You may laugh, but it’s normal to slip up on your honeymoon (especially after all those months of hectic wedding planning!). But don’t let a silly mistake ruin what should be the most cherished time of your life. SingaporeBrides list the top common honeymoon mistakes to avoid.
MISTAKE 1: NOT PLANNING EARLY ENOUGH
Most bridal couples spend months and months patiently planning the intricate details of their wedding, but neglect to think about the honeymoon that happens after. Which means a high possibility of mishaps like paying for expensive flight tickets or forgetting to book accommodation (with a double bed!), as well as being stuck with a poorly planned itinerary. Designer Chung Siew Wan was in one such fix. The 30-year-old explains: “My husband and I had to fly to Tokyo for our honeymoon the day after our wedding. We didn’t plan beforehand so we ended up lugging our laptop along to research frantically in the hotel room on the night of the wedding.”
SOLVE IT: Devote some time to do a reasonable amount of planning for your honeymoon. At the very least, get flights and accommodation sorted out. That way, you won’t have to worry about missing out on popular destinations at peak periods. You might even save some money if you book early!
MISTAKE 2: NOT TELLING THE WORLD YOU’RE ON YOUR HONEYMOON
This isn’t the time to be shy, especially since many hotels and restaurants tend to present honeymooning couples with special offers or perks. It could be a free upgrade to a sea view room (complete with chilled champagne and rose petals on the bed). Or it could be dessert on the house. Says Natalie Tan, 27, Marketing Manager: “When my husband and I declared that we were on our honeymoon in Bali, we were treated really well at the resort – the staff went out of their way to arrange a romantic dinner for us. They gave us free pre-dinner cocktails and even made sure we got our own private spot on the beach!”
SOLVE IT: Before you depart for your trip, you can politely enquire if the hotel or restaurant has any special perks for honeymooning couples. Just drop a line like “We’re on our honeymoon, and we’re wondering if…” in your enquiry email. On your trip, casually mention to tour guides and hospitality staff that it’s your honeymoon – it might just do the trick!
MISTAKE 3: NOT SETTING A REASONABLE BUDGET
Money can easily become a source of tension between couples. And it can start as soon as you have said: “I do”. Or in many cases, on your honeymoon. “I got into a huge fight with my husband on my honeymoon because I bought a $3,000 luxury bag,” recalls Joan*, a sales executive in her 30s. She adds: “He felt that we already spent our life savings on the wedding and should be more prudent. But I didn’t want to restrict myself on my honeymoon – it was just once in a lifetime!”
SOLVE IT: Discuss the type of honeymoon you want with your partner (do you want a shopping trip in Tokyo or a backpacking journey through Asia?). Naturally, this will affect your budget. While setting a budget, beware of either end of extremes like being overly miserly or extravagant. A simple rule of thumb: You shouldn’t be scrimping and saving (like forbidding your partner to dine at a decent restaurant). Neither should you rack up a huge credit card bill for that ultimate honeymoon – and start your married life knee-deep in debt.
MISTAKE 4: NOT UNDERSTANDING EACH OTHER’S TRAVEL STYLE
In the film Midnight in Paris, Owen Wilson’s character Gil broke up with his fiancé after a vacation in Paris (citing personality differences, of course). Granted, the pair was not on their honeymoon. But it’s clear that travelling together can turn out to be a road-test of your relationship. This is when you will discover unique quirks about your partner. Like how he plans a ridiculously detailed itinerary and insists on sticking to it. Or how she explodes in anger if she has to walk a bit more. For civil servant John*, 32, much of his honeymoon was spent coaxing his wife. “We were in Cambodia because I wanted to photograph the Angkor Wat. I agonised over the perfect sunrise shot for hours and didn’t notice she was feeling hot and bored. She got really mad and that ruined our mood for the day.”
SOLVE IT: If you’ve travelled with your partner before, it might not be a serious problem (but day trips to Pulau Ubin don’t count). If the honeymoon is your first vacation together, then you need to watch out. Start by figuring out what you want to get out of the trip. If you want to sightsee and he wants to sleep in, then find a way to compromise. For instance, wake up an hour later but include some of your must-see spots in your day’s itinerary. It will also be a good idea to spend some time apart, just to recharge from being together 24-7. Planning a spa massage for the wife while the husband goes hunting for his discounted gadgets may end up doing your marriage plenty of good.
MISTAKE 5: NOT PACKING YOUR SENSE OF HUMOUR
Let’s face it: No matter how carefully you have planned your wedding, things can go wrong. The same theory applies for your honeymoon. You may trip and fall. Or you might misplace your passport. Or you might suffer a rash outbreak because of sandflies (or grilled prawns). If you are too hard on yourself, you lose the chance to truly enjoy your honeymoon. Says Amelia*, administrator, 29: “I was really embarrassed during a day trip to see the Pinnacles in Perth. The tour guide knew I was on a honeymoon and jokingly asked if I knew what the phallic-shaped rocks resembled in front of the group! I felt that was in bad taste, but my husband said I shouldn’t care so much about it.”
SOLVE IT: Just don’t expect your honeymoon to be perfect. Expect it to be memorable. In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff. In years to come, you may be laughing at all those mishaps and telling your children all about them!
Here are some planning practicalities to take note of:
1. Make sure you have a passport that is valid for at least the next six months. If not, renew it at the Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) early.
2. Get the necessary immunizations, especially if you’re travelling to Third World countries.
3. Pack a small first aid kit with medicine like painkillers, charcoal pills, anti-diarrhea pills and plasters just in case. Don’t forget sunblock.
4. Prepare extra camera batteries and digital memory cards of sufficient capacity (8GB and above) to capture beautiful moments.
5. Prepare a travel adapter and cables for all your electronic gadgets.