Honeymoon Planning

by Liz Zack

We went straight to the source -- newlyweds -- to get the best, most valuable honeymoon planning advice.

"Go somewhere that doesn't take a day out of your honeymoon just to get there. You are too exhausted from the night before to be sitting in an airport or on a plane for seven hours."
-- Jackie and Cole
Wedding: November 6
7 days in Mexico

"If you're traveling around a lot by train, as we did in Western Europe, plan to stay in a first-class couchette one night -- you'll get traveling out of the way while you're sleeping."
-- Samantha and Craig
Wedding: August 14
10 days in Europe

"Set aside more money than you think you will need -- and splurge. I regret not getting the couple's massage on the beach because I thought it was too expensive. You only get to go on one honeymoon, so enjoy yourselves!"
-- Colin and Danielle
Wedding: October 11
10 days in Hawaii

"You'll want to buy at least one travel guide to take with you, but also try to get more perspective on your destination. One Saturday we went to Barnes & Noble and read everything there was to read about Tahiti. We eventually bought a book -- but we had a much broader knowledge from all that free research."
-- Carol and Erik
Wedding: April 24
3 weeks in Tahiti

"Bring a video camera (even if you have to borrow it from a friend or
relative) -- and take pictures of everything! We took a video of the sites and beautiful landscapes, but we also took pictures of all sorts of silly things, like cooking dinner in sombreros, eating breakfast with goggles on, trying to walk with fins on sand, and singing in the shower -- and we love to sit down and watch it! It really brings us back."
-- M-E and Travis
Wedding: July 5
2 1/2 weeks in Baja, Mexico

"Charge all your bills to one rewards program. We flew to Hong Kong with tickets purchased by redeeming our American Express points. Our tickets from New York to Hong Kong cost very little!"
-- Angie and Ivan
Wedding: April 10
3 weeks in Hong Kong, Maldives, and Thailand

"The must-visit Internet site for foodie travelers is Chowhound.com. Before our trip to Hawaii, we searched the site and got amazing restaurant recommendations."
-- Allison and Brad
Wedding: October 15
7 days on Kauai

"Be sure to check with your resort regarding the dress code for restaurants -- some restaurants may require a sports jacket and tie for dining. You don't want to miss out on a great meal because you aren't dressed properly."
-- Nicole and Joseph
Wedding: May 22
8 days in Aruba

"On cruise ships, book a top-deck room with a balcony. The top decks have the longest balconies, the ones you can stretch out the sun chairs on. Top deck and balcony don't necessarily mean pricey suite-there are other upgraded rooms there."
-- Hannah and Sam
Wedding: September 17
7-day Caribbean cruise

"Upgrade to first class at the airport if you can. Let the gate agent know you're interested, and if there's room they'll slot you in. The savings of doing it on-site are immense. It's also a very special treat when you get upgraded at the last minute." Knot Note: If you travel during high season, an airport upgrade may not be possible.
-- Brent and Kristi
Wedding: August 14
16 days on Maui

"The message boards on Frommers.com and Fodors.com came in handy. There was always someone there who had been to our destination and could help with first hand knowledge of resorts, flights, and best times to travel."
-- Nicole and Michael
Wedding: August 27
7 days in Costa Rica

"You don't have to book top-of-the-line hotels for the entire time. We went to both Spain and France -- in Barcelona we stayed in a middle-of-the-road hotel so that when we vacationed in the South of France we could stay somewhere fabulous!"
--Adryana and Patrick
Wedding: September 13
3 weeks in South of France and Spain

"If you have your heart set on a Caribbean honeymoon (or somewhere else that's seasonally affected), you might want to keep that in mind when you pick your wedding date. We married in the middle of its hurricane season, so we decided against the Caribbean mainly because we didn't want to risk it."
-- Heather and John
Wedding: September 18
7 days in San Francisco, CA

Illustration: Kerrie Hess

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