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Whether you opt for sunny beaches or urban jungles, your honeymoon should be about bonding with your beau in an exciting locale. And because we want your experience to be as stress-free as possible, we've compiled top tips from couples we've featured in Martha Stewart Weddings. Take a page (or two, or three…) out of these newlyweds' books, and your honeymoon is guaranteed to be unforgettable. (Want to submit your honeymoon? Email firstname.lastname@example.org with a description of your getaway and some photos.)
The honeymoon: Five nights each in Rome, Marrakech, and Santorini.
Know before you go: "Baggage allowances are smaller on European flights than in the U.S.," says Cristina. She packed light, and her gallant husband left books and shoes behind to accommodate their new purchases.
Keep a journal: "We wrote every night—about a great meal or what we did that day," Cristina says. "In 30 years, we'll look back and remember how fun it was."
The honeymoon: A month in France—three nights in the Loire Valley, two nights in Nice, and the rest in Paris.
Top tip: Don't over plan. "We tried to have one big attraction on the agenda each morning, and the rest of the time we wandered," Alexis says. "It's fun to just see where the day takes you."
The honeymoon: Three weeks driving around Europe, with 17 impromptu stops along the way in Hungary, Austria, and Italy.
The Meal Plan: Picnics! To save money and enjoy local specialties, Karen and Justin recommend raiding local markets, then finding a spot to eat your food alfresco.
Lessons learned: Stay positive! On a trip as impromptu as this, there are bound to be ups and downs, such as when the two returned to their room in Rome to find someone else in it! "Even when the hotels were not ideal, it became a funny memory," says Karen.
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Erin and Bryce's "Familymoon" in Hawaii
The honeymoon: Two weeks in Maui with their then 4-year-old daughter and 2-year-old son.
Top tip: On a familymoon, says Bryce, who owns and operates youth hockey camps, "be okay with doing less. Dragging kids to activities when they're tired never works."
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Anne-Cecile and Kenny's Tokyo Trip
The honeymoon: Two weeks in Japan, including Tokyo, Kyoto, and Kanazawa.
Getting around: Navigating Tokyo can be overwhelming, but Anne-Cecile downloaded the English version of its subway map in advance, which made exploring a lot easier.
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The honeymoon: Eight nights in New Zealand and seven in Australia—plus four nights on Kauai on the way home.
Caught on camera: The couple kept iPhone video journals, starting each morning with an introduction to what they were doing that day. Darnell plans to use Final Cut Pro to edit the footage.
The honeymoon: A week in Palm Springs and Joshua Tree.
Trip tunes: Music can make or break a long car ride, and Erin and Matthew came prepared. "We had a Spotify playlist with our favorite songs—the same one we sent to the band for our wedding," Erin says. A few days into the trip, they added one more tune to the rotation: a recording from their big day, which the bandleader sent them, of a soul/R&B rendition of "How Long Will I Love You," by About Time.
Photo album 2.0: Don't just make an online slide show. Instead, take a page from this couple's (photo) book and create a physical keepsake through Artifact Uprising. "It's easy to use," Matthew says. "And we've been really happy with the print quality."
The honeymoon: Eating their way through Lake Como, Piedmont, Florence, Tuscany, and Rome.
Bottoms up: There's nothing like toasting your anniversary with wine from your honeymoon, which is why they packed the Bottle Bubble Protector ($2.50 each) to transport their liquid souvenirs.
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Michelle and Ryan's Bhutan Trip
The honeymoon: A trip to Bhutan, with both luxury stays and camping in the Himalayas.
Top tip: Tourism is controlled by the state; visit the official website for info. There's a fee of $200 to $250 per person, per day, which includes transportation, food, a guide, and lodging (high-end hotels may have a surcharge).
The honeymoon: 27 days in paradise, including stays in Moorea and Bora Bora.
Top tip: If you're going to go big, use a travel agent. "To have someone say, 'This room faces this way' or 'This room is noisier at night,' is invaluable," Chad says. They worked with April Schmitt from Divine Destination Weddings & Honeymoons.
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The honeymoon: 300 days around the world, which began in Madrid and ended in Seoul—with more than 20 stops in between.
Charge it: Given international fees, having the right credit card is key. "Look for one that gives cash back (they used Visa's Capital One No Hassle rewards), plus a debit card that refunds ATM fees," Thomas says. "Those two almost covered our flight home."
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Jen & Joe's Hawaii Vacay
The honeymoon: Two nights in Oahu, four in Maui, and four on the Big Island.
Top tip: Visit on the cusp of the off-season. "We went in October, and it was quieter than I was expecting, which was great," Jen says. "We also didn't have to book it too far in advance."
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