Planning & booking your honeymoon

Once you’ve picked your dream honeymoon destination, decide on your budget and figure out exactly when you want to go.

Perfect timing for honeymoons

As soon as you set your wedding date (hopefully eight to 15 months before the big day), turn your attention to the honeymoon. You should aim to book it as soon as possible, especially if you’re getting married during a peak holiday season, such as July/August or Christmas/New Year.

Bear in mind that, although the majority of British weddings take place in June, July and August, this may not be the best time to travel to your chosen destination. If you have your heart set on a once in a lifetime trip, you may decide to plan your wedding date around it. For a safari in Kenya, for example, the climate is most pleasant in December; that romantic gite in the Cote d’Azure or your dream Tuscan hideaway will be twice the price and overrun with children during August, and it tends to rain on those deserted Thai beaches from June to August.

The other big consideration is the timing of your departure. Traditionally, the blushing bride and groom take leave of their guests in the early evening and head off on honeymoon immediately. These days most couples want to enjoy their whole reception with their guests and spend their first night together in a nearby hotel, so it’s a good idea to delay departing for another day.

Budget or bust

Visitors to spend an average of £3050 on their honeymoons. This figure includes travel, accommodation (including the first night hotel) and spending money.

You don’t have to spend this much to ensure an unforgettable trip, but there are certain areas where it’s really not worth skimping:

  • don’t underestimate how exhausted you’ll be once the wedding is over. You need a good break and it’s worth paying a little more to stay somewhere decent.
  • last‐minute bargain breaks are not a good idea, unless you really don’t mind when and where the honeymoon takes place. Planning well in advance may cost a bit more, but it means you’ll get what you really want, when you want it.
  • don’t add extra stress to the trip by leaving too many elements to chance. Book at least the first week’s accommodation up front; plan the itinerary and book your car hire or internal flights. You can even plan and book activities, such as city tours or scuba diving, in advance. Search online for the local tourist board and get some ideas of what you can do while you’re away.
  • travel insurance is vital. Should one of you fall ill, or have your bags stolen, you’ll be covered. Make sure your policy covers the value of wedding and engagement rings (or consider leaving them behind). If you’re marrying abroad, take out a special wedding policy which will cover your wedding outfits and gifts.
  • it’s your honeymoon, so you’ll want to treat yourselves. Make sure you build lots of spending money into your budget, so you can indulge in a little luxury. There’s not much difference between a four and five‐star hotel ‐‐ the money you save can be spent on having fun.

Time to book!

Once you’ve done all your homework, finalised your destination details and chosen who you’re going to book through, it’s time to book. Always give yourself plenty of time to do this, whether you’re booking everything over the phone, online or in person with an agent. This isn’t something that’s going to take five minutes.

Be sure to mention that you will be on your honeymoon as some companies may offer upgrades or honeymoon packages that you can take advantage of.

Finally, make sure you have written confirmation of everything and take the name of the person you book with so you can ask to speak to them if you need to go back with any questions.

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