All-Inclusive Honeymooning

Your wedding plans are all coming to a head, and you have one huge task left, choosing and booking your honeymoon reservations, transportation and accomodations.  Where to look, who to book through, how much to spend, etc.

Where to start?  The biggest key factor is the budget you are going to set aside for your honeymoon.  If you are planning to spend around $5,000 for your entire honeymoon, including airfare, accomodations, dining/entertaining, chances are you'll need your passport.  If you're looking to spend $500 for your honeymoon, chances are you'll be close to home.  Speak openly about your honeymoon expectations with your fiancĂ©(e), and devise a budget.

Next, where do you want to go?  Your budget is set, so now pick destinations of interest.  Go to the local bookstore or library, and pick up travel books to look over there together.

Now your destination is picked, you have a budget, what to do next?  Where to book?  Where to stay?  Whom to fly?

Best advise upfront is to stay away from sites like expedia.com, travelocity.com, cheapflights.com.  You are traveling for your honeymoon, you want the traveling portion stress free as possible, and many things can go wrong booking special vacations with the sites mentioned above.  Such mishaps could be airplane overbooking, affecting your hotel policies, you might have confirmed seats on your print out, yet when you check in you find you aren't in fact seated together, etc.  It happens all time.

Consider looking at all-inclusives through Apple Vacations, Club Med, Sandals, etc.  At these sites you'll be able to book your airfare, hotel stay, most meals included if not all, most free alcoholic beverages if not all, and usually have great deals running.  Apple Vacations has preferred hotel partners, and is not partnered with Club Med or Sandals, but it is better to book with them, then with the hotels directly do to deals they might be promoting, etc.  These are just examples for you to consider. 

**Note**Some Mexican resorts offer modified meal plans, where others offer all drinks and meals included, be aware of this and be sure to ask what the meal plan details are!

Let's say you look at all the above mentioned all-inclusives, you find Dearms Puerto Vallarta with Apple Vacations, Club Med Turks & Caicos, and Sandals Negril.  Biggest advise to offer, concerning property reviews, is Trip Advisor, http://www.tripadvisor.com/.  People are always posting their reviews here, from all over the world.  When you look up the properties here, you'll see most recent reviews first.  Read them carefully.  If many are listing negative feedback, read further a bit.  See what the complaints are, based on hotel staff experiences, food experiences, room experiences, etc.  Some people book a place without researching and reading description details, and are let down when they arrive at the property. 

A few things to note here, Club Meds are in beautiful locations, they have tons of outdoor activities to offer, and its a trend that the rooms are simple and basic, not lush, in most cases, as the focus is to be outdoors.  Be sure to check out the website and view the property's rooms in the photo gallery.  If you're seeing people complain that they were not pleased with the rooms, they might have been expecting beautiful linens, spa like tubs, etc, and only a few properties in the world might have these types of accomodations in this line of all-inclusives.

**If you are planning a destination wedding, places like Sandals offer amazing rates, complimentary wedding/receptions, free honeymoon night, etc.  Check out their offerings, and read about marrying in another country as well. 

The all-inclusives can be booked and held online without paying anything for a certain amount of days, and you'll likely have a quote number/reservation record locator to provide later to go back to what you put on hold.  If anything that needs to be paid right away would be the airfare.  If you're booking online, book hotel only, flights can be added later.

Now you have your "quotes" from your properties of choice you booked online, now you get on the phone with the businesses.  Provide them your quote/reservation number, discuss honeymoon add-ons, such as massages, romantic dinners for two on the beach, etc.  Discuss payment plans.  Most all-inclusives have a 14 day prior to departure ruling that all monies be paid in full by such date, unless you are booking last minute and within that time frame, likely money is due in full.  Its nice to know you can put in every month the denomination and then you'll have a fully paid for honeymoon waiting for you just a few weeks away.

**Note**Book your reservations in your maiden name, ladies!  Just because you got married, does not mean your name changes overnight, in fact it can take months, and when showing up to the airport with id stating one name, and reservation made for another, without any documentation of why the names are showing different, they will not let you board, or will charge you for a new ticket to have your name correctly.  This should be made aware when speaking with a reservations agent, but its a word of caution as this happens all the time.  You'll be called "Mr. & Mrs." at the property, just not in the form of id yet.

Check the spelling of the names, three times if you have to.  Make sure all information given, is what is on the documents you will receive.  This happens all the time as well, and what is on your passport is needed for your air bookings, i.e. if your passport states Alexander J. Jones, and you tell them AJ Jones, you will run into troubles at the airport for sure.  What seems minor can become major.


Now you're all booked, go get your beach attire ready, don't forget your sunscreen, and have a blast on your honeymoon! 

Travel safely!

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