Make sure your post-wedding getaway goes off without a hitch.
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Planning Your Honeymoon
Make sure your honeymoon to a far-flung locale is nothing short of amazing—and worry free—by not making any of these common mistakes. After all, you already planned a wedding, so you've earned some R&R!
Photography: Courtesy of Sala Phuket Hotel2 of 11
Planning at the Wrong Time
Most people assume that the longer you wait to plan a trip, the more expensive and scarce your options will be; however, "Timing for buying tickets and hotels is so dependent on where you're going," according to Martha Stewart Weddings Senior Editor Brooke Porter Katz. While it's not a bad idea to work out the details six to eight months prior to your European escape, other locations such as the Caribbean may be cheapest just two to four weeks before you take off. KAYAK's 2015 Travel Hacker Guide offers regional guidance on when to book, depart, and return, as well as other helpful travel information from hotel deals to vacation packages.
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Setting an Unrealistic Budget
Don't go into debt to finance what should be a relaxing and enjoyable getaway. You and your fiancé should agree on a budget, and then start thinking about destinations, hotels, and activities. But, don't limit your options without first crunching numbers: despite expensive airfare, many exotic locations offer affordable accommodations.
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Missing Out on Bargains
Between seasonal specials and surprise sales, there are good deals everywhere! Sign up for email alerts on airline and hotel deals through either the brands and airlines directly or sites like Smarter Travel. And don't forget social media! Follow airlines and other companies on Twitter, or like them on whatever platform you scroll through most, where they frequently advertise coupons and promo codes.
Photography: Ryan Oakes5 of 11
Picking the Wrong Destination
Maybe your best friend still talks about the convenience of her all-inclusive resort in Hawaii, and you can't stop obsessing over pictures of your brother's African safari, but remember: this is your vacation! Tailor your getaway to your tastes.
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Overlooking Shoulder Seasons
Of course you have to weigh weather (no thank you, hurricane season, but also keep in mind that great weather often goes hand and hand with your destination's high season—and that's when it's most expensive. Instead, try to book in the months directly before and after the peak season ("shoulder season"), which usually have the same amazing weather but fewer tourists and a smaller tab.
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Leaving Right After the Wedding
Waiting a couple days to catch your breath doesn't take away from the romanticism of a honeymoon. In fact, it will put your mind at ease with time to say goodbye to out-of-town guests, write a few thank-you cards, pack those last-minute items, and get some sleep. If you need more time to sort things out, or your dream honeymoon is out of your budget, opt for a mini moon to a nearby town and wait a few months for the real deal.
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Using His Name
If you are taking your husband's name, remember that the paperwork won't be complete until a few months after the wedding. As excited as you are to be his Mrs., use the exact name on your passport or driver's license when purchasing tickets and making reservations.
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Skimping on Travel Insurance
Despite your master planning skills, some things are inevitably out of your control. For this reason, the old saying rings true: better safe than sorry! Find a plan that includes "cancel for any reason" clauses, which cover work conflicts, medical issues, baggage loss, theft, and acts of nature. Read the fine print carefully because some surprises aren't welcomed, especially in a foreign country.
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Planning Too Much
Overbooking yourselves can be exhausting. Plan the activities you don't want to miss out on, but allot for a fair share of free time. A perfect balance of adventure and relaxation allows for both exploration and one-on-one moments.
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Forgetting Your Phone Plan
While you should try to distance yourself from the outside world and focus on your new boo as much as possible, if you're traveling abroad having cell service isn't a bad idea. All the major carriers offer a wide array of international plans that you can choose from. Or, you can stick with the times and just rely on the Internet. Brooke explains, "With many hotels and even restaurants offering free Wi-Fi, you can typically text, email, and post to social media without racking up any charges." Apps WhatsApp and Viber are free to download and allow texting and calling internationally as long as you have an Internet connection.