As pointed out by talljabride: indeed The Groom has traditionally been the one to plan the Honeymoon (Circa 1980 and my first marriage, and that was the way it was for me)
Lol, this time round, with Mr TTR it was more of a joint effort… but I did most of the reearch, planning & organizing. But that is because I am a Research Hound… and a Travel Nut… so I know how to find the best stuff on-line.
To be honest, when it comes to Grooms and Honeymoon Planning, the majority just go to a Travel Agent, give em an idea of what they want, and drop the cash / credit card to make it happen.
Which is a good method… because… most of the time it means going somewheres nice, warm and romantic.
Which isn’t the best method… because… it isn’t always very budget friendly (travel agents do get paid based on commission). And it isn’t really personalized / customized to what you might both actually WANT out of your vacation… it is just a purchase made “right off the shelf”
Personally, I much prefer the DIY method of travel… which typically means you save money, and get to do the stuff you enjoy (learn insider tips)… but the trade-off it does take quite a bit of time to do the research & planning.
When it came to our Honeymoon, Mr TTR didn’t mind that, because we got to spend the months leading up to our Wedding having a “joint project” we could work on together, talk about, get excited about… something to think about that was based on our Marriage together, not just getting to that point (the Ceremony)
Here then a list of some of my favourite resources…
* Wikipedia (great for an overview of any particular Destination you might be considering)
* Official Tourism Websites (everyone has one… Country – State / Province / Region – Cities – National Parks – National Historic Places – Festivals etc)
* A Guide Book (be that on-line or in print… lots of basic info and tips… Weather – Currency – Getting Around etc)
* TripAdvisor (Reviews of Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions… the BEST Trip Planning Tool on the Internet IMO… they also have Boards / Forums where you can post Questions and chat with Locals and Destination Experts who know an area best). Quite honestly, I WILL NOT travel unless I’ve checked in with TA first… my days of bad hotel rooms are over and done with !!
* Cruise Critic… sister website to TA. Same concepts, only for cruising.
* FlipKey… another affiliate of TA and the parent company Expedia… FlipKey is a website dedicated to listing non-traditional types of accommodations (condos, apartments etc for short term rental). The cool thing about FlipKey vs other similar products on the market (VRBO – AirBnB) is that FlipKey’s properties are all registered and have been vetted… so what you SEE is what you get. And very secure in regards to your money not being ripped off.
* Loyalty Programs… whether it is an Airline that issues Air Miles or a Hotel that issues Points, the benefits of just being a member are fabulous. Even if you never have enough points to get a FREE flight or night… you are recognized as being a “member of the club” and as such there are perks from Membership. Be it Quick Check In, or the best available booking / upgrade.
And not all the Programs just offer FREE flights or nights… many also have other options for smaller items (Gift Cards) or options to transfer points to other Programs etc. Lol, my opinion, WHY not join? Passing up great things for FREE makes no sense to me… especially if it also means you get better treatment right from the get go.
NOTE – TripAdvisor & Cruise Critic are NOT Travel Booking Programs… altho if you click on something you see on line it will take you to a related Booking Website (if that is what you want to do). The Websites that they connect you to are either the Home Website for the listing… or a 3rd Party Supplier (Expedia, Hotels.com etc). 3rd Party Suppliers are essentially the same as a Travel Agent but just on-line, many of them offering “deals” as Discount Brokers… the downside to using a Discounter however is if you have a problem, you are not always in a position where you can fix things with the Hotel / Airline… as you are not the customer of the service you purchased… you have to go back and deal with the 3rd Party Agent… so the “deals” you see on line can be great if you aren’t too fussed about things, not so great if you are, or your travel arrangements are complicated (like connecting flights) and something goes wrong. Discounters typically are selling off unsold or UNWANTED items in an AS IS transaction to you… so things to keep in mind. Getting the worst room in a 5 Star Hotel, at a low cost could be great… getting the worst room in a 3 Star Hotel, maybe not so much !!
Personally, I much prefer dealing directly with the company I am looking to book with. So the Airline, Restaurant, Hotel Chain (ie Hilton) or even the Hotel itself (get the direct number, and call the Front Desk Staff myself). Combined with my Loyalty Card # I usually get the best service, and often the same or better pricing that I found elsewhere on line (just tell them what you found on-line while researching)… plus you still earn the Air Miles / Points etc.
Hope this helps,
EDIT TO ADD – And oh ya tell EVERYONE you are on your Honeymoon. People LOVE people in love !! It is kind of cheezy to tell everyone… but there are lots of FREEBIES and great stuff to be gotten that way… Upgrades – Complimentary Items like Cocktails, Desserts etc – Souvenirs – etc Even two old timers like Mr TTR & I got a bunch of stuff on our own recent Honeymoon (best one was the Hotel that upgraded us to an amazing ocean view suite vs. the regular room with a city view that we had booked)