The planning doesn't stop after "I do", there's a once in a lifetime honeymoon to enjoy.
We returned from our honeymoon just last month, complete with a surprise stop in New York City followed by an adventure through California. I thought I would share a few tips.
Don't Leave The Next Day!
While I can understand the urge to get away ASAP, try to resist. Give yourself time to recover, whether its two days, a few weeks, even a few months. By not leaving immediately after the wedding, you'll get a chance to say goodbye to out-of-town guests, reminisce about your big night with family and friends and just chill out. (Trust me, you'll need a breather!) If you're willing to wait, you might be able to save some money as well, depending on peak travel times for your desired destination.
Keep A File
Prior to and during your trip it's important to keep both a paper file with hard copies of your hotel and flight reservations as well as electronic versions. You never know if one or the other might go missing. Always keep this information in the same place so you never have to go hunting for it through bag after bag. Make sure you include phone numbers and it wouldn't hurt to include addresses and details for restaurants, shops or tourist attractions you would like to visit as well. While it can seem quick and easy to look up things on your smart phone, it's not always convenient to charge your phone battery when travelling. Not to mention, having to look everything up on your cellphone can be costly when you're out of town. Those data roaming charges add up quick.
Save On Phone Bills
While we're on the topic of phones, check with your service provider in advance of your trip to see how much out-of-country minutes and data-roaming packages cost. Do a little research as to how to keep these costs down with your particular phone model as well. Using air plane mode on your iPhone is a great way to save, especially if your phone is doubling as your camera. Resist the urge to Instagram and tweet on the go, wait until you have free WiFi access.
Tell Family Your Plans
Make sure you leave a copy of your travel itinerary with some family or friends. It's important that someone at home knows where to find you and can look up details in case you misplace your file or phone or in case of an emergency.
Same as your travel details folder, always keep your passports in the same place. Every. Single. Time. You might think tucking it in a random carry-on pocket for a quick second to board the plane is no biggy, but after several hours on the plane, looking all over the place for it can get pretty stressful pretty fast. Also, keep your passport number (and your partner's) recorded somewhere handy. I like to keep mine in my cellphone saved as a note, along with our health insurance info.
Bring Some Cash
Make sure you exchange some cash to the local currency of your travel destination before you leave town. Currency exchanges are not as plentiful as Tim Hortons are here at home. Depending where you're travelling to, you will likely be able to use your credit or debit cards to make payments, a good way to avoid carrying (and possibly losing) excess cash.
Kill Them With Kindness
Travelling can bring out the best and the worst in us. It's stressful in general, but any number of things can put a damper on your trip: bad weather, noisy hotel neighbours, airport delays, you name it. Try to be extra nice not only with each other, but how about other travellers and hotel or airport/airline staff. Never underestimate how a simple smile might lead to a flight or hotel upgrade. Focus on the positive, it's your honeymoon! Be patient, no matter how many times your new husband or wife rolls their suit case across your toes or laughs at your fear of escalators, which happen to be plentiful in airports.