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How to Choose a Honeymoon Destination

When it comes to honeymoons, the world is wide open, offering almost limitless destination choices for the bride and groom. Marshall Calder from Leading Hotels of the World, a marketing firm that represents hotels around the world, offers a few hints to help fine-tune your honeymoon plans.

Begin by asking yourselves which type of honeymoon experience you want: rest and relaxation, culture, or adventure. Does recuperating on a beach in the Caribbean or some other exotic locale sound like a dream come true? Or is sight-seeing and shopping in an old-world city such as Venice, Paris, or Rome more your style? Perhaps you want to focus your trip on learning how to do a new skill like Italian cooking in Tuscany? Or maybe an active vacation with ballooning, kayaking, or hiking in places like South Africa, New Zealand, or the Himalayas makes your heart race with excitement? Whatever your choice of honeymoon, consider, too, the distance away and your length of stay as these factors may influence your end decision. And if you and your spouse have differing ideas of the ideal vacation, try a compromise; for example, a trip to Greece or France can include a few days of city exploring, as well as time at a beach resort.

It's important to set a budget -- and to keep it realistic. Most newlyweds want a touch of luxury, but if an entire vacation at a five-star hotel or resort is too prohibitively priced, stay at one for just a few days, and then seek less expensive accommodations. You can also register for a honeymoon to let friends and family contribute toward the trip. Stay away from pre-packaged honeymoon deals as they're often less flexible and not tailored to suit your choices.

Travel agents are experienced time-savers that can help streamline the process. Ask friends and family for good recommendations, or search for agents who are bonded and members of the American Society of Travel Agents.

As for final preparations, be sure the name on your passport matches that on your airline ticket. Get immunization shots or any necessary medications well in advance, and take jet lag into account; if you aren't used to traveling, don't arrange a full day of sight-seeing right after your arrival. Lastly, don't overplan; give yourself ample opportunity to relax and explore.

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