Travel Agent Insights: How to Plan the Perfect Honeymoon

Wedding Travel’s Anita Gatley gives the lowdown: best new honeymoon hotspots, where to go if you’re on a tight budget and all the pitfalls to avoid.

W edding Travel's Anita Gatley gives the lowdown: best new honeymoon hotspots, where to go if you’re on a tight budget and all the pitfalls to avoid.

What are your tips for deciding where to honeymoon?

Ask yourselves: Is there somewhere you’ve always wanted to go? Is there somewhere that neither of you have ever been? A good Wedding Travel Specialist will be able to advise on destinations that cater well to honeymooners and will also advise the suppliers that you are on your honeymoon when they make your bookings, so you can get any deals/bonuses they offer.

Take your marriage licence in your hand-luggage, as many suppliers will only give you deals if you have this to show them, and it is an important document you don’t want to lose.

What should couples consider when choosing accommodation?

Does the resort offer any bonuses or deals specifically for honeymooners? Your Wedding Travel Specialist will be able to advise on this. Have you had any recommendations from friends or family? While TripAdvisor can be a good place to look, reviews can be quite subjective. Wedding Travel Specialists visit many of the resorts/hotels and look for how well they cater to the honeymoon/wedding market specifically, so seek out these people who have done the work for you!

Any favourite new destinations you’d recommend?

Why not try a combo of Hawaii and Las Vegas? Hawaiian Airlines has some great airfares where you can visit both destinations and even add on a Hawaiian island or two. You can shop, surf and relax in Hawaii, gamble and enjoy the night life of Vegas or take that bucket-list trip to the Grand Canyon – all in the same trip! Plus, Hawaiian Airlines allows two pieces of luggage at 32kgs each per person; think of all that shopping!

What’s the best destination for budget-conscious honeymooners?

Samoa is an affordable destination that’s just under four hours away. There are plenty of accommodation choices that cater to every budget. Norfolk Island is also affordable and is only a 90 minute flight from Auckland!

How soon after the big day would you recommend a couple jets off on honeymoon?

Having a holiday to look forward to can help alleviate stress during the months of planning and paying for a wedding. And after all the build-up it can take a few days to ‘come back down to earth’ – imagine beating the post-wedding blues by sitting on a tropical beach sipping cocktails! There’s no wrong time to go, but a few days after the wedding is usually good. That gives you time to spend with any guests who may have travelled from overseas, and to return any hired items. Often, couples who marry in a New Zealand summer might delay their honeymoon until the winter months, when they head to Europe or the South Pacific for a break from the cold.

Are there any pitfalls to avoid?

The most important detail of your honeymoon is to include it in your overall budget. I often see couples for whom the honeymoon is an afterthought; this means they settle for less than they really want as it is all they can afford. It’s more than just another holiday – it’s the first trip you’ll take as husband and wife and is a really special time. Why not consider a Bridal Travel Registry, in which your guests can contribute towards your special holiday?

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