Are you in need of some happiness and excitement? Plan a trip! Seriously. It's fun!
"It's never too early to plan a trip." – Kirsty Perring, TraversingTravel
We sat with our dear friend Kirsty Perring for some much-needed "happy chatting."
Kirsty is the founder of TraversingAfrica and TraversingTravel. Hailing from South Africa, she naturally specializes in arranging trips to Africa and the Middle East and especially loves sending clients on safari! But with over 25 years as a travel professional, she has traversed the globe and established excellent relationships with travel partners in all destinations. So even if Antarctica is where you want to spend your dream honeymoon, she will help you make it come true!
So, let’s start with an easy question, where did you go for your honeymoon?
I actually had a destination wedding on the Indian Ocean Island of Mauritius.
It was just the two of us and incredibly romantic. There were no issues around which great aunt we had to invite to the wedding so it was very relaxed and I would do it all over again! In fact, we did! For our 20th anniversary we headed back to Mauritius to renew our vows, although this time we took our son and our moms. The benefit of a destination wedding is that your travel advisor and the hotel can arrange everything for you and it can be as intimate or big or as simple or detailed as you like!
What are the best honeymoon destinations?
The traditional idea of a honeymoon was to escape to a beach and not to be disturbed for 7 or so blissful days! But now couples are much more adventurous and want to experience active filled trips together. Be it white water rafting down the mighty Zambezi River or taking a Hot Air Balloon over the magnificent temples of Luxor in Egypt. The world is your oyster and there is no wrong way to honeymoon. Some destinations will always remain a firm favourite such as The Maldives or any of the many Caribbean Islands. But safaris are also very popular, and it’s possible to combine something wild such as visiting the iconic Serengeti Game Reserve in Tanzania, with a chilled beach stay in Zanzibar. This way you get the best of both. Some couples choose to relax first, to recover from the wedding and potential jet-lag, whereas others prefer to save the downtime till the end of the trip.
How long in advance do you recommend booking a honeymoon?
If you have your wedding date set, I would suggest talking to your travel advisor as soon as possible. It may take a while to agree on a destination, and you don’t want to be disappointed if your dream location is fully booked at the time you want to travel because you left it to the last minute to arrange. Typically booking in advance is going to secure you the best offers. You only need to put down a deposit, and the balance can be paid around 2-3 months before you travel. That said flights can only be booked up to a year in advance and tickets would need to be paid in full to guarantee the airfare.
Let’s talk Dollars
Having a budget for your honeymoon is important, and you should try to stick to it as the last thing you want to be doing is fretting over money when you should be enjoying your time away together. Your travel advisor should be guiding you on the best time to travel. This is not only with regards to the weather but also in terms of taking advantage of special honeymoon offers. These range from complimentary room upgrades, and special VIP amenities to discounts that could be as much as a 50% reduction for the bride. (Sorry grooms, ladies get preference on this one!)
Be realistic about what you can afford. Yes, we all want to stay in the Uber-deluxe honeymoon suite with the private plunge-pool and butler on call 24/7, but if you are going to be paying this off for the next 5 years perhaps a regular room will suffice. Another option is to spend a few nights in a swanky hotel and the remaining nights somewhere more affordable. It’s also important not to skimp though! This should technically be a once in a lifetime trip, so you don’t want to be counting pennies to see if you can afford that romantic couples massage and then regret not doing it by the time you get home!
Nowadays many couples live together before they get married. You may already own a home together which is fully furnished and there is not a lot to put on your wedding registry. A great idea is to ask your wedding guests to rather gift towards your honeymoon. Many travel advisors offer vouchers or a honeymoon registry!
Getting hitched is not the only reason to take a romantic trip as a couple.
Did you know it’s also pretty common to take an engagement-moon? you know when you are just engaged and totally gaga for one another. It’s the perfect time to jet off and celebrate your love before the wedding plans begin, and bridezilla appears! And after the honeymoon, well then we start planning the babymoon. This is basically the last holiday you get to take together before your first offspring arrives! Believe me you will need this one, because travelling with kids is a whole different ball game. But don’t worry, I’ve got you covered on all of them!