Where to Get Advice When Planning a Honeymoon

I recently read an article providing tips for planning a honeymoon that caught my attention. The first tip was to not use a travel agent. The advice was based on the writer’s own bad experience and not based on knowledge of the travel industry and how it really works.

Blogs are often opinions and are not always neutral in presenting the facts. However, advice should be fact based. When giving advice, I feel it is irresponsible to base it off of one experience and not research it by talking to other travel agents and couples that used a travel agent.

I have no doubt that the writer had a bad experience with the travel agent that she chose. Her bad experience has led her to her misperception of an entire industry. A bad experience does not make her an expert in planning honeymoons or qualified to advise others!

One travel agent that may not have done her job properly does not mean that all travel agents are bad at booking honeymoons.   I am sure this blogger is an expert in writing since she is an assignment writer for the Huffington Post. The blog she wrote makes me want to say don’t listen to bloggers when planning a trip. However, that would be hypocritical of me to insult all bloggers because one upset me. I follow a few great travel bloggers that know what they are talking about and would not put down an industry of travel professionals. Reading the misperceptions about travel agents can also educate us in correcting those misperceptions.

I have been a professional travel consultant and an expert at planning romantic honeymoons for over 14 years. My husband and I have been on several honeymoons because you can have more than one! I am an experienced authority on romance travel. Here are three tips to help you when it comes time to plan your perfect honeymoon.

1.   Talk About It.
 

Talk about where you want to go. You may have different ideas of the perfect honeymoon. A honeymoon is not a vacation. Your soon to be significant other may not want to lay on the beach for seven days. Ask each other these questions:

  • What is our budget?
  • Do we want relaxation or adventure?
  • What are our expectations of this trip?
  • What are our priorities?
  • What have you always dreamed of doing?

This conversation may continue for a couple of hours or a couple of days. Remember this is how you are going to start your happily ever after.

2. Research. Research. Research.
 

The internet is a powerful tool but be careful with the resources you are trusting.   Remember that bloggers often give opinions that are not based on researched facts; they often base opinions on singular personal experiences. Trip advisor is can be helpful but keep in mind that you are reading reviews from people that you don’t know. One person’s definition of a 5 star resort may not be the same as yours. Ask around and see what others have experienced.   Thoughtfully consider all of your research and your options.

3. Find a Professional Travel Consultant.
 

There are travel consultants that specialize in certain areas or types of travel. Travel professionals have knowledge, experience and resources that the public does not have access to. A good travel consultant is often invited to resorts and is allowed to experience everything the area has to offer.

Here are some suggestions on what to look for when talking to a travel agent.

  • Ask the travel consultant for resources and testimonies.
  • Talk to another couple that has used the consultant services.
  • Ask what professional associations they belong to.
  • Find out if they have visited the resorts they are recommending.
  • What trips do you specialize in? Family, couples, adventure, European?
  • Are you available if we encounter problems such as missing a connecting flight?

Most travel consultants want to make your experience wonderful and better than you imagined. A good travel consultant will take time in getting to know their clients and qualifying them to the best resort that fits the couples wants, needs, priorities and budget.

Advertisements

5 Reasons Why The Caribbean is a Romantic Destination

Depositphotos_12167439_m

The sounds of the waves crashing into the shore. The clear blues skies matching the blue waters so close its hard to tell the sky from the sea. The sound of steel drum music enticing you pat your feet and nod your head to the beat. The temptations of the exotic food, the tastes of delicious rum and feeling the soft sea breeze is all a perfect mixture for a romantic Caribbean escape.

Top 5 reasons why the Caribbean is a romantic destination

  1. Spectacular Landscapes

One reason people choose the Caribbean as their Paradise is because it offers some amazing landscapes that are unique all around the world. Lush tropical gardens, exotic plants, rainforests, bluffs, mountains and even a volcano in some island locations.  There is so much beauty to be found in nature and our surroundings.  When we take the time to appreciate the beauty around us we can easily see the beauty with in ourselves and with in our special loved one.

Bird of Paradise Plant in Full Bloom

  1. Turquoise blue water

Refreshing, rejuvenating and relaxing. The moment you see the clear blue waters from the window of your plane you are tempted to just jump right in. The water is inviting and fun to play and have fun in as a couple.

Happy Senior Couple Dancing Holding Hands on A Tropical Beach

  1. Blissful Beaches

There is something romantic about a beach. It may have been romanticized even more because of the 1953 film From Here to Eternity with the ever popular image of Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr exchanging a hot sexy kissing scene with the waves crashing on them. Make sure you are cuddling under an umbrella, searching for sea shells or creating your own hot and steamy kissing session on the beach with someone special!

bigstock-A-Cheerful-Couple-Fooling-Arou-4818196

  1. Dreamy Sunsets

Colors from so many palettes paint the sky at sunset time. The warm colors that create a magical atmosphere. It is like being in a fairytale. For a moment you both stare in awe at the sky and then at the each other. Things that have this type of beauty make you appreciate the beauty in each other and in your life.

A young couple share a romantic dinner on the beach

  1. Tranquil Nights

Lovers from all over the world enjoy long walks during the night. There is something about the stars and the moon that can create the perfect setting for one of the most romantic experiences in the Caribbean. The moonlight gives a beautiful soft glow over the water and each other. The stars are countless. The sounds are tantalizing, the sounds of waves, the wind are the perfect setting for a romantic night.

bigstock-Midnight-sea-landscape-with-a--26565551

  1. Captivating food and drinks

The Caribbean is full of tempting foods and drinks. Foods full of flavor, aromas, and textures allow you to have fun and enjoy new cultures. Experiencing dinner by candle light with a picturesque setting of the Caribbean and sharing food with your loved one is the perfect way to start off a loving night in Paradise. The rum, the wine and spirits flow generously in the Caribbean creating a mood like no other.

whitehouse romantic dinner

Don’t be a honeymoron: make the most of your honeymoon

Honeymoons are a joyous time in anyone’s life. They follow the other happy event of marriage, and are a period when a couple can focus just on each other. The best honeymoons allow you to explore somewhere that at least one of you hasn’t been to: the exotic and the new help the romance build, and provide wonderful memories for the two of you as a couple. So, just like a wedding, a honeymoon is important for setting a marriage out on the right foot!

 

            For that reason and others, it’s important not to withhold on your honeymoon! Why do people skimp on their honeymoon, and compromise on the dream romantic vacation that they actually had in mind? While we can’t give definite answers that would apply to every single newlywed couple, one major reason couples skimp is because they spent too much on their wedding! Of course the wedding is important to, and is the more public celebration which includes friends and extended family. But, while you plan your wedding, you should also have your honeymoon in mind! What fun is it to sacrifice the activities, restaurants, and places to see on your honeymoon, just to have a fancier caterer or a bigger chandelier at your wedding reception? It’s my firm belief that the honeymoon is just as important as the wedding, and you shouldn’t sacrifice one for the sake of the other!

  bride-groom-soft.jpg

            Furthermore, this might seem obvious to some, but: this is YOUR honeymoon! It’s a special trip, celebrating the beginning of your life together, not just a one weekend getaway! On smaller trips, sure, get the economy hotel room and eat at a chain place instead of a fancy and unique restaurant…but not here! Go all out, including on the little things in the accommodations, dining, and travel. Why have your great memories of each other, the beach, the big city, and the mountains, spoiled by memories of a crappy and stressful airplane ride, or smelly hotel room? Go all out for the person you just married!

 

 

            Another reason skimping on your honeymoon is unwise is that it will often mean sacrificing one partner’s desires to the others. That’s not a good way to start out your marriage! While there are financial and temporal limits to where you can go and what you can do in total, don’t cut out one partner’s ideas just to save money. If you can’t decide between two options, do your absolute best to do them both! This way, you’re starting things out on the right foot in your marriage by making each of you feel important and listened to, and acting on each other’s’ ideas in a combined way that satisfies you both. The alternative means one partner getting more of what they want than the other, and that can often lead to feelings of bitterness and resentment going forward. Avoid that trap early, by not skimping on your honeymoon: encompass both your ideas!

 

            You also want to make sure you can have the best experiences on your honeymoon possible, and those often cost money. We all like saying that the best things in life are free, and, there is a great deal of truth in that! Tender moments with your significant other, enjoyment of nature, sharing a laugh with a friend: all priceless, and don’t cost (at least directly) a single cent. But, the hard truth is that many great experiences do cost money. You need to pay to transport yourself to different interesting locations, you need a place to stay, you need to eat, and various tours and travel planning cost money well to get useful expertise from others. Why skimp on any of that, and miss out on fascinating sights and experiences? You could even risk having a poorly planned or even dangerous trip if you don’t book things with a reliable travel agent, who can guide you through the process of trip planning.

 

            In conclusion, there are plenty of reasons to not skimp on your honeymoon. Special occasions like that need to be done right; they’re unique, and you want happy and unique memories, not stress and dissatisfaction. Don’t sacrifice your time and money that could be spent celebrating your marriage with frivolous extras at your wedding. Don’t sacrifice each others’ happiness; incorporate each others’ ideas.   Keep these points in mind when planning your wedding and honeymoon. I wish you a wonderful marriage, and a wonderful start to that marriage! Happy honeymooning!

If you are looking for a travel professional to create your honeymoon contact Shannon LeBlanc

​​

Tel: (844) 538-2727 Ext 700 | Mobile: 225-303-2240

shannon@paradisevacatinescapes.com | http://www.paradisevacationescapes.com

What to say when they ask WHY are you having a destination wedding

What to Say to Those Who Ask – Why Are you Having a Destination Wedding?

 

When you decide to have a destination wedding, you are going to discover that not all your friends and family are going to like the idea. You need to be prepared for the fact that you will not please everyone no matter what kind of wedding you have.  Remember this is your wedding not anyone else’s. In fact, many will ask you why you would choose to bring people halfway around the world for your wedding and expect them to pay the expenses of travel and accommodations. What should you say to these people?

1-The Truth

 

When people ask you why you would want to have a destination wedding, the best answer is to tell them the truth. You have your reasons for having a destination wedding in the first place; it could have been your dream is to marry on an exotic island beach somewhere, or you might have always wanted to marry in Paris. There is no point in not telling them why you chose the location you did; they may not agree with you but it is your wedding and your choice of location.

2-They Get a Vacation out of It

 

You could explain to them that they get a nice relaxing vacation out of your wedding.  They will get to spend time with family and friend and create some of the best vacation memories ever! In most cases, resorts offer wedding guests substantial discounts on accommodations at their resorts, and some offer perks like spa treatments, day trips and tours to historical sites. It is possible to help turn their travel for your wedding, into a dream trip for them as well; at most likely a better cost than traveling on their own.  By working with a professional travel consultant everyone’s travel is coordinated together and the group will even more than likely get group discounts and benefits.

3-Tell Them it’s Their Decision if They Attend

 

Some people think that they must attend if you decide on a destination wedding and this is simply not the case. Not everyone will have the budget to fly off even for a few days and that must be ok with you. Some may have the budget but just choose not travel for their own personal reasons and that is okay.  You can tell them that this is your dream but they don’t have to attend if they can’t budget for it, or can’t get time off from work.

While you certainly don’t have to justify why you want to have a destination wedding, you most likely will receive questions from people not so thrilled on the idea. If you give your guests plenty of time to budget for it, they may be more willing and open to the idea of attending. All couples should understand that you might not get all the guests you invited to come and you need to be ok with that.

 Again remember…Its about You and your Fiancé’s Happiness!

 

No matter what type of wedding you have, whether it’s local or a destination wedding you will never please everyone involved.  The main characters of this wedding is you and your fiancé… also the main characters of the marriage.  This is who you need to focus on pleasing yourself and your fiancé’.  Do what is going to make the both of you happy.  Friends and family that really love and support you will want you to be happy no matter what.  Let those that won’t make it for whatever reason that you can have a personal celebration with them when you return.  You can then show them the videos and the photographs from the beautiful wedding.  You will be so happy to share these memories and they will be happy that you did something personally with them.

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Honeymoon

Top 10 Mistakes to Avoid When Planning Your Honeymoon

When planning your honeymoon it is very easy to fall into the trap of making mistakes that could lead to serious problems. In order to avoid having any unexpected problems during what should be a relaxing and fun time with your new spouse, you need to plan your holiday carefully. Here are a few things you should avoid to ensure you honeymoon is the best it can be.

  1. Not Starting Your Honeymoon Planning Early

You need to start planning your honeymoon early and not wait until the last minute in order to ensure you will not be disappointed in your choices. If you have chosen summer as your wedding date, many other couples have done the same and you might find that your choice hotel and destination are booked. You should plan for your honeymoon about the same time you begin planning the wedding itself.

 

  1. Not Setting an Adequate Budget for your Honeymoon

     

If you don’t set aside enough money for your honeymoon, you may find yourself not exactly enjoying a beach resort or that relaxing week on the Riviera. Instead, you may end up with a hotel more suited to families and not being able to book a boat cruise or those much desired diving lessons.

  1. Not Taking your Future Spouse’s Opinions into Consideration

     

We all have places we would love to spend our honeymoon; some prefer a walk along a street in Paris, while others want to fly down a zip line in New Zealand. When planning your honeymoon, you must take your future spouse’s opinions into account and compromise with each other. If possible, incorporate ideas and plans from both of you into your plans.

  1. Not Considering a Honeymoon Registry

You might have placed yourself on bridal registries but did you consider a honeymoon registry? Many couples never think of it and it’s a great way to help pay for the honeymoon. Friends and relatives can donate cash as a wedding gift and that fund will go to giving you the honeymoon of your dreams.

  1. Booking too Early a Flight After Your Wedding

Some couples make the mistake of booking their flight too early in the day after the wedding. This means either leaving early from the reception in order to get enough rest or arriving on their honeymoon tired for the first day. Instead of leaving in the morning, try an early afternoon flight or even book a flight for 2 days after the wedding to give yourself time to rest.

  1. Being Unaware of Local Customs at your Destination

     

This could become a serious issue if you are unaware of customs and legal responsibilities at your chosen destination. Before you head out to a country you are unfamiliar with, study local customs, traditions, and also their laws before flying out to avoid any problems during your honeymoon.

  1. Not Getting Advice from Someone Who has Been to Your Destination

If you are planning on heading to a destination you haven’t been to before and don’t really know much about, it is a wise idea to get advice from someone who has. They can inform you of local customs, places that are a must see and what to avoid when you are there. You could ask a travel agent or your wedding planner for advice on this.

  1. Forgetting to Renew or Get Your Passport

If you are traveling out of the country, you must make sure your passport hasn’t expired and is up to date. This should be done months before you head out, because if you don’t you won’t be allowed into your destination country. Also, there are new rules in regards to the expiration date of your passport and travel to certain countries, make sure you know these rules and you fulfill them.

  1. Waiting Until the Last Minute or Day to Pack for Your Trip

     

With the hustle and bustle of wedding planning, rehearsals and the ceremony and reception itself, it is easy to leave packing for your honeymoon until the last day; however, this is rarely a good idea. Instead, take time leading up to the honeymoon, a few days at least to pick and choose what you want to take with you and pack carefully. This leads to less stress and you are less likely to forget anything.

  1. Not Using Shannon at Paradise Vacation Escapes to Plan Your Honeymoon
    While you may enjoy planning your honeymoon, it can be rather stressful; especially for busy couples. Instead, why not let Shannon at Paradise Vacation Escapes plan your honeymoon for you? You will get superior service from an experienced professional travel agent who can help you create the perfect honeymoon or destination wedding.

Honeymoon Etiquette

Honeymoon Etiquette

Something people wonder about….

Who pays for the honeymoon?  Him or her? Both? Do the parents pay?

Here’s an interesting article I found about Honeymoon etiquette.

Also another great trend I’m finding is Honeymoon registry especially for those on their second weddings that already have everything.  There are great sites for this, like http://www.honeyfund.com .  You set up an account and your friends and family can put money in to your account / registry for your honeymoon.

 

I think its a great idea, but beware, there are some in older generations that might not think this is a good idea….so maybe send this to your 50 and under guests…..let your older aunts, uncles and friends send you some towels. 🙂

 

XoXo,

Shannon LeBlanc