Honeymoon PHOTO: John DeMello

Your honeymoon awaits

Whether you go global or stay close to home — there’s a trip for that

By Sara Cardine 06/01/2011

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Flying airplane fuselage pieces and gas prices above the $4-mark may not inspire the spirit of adventure in today’s brides and grooms-to-be in need of some honeymoon help. In fact, if deciding on a destination, booking space in time and footing a sizable travel and accommodations bill afterward hasn’t already killed the love, then you must have a love worth celebrating.
For many couples, cost is driving the decision-making machine. Unless you’ve won six nights and seven days at a beautiful luxury resort, courtesy of “Wheel of Fortune,” there will likely be a direct correlation between your bank account and the size and shape of your post-nuptial dreams. If you’ve got a lot, then this is a good time in your life to really enjoy lavish amenities. If you want to mark the occasion but can’t afford anything grand, there are still plenty of good choices.
The average American newlywed couple spends about $3,500 on their trip, including food and travel costs, according to the Honeymooner’s Review Guide, a family-owned Web site that hooks honeymooners up with planning tips and travel deals (honeymoonersreviewguide.com). Despite the trend toward online booking, about three-quarters of all couples still make their plans through some kind of travel agency, the review guide reports. 
 When it comes to destinations, beaches really corner the market. Hawaii’s islands have hosted generations of newlyweds and the state is still the most sought out spot for honeymoons. Just behind it on the list are Mexico and the Caribbean nations Jamaica and St. Lucia. Beaches are a good bet, because they accommodate a variety of tastes and can be as relaxed or as rugged and adventurous as a couple wants to be. 
Creating a romantic experience is essential to a good honeymoon, regardless of a couple’s individual interests. A particular destination can lend itself to romance, but many prefer to book their way to bliss by seeking out hotels that offer special honeymoon packages or travel agencies specially dedicated to honeymooners. 
Look for hotels with honeymoon suites, but be aware that this is just a name and that the room itself may not come any extra perks, like champagne and roses, unless they are paid for or requested beforehand. Ask if there are any special honeymoon packages or deals through a particular hotel; these can include not just Jacuzzis and chocolate-covered strawberries, 
but spa packages with his and hers massages, or romantic dinners for two will help you load up on carbs between bouts of passionate lovemaking.
Travel agencies that specialize in honeymoons may be hard to find locally, so do some research and don’t be afraid to ask if an agency has someone with an expertise in these types of trips. Online, the Honeymooner’s Review Guide offers agencies that it has vetted itself and lets visitors select by destination. One of those sites, askabouthoneymoons.com, will hook you up with lists of deals and packages as well as articles offering tips for planning a hot honeymoon whether you go abroad or stay right here in California. 
Whatever your budget or personal preference, there is a honeymoon out there for you. You’ve found the right person, which means more than half the battle has already been won, so wherever you go you know you’ll be making memories to last a lifetime.

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