By Essie Bester
Your first holiday as man and wife awaits you. It is the most precious holiday you may probably ever have – so make a concerted effort to make it special. After all, you will never get back those first euphoric weeks as newly-weds.
Something to keep in mind is the fact that you and your partner might not necessarily agree on your holiday destination. This often is one of your first tests. You might prefer a laid-back holiday while he wants to tackle every adventure possible. Consider a midway. A peaceful beach resort, where activities such as scuba-diving and horse-riding are offered, could possibly be the answer. It might also be a good idea to check out websites such as www.TheKnot.com/talk to chat to other couples about their experiences.
How to save on your holiday
- Consider a travel agent. They sometimes have fantastic packages. Also find out if your travel agency has a honeymoon register where guests can contribute to your honeymoon. Service providers such as www.honeyluna.com give guests the opportunity to donate to certain activities, for example a boat trip.
- Choose cheaper places, where the economy is weak.
- Book well in advance and do your homework before accepting a price.
When to do when …
Six months ahead:
- Compile your budget and decide where you want to go and what you want to do.
- Book your tickets, get your seats and see how much baggage is allowed.
- Look at hotels, room availability and book a room and a taxi.
- Find out if any inoculations are necessary before your departure (some series have to be taken months ahead).
Three months ahead:
- See to it that your passport and visas are in order, if necessary. This usually takes six to eight weeks and the rules are strict, so have this done well ahead of time.
- Take care that your travel insurance is sufficient.
Two months ahead:
- Buy your luggage.
- Investigate tours and other activities which might require prior bookings.
- Start with lessons for activities such as scuba-diving if you plan to participate.
One month ahead:
- Make a list of what to pack and acquire.
- Confirm all bookings.
- Contact a house-sitter to make sure he/she is available.
Two weeks ahead:
- Get your flight tickets and all the relevant information from your travel agent. Go through all documents carefully and make sure the information is correct.
- Get your currency, credit cards and/or prepaid travel cards in order.
- Exchange enough money (into the currency of the country you will be visiting) to get you from the airport to the hotel.
One week ahead:
- Make three copies of the following:
– Passport (the identity page)
– Travel insurance
– Driver’s license
– Health information
– Credit cards
– Travel cards
– Flight tickets
– Confirmation of hotel or other accommodation
– Confirmation of your taxi booking
– Inoculation certificates (Some countries require an inoculation certificate for specific infectious diseases. Travellers who for example wish to enter certain countries from Venezuela need to show a valid yellow fever inoculation certificate)
– Any prepaid confirmations
- Leave one set of copies as well as a set of house keys with a family member or good friend in case of emergency. Keep one set of copies on your person during the trip and keep the third set at home.
- Ask a family member to take care of your wedding gifts.
- Make sure you have extras of things you cannot live without – headache tablets, allergy tablets, an asthma pump, spectacles or contact lenses. Keep all the medication in the original prescription containers to avoid questions at customs.
- Contact you house-sitter to confirm when you will be travelling, give him/her the keys and your contact information.
- Start with a packing list so that you can add items when you think of them and have a list in case the suitcase is lost.
- Try to pack comfortable clothing in plain colours, wrinkle-free microfibres (lycra, Nylon, Spandex) and versatile shoes.
Three days ahead:
- Buy books and magazines for the trip.
- Write down important telephone numbers in a travel-size notebook.
- Make arrangements for your travel to and from the airport.
- Look at the weather forecast for your destination.
- Get rid of perishable food and water the plants.
- Make sure the clothes you will need are clean and washed.
- Confirm your overseas flight.
Tips during the flight
- Avoid alcohol and drink enough water.
- Take along a bag with a toothbrush, toothpaste, facial wash, hand cream, a disposable razor and pain tablets. Also remember lip balm and a travel cushion.
One day ahead:
- Make sure your luggage is marked on the inside and outside with your names, hotel addresses, and telephone numbers.
When packing your suitcases
- Roll up clothes that wrinkle easily instead of folding them.
- Don’t take along clothes and shoes that you have never worn.
- Pack an extra bag for any purchases you want to bring home.
- Don’t overload your suitcase. Zips can break or you can exceed your weight limit and have to pay extra.
- Share bathroom products such as toothpaste and shampoo.
- Pack a suitcase as you would a shopping bag – heavy items at the bottom and lighter items on top.
- Pack all your valuable items, one set of clothing, snacks and toiletries in a bag you will carry with you, in case your suitcases get lost or remain behind.
With these tips and courage, optimism, love and admiration for one another, you can be sure that the holiday of a lifetime is awaiting you!