A few weeks ago we gave some Wedding Saving Tips, after the big night comes your honeymoon. Wedding planning is fun (and stressful) but for me honeymoon planning has been the better part of this process. This week I’ll share some honeymoon planning tips feel free to add yours at the end.

Start Early

One of the first tips I gave in wedding savings tips was to start early, same thing applies here. Honeymoon is not the usual trip you plan with your friends’ last minute, it’s your first trip together as a married couple and you want it to be as special and as memorable. Planning a good honeymoon can be time consuming and the closer you get to the wedding the less time you will have to plan it. I suggest you plan for your honeymoon a few months after you start planning for your wedding, unless you decide not to go for a honeymoon right after the wedding. But at least talk to each other and see where you stand.

Budget

honeymoon

First things first. Given this is a personal finance blog it should not come as a surprise that the first step is to set a budget for your honeymoon. Just like budgeting was the first step in wedding planning, setting a budget for your honeymoon is the first step. Here is a honeymoon planning budget worksheet you can use to budget for your honeymoon.

Decide When to Go and For How Long:

Ones you know how much you can afford to spend on the honeymoon, the next logical step is to figure out when you want to go. First, figure out how many vacation days you have, and how many of them you’ll need before the wedding for last minute planning. Than decide when you want to go. Do you want to leave the morning after your wedding? Or, do you want to have some time after the wedding to unwind and pack when you’ll be more focused on it, and take your honeymoon a few days or even a few weeks later? If you do not have a lot of vacation days left you can take a “mini-moon” for a weekend after your wedding, and if you still want to take a longer honeymoon you can take it during your first wedding anniversary.

Choosing Honeymoon Destination

Discuss your idea of the perfect vacation with each other. Who wants to lie around in the sun? Who wants to explore an exotic destination? You both should make a list of the things that mean the most to you, and compare notes. How do you envision your honeymoon? Do you want a resort where there will be other honeymooners to socialize with, or someplace secluded where it will just be the two of you?  Do you want somewhere warm or cold? Maybe you’ll just want to spend a lot of time in the room! Throughout your marriage you will be compromising a lot so this could be a good place to start. Find something that would make both of you happy, remember it’s not just your honeymoon. Here is a honeymoon quiz both of you can take and compare notes, feel free to add your own items to it.

Get to Know Your Destination

Ones you have decided how much to spend and where to go for your honeymoon, it’s time to research your destination and learn about it. Depending on your location selection there maybe a lot of information online about your destination, even if it is not a very popular destination there most likely is some information online. Just do your research and maybe have an itinerary.

Passports, Visa’s and other paperwork

This is the not fun part, but it’s a must. These pesky little details can take time and therefore are one of the first things you should do, once you know where you are going. Get your passports done and visa’s if needed. NOTE: Use your maiden name. You won’t have time to change the name on your passport and driver’s license. Use your maiden name on visas, airline tickets, etc., so they match as it appears on your official documents.

Our Honeymoon Plans

We have talked about our honeymoon plans around the same time as we started wedding planning and after some thought and research we have decided not to go on a honeymoon immediately after the wedding. Instead we will go on a “mini-moon” the following weekend of the wedding and go on a longer trip early next year. Couple of reasons, first there just is too much going on right now and we’d rather get settled in and second we can do the same trip for almost half the price in off season. Well those are our plans currently, but you never know things always change.

Here are some tips from my twitter followers:

@MyLifeROI [My Life ROI]: Focus on each other, not whether or not the pillow cases are monogrammed.

@MoneyEnergey [Money Energy] Save as much as possible for it and take care of menial details in advance, but let it be adventurous and go with the flow.

@alanschram [Saving for Serenity] The basic, ask for an upgrade, be flexible, wait for deals, go as far away from your family as possible

@MattJabs [Debt Free Adventure]: My wife said… make sure you take a lot of pics, I guess we only have a handful & regret it

@FourPillars [Four Pillars]: Don’t go right after the wedding.

I hope some of the honeymoons planning tips were helpful to you; I will have a follow up post “Frugal Honeymoon Tips” within the next couple of weeks.

Do you have any honeymoon planning tips? What did you do for your honeymoon, anything you learned?