Whenever I talk about going on my honeymoon, everyone always tells me congratulations and asks me if I just got married. I did just get married… in September. Our honeymoon is pretty delayed considering my husband is in medical school and the timing after our wedding was less than ideal to just up and leave right after. My family was here from Kazakhstan as well, and I was not about to just leave while they were here when it’s been three years since I’ve seen them. So, considering the timing of things we decided to go on our honeymoon in February.
There are now many reasons why I would actually recommend doing a delayed honeymoon: 1) it gives you something to look forward to after the wedding 2)it gives you time to settle all the post-wedding things and have time to look into a trip and put your research in 3)after spending so much money on the wedding, your bank account will appreciate the break and 4) if your wedding is in the summer or early fall like ours was, it gives you a chance to get away from the cold weather and enjoy a tropical destination during the winter months.
Picking the Destination
My dream was always to have my honeymoon in Santorini, Greece but due to the fact that the average temperature in Santorini around this time of year is a mere 60 degrees, that location was out. Same goes with a bunch of other places in Europe. So, we had to start thinking of places around the Equator or below. Thailand popped into our heads pretty much right away because it was a place we’ve both always wanted to visit and since I was getting a full two weeks off work, it made sense to go somewhere far.
A lot of people like to go on Caribbean vacations for their honeymoon but my husband and I decided that Caribbean vacations were something we were going to reserve for when we have kids because those involve a lot less actual hiking/exploring and more beach time and for us, while we’re young, we want to do more adventurous vacations. Plus, we are going to get plenty of beach time in Thailand anyway.
Divide and Conquer
After you pick a place for your honeymoon, your next question should be : what do I want to do there? And that is asking in terms of tours, activities, etc. We knew we wanted to play with elephants in Thailand. Initially, we wanted to ride them but after doing some research and finding out how unethical the treatment is at facilities that let tourists ride elephants, we decided to go to an elephant sanctuary instead where you get to feed the elephants and play with them in the water. Needless to say, this is probably the part of our trip I am anticipating the most. We also knew we wanted to do a temples tour in Bangkok so we did our research on what temples are best to see and picked a tour that lets us skip the lines and have a guide explain and teach us the history of the country and the temples. We also knew we wanted to do some island hopping but our research taught us that that’s something we will just purchase while we are on the islands and not something we have to plan ahead of time.
So when picking a place, do your research for top things to do and see in a city and then start researching tours. Blogs are great places for insider scoop on travel as there are so many travel bloggers out there that have such great insight and tips for different cities.
Another important aspect to consider while planning a trip is how many days you want to spend between each city, if this is a multi-city vacation. The most important thing to consider about that is transportation. For Thailand, we found out it’s best to fly between the three cities we are going to because taking the train would take so much more time away from the vacation and would not be worth it, at all. If you’re traveling in a country like Italy though, trains are probably the best option for getting from one city to the other. So, again, do your research about transportation from city to city because that’s very important and will definitely change around your plans a lot more than you’d think.
When we were doing our research for getting around Thailand we found out about pretty restrictive weight limits on luggage on their domestic flights so finding this out ahead of time saved us a lot of money. Paying for overweight luggage is always very expensive and in my mind, might as well just be money you throw out. So definitely do your research on luggage restrictions.
With a tropical destination like Thailand, packing light shouldn’t be too much of an issue since summer clothes are just so much smaller and lighter but considering the fact that we will be gone for two weeks – I am going to have to get creative with the whole packing situation. Wish me luck! I will be sharing my tips and tricks and what I did for this trip when it gets closer to our vacation.
Always do your research on recommended vaccinations and prophylaxis that is recommended by the CDC for the country you’re traveling to. For Thailand, we needed the typhoid vaccine (comes in live form as capsules or the inactive form as an actual injection). We decided to get the actual shots because it’s a lot easier tolerated by your body and was a much quicker option (one and done whereas with the capsules it’s 8 days of therapy). Because we won’t be traveling to rural areas of the country, we did not need malaria prophylaxis or Japanese Encephalitis vaccine. The great news about most of the vaccines you may need to travel is that most of these are able to be administered at your local pharmacy by a pharmacist so if you do your own research, you might not have to go to the doctor or a place like Passport Health but if you’re new to traveling and want some extra advice or recommendations, a place like Passport Health might not be a bad idea for you.
As far as exchanging currency goes, we’ve found that exchanging at your local bank is usually a better deal than exchanging in the country or the airport. With that in mind, about two weeks before going out of the country, I always go to the bank and place an order for the currency exchange. Some branches carry currency from popular countries (Euros are almost always a guarantee) but in our situation, we definitely will be waiting for the currency since baht is not a commonly carried currency. We always travel with cash because of the interest rates on using credit cards abroad. Plus, it lets you not go too crazy with spending since you’re limited to your budgeted amount. Little kiosks and places you pass in certain countries won’t be accepting credit cards anyway, so it’s always good to have cash.
Well, that’s all I have as far as tips go for planning your honeymoon. Most of these tips should be considered any time you travel, regardless whether it’s your honeymoon or not. Please let me know if this was helpful and other things you consider when planning big trips!