Hey everyone! Cait-the-bride here, coming to you with some tips for preparing for your honeymoon. Your wedding is a huge to-do: from the traveling family, hotel room blocks, and endless vendor commitments to your day-of details, theres no shortage of activities that you can spend your time planning. But if you’re lucky enough to be planning a honeymoon (or even a mini-getaway), there’s a bright spot at the end of all of that preparation: and you and your new husband have a lot to look forward to!
We went back and forth when talking about our upcoming honeymoon: Ned and I both work in sales, and are getting married in the middle of October, which is crazy timing work-wise – not to mention the fact that our wedding is 3,000 miles from home, so travel schedules needed to be carefully navigated. Before we got into the nitty gritty of planning and booking, though, we took a few months to talk, and really figure out what we wanted out of our honeymoon, and where we might want to go. We agreed on three simple principles: we wanted to go somewhere warm and tropical, we wanted enough time to really tune out and relax with each other (vs. tour and explore a lot), and we wanted a flight that wasn’t so long it was going to cost us a full day or two on either end of our trip.
Ever since we took our first vacation to Maui together when we started dating, we have both been in love with the island – and that’s really where we fell in love, walking along the beach at sunset after dinners, talking and laughing by the pool, and learning about each other. So with our wedding in LA, and Maui only a 4.5 hour direct flight away, choosing our destination ended up being a no-brainer! Below, I’m sharing my top 5 tips for preparing for your honeymoon, tried and tested by yours truly:
- Pick a location with meaning: if you’ve always dreamed of visiting a city together, or fell in love somewhere specific like we did, this is your chance to go there! Your honeymoon is an opportunity for the two of you to relax, spend quality time together, and really soak in everything that has brought you together, and happened at your wedding events. Ned and I plan to visit so many new spots on the island, but we also want to be sure to have dinner at our favorite restaurant in Lahaina, and visit the Old Lahaina Luau for good old memories from our very first trip there!
- Decide on your priorities: ours were enough days out of town to really relax, a destination with plenty of activity but also tons of opportunity to restful downtime, somewhere we can hike and get into nature for a bit, and a place with really great food! Whatever is important to you, be sure to bake that into your travel plans – you don’t want to settle for 7 days of guided tours, when all you’re really dreaming of is a day at the spa.
- Pack WELL: if visiting Maui nearly every year since I was a kid has taught me anything, it’s the value of packing the correct items (vs. everything in your closet) in your suitcase. You will never wear socks and sneakers on the island (unless you’re working out), don’t pack more than 1 or 2 pairs of pants, and when in doubt, load up on bathing suits and sundresses and a good pair of rubber flip flops. They will carry you far! Also, it’s always a good idea to bring at least 1 bathing suit for every 2 days you’re there, in case you need to wear more than one in a day. Hello night swims!
- Plan a few special touches: my mom taught me that there is no substitute for a good surprise, and that the little details count for a lot when you’re in the moment. For this reason, make sure you bake a few special honeymoon touches into your trip – these can be as small as ordering ahead for a bottle of champagne to your room upon arrival, or alerting the hotel that you’re celebrating, so they know and can honor your visit. You can also plan an excursion to surprise your better half, or call ahead to make a special dinner or drinks reservation. Whatever your plans, make it a trip to remember, more than anything else, by creating small moments of magic with your new husband or wife.
- Document, and write it all down: I’m a big believer in making memories, and then documenting them so I can go back and reminisce later! One of the ideas that I’m definitely planning on using on our honeymoon is a travel journal, where we save special little snippets (tickets, cocktail napkins, photos) from our trip, and then paste them into a small journey specifically for this trip. You can also write a little blurb each day about what you did/ate/saw, and this will serve as a great tool to jog your memory when you look back later. PS: Never be afraid to ask someone trustworthy-looking to take your photo – you’re a honeymooner, that’s WAY cooler than a “tourist”, and you’ll be glad to see two smiling faces in all of your photos later.