Article by Justin Burch
While your honeymoon will be an exciting experience, preparing for your trip can often bring as much stress as planning the wedding. The potential destination is often the first thing couples consider and millions of newlyweds have found the perfect combination of luxury, relaxation, activities and impeccable weather in the Caribbean. If you are in search of an exotic honeymoon destination like so many couples are, look no further than the accessible and affordable Caribbean. As you begin making preparations for your Caribbean honeymoon, follow the timeline presented here as you organize for your once-in-a-lifetime voyage.
At Least Six Months Before Your Caribbean Honeymoon
* Establish the budget for your Caribbean vacation. * Begin researching Caribbean destinations by talking to family and friends, searching the internet, reading travel literature or consulting a travel agent. * After deciding on your destination, start booking your flight and reserving accommodations. * If you are also planning a destination wedding in the Caribbean, check the marriage requirements of your destination. In the earlier stages of planning, you can also begin necessary paperwork or contact a wedding planner at your Caribbean resort. * If necessary, prepare all of the rentals for your honeymoon. This may include a car, off-road equipment, water sports toys or scuba and snorkeling gear.
Three Months Before Your Caribbean Honeymoon
* Secure your visas or passports, if necessary for travel to your Caribbean destination. * If you are visiting the Caribbean during peak travel season (November-April), begin making reservations for popular restaurants, shows and recreation tours. * If you anticipate needing several reservations or additional assistance for your Caribbean honeymoon, contact the concierge at your resort and explain your desired itinerary. Don’t forget to tip your concierge when you arrive. * Consider pursuing a scuba certification at home and potentially practicing the sport before visiting the Caribbean. By gaining some experience, you will be able to participate in more challenging, which often means more captivating, dives.
One Month before Your Caribbean Honeymoon
* Develop a packing list, accounting for all the unique items you might need in the Caribbean. * If you are planning a bridal shower, fill your want list with items you can use for your Caribbean honeymoon. * Create a shopping list for the items you don’t already have and don’t anticipate receiving as gifts. * Confirm that all of your reservations are correct by checking with your resort, airline and any tour operators or rental companies.
One Week before Your Caribbean Honeymoon
* Print your airline tickets or pick them up from your travel agent. Keep the tickets and your travel information in a safe, but easily accessible location until travel day. * If you plan on using travelers’ checks in the Caribbean, purchase some through your bank. You may also want to consider exchanging a small amount of cash for your destination’s currency to help cover immediate expenses upon arrival. * Rather than packing your bulky guidebooks, copy the pages you need and organize a folder to match your itinerary. * If you have prescriptions, make sure you have enough for your honeymoon. * Make copies of your passports, credit cards and insurance information. In the event that your wallet or purse is lost, the copies saved in your luggage or with a friend or relative could alleviate plenty of headaches.
Three Days before Your Caribbean Honeymoon
* Begin preparing your bags and shop for the items on your list. * Make arrangements for airport transportation, both at home and at your honeymoon destination. * Talk to your concierge about any needs you might have for your hotel room, such as champagne or other romantic touches. * Check the weather forecast for your Caribbean destination and pack your bags accordingly.
One Day before Your Caribbean Honeymoon
* Check for updated information regarding your flight. * Label your bags and ensure that you have everything you need. * Lastly, and most importantly, relax and prepare yourself for the trip of a lifetime.
About the Author
Justin Birch writes about travel in the Caribbean for Marriott Resorts.