Planning Your Honeymoon On Your Own
by: Jasmine Ho
Going on a vacation on your own is always an exciting adventure. Without the help of travel agents, planning a vacation itself is a fun journey. Your honeymoon is perhaps one of the greatest journey in your life. While you are busy preparing for your wedding, equal attention and effort must be devoted to plan for a lovely honeymoon as well. The following are some useful tips for you and your partner.
Suggested Honeymoon Itineraries
1. Suggested itineraries - Begin your planning by reading suggested itineraries. Almost all tourism boards have their own suggested itineraries for you. Some itineraries are thematic such as the shopping itinerary, arts itinerary or the great food itinerary. There are also suggested itineraries from hotel chains. Some hotels do offer themed getaways such as 'mountains and lakes', 'spa and wellness' or 'romance packages'. You can also get suggested itineraries from travelogues, travel forums and travel blogs.
Honeymoon Events Calendar
2. Events Calendar - The events calendar of the city is extremely useful. Some cities will list their events thematically such as arts, exhibitions, tours, festivals, music, markets and sports events. Look out for free events too. Besides the day, time and venue, you can get to know the essential highlights of the events and the ticketing information if applicable. It is always interesting to know the history of the festival or the cultural event as well.
3. Transportation - Booking your coach, train or ferry journey is always a must to secure a seat. Sometimes, you may get early bird fares by booking your journey in advance. Another great deal is the esaver fare, exclusive for those who book on-line. Great for honeymooners is the companion fares, weekends getaways or coach passes. Always note the boarding point of the coach and be there 15 minutes earlier to wait for the coach. All modes of transportation have their own baggage allowances and rules. If you intend to bring along
bigger items such as surf board or bicycles make sure that they are acceptable and find out if a charge is imposed. Always bring along a copy of your reservation request or confirmation number to avoid any unhappy dispute. Should you wish to book your transportation at the destination, remember to note the location, operating hours and contact details of the ticketing office.
4. Accommodation - Never leave home without securing your accommodation. Reservations policies differ for each accommodation. Some accommodations simply require an email, others need a 10% deposit while the rest requires your credit card number to secure the booking. Usually, you will receive a confirmation number for your reservation. Always make a record of the number in case you need to make any changes to your reservation in the future. Always read the fine print regarding its cancellation policy as some unique accommodations such as farmstays and bed n breakfasts may require 14 days cancellation notice. Accommodations may also impose a minimum stay policy. Do your best to select an accommodation which is well-located; that will save you time and money.
Accommodations are likely to have special deals, weekend getaways or free nights offers; do look out for their best internet rate as well.
5. Trip Planner - A trip planner gives you all the essential information that you need to plan a journey. It provides you with the total travel time, walking distance and transfer time of different transport. Some planners also include the option of searching for the fastest itinerary or the lowest fare itinerary. Always use a trip planner to find out the arrival and departure times of the train or coach so that you won't miss your transport. You may need to inform your accommodation of your check-in time. If you need to make a transfer, get the timing of the various transport correct.
6. Maps - Maps are essential to a successful trip. Don't lose your way and waste time. Get the airport maps, the train station maps, the subway maps, the city maps and the attractions maps. If the train station is a distance to your accommodation, make sure you get the directions correct. Honeymooners usually love self-drive vacations. Maps are always handy if you need to drive around.
7. Freebies - Look out for freebies. There are many freebies that can save you money. For instance, free transport in the city, free airport pickups, free entries to attractions on certain days, 2 for 1 entry, free attraction shuttle, free guided tours in museums, zoos or aquariums and more. There are also discount coupons which you can print out from the website of the attractions.
8. Amenities and Facilities - Always note the amenities and facilities available at your accommodation, attractions, airports, train, coach or ferry stations. For instance, you need not bring a hair dryer if your accommodation is able to provide one; you may wish to have a picnic at some attractions such as zoos or farms which have a picnic area; otherwise lockers at train or ferry stations will be useful if your check out time is much earlier than your train schedule. You may also wish to note the available ATMs and credit card facilities.
9. Rules, rules, rules - Always read the rules of the airlines, airports, attractions, accommodations, train stations and different transportation modes. Remember rules do change; keep yourself updated and do not assume that you know the rules. For instance, do note the station hours, ticketing hours, checked baggage hours at the train station. Equally important are cancellation policies.
10. Sightseeing passes - There are many destinations which allow you to book your sightseeing passes on-line. Sightseeing passes offer freebies, free entries or discounted entries to a number of attractions as well as shopping and dining offers. Usually, it has a visitor guide book which contains maps, essential information on the train and ferry system, sample itineraries, shopping and dining guide and details of the attractions. Some sightseeing passes give you the option to include unlimited travel on different modes of transportation for a specific number of days. You may wish to find out if the city which you are visiting also operates a free city shuttle or has a travel pass before making a decision. Plan your itinerary wisely and make the most out of your sightseeing pass. However, do not be over ambitious and get yourself exhausted during the trip. Getting popular are combo packages which allow you to enter a few attractions at a discounted rate. However, do ask yourself if you are interested in all the attractions in the package ? Make a wise choice.
11. Weather and Climate - This is really an important factor. You definitely would not want your honeymoon to be disrupted by storms and hurricanes. Always visit the website of the Meteorological Authority to get an accurate forecast of the weather. Certain countries do advise you to bring along sunblock and take preventive measures against sunburn. For countries which experience the four seasons and you wish to enjoy some of the seasonal flowers, the Meteorological Authority may be able to provide you with information on the blooming dates of the various flowers.
12. Important contact numbers - Before you leave your country, always note the contact numbers and address of your country's Embassy at your destination. It is always better to be prepared should you need to contact them.
Have a happy and blessed honeymoon.
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