For us, planning the honeymoon has been one of the most exciting parts of the wedding planning process. It almost feels like a reward for all of the hard months of work, meticulously planning the party of your life to share with each other and your nearest and dearest. With so much choice available, organising your honeymoon can often seem overwhelming and be shelved on the do it later pile. To help take the stress out of designing the holiday of a lifetime, I caught up with Megan Jones, Kuoni Bristol, luxury travel expert, to get the lowdown on how to plan the ultimate honeymoon.
[J] Where are the luxury standout destinations for each season that offer value for money?
[M] Spring: Dubai – no destination screams luxury like Dubai, and heading into springtime you can get some great hotel rates. There is plenty to do including visiting the Dubai Mall, enjoying some of the world’s most recognised beach clubs and experiencing the authentic Middle East in the deserts of Dubai.
If you are travelling from Europe, flights to Dubai are considered ‘mid-haul’, so you’ll find some very reasonably priced flights.
Summer: Bali is a fantastic luxury destination to escape to during our summer months. It is also the number one destination on our Kuoni Top 10 Instagrammed honeymoon locations in the world. The weather is at its best from June – October which means you are more likely to enjoy the warm climate with clear days, leaving you to take in the dramatic scenery and natural beauty that Bali has to offer.
Not to mention the standards of accommodation available in Bali! It is an incredible option for a couple with a fixed budget, with endless options for private pool villas or tree houses overlooking the rice paddies.
Thanks to its size, Bali is easy to travel around and offers a real variety of things to do ranging from culture, adventure and beach activities. As a result, travelling around is cost effective. And when you are in one of the many resorts, eating and drinking are more than reasonable with a 3-course meal at a nice restaurant costing approximately £10 – £12.
Autumn: Europe is a great time to explore Europe. Crete, in particular, would be a great destination as it’s further south, therefore you can still enjoy warm climates at this time of year. Plus, you would benefit from the shoulder season offers. Crete has a wide selection of luxury hotels to choose from.
Winter: As with Bali and other Far East destinations, Thailand is perfect for a great value luxury destination offering winter sun. Enjoy lots of amazing cultural experiences, delicious food and an array of gorgeous hotels to choose from.
[J ] Are there any benefits to telling your travel agent that you are going on your honeymoon or will this increase the price of the holiday? I’ve always been a bit dubious about this.
[M] The price of a holiday will fluctuate based on your personal requirements as opposed to the occasion. There are many benefits to telling your travel agent that you are going on your honeymoon:
- We will recommend suitable hotels that tick the right boxes for you and your idea of your perfect honeymoon.
- Once we are aware that we are looking at a honeymoon enquiry, we are able to notify the hotel. It is likely that they will offer you honeymoon extras which may include: complimentary room upgrades, discounts, complimentary candlelit dinners and even spa treatments.
- We will also be able to recommend any romantic experiences in a given destination to you to ensure a special and memorable escape.
[J] Do you have any tips for getting a little more luxury out of your holiday without breaking the bank?
- Consider the Far East (Thailand, Vietnam, Bali), as you can often find ultra-luxury, private pool villa style accommodation that doesn’t break the bank. The value for money in comparison to other destinations is amazing.
- Make special requests. If there is something that you think would enhance your honeymoon experience i.e. a quiet room, room overlooking the tropical gardens rather than a pool, or a higher floor with elevated views; there is never any harm in requesting these with the hotel.
- Check for upgrade prices. Sometimes hotels will have amazing offers for upgrades. It’s always good to check this before booking.
- Go on shoulder seasons. If you can be flexible with dates, looking at shoulder seasons (between low and high) can get you more for less. For example, I know that looking at the Maldives as a honeymoon destination in May as opposed to February can bring in lots of discounts and offers.
[J] Where are the most popular honeymoon destinations?
Africa: Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa for safari
[J] We’ve booked the Maldives, Kenya and Victoria Falls, and can’t wait to go.
Are mini-moons now the done thing?
[M] Mini-moons are definitely a done thing. It’s a way to have the thrill and excitement of travelling straight after your wedding but on a budget with plans to reschedule your ultimate dream honeymoon for a later date. Popular mini-moon destinations include Greece, Italy and Dubai.
[J] How funny, we are so cliché. We’ve also booked Italy for our mini-moon! Cliché or so on point? [I laugh].
Honeymoons can often cost a lot and involve long-haul flights. Are there any destination combos you’d recommend to get the most out of your time and budget?
Sri Lanka and the Maldives makes for a perfect honeymoon combination. There is a 50-minute direct flight between the two islands, making it straightforward and easy to experience one world to another.
Enjoy Sri Lanka’s authentic culture, wildlife and scenery, then escape to the white powder beaches and crystal-clear waters packed with marine life in the Maldives. This combination is one of our top honeymoon escapes.
Mauritius and La Reunion is another good combo. La Reunion is a French Colony island which is reached by flight in 45-minutes from Mauritius. This combination offers dramatic volcanic peaks and lush tropical wilderness with tranquil shores and all-inclusive bliss. One of the major selling points for La Reunion is that it’s fairly untouched in terms of the travel market, making it a unique and exclusive honeymoon getaway.
[J] I wish I had known about that one!
I hope all of Megan’s helpful advice has given you some honeymoon inspiration. No time like the present I say; grab yourself a cuppa and start planning your ultimate honeymoon. And if you need a little extra help along the way, give Kuoni’s helpful luxury travel experts a call to do all the heavy lifting for you, leaving you to enjoy that cuppa… and the rest of the wedding planning!
Until next time, safe travels and happy wedding planning!
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