Planning a dream honeymoon is no easy task–you have to narrow down and choose the ultimate destination, decide whether you want to go right after the wedding or wait a few weeks/months depending on the destination, figure out how long you can go for and how to maximize your time at that destination, do research on unique/once in a lifetime experiences you can enjoy while on this very special trip, look into the easiest/safest way to get around (or get to your destination if it’s remote), and the list goes on and on.
Of course this is happening while you’re also trying to finalize a wedding which is really stressful on its own–even if you’re working with the best wedding planner–and you’re left with a frazzled mind and little to no time to focus on anything else. Add to this the recent disruptions (an understatement) caused by Coronavirus and all the border closures and new entry rules and flight schedule changes/cancellations, and you’re left with a very stressful and potentially frustrating trip planning situation that in actuality should be really fun and exciting.
Another obstacle that might arise when planning a dream honeymoon is cost.
This isn’t just any ol’ trip–this is a once in a lifetime trip that you and your soon to be spouse will remember and cherish for the rest of your lives; this is not a trip where cutting corners and limiting yourself just to save a few dollars is recommended (within reason of course). Not to mention many dream honeymoon destinations such as the Amalfi Coast, South Africa, Bora Bora, Fiji, the Maldives, Bali, etc. are expensive to get to (and can be expensive destinations in general), and the dreamy, typically five star luxury Instagram-worthy resorts you likely would love to stay at are usually pretty expensive as well.
If you’re wanting to visit many of these destinations during peak season, you may also find difficulty with hotel availability and sold out situations.
So how then can you plan your dream honeymoon, actually enjoy the process, and find a way to elevate your budget so you can splurge on this very special trip? Two solutions I recommend is setting up a crowdfunding-type registry via a company like Honeyfund.com, and working with a luxury travel professional like myself who specializes in working with clients on customized high end trips.
What is Honeyfund?
Honeyfund is essentially a wedding registry where guests can send you monetary gifts to help you pay for the costs of your honeymoon, or anything you’re saving for. When you receive payments via Honeyfund’s Bank Account solution, payments are automatically deposited into your bank account. Guests can also gift you money via PayPal within Honeyfund, and you can withdraw the money at any time by logging into your PayPal account and clicking on the Withdraw tab. If a guest isn’t comfortable with gifting you cash towards an experience, they also have the option of buying you a gift card redeemable with nearly 200 popular brands in travel, retail, dining, experiences, and more.
If you as a couple has everything you want and need for when you move in together (if you haven’t moved in already) and want to focus on an experience vs. physical gifts (pots, pans, blenders, wine fridge–all the fun stuff), this is a great solution. It’s also a way to essentially ask for money in a more comfortable/more tactful way, and people feel good knowing that their dollars are going towards unique experiences that you guys will enjoy and remember for years to come. You can start your free honeymoon fund at Honeyfund.com.
How To Determine My Honeyfund Registry
You may be wondering how to determine what you list out in your registry and how to figure out the corresponding prices for each item. Once we decide to work together and I get a good understanding of what you want your dream honeymoon to look like and what your tastes and preferences are, I’ll send you a proposal with a breakdown of prices so you have a better idea of what each portion of the honeymoon will cost, and it will be easier to list and price things out for your registry.
You can even include the advisor travel planning fee in your registry, so you’re covered there as well.
Benefits of Working With Travel Advisor Like Myself To Plan Dream Honeymoon vs Using Honeyfund’s Travel Deals or a Third Party like Expedia or Orbitz
The biggest value is having access to a professional that will take care of it all for you (consider me your travel concierge). I’m able to offload the time and stress off of planning such an important trip so you can focus on the big day. I take care of and handle all of the logistics–flights, transportation, hotel accommodations (at the same prices that are found on the internet–sometimes for less), activities based on your tastes and preferences, restaurant reservations and recommendations, etc. I’m also reconfirming reservations for you just before you arrive (and reaching out to my hotel contacts for upgrades and reminding them you’re my VIP clients), and am in constant contact with all the providers that we hire while you’re on your honeymoon.
Also, I’m a live human that you can call, text, or email and can get in touch with right away. I can’t tell you how many sob stories I heard from new clients when the Coronavirus pandemic first hit regarding the frustration and hopelessness they felt trying to get refunds from third party providers and airlines they had booked on their own because the “customer service” lines were busy with over 2 hour wait times, or canned responses they received via email that their reservations were non-refundable and nothing could be done. All while I was able to advocate for clients who had booked through me, was able to get refunds right away for flights that were cancelled, and was able to get exceptions with hotels once some of the reservations were in the cancellation penalty period to fully refund the client or at least be able to issue full credits for future use and rebook clients for a later date.
I understand/can work within your budget, and I’m often able to add hundreds of dollars’ worth of benefits and amenities to elevate your trip without you having to pay more. The way I’m able to do this is via my host agency who is a member of Virtuoso (the world’s leading network of luxury travel) and due to the preferred partnerships the agency has with the world’s best luxury hotels and resorts. What does this mean? To give you an example, let’s say you’re going to Venice and want to stay at the Gritti Palace.
- One of the complimentary perks I can offer my clients is complimentary buffet breakfast daily (which is amazing at this hotel). The price for the buffet breakfast if you pay out of pocket is 53 euros per person per day, so that ends up being over $100 per couple per day. If you’re staying 3 days in Venice, that’s over $300 in savings.
- On top of complimentary breakfast I’m also able to include a $100 food and beverage credit (taking your savings to now over $400), and upgrade on arrival subject to availability.
- Using arbitrary dates for the sake of this example, the price difference between an entry level room and the next category up for October 21st-24th 2020 is around $167/nt (plus taxes and fees). If you were to be upgraded for the 3 nights at check-in, that would be an additional $500+ dollars of value that I would be able to add to your dream honeymoon, at no extra cost to you.
- I’m also able to access promotional offers that are often not available on the internet, and in this case the hotel is offering a 3rd night free for the dates mentioned above. If the price for the entry level room is $500/nt (as an example), that means that your out of pocket cost for staying here will be $1000+ (when you factor in taxes and fees) vs. at least $1500+, saving you at least another $500.
- Not including the potential upgrade (since in this case it’s not guaranteed), the savings I’m able to provide you by working with me is at least $900 in this scenario ($300 for breakfast, $100 food+beverage credit, and a complimentary 3rd night worth at least $500)–that is a huge savings and a ton of value, and something I’m able to take care of so you know you’re getting the best deal. If we’re booking 5 star luxury properties for your dream honeymoon, this scenario can happen at destinations all over the world.
It’s really hard to VIP yourself, so let me do it for you. How am I able to VIP you? I have trusted and vetted specialists all over the world. From award winning tour guides, to trustworthy drivers, and relationships with actual decision makers at the best hotels in the world, I have access to a little black book of the best people to contact to ensure my clients are taken care of and have nothing to worry about while on their trip.
I can help you decide where to go and when. One of the other benefits of working with me on your dream honeymoon is I can help you narrow down your choices based on many factors such as when you’re able to travel, how long you’re able to travel for, budget, interests, and other important factors. If your travel dates are flexible, we may be able to take advantage of lower prices at destinations during shoulder season so we can stretch your budget, or if you’re traveling during peak season, I know when to start planning (and who to contact) in order to be able to get the room type and hotel you want. I also am privy to special promotional offers that will give you more bang for your buck, and can also pivot quickly and make recommendations in case we need to change your destination last minute due to unforeseen events or circumstances.
My job is to also stay up to date on the destination you’re traveling to and know what’s happening at all times. Especially during these times of Coronavirus, I’m able to inform my clients of what destinations are open (*at least while planning the trip), what hotels are doing to keep clients safe, stay up to date on what’s open at hotels/resorts and the destination where you’re traveling, get all the necessary info on entry requirements for your destination, monitor your flights if I book them for schedule changes/cancellations (which are happening all the time), and be ready to help you pivot should something unexpected arise. *As we’ve seen recently with Hawaii and Turks and Caicos for example, certain destinations may change their entry requirements at any time, and staying up to date is important in order to determine whether or not the trip can still happen when planned, or see if the trip needs to be postponed or see if we need to choose a new destination.
I’m also your advocate and an extension of you, and will recommend flexible booking options and will make sure cancellation and deposit policies are clearly stated and fair so there are no surprises down the road.
The bottom line is if you’re not using a travel advisor when planning your dream honeymoon you’re actually missing out on saving money and getting the VIP service!
If you’d like to learn more about my services prior to starting the planning process for your dream honeymoon, you can get more information via the FAQs page on my website. If you’re ready to start the planning process, you can email me at [email protected], or fill out my trip request form here. Once I receive your info, I’ll schedule a call with you to discuss your dream honeymoon in more detail with you, and we’ll agree to the planning fee. Once the Travel Services Agreement is signed and the planning fee is collected, I can get started on putting together a proposal for your honeymoon for you to approve, with the necessary info and pricing so you can set up your honeyfund.
*Some of the links throughout LoweLuxuryTravel.com are affiliate links and I may earn a commission when readers click on the link and make a purchase; however all thoughts/recommendations are my own and I wouldn’t recommend or link to anything that I wouldn’t use myself.