When it comes to honeymoons, we take pride in providing our readers with the best resorts, destinations, and options out there to suit every type of couple and budget. From the Caribbean to Europe to Africa to exotic tropical islands, we cover a plethora of different and amazing destinations for newlyweds to celebrate their union.
Once you’ve decided on a destination, however, it can be difficult to know exactly when to book your honeymoon.
In this article, we will cover the best choices for booking a honeymoon, including where to start, when to book a honeymoon, and also how to plan your honeymoon to ensure you’re getting the trip of your dreams.
When to Book a Honeymoon Quick Take: Book as early as possible to avoid disappointment! However, don’t book years in advance if you’re the type who plans way ahead, as too many things could change. Six months in advance is usually the sweet spot, but you might want to go further out if honeymooning in peak season.
How to Plan a Honeymoon Before Booking
Deciding on where to start when planning a honeymoon can be daunting, but worry not– we’ve got you covered.
The first thing you’ll need to consider is what you, as a couple, are looking for in a honeymoon. Set aside all your Instagram likes and everything you’ve saved in that “Honeymoon” board on Pinterest and focus first and foremost on what you’re looking to experience together for this once-in-a-lifetime vacation.
One good way to begin on your honeymoon plans is by having a honeymoon planning date night! Grab some snacks and a bottle of wine and sit down together to make a list of everything you’re hoping to experience on this vacation together.
Create Your Honeymoon Vision
Having a shared vision for your honeymoon is the perfect way to know exactly what you want when you start planning your trip. It will help you be prepared before you start looking at your options.
Sitting down with your partner and asking a few questions can really help get the ball rolling on this. What do you both envision for your honeymoon? Are you hoping for a luxury city escape? An exciting safari? Or just a leisurely relaxing vacation somewhere with white sands and bright blue skies?
When doing this, you’ll want to be sure to listen to each other well and try to come to a compromise if you’re looking for different things. Outline what a honeymoon looks like to each of you and coming to a consensus on what will work best for you both.
Another thing you’ll want to decide on in this brainstorming stage is the pace of travel. Some people imagine their perfect honeymoon to be lounging on a beach in one another’s arms, sipping cocktails and catching rays, while others envision an active fun-filled getaway to make exciting once-in-a-lifetime memories with the one they love.
Establish a Honeymoon Budget
After deciding on the perfect honeymoon type for you, you’ll want to take a look at your budget. In comparison with regular holidays, honeymoons are expected to cost a little more. Typically, honeymoons cost around the $5000 mark according to surveys, so you’ll want to plan far enough in advance to be able to save up if need be.
While you don’t need to decide on the exact destination or accommodation at this point, taking a look at the price points for the options you’re considering can help you to create a budget estimate. If you have a set amount in mind, this can also help you figure out what your options are within that price range.
Choose a Destination and Time
Once you’ve decided together what kind of honeymoon you want and how much you’re willing to spend on it, it’s time to choose a destination and your timeframe for travel. (FYI, we have tons of articles to help you decide!)
Some couples will want to have a “mega-moon.” which can be a great choice for active couples who want to see and do as much as they can from their shared bucket list.
But if this isn’t you, try to stick to one destination. This will enable you to have a great honeymoon while sticking to your budget and without spending too much time traveling and being stressed. Going in shoulder seasons is recommended for honeymoons whenever possible, to give you a more peaceful, less crowded atmosphere and lower prices.
When to Book a Honeymoon
It may go without saying, but when planning your honeymoon it’s best to get things booked as early in advance as possible. (However, if you are planning this trip more than a year beforehand, wait until at least 12 months out to start making reservations as things can change.)
It’s recommended to start booking your honeymoon at least 6 months in advance of the proposed travel date. This way you will get good prices on airfare and won’t risk your dream hotel–or even your desired flights–being fully booked. Try to book refundable or changeable options whenever possible to give you flexibility just in case.
The Ideal Honeymoon Planning Checklist and Timeline
When it comes to planning and booking your honeymoon, you’ll want to start the process at least 6 months in advance. To help you know what to do (all the way up to the day of travel) we’ve compiled a checklist to follow when planning your dream honeymoon.
6-12 Months Before Departure
At least six months before traveling, you’ll want to start with the planning process. Be sure to follow the checklist to ensure you’re prepared:
- Set a budget & start saving.
- Have a honeymoon planning date night to decide what kind of trip you’re hoping to take.
- Research locations.
- Find a travel agent who specializes in your destination or honeymoon type (for help finding the perfect one for you, be sure to check out our travel planning page).
- Research hotels, check availability and pricing at the ones you like, and reserve a room.
- Book your transportation such as flights or train tickets (be sure to check your seating allocation and luggage allowances).
- Reserve your rental car if you’re going to need one.
- Get travel insurance!
If traveling abroad:
- Start learning some of the local language.
- Chat with your travel agent or visit the CDC traveler’s health website to check if any vaccinations are required before visiting your destination.
- Double-check passport and visa requirements for your destination(s).
- Make sure your passport will be valid for at least 6 more months at the time of travel, as some countries will not accept anything less. If not, go ahead and renew.
3 Months Before Departure
- Obtain your visas (if necessary).
- Buy a camera and sturdy luggage if you don’t already have it.
- Research and book tours, theater tickets, reservations at popular restaurants, and anything else that requires advance booking. (Do this even earlier if you’re traveling during peak season.) These are tasks that your travel agent should be able to help you with.
- Get certified to scuba dive or begin lessons for any other activity you hope to pursue on your trip.
1 Month to 2 Weeks Before Departure
- Make a list of things to buy and what to pack (check out our ultimate honeymoon packing list here).
- Double-check your reservations.
- Make any reservations needed for kennels or babysitters.
- Get a small amount of currency exchanged for spending money (if visiting a foreign country).
- Research international phone and data plans and make any arrangements (if visiting a foreign country).
- Collect your airline tickets and double-check that all information on your confirmations and paperwork is correct. If there are any problems, get in touch with your travel agent and they should be able to get this sorted quickly and seamlessly for you.
Within a Week Before Departure
- Make 4 sets of photocopies of your passport, credit cards, ID, and insurance policy (just to be safe in case anything goes missing or gets stolen). Leave one at home with a trusted friend or family member, carry one on you, and leave two in your room in different places.
- Download any travel apps relevant to your destination or travel type (some cruises require dinner reservations to be made via an app, for example).
- Sort out the things you need to pack, ensure laundry has been done and that you’ve bought everything that you need.
- Make transportation arrangements to and from the airport.
- Ensure your luggage is at the correct weight and has been labeled with your contact information.
By following this checklist, you should be ready to sit back and relax once it’s finally time to head off on your honeymoon!
Have we covered everything you wanted to know about when to book a honeymoon? If you have any questions, please let us know! And if you’d like help with the planning process, feel free to reach out to one of our trusted travel advisors.
Emily is a Freelance travel writer from the UK who believes that the discovery of culture, history, foods, and modern life is the most exciting part of travel. She loves finding great deals and experiencing great travel on a budget.
Emily graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in the United Kingdom, with a degree in Asia Pacific Studies.