Preparing for the Honeymoon or Destination Wedding
Updated: Sep 13, 2019
Prepping for an upcoming travel can be a stressful adventure in itself, but going on an adventure with the love of your life can be a bit different than traveling solo. Today, I want to talk about things you maybe haven't thought of before taking the first trip together as a married couple.
1. Make sure your passport is up to date.
When my husband and I ventured overseas to England and France, my husband didn't have a passport. It would have been wise for me to also renew because mine expired within the next year. Unfortunately this summer, I was in need of a passport and I didn't already go ahead and take care of this last year! If I had done this, we could both be on the same renewal cycle as a married couple.
Renewing your passport is simple. You fill out the form with the form filler here, get photos taken and staple them correctly to the form, and make your check out to the "US Department of State". If you are a first time applicant, you can go to your local post office (by appointment only) or your register of deeds office where you went to get your marriage license.
If you plan on changing your last name, you must have a passport that reflects the same name as your state ID (your driver's license). Also, you can apply for a real ID through the passport office as well, which may be required in the near future for all international travel and some local travel. This costs $30. Check your passport laws here. It takes 6-8 weeks to get a passport, unless you have it expedited. You will save $60 by getting this step done early. You also cannot travel if your passport is set to expire 6 months after your trip! So even if your passport is not quite expired, check the date! Make sure to also leave a copy of your passport with a loved one and your travel agent in case something happens.
2. Exchange any currency two weeks in advance.
Where I bank, it takes several days to get money exchanged for free. Luckily, Ryan banks with Bank of America and they offer one business day exchange. We had the money sent to New York where we were staying, and while he went to get the money, I sat in a local coffee shop with our luggage. The cashier even gave me a second cup of coffee for free! So this was a lucky travel mishap. But it is always a good idea to be prepared in advance!
3. Use the envelope system.
Once you have your money, divide it by the days you are traveling. This will help you budget each day and not take all of your money with you out of your hotel room.
4. Book all of your excursions and tickets in advance.
This is a money saving tip. If you have a semi-set itinerary you will know how much you plan on spending and possibly save money by booking these things in advance. When we went on our honeymoon, there were key things I wanted to do and see. Being a Shakespeare enthusiast, history nerd, and a lover of fine things, I for sure wanted to see both the Globe Theatre in London and Versailles in France (the most amazing thing). We booked these two things in advance and then left the other things for when we got there.
5. Look up tips on YouTube vlogs or read other travel blogs.
YouTube has been one of the coolest things invented for traveling the world. Before I left, I found this guy Jay Swanson who is an American living in Paris. He made a video on how to travel from the Airports in France and traveling around on the metro. This was super helpful when we got there. Other vlogs to check out are here and here.
6. Google free or cheap things before hand.
I love a good deal. I mean who doesn't right? So before you head out of town a quick google search will make your trip different or interesting in ways you hadn't imagined. Planning a short itinerary will help you maximize money spent as well as get the most out of your time.
7. Pack as light as possible.
I know that this is hard especially if you are traveling long term. Take multi-functional pieces like pants in the winter and skirts or dresses in the summer. These will help you pack lighter. Get travel size soaps and shampoos or forego these all together. Your hotels will give you as many travel size soaps and shampoos that you need. They even carry crappy tooth brushes!
8. Try the local fare!
Don't shy away from something like snails just because it sounds odd. Trust me they are delicious! The locals will have food offerings that you can't get at home, so don't be picky and shy on vacation. Step out of your snail shell. :) P.S. London has the best curry I have ever tasted!
9. Book a photoshoot together.
10. Enjoy the little moments with your love.
Bask in the fact that you are married. Take selfies, put down the phone, have a married pillow fight in your hotel room, grab a coffee together, take a stroll arm in arm, feed each other like you are sickeningly in love, but most of all enjoy yourself!
I hope you found this list helpful! Reach out if you have questions or comment below what your favorite travel memory from your honeymoon is down below.
And I will leave you here with a video of the glowing Eiffel Tower that I obviously shot because it is a bit blurry! Lol!
Happy Travels XOXO