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Flashback Friday: Planning a Honeymoon

29 Jul

Happy Friday! After skipping out on Flashback Friday last week due to some unexpected (but very awesome company) – I’m back with more wedding planning shenanigans!

I received a comment asking me to share my honeymoon planning experience – so I figured that’s what I’d talk about today. I’m not going to review my honeymoon yet… I want to save that for a different post – or multiple posts 🙂 But I will share a little about our thoughts in terms of planning it all.

Here are some of the biggest issues we dealt with when planning our Honeymoon –

1. Cruise vs Resort

Cruise: When we first started talking about our honeymoon, I was 100% opposed to a cruise. First of all, I had never been on a cruise – but the idea of being locked away in a tiny room and not being able to take walks along the beach at night really made me upset. Plus, cruises have specific schedules – like dinner times, and excursion times, and I didn’t want to be on a schedule. On the other hand, Steve only wanted a cruise. He loved the idea of seeing multiple sites and the idea of an unlimited buffet.

Resorts: We looked into resorts for comparison – and they were just obnoxiously over-priced in my opinion. Sure, you got unlimited golf, but for two non-golfers, that’s not something I wanted to pay for. Some other resorts also offered free drinks, but I’m not a big drinker, so again I didn’t want to have to pay for that. But most of all, I’m not a big romantic. A lot of those all-inclusive resorts cater to the romantic couples envisioning candle-lit dinners and plenty of alone time. No thank you. Not my thing.

Our Choice: 3 days on land + 7 days on a cruise. Compromise. I got to walk on the beach at night like I wanted – and we both got to see multiple destinations, which was amazing. Plus our cruise was based on “Freestyle Cruising” so there wasn’t a strict schedule at all.

2. Location Location Location

Caribbean: We initially looked at the Caribbean because… well – it’s CHEAP. The flight to Florida (where we’d board our cruise) wasn’t very expensive, and we wouldn’t have to spend much time in a plane. There’s no shortage of options in the Caribbean either. Pretty much every major cruise line cruises the Caribbean – west, south, east, ranging from 3 days to a month… lots of options. Plus I saw some special on the Travel channel about a Caribbean cruise & it looked bad-ass.

Hawaii: Steve’s dream location. He was dead-set on Hawaii the entire time. He had been there before and loved it – and he wanted to go back in the worst way. Having never been, I obviously wanted to go to Hawaii – it’s freaking paradise! I was just terrified of how expensive it was going to be. The flights alone were quite pricey. But it’s Hawaii (plus since its in the US, we didn’t have to worry about passports and all that jazz)

Fiji: MY dream location. I’m obsessed with Fiji and it’s been a life-goal of mine to get there – so I obviously looked into it. Once you’re actually in Fiji, it’s not very expensive. However, getting to Fiji is a whole different monster. It’s about a 24-hour flight from the East Coast – so we’d spend 2 days of our honeymoon in an airplane… and that’s assuming we didn’t get delayed anywhere. I’d rather spend my honeymoon on a beach than in a plane. Plus, the airfare was much more than we were prepared to spend. So we had to rule out Fiji (Note: I am going to Fiji in 2012 – so my dream will come true eventually!)

Our Choice: Funny story. We booked a western Caribbean cruise that hit Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Belize, and Costa Maya… and then I got a much higher-paying job, and Steve talked to a travel agent behind my back about Hawaii… long story short – we ended up changing our plans & choosing Hawaii!!!

3. Money

Everyone kept telling us “You’ll get enough money at your wedding to go on a honeymoon anywhere you want!” True. We did. (Thanks everyone!) Unfortunately, you need to pay for your honeymoon in advance. We were really worried about having to pay for both the cruise and the flights so far in advance. We had just started working, so we were making money, we just didn’t have a lot saved up. We ended up applying for a credit card – which was the perfect choice for us. Neither of us have ever had a credit card before, but for 0% APR for the first year, we knew we could pay for our flights and other expenses up front and pay off our debt over the course of the next year without paying any interest. Capital One, you’re in my wallet. 

Looking Back

I’m so glad we ended up choosing Hawaii over the Caribbean. I’m sure the Caribbean is beautiful and one day I’ll get there – but we wanted to go to Hawaii, and we made it happen. You’ll always remember your honeymoon, so if you have the opportunity to make it to your DREAM location – DO IT! You really will make enough money at your wedding to choose your dream location.

Perhaps I should have consulted a travel agent instead of trying to plan it all on my own. Steve ended up finding a travel agency that made our lives incredibly easy. They picked us up at the airport and transported us to our hotel that they booked for us – they set up a tour of Pearl Harbor for us – and they provided transportation to our ship on the day we departed. It was great not to have to worry about anything once we landed.

Cruises are not intimate. I didn’t mind this at all. I actually enjoyed talking to other guests, other couples, making new friends, etc. But if you’re looking for privacy & seclusion, don’t pick a cruise. I don’t regret the cruise at all though. Not one bit.

Flash Forward

Tomorrow Steve is taking me out for a Birthday surprise!! And tonight he gave me my gift! I don’t know what to call it – but it’s the contraption that I can set my road bike on to make it a stationary bike indoors. (Does this make sense?) Anyways – I’ve been wanting one so I can cross-train in the winter / rainy days. I’m pumped to set it up & to see what Steve has in store for tomorrow 🙂

On Sunday, I’m biking 65 miles from Philadelphia to Atlantic City as part of Tour de Shore. Wish me luck!!

Monday, I turn 24. Woohoo!

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