Singapore

Get your honeymoon plans right

Careful planning before the honeymoon ensures couples can travel with peace of mind

After the wedding, the couple plans their new life together.

Finances, living arrangements, getting along with the in-laws and other relatives become priorities.

But that can all wait until after the honeymoon.

Freelance wedding planner Antonio Sanda, 34, said: "The honeymoon is the couple's reward after months of wedding planning. But that has to be planned too.

"Honeymoon planning usually takes a back seat to the main wedding planning, but the choice of honeymoon destination should not just be an afterthought."

He said honeymoon destinations should be considered at least six months before the wedding.

Mr Sanda said: "The couple should start trading dream honeymoon destinations together, setting aside a budget, and thinking about where they want to go and what they want to do.

RESEARCH

"They can do research on destinations online, and talk to travel agents and friends for ideas."

Ms Kim Tay, operations director of wedding concept designer and planner Heaven's Gift, said couples should talk to travel agents who specialise in their chosen destinations, activities and modes of travel (air travel, cruise or road trip).

She added: "The couple can then research hotels, check room availability and reserve rooms early to get cheaper rates.

"After that, they can book their air tickets, get seat assignments, rent cars or other modes of transportation, order special in-flight meals and check luggage allowances.

"This is especially important if they are taking skis or scuba gear with them."

FREQUENT-FLYER MILES

She said: "If they are using frequent-flyer miles, they should approach the airline to make their requests as soon as possible.

"The couple should also check if they need vaccinations before visiting certain destinations."

Mr Sanda recommended that the couple renew their passports and apply for visas, where necessary, three months before the wedding.

He said: "The couple should get travel insurance. Two months later, they should buy cameras and luggage, if they haven't done so, research and book tours, theatre tickets and any other activities that require advance reservations.

"They should also start taking skiing lessons or get certified to scuba dive if they are going to pursue these activities during their trip."

SHOPPING LIST

A month before the big day, Ms Tay said the couple should make a packing and shopping list, reconfirm all reservations, and arrange for someone to look after their pets, if any.

She said: "They should exchange enough money in the currency of the country they will be visiting.

"Most airports usually have currency exchange counters and automated teller machines, but it is good to have cash in hand.

"Two weeks before the wedding, the couple should get their airline tickets and applicable vouchers from their travel agent. They should also stop newspaper delivery to their homes and arrange to have someone pick up their mail."

Mr Sanda said the couple should make photocopies of their passports, credit cards, insurance documents and any other documents needed in case their wallets are stolen or they face trouble.

"They should give one set each to a parent, relative or friend, pack one set in the luggage and leave one set at home.

"They should have a list of important phone numbers and essential information ready at hand in case of emergencies."

ESSENTIAL ITEMS

He added that the couple should also have extras of any essential items such as medication, spectacles, or asthma inhalers.

Mr Sanda also advised that medication should be in the original prescription bottles to avoid unnecessary questions from customs officers.

He said: "They should call their service providers to obtain international mobile data plans where possible."

A week before the wedding, Ms Tay said the couple should reconfirm their flights and clarify transportation arrangements to and from the airport.

She added that they should also give copies of their itinerary and a set of house keys to relatives or close friends in the event of emergencies.

Ms Tay said: "They should then check weather forecasts for their destination, prepare e-mail away messages for their work colleagues, and make last-minute preparations such as clearing the refrigerators of perishable food, watering plants and setting home alarms.

"Then they can set off for their trip of a lifetime with peace of mind."

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