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First of all, congrats on your engagement and taking the first step on honeymoon planning together! I’m sure you’ve already started the wedding planning, so sitting down together and discussing priorities, budget, overall theme etc. is nothing new to you all. I’m also sure at this point there’s been a little bit of compromise when it comes to the wedding. I get it. Chris and I had to sit down and discuss all those options and what we would wiggle on. As it turns out, the same holds true for honeymoon planning.
Okay, maybe not the exact same questions, after all you don’t care about decorations and guest lists because: it’s just you two. But where you’re going, what you’re doing, and even where you’re eating is something to think about prior to heading out.
For instance, for our first trip, instead of planning together, I planned everything. I am a planning guru and absolutely love it, so I figured I’d tackle it all. We were taking a trip to NYC, and once everything had been planned out, Chris told me he felt a little left out of the planning process and didn’t get a say. It had just dawned on me that he probably wants to help with some portion. As someone who has mostly traveled solo prior to that, I wasn’t used to co-planning a trip. I was used to doing everything myself. So trust me, it was a big change for me.
Fast forward to our trip to Toronto this summer, and while he still isn’t a fan of planning logistics, he was excited to pick out where to go for dinner and his top sites he wanted to see. It made him much more excited for the trip too!
So my biggest advice?
I find that making a list of what each of us wants to do and where we’d like to go is a great first step. So sit down together and each of you select your top 5 honeymoon destinations. Literally anywhere you want. Want to backpack Europe together? Throw it on the list. Want to take a cruise along the southern Caribbean? Rank it where you want. Then compare. Who knows? You both may have the same destination in mind! Or it’s time to discuss similarities between the lists and where you can meet in the middle.
Then list out what you care most about with a honeymoon. Do you want to take surf lessons or go diving? Or do you want to go skiing and relax in the hot tub together after? Figure out if you’re more of the active couple who wants to go-go-go or if you want to just relax and enjoy the surrounding nature. That’ll definitely determine whether backpacking anywhere is right for you. Or if one likes exploring and the other likes relaxing, finding a way to take time to do both will make both of you happy.
Then list out what you care most about with a honeymoon. Do you want to take surf lessons or go diving? Or do you want to go skiing and relax in the hot tub together after?
For example, Chris’s number one thing he’s always wanted to do is go on safari. Yet, I love cities. Now, of course, I’m so excited to go on safari for our upcoming trip to South Africa, but it wasn’t the top item on my list to do. I was more excited to explore Cape Town and all the unique, trendy neighborhoods, beaches, wineries, and Table Mountain. So we decided to take a two week trip where we visit two fun cities: Johannesburg and Cape Town, and make time for the wildlife: Boulder’s Beach, safari, and great white shark cage diving. So we both get to do what we’re excited about. After all, the most important thing to consider is what both of you want.
Not only does it make planning more exciting and fun for both parties, but it also gives you something to look forward to. If we were just going to Cape Town and Johannesburg, Chris would be excited, but not nearly as much as if he would be if we threw in the safari, and I with just going on safari. It’s all a balance. Compromise is necessary.
Once you’ve decided where you want to go, it’s time to talk budget.
Now this is the fun part. Once you’ve got the idea of what you want to do and where you want to go, it’s time to talk budgeting. Obviously, I always recommend collecting miles and points to stay and fly places for super cheap and that cuts out most of the cost. But how much are you willing to spend on food, alcohol, souvenirs, and activities? I suggest budgetyourtrip.com as a reference for getting an idea of costs for each location. Does one want to spend as little as possible or as luxurious as possible? Again, it’s another thing to think about and compromise on.
At the end of the day, compromising on your honeymoon can make decision making difficult. But think of how exciting the trip will be: just you and your new spouse, traveling the world together. And if that isn’t the most wonderful thought of all, I’m not sure what is.
Where are you going on your honeymoon? What compromises did you have to make when planning together? Let me know in the comments! Be sure to subscribe for emails for more interesting advice!