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Honeymoon Hopping

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Today’s couples want bang for their buck. When it comes to planning for a honeymoon, make no exception. To maximize the experience, maximize the exposure. Here’s how to do the honeymoon hop.

When planning a honeymoon that involves multiple locations, each site becomes a mini-trip and this can be taxing on the mind, body and wallet. For Jim Gray, president of Jim’s Travel Link in Dallas, couples can have the tourist and the newlywed experience without multiple passport stamps. “Countries like Chile offer everything from wine tasting to downhill skiing to luxury lounging.” For couples seeking to satisfy the travel bug and keep the romance rocking, choosing one country with multiple attractions is the way to go.

In order to pick your multi-faceted place, Gray suggests basing your destination decision on your likes and dislikes, rather than geography. “Flush out what you like to do during your leisure time with a travel agent.” If it’s snorkeling and biking or hiking and horseback riding, a good agent will steer you in the right direction. “Any experienced professional will qualify the customer first and then make suggestions.”

Gray’s recent honeymoon itineraries include down to earth eco-tour though the rain forests in Costa Rica paired with a luxury beach resort. For a couple of history buffs, he planned a private stay at a small island off of Venezuela to satisfy the newlywed need and later routed this couple to hike the ancient ruins of Machu Picchu. One country that offers a world of options beats multiple airport hassles.

The most user-friendly itinerary that offers maximum exposure? Travel by sea. “Cruises are great to see several places at once without having to pack up at each new destination.” Another bonus to the big ship route? “If you want to do Europe, do it on a cruise to get the best dollar value. A five-star cruise costs less when compared to what you would spend booking hotels, flights and dining if done on your own.” And there is no better way to island hop than with a captain delivering you port to port. From the Caribbean to the Greek Isles, cruising might make for best mode of transportation.

For Gray, when it comes to multi-destination itineraries the rules of the traditional honeymoon still apply. He sees most grooms in charge of the post-wedding trip and warns, “You must make sure you meet her needs and create moments that meet and exceed expectations for memories that last a lifetime.” Feeling the pressure? Gray sums it up. “Spend what you can afford to spend at the best you can spend it.” Have your heart set on Europe, or the islands of Hawaii? “Four nights of glory beat the longer but budget trip anytime.”

If you think it can’t be done, talk to a professional. You can keep it first class from the poolside piña coladas to the sights of the Parthenon. With over 30 years of experience, Gray tells all husbands-to-be, “However you do it, do it first-class because you might not realize it at the time, but you are setting the tone for your entire marriage. You want to be the romantic hero, not the cost cutter.” Where ever you choose to honeymoon hop, keep each leap loaded with luxury.

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