Deciding where to go on honeymoon is absolutely one of the most exciting activities in the whole wedding planning process. Whilst I very much enjoyed getting to live out my Pinterest dream for our wedding, deciding where to go on the most important trip of our lives was hands down a far more enjoyable task.
CLICK HERE TO READ OUR HONEYMOON BLOG POST.
For the first time ever we decided to book with a travel company. We booked our honeymoon through Turquoise Holidays, which included our hotels, flights and transfers. We shopped around online first and enquired with a few different companies to see who could offer us the best rate.
(Press discount received through Turquoise Holidays*)
Turquoise stood out to us, firstly because of their aesthetic. Those blue ocean hues and white sandy beaches were exactly what we had in mind when dreaming of our honeymoon. Our ideas of where we wanted to go on our honeymoon were broad, but we absolutely wanted it to be in paradise. Whilst it was the sunny destinations they promote that reeled us in, it was their helpful and friendly team that sealed the deal with good prices based on nifty suggestions of locations and seasons.
Once we had a browse at a number of destinations and became a little overwhelmed with the amount of choice, so we decided to make a list in order of importance of what we wanted out of our honeymoon.
- Honeymoon straight after wedding
- Tropical destination
- Relaxing and luxurious feel (hotel must have a spa)
- Good food
- Minimum two locations for variety
We knew we wanted to honeymoon straight after the wedding, and after the biggest spend in our whole lives on that special day we had a very specific budget that didn’t have much room for flexibility. Many people opt for a mini-moon followed by the proper blowout honeymoon a few months later once the cashflow has reloaded. Unfortunately getting married the first weekend of UK school summer holidays meant that everywhere on our mini-moon list was almost as expensive as some of the long haul destinations. We decided we’d go all in straight away after the big day.
Whilst we’d been eyeing up Bora Bora, it unfortunately wasn’t in our price range during high season in August (something to save up for in the future). In the initial planning stages we’d actually ruled out Maldives because this time of year it’s considered “rainy season”. Whilst we can accept you can’t predict the weather we really did want to avoid the off-seasons in some tropical locations. It was Turquoise that suggested Maldives as an alternative to Bora Bora as it was able to tick off many things from our list yet came in way cheaper than the South Pacific peak holiday time. The catch – we’d have to run the risk of a few showers throughout our stay. It was something we were willing to accept as a trade off to ticking everything else off. And it was one that definitely paid off for us as we experienced no rain in the 9 days we were in the Maldives!
Maldives really did tick everything else off our list – known for its luxurious and relaxing tropical beach breaks we now just needed to find resorts that had good snorkelling reefs and amazing restaurants. We actually wanted to split our holiday into two different resorts on the trip as we both get restless staying in one place too long. By the time we finalised our schedule we’d booked three different resorts. There were so many on our list and we struggled to choose. By booking different resorts we were able to tick off everything else on the list. We picked Constance Moofushi for their stunning house reefs, Constance Halaveli for luxurious and private accommodation and Velassaru as the foodie destination. It was also a bonus that each of the resorts had a spa.
You can read more about our honeymoon here, and read on for my top five tips when booking your own honeymoon.
5 tips when booking your honeymoon:
Make a list:
Make a list of everything you want your honeymoon to be – relaxing? adventurous? luxurious? All of the above? Write it all down. Then put it in order of importance as there will always be compromise. By writing out our needs and must haves for our honeymoon it immediately became easier ruling out certain locations and resorts. If you want privacy then narrow your search to hotels that have beach villas and water villas as opposed to resorts whose rooms are in hotel blocks. This is just one example of many that allowed us to streamline our search.
We looked at booking the flights and hotels separately as well as looking at a number of tour operators prices. We actually found the offer from Turquoise came in cheaper than booking it ourselves. The flights alone were £400 less pp through Turquoise for the exact same flights on SkyScanner. Travel agents regularly get better rates on flights than ones available online to the masses. This is because airlines want them to use their airline for all their customers.
Travel in off season
It is a risk to book a holiday during monsoon season or rainy season, however weather is massively unpredictable year round. The “rainy season” in the Maldives actually only experiences a minuscule 5% more rain than the rest of the year. For rates that are almost 50% cheaper I’d definitely say it is a worthwhile tradeoff. Also more reason to spend your savings in the resort spa! It’s also much more likely you’ll get room upgrades when the resorts aren’t at capacity. We were lucky enough to get a private pool villa upgrade in Velassaru.
Save a bit on your honeymoon spend by creating a honeymoon gift list. There are plenty of sites that offer a “honeymoon gift list” option if you don’t want to ask for cash but also have no need for department store goodies to fill your home. One of the main reasons we booked with Turquoise was because of their honeymoon gift list. We customised our list on their website and our guests could log in and look through a selection of activities and experiences. They very generously contributed to a number of activities, spa vouches, sunset cruises and drinks vouchers for our honeymoon which actually left us with a minimal bill during our stay.
Collect / Use air miles:
Choosing an airline and sticking with it is one of life’s greatest money management hacks. Building up points for flying with a particular airline can certainly pay off and help reduce spend on your honeymoon by cashing in the points for money off the ticket. If we can, we will always choose to fly within the One World alliance which gives us Avios points. We also use American Express credit cards to accrue further Avios points. Whilst we never cashed any in on our honeymoon we earned a staggering amount on the four long haul flights we took, which bumped us up a tier on the British Airways Executive Club system. Even though we flew Qatar Airways we turned our Qmiles into BA Avios points. Looking at the bigger picture, we are collecting throughout the year and plan to cash in on a free flight next summer.
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