Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Planning The Perfect Getaway

I can't believe how long it's been since I last posted on our blog! Hopefully everyone is having a great summer and staying cool. I've been working on a lot of weddings and honeymoons lately which has kept me plenty these past couple months! Although today's topic is geared towards honeymoons in particular, this blog post could easily be useful for other types of travel as well, so read on :) Here are my main tips for planning the perfect getaway:

Tip 1: Start early and bundle
I recommend starting your research at least six to eight months out from your ideal travel dates (and booking shortly thereafter). Last minute deals and super cheap fares are not frequent anymore, so waiting will only cost you more money. Many hotels offer 'early bird' specials, so sooner is better the vast majority of the time. Also, as a general rule you'll get a better discount when you purchase travel components together, so try to book a comprehensive package when possible.

Tip 2: Buyer beware
Many times the pictures you see online are not what the hotel looks like in-person. Many of the star ratings are skewed and/or inaccurate which can lead to a pretty disappointing arrival and hotel stay (4 and 5-star ratings can often be used loosely). Because of this, it is always a great idea to consult with a travel professional. We have personally been to many of the resorts and if not, have insider knowledge on most properties so we'll be able to steer you away from the traps. Do not trust everything you come across online! The small agency fee is well worth it in terms of making the most of your money and ensuring that you have an enjoyable escape.

Tip 3: Consult!
I can't stress enough how helpful it can be to sit down with an agent to discuss all of your options. Many couples feel completely overwhelmed by the task of selecting a location and resort/hotel, but you'd be surprised how easy it actually is to narrow things down in a very short time. Do you want a cruise vacation or something land-based? Are you beach people or pool people? The adventurous-type or sun-worshipers? What about all-inclusive vs. a la carte? Caribbean or European? Budget amount? Adults-only or family-friendly? You get the picture! It sounds like a lot but we'll have your priorities narrowed down within the first conversation. This way you can avoid the countless overwhelming hours in front of your computer screen and move on to the next item on your 'To Do' list!

Tip 4: Honeymoon registries
Trend alert! In lieu of receiving as many traditional wedding gifts many couples are asking guests to chip in for their romantic getaway via honeymoon registries. Guests can opt to pay for anything from airfare to the hotel stay to excursions + adventures. Let me know if you're interested in this. It's truly quick, easy and pretty fun- Many of our MTS honeymooners have loved this idea so you might too!

Those are my main planning tips for today. I'll be doing another posting in the coming weeks where I get into even more honeymoon-related details such as packing light, the concept of mini-moons and reviewing average honeymoon price tags. Stay tuned!

One last thing: The Twin City Bridal Association has announced that the next Bridal Fair will be on Saturday, October 9 at the Convention Center. We participated in the last event and will be there again this time to meet all of the eager brides and grooms-to-be! If you want to order your tickets early here's a link to do so. I've attended this event as both a bride and a vendor and trust me, it's a great opportunity to get ideas, meet suppliers and enter to win lots of cool prizes! Hope we see you there.

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