Your honeymoon is very likely one of the most memorable trips you’ll ever take. There’s so much sentiment around this post-wedding getaway, so why not take the time to plan it well and make sure it’s as romantic and perfect as you imagine it to be?

Here’s 13 tips to help plan your perfect honeymoon.

1. Start Planning Early

The earlier you begin planning the better. Depending on the time of year, starting at least 6 months before you want to go is ideal, if not even 9 to 12 months for certain vacations like a safari or a river cruise. If you have a specific resort or destination in mind, don’t hesitate to start.

2. Plan Together

Couples should sit down together and discuss certain key factors in what they want for their honeymoon. From lounging and drinking a cocktail out of a coconut on the beach to exploring a bustling new city, you’ll need to figure out what is the most important for you.

Make a list of your must-see-must-do activities so you can factor them into your budget.

Know your priorities, selecting what’s most important to you and your fiancé will help shape the next steps.

3. Set Your Budget

Wedding costs can add up rather quickly, and it can be tempting for you to take it out of the honeymoon budget, but keep in mind that a wedding ceremony and reception generally lasts around six hours while the honeymoon usually lasts 7 to 10, or even up to 14 days. Your wedding day is of course a special day but the romantic adventures of your honeymoon trip will probably be more memorable.

4. Be Specific About What You Want

When you think about exotic destinations, does that mean a luxury resort on an island renowned for its natural beauty? Or are you thinking about some faraway foreign country where you don’t speak the language? Daydream with your partner to figure out what you both really want.

5. Consider Using A Travel Agent

While many people use websites that sell packages or are accustomed to booking their own travel, using a travel agent for your honeymoon is an option you should seriously consider.

Travel consultants will have access to special honeymoon packages at many resorts. These packages will give you added value, such as a free room upgrade, a couple’s massage for honeymoon guests, or breakfast included while traveling in Europe. Travel agents have relationships with many hotels and resorts that translate into additional complimentary perks for honeymooners.

6. Be Aware Of Hidden Costs

Honeymoons are expensive and you do need to invest but on the brighter side you will be making memories that you will remember for a lifetime. Keep in mind that there can be added expenses and hidden costs when you go for your honeymoon and there is no escape from that. Make sure you always carry some extra money with you for all those added and unforeseen expenses. If you are looking for a pocket-friendly honeymoon then this is undoubtedly one of the most important honeymoon planning tips.

7. Itinerary and Activities

The build-up to the wedding can be exhausting for most couples, so I recommend that you start with the more relaxing part of the trip, then embark on something adventurous. Of course, being “adventurous” doesn’t have to mean jumping out of a plane; it’s about experiencing something for the first time together, like adopting a baby elephant in Africa or learning to blend a bottle of Malbec in Argentina. The best honeymoons are the ones where the couples get to know each other better. You’re starting a new life together and the trip is an incredibly powerful way to connect.

8. Embrace Local Culture

Even if you live in the midwest and are headed to California’s Wine Country, there are new things to experience. A variety of wines comes to mind first, of course, but also sample locally grown foods.

Beyond the culinary, there are also sights, performances, and art forms that may be only found in that area. Be open to finding and trying different things while you are there.

9. Use The Correct Names

While you might be excited to try out your new name, be careful not to book your trip under your married name. You likely won’t have time to change all of your legal documents, and there could be some confusion if your plane tickets don’t match your passport or license.

10. Booking Hotels

With your honeymoon storybook itinerary, you’re going to have to lock in hotels. These should play out in tandem with the pace at each stage of your trip, but you need to slightly trick your future self. Every accommodation option selected should build upon the previous choice. The human mind can’t help but judge, and when you arrive at lodging number two you won’t be able to ignore the instinct to compare it to your accommodation the night before. So, in order to essentially feel like you’re winning at travel, each hotel must get progressively better — or maintain the quality of the previous stay — culminating in your big splurge at the end, which nicely coincides with your itinerary’s finale. The last slice of the vacation is the happy ever after – just like you and your spouse after the wedding.

11. Plan a Surprise

This is the best part about planning a honeymoon. Couples usually seek the most romantic things to do on honeymoon in order to make it special for him or her.

Whether it’s witnessing a sunrise or a sunset, a date night or a romantic candle-lit dinner by the beach, plan a surprise for your spouse that will help you in creating memories for a lifetime. You can always coordinate with the hotel officials or the travel agent to assist you in planning a surprise for your better half.

12. Consider a Honeymoon Registry

Would you rather have a blender or a couples massage beachside in Fiji? Honeymoon registries, which allow guests to contribute to various activities on your trip such as meals and cooking classes, are a good alternative for couples who are happy to forgo the traditional registry. and are two reputable honeymoon registry companies.

13. Enjoy Your Trip

Couples who are conscious of their budgets and have all the necessary plans in place must remember to just relax and enjoy themselves. However, if there is an activity that wasn’t planned or a special purchase to be made on a whim, just do it.

It’s your honeymoon, try not to make it all about the money. If you want to splurge a bit, do it.