Thursday, January 31, 2013

THE JOURNEY BEGINS HERE…(#1 in a series)

by Barbara Ovittore-Scully Travel of High Point 

The Holidays and New Years have special meanings.  The proposals happen at that special moment and the lifelong journey begins.  It is an exiting time for you.  You’ve said “Yes”  to that Special One, and now you’re planning the special day for the celebration of your marriage.  There are many decisions to be made especially about your honeymoon or destination wedding.  Relax… and start talking to your travel professional about many different romantic Honeymoon/Destination Wedding packages.

Your honeymoon/destination wedding specialist will have the expertise and knowledge that you need and they will help you reduce the stress by taking the responsibility of all the important details and also can help you save money by finding the best specials to fit your needs – at no additional cost. She/he will be able to assist locally if you have any questions or concerns.  There might be consultation fees if a lot of planning needs to be done.  Booking on the internet you don’t get the personal local service or meeting the person who will be helping you make those special plans.

  Start your honeymoon or destination wedding planning early - about 6-8 months for the honeymoon and a year prior to a destination. When planning early you ensure that the destination of choice and airfare would be more available than waiting a few months before the wedding date.  Payment plans can be made with the travel agency after the deposit is made and allowing up to 60-90 days to be paid in full for your honeymoon package.

  Adults only All Inclusive Resorts (like Sandals Resorts) most popular and relaxing since airfare, transfers, meals, unlimited beverages, most water sports, and tips are included in your package.
    If you are looking for a tropical paradise in the Caribbean (Jamaica, Antigua, St. Lucia, Bahamas or smaller exotic island like Anguilla or Nevis), Mayan ruins in Mexico, over-the-water bungalows in Bora-Bora, Europe landscapes, Hawaii sunset or Disney’s Fairytale Honeymoon, there is a special place for all budgets.
    Traveling in the United States like Las Vegas or Florida will require you to consider the extra expenses at the hotels, any activities, meals, beverages, etc. which will add up very quickly! 
  Cruising is a great way to see several different ports of call, especially when you are budgeting for your honeymoon and never have seen the world, but a cruise tends to be more expensive - spending more since your beverages, tips, activities off the ship (water sports, snorkeling, etc.) are additional expenses.

  Honeymoon/Weddingmoon (Destination Weddings) Registries can be helpful to defray the cost of your trip and are perfectly acceptable. Many couples now starting out having combined households or don’t need that “wedding gift” that you may never use.  Share your registry information appropriately and let your friends and family know that you’ve have registered with the travel agency. The monies can be used for extras like a couple’s spa treatment, romantic candlelight dinner on the beach, horseback riding tours, or to help upgrade your accommodations.

  Familymoons.  A honeymoon where the bride and groom bring their children from previous marriages.  Many couples today are blending families and vacationing together
on a familymoon..  There are several “family resorts” that have programs for the children and allow the adults to have that romantic time too. “Beaches Resorts” in Jamaica and Turks and Caicos have such programs. 

   Babymoons.  When a baby is on the way, you want to have a destination wedding or honeymoon.  Some destinations are offering special packages tailored to the needs and interests of parents-to-be they may want to escape to their own private paradise and enjoy a “Babymoon” in an ocean front bungalow suite tucked away at a resort on an island off Florida or in the Caribbean while strolling on the beach, watching the sunsets, or maybe a Pregnancy Massage for the mom to be and a “Swedish Spa treatment for dad to be to take away all the stress.  (A doctor’s note may be required for some treatments for the expectant mom/bride).  Some resorts have special “Babymoon Packages” that would be filled with special treats.  

  Travel Insurance is highly recommended to protect your investment if something  goes wrong while preparing and traveling to your destination.  Things such as air delays, lost baggage, illness, medical emergencies and more.  Why risk your honeymoon investment?  Ask questions as to what is covered!
Documentation needed to travel outside the US would be a US passport and possibly a special visa (for some destinations) which takes approximately 4-10 weeks after applying.  Allow ample time or expedite applications to ensure they will be back in enough time before your departure dates. Some countries may require inoculations! Make several copies of the marriage certificate just in case for proof as some newlywed promotions require this to secure extra amenities you are entitled to.   Your travel specialist can assist you with all the necessary information needed for your travel.  Also, make sure you have the correct currency to avoid the extra service fees to exchange your US dollars after arriving to your destination.

Whatever you decide, make sure both of you are involved in the decisions since “The Journey Begins Here…”