiji, go on safari in Africa, or explore romantic cities like Paris, Rome or Venice? Perhaps you might just prefer a few days away somewhere to unwind after the wedding.

In the travel world, the possibilities are endless… you budget is probably not so consider your honeymoon options according to your budget. 

Allow enough time to enjoy your honeymoon. If you only have a week away from work, perhaps choose a destination closer to home so you’re actually enjoying time at your destination, not in a plane and airports.

Also, if you decide to go overseas, you will need a credit card to pay for hotel incidentals, dinners, shopping, and etc., as well as cash in the local currency. 

Try and chat with friends or colleagues who have been to the destination you are considering. Their travel needs, opinions, experiences and tastes may be different to yours, take what they say onboard, however the final decision is best made by you and your partner.

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What do we do for cash while we’re away?

Prepaid travel money cards like Cash Passport are a good idea as you can load up the card and lock in an exchange rate in the local currency before you leave. Hopefully the rate you get is a good one! 

Getting cash is as simple as an ATM withdrawal, withdraw what you need for a day or two so if you strike a problem, you haven’t lost everything. Lost and stolen cards are easily replaced wherever you are.

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What about travel documents? 

When travelling, remember to make sure the name on your travel bookings  and plane tickets are the same as on your passport and other travel documents. Variations (maiden name or married name) can cause some major problems while travelling.

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Do we need travel advice?

Honeymoons are best when you can enjoy time together and be in the moment. Try not to do everything yourself, use a travel agent to get the best professional advice. Travel agents can help you plan your time away and be responsible for time consuming and stressful travel administration. 

Also, don’t forget to ask whether you need visas or vaccinations if you’re going to an overseas destination.

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What about travel insurance?

“We’re getting married and going on a honeymoon and nothing is going to change it!” 

Famous last words! One doesn’t plan to get sick before or while travelling on their honeymoon, however it if something does happen, there is a certain peace of mind that comes about knowing that you’re honeymoon is covered.

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Why use an accredited travel agent?

When booking through a travel agent, make sure they hold “ATAS” accreditation. It is the Australian accreditation for travel agents backed by the Australian government and AFTA (Australian Federation of Travel Agents). Ask to see the agency’s ATAS accreditation certificate. This is your safeguard that you are dealing with a “bona fide” travel agency and not a fly by night operator. 

This is really important should anything go wrong. If an incident happens while you’re away, it only takes one phone call back to the travel agent from your destination to sort out any issues that may arise. 

If you’ve booked your travel arrangements yourself, it will be up to you to sort out and resolve any problems that arise, no doubt stressful when you’re away in a far away land with unreliable communications on hand.

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A big thank you to Wayne Budge, Director of Premier Cruise and Travel for providing these honeymoon planning tips. Wayne and his team are renown for  personalised service and great travel advice.

Organising your wedding and honeymoon is an exciting time in your life. Some careful planning and getting the right advice can ensure the experiences you share are fabulous and memorable for all the right reasons.