- How do we find our dream honeymoon?
Firstly, work out what you want from your honeymoon. Most couples want it to be the holiday of a lifetime although it’s important to set yourself a realistic budget. Even if your resources are limited, a good, knowledgeable tour operator such as Kuoni should be able to make your money go further. Y&YW travel editor Amanda Statham says; “Your money will go further if you stay within Europe. For a really romantic twin-centre honeymoon, hop on the Eurostar to Paris before heading down to the Côte d’Azur. My other hot pick would be island hopping around Greece.
- What will the weather be like?
Even tropical islands can be dismal in the rain so check which destinations will have the best weather for the time of year you want to travel. Your tour operator should be able to give you weather information, but researching on the internet and reading newspaper and magazine articles is also useful.
“If you’re getting married in the summer, go to Europe where the days will be long with guaranteed sunshine. For a winter honeymoon you can take advantage of the sunny weather in the Caribbean, Thailand or the Maldives,” says Jane.
- How long does it take to change my passport to my married name?
It may seem romantic to have your married name on your passport for your honeymoon but it could go horribly wrong if you don’t do your homework. James Bell at The Turquoise Holiday Company, says; “Give yourself at least four months to organise a new passport. Airlines are incredibly strict about name changes and it can cost a lot of money if tickets have to be reissued.” The Identity & Passport Service can issue a passport with your new name up to three months before your wedding, although you won’t be able to use it until the day of your wedding. It’s vital to book your flights in your married name – merely showing your marriage certificate may not be enough.
Spending your honeymoon in hospital is the biggest passion-killer so it’s vital you get all the relevant inoculations beforehand. Many tropical diseases, such as malaria, can be very serious and may require you to start a course of preventative medication weeks before your trip. Do your research well before your travel date and make sure you consult your GP. Netdoctor.co.uk has a great travel forum explaining exactly which vaccinations you’ll need for each country. “Make sure all your travel vaccinations are in place at least six weeks before you travel as they can often take some time to work and give full protection,” advises Netdoctor expert Dr Roger Henderson.
- How do we co-ordinate our first night?
Your first night as a married couple should be completely relaxed and romantic, so you might want to wait at least a day before heading off on your honeymoon. If you’re flying the day after your wedding, a great way to avoid a stressful start to your honeymoon is to spend your wedding night at a hotel near your departure airport, such as Ashdown Park for Gatwick; Cliveden for Heathrow; Rookery Hall for Manchester or Cameron House for Glasgow. If you want to start your marriage in A-list style, The Turquoise Holiday Company can organise a helicopter to pick you up from your reception and drop you off on the tarmac at Heathrow airport. There’s a Posh and Becks moment for us all!
- Can we upgrade as we’re newlyweds?
It’s a bit of a myth that honeymooners are automatically offered an upgrade on their flights or hotel rooms – but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. “Make sure everybody knows it’s your honeymoon when you check-in,” says Jane.
Avoid booking flights at busy times of the year, such as during school holidays or over Christmas, as a busier plane means there’s less chance of seats becoming available. Also, arrive at the airport looking smart and sophisticated – airlines will be much more inclined to move you to first class if you look like you belong there!
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