Months and in some cases years of meticulous planning has been put in to ensuring your wedding was the dream day you had always wished for. Once the whirlwind of planning ends and vows have been exchanged, your bouquet tossed and your cake almost gone (top saved for next big event) your reward will be the perfect honeymoon, that succulent cherry on top to be savoured and enjoyed after all the crazy.
The big decision, where in the world to honeymoon? Whether you are the adventurous couple who wants to connect while zip lining through panoramic mountain views; or you wish to bond through a heart wrenching bungee jump while white water rapids rage below or simply yearn for tranquil waters and shimmering white sands to sink your toes into while you soak up the sun – this once in a lifetime trip requires careful planning.
World Travel Centre, based in Pearse Street in Dublin is the go-to travel agency for those Special Destination holidays. Norma, their honeymoon specialist, is a fount of knowledge when it comes to finding the perfect romantic getaway. I went along to pick her brain and see could she help me straighten out all those questions buzzing around inside my head. No matter what question I threw at her, Norma had the answer.
Here are Norma’s top tips for planning that dream honeymoon:
Set a realistic budget.
Make sure you include the cost of the honeymoon in your overall wedding budget so you know exactly what you can afford. Your travel agent can then tailor a package that marries (lol!) your dream honeymoon with how much you can afford to spend.
Book your honeymoon well in advance.
World Travel Centre recommend that you book at least nine months beforehand so that they can customise the package to best suit you and search out the best possible deals.
Factor in the time of year you are getting married
You don’t want to arrive at your dream destination in the middle of the rainy season and definitely not in the middle of hurricane season. This is where your travel agent can be really helpful. They will know what sort of weather to expect around the time of your wedding and can advise you on the best destinations accordingly.
World Travel Centre pride themselves on offering a full range of services from flight only through to the most complicated tailor-made itineraries. Their focus is on earning customer loyalty and making your holiday one to remember. All their honeymoon packages are tailor-made to your specific desires (and budget) whether it is for five nights or five weeks, three star or five star. Just give them the parameters and they will find the honeymoon for you.
Norma’s Top Summer Destinations
Bali is one of the most beautiful and mystical places in the world. With an air of fragrances, pristine beaches and breath taking sunsets this stunning Indonesian Island has lots on offer to suit both the laid back honeymooner and the adventure driven loved up couples.
Mauritius is a wonderful destination for both summer and winter and well worth a mention here. According to Norma, this stunning Indian Ocean Island is a perfect getaway for couples who want to just get away, put the feet up and chill on white beaches, sipping tropical cocktails, working on the tan and spending some quality ‘together time’.
For newly married couples looking for something beyond the standard tropical getaway, consider a Canadian honeymoon. With an expansive natural beauty that includes pristine mountains, lakes and glaciers as well as bustling urban centres, Canada also boasts temperate climates and clean, safe streets. From cosy mountain chalets to chic cosmopolitan hotels, this beautiful country has tons to offer honeymooners. One destination in particular I felt myself transported to while I listened to World Travel’s Norma’s enthusings was Vancouver Island. She made it sound like a Paradise in the Pacific Northwest. The windswept isle has immaculate beaches surrounded by old-growth rain forests, and a buzzing food scene in its chief city, Victoria. For a true end-of-the-road experience you could then head to Tofino which is all forest, beach, and mountains. Sounds positively dreamy.
So where to honeymoon in winter? Anywhere really as the world during this season is your Oyster. To narrow down the planning here’s Norma’s top three Winter Destinations.
For an affordable all inclusive and romantic Caribbean getaway, dip your toes in the crystal clear waters of the Dominican Republic. Love is in the air with plenty of Latin flair on this hot and hospitable Island. There’s plenty of activities for you loved up lovers to enjoy, from lying side by side on sandy beaches, whale watching or snorkelling in the warm ocean to taking long romantic walks in the countryside’s nature preserve or dancing the meringue ‘all night long’ in a steamy Dominican nightclub.
Fancy shaking your maracas, then don the sombrero and fly off to the magnificent Cancun Mexico, rich in culture, spicy food and blue lagoons. The Riviera Maya in Mexico has 81 miles of coastline and is just south of Cancun. It’s the perfect honeymoon destination for those who just want to relax on the beach. It is also just steps away from historic Mayan ruins and the town of Playa Del Carmen which offers picturesque cobblestone streets and great shopping.
Norma’s final top winter destination for our loved-up honey-moony couples is Dubai. Just seven and half hours with Etihad or Emirates, Dubai boasts lavish luxury, outstanding food and impeccable beach resorts and is a first class city-cum-beach break. It’s also the place to shop for gold and diamonds, or if you or your hubby love Formula 1 you could plan around racing season. This is a great destination for winter sun and the standard of accommodations is first class. Norma recommends you twin the spectacular Dubai with the equally stunning and picturesque Mauritius.
Finally, your checklist!
Budget organised – check!
Date for travel – check!
Dream Destination – check!
Tailor-made package, including accommodation, road-trips, days out, nights out, cruises, flight times, activities – all meticulously planned and diligently put together by our Norma at the World Travel Centre and neatly delivered in an outstanding itinerary, set to make your honeymoon a holiday of a lifetime – check!