Planning to take a second honeymoon after your vow renewal is the perfect way to wrap up your celebration. A romantic getaway for just the two of you somewhere amazing is just what you need! You want it to be perfect, but in the midst of all of your other vow renewal planning, planning a second honeymoon can feel a bit overwhelming. We completely understand, so we’ve put together this list of twelve foolproof steps to help you plan the best second honeymoon ever.
Even if you’re not one of the lucky couples that got to take a honeymoon after your wedding, these tips are sure to help you make your post-vow renewal vacation an unforgettable and incredible experience for you both.
Start your planning early
Couples are often tempted to leave planning their second honeymoon until the last minute. Even if you already have a destination in mind, this isn’t just another vacation, and you don’t want to leave anything up to chance. Plus, waiting to do your planning until the very end tends to mean you’ll be making unwanted compromises on your experience, and it will all cost more. You’ll want to start your second honeymoon planning as soon as you start your vow renewal planning, if not before. Some destinations are best visited at certain times of the year, and you’ll want to coordinate your travel dates with your second honeymoon dates.
Have a brainstorming session about dream destinations, must-haves, style, and expectations
If the two of you already have a bucket list filled with dream destinations, you’re off to a great start. If not, you’ll want to discuss what kind of trip you want to take. Your second honeymoon destination should be a true reflection of who you are as a couple to make it truly enjoyable.
You’ll want to start by making a list of must-haves. What kind of scenery do you want? Perfectly blue ocean water? Rich jungles? Ancient history? Mountains? Bustling cities? Do you want to visit a bunch of places, take a cruise, or stay at an all-inclusive resort the whole time? How important is the quality and selection of food and drinks? Do you want to stay somewhere quiet and relaxing, or do you want to party endlessly? Each of you should make a list of the top three to five things you want to experience on your trip. Combine these into a checklist that you use to narrow down your possibilities.
Next, make a list of places in the world you’ve been dreaming of going over the years. Your second honeymoon really should be a trip of a lifetime, so look beyond your usual vacation destinations and include those that you would find unforgettable.
If you’re stumped for ideas, check out travel blogs to find sample itineraries and trip plans. These will give you an idea of what there is to do at virtually any destination. This includes the best place to eat and stay!
Set a reasonable, realistic budget
Nothing can ruin planning a second honeymoon more than considering destinations or experiences that are beyond your means. You need to make sure that you decide on a reasonable, realistic budget. It’s best to have the estimated cost of your trip come in comfortably under budget, so you have plenty of wiggle room to take advantage of experience opportunities while you’re away.
Decide on when you want to go
Depending on how big of a vow renewal celebration you’re planning, you might find that having a break of a couple of days to a few weeks before leaving for your trip is best. Planning a vow renewal takes a lot of energy, and in many cases, the day of (or weekend of) can leave the two of you exhausted. Postponing your departure can allow you to enjoy the celebration without having the added stress of packing and preparing to leave the next day for a week or more. You still have something to look forward to, yet everything will be more relaxed.
If you don’t have the time to take a nice long second honeymoon, but still want to enjoy some time away together, consider a mini-moon. Spend a long weekend visiting somewhere new that’s a quick flight or road trip away. You still get the excitement of exploring new places, sharing new experiences, and relaxing together, yet you can be back in the office on Monday.
Narrow down your options
Once you’ve defined the key elements you’re both looking for in a second honeymoon, make a list of the top two to five destinations that meet all of your criteria. With your shortlist of destinations in hand, it’s time to start researching specific hotels, resorts, and vacation packages for each of them. You can do your research online or work with a travel agent to find the best values for your money. Set a cut-off date for your research so you can get on with booking!
Outsource planning responsibilities
Planning a second honeymoon is the perfect time to contact AAA or a travel agency for help. They can help you narrow down possible destinations and find great deals quickly. Plus, many offer options that let you spread out the costs over a few months, which reduces budget stress.
Another excellent planning solution is for one spouse to handle all the second honeymoon plans while the other takes care of the vow renewal planning details. You know each other well, so you can feel comfortable that everything will come together perfectly without your constant input in both sets on plans.
Book your trip
Once you have selected your destination, it’s time to lock down your travel arrangements. The sooner airfare, hotel, and packages can be booked, the more likely you are to find the most competitive pricing available. Everyone knows that Tuesdays are typically the best day for finding airline travel deals, so do your planning then.
If you’re considering a destination that offers all-inclusive resorts, these can simplify planning and tend to be economical. Be sure to look out for properties mentioning ‘resort credits.’ These are basically free money to use at the property on experiences and amenities. Large resorts, all-inclusive properties, and cruise lines all use this term a lot.
It’s also a great idea to call or email the hotel to tell them you’re renewing your vows and coming on your second honeymoon. Many properties enjoy treating guests that are celebrating special occasions with them to perks to give them reasons to post reviews about what a great experience they had—and hopefully come back again. Bottles of champagne, upgraded rooms, flowers, candy, and fruit baskets are amongst the typical special touches that you might be treated to by the hotel or resort.
Arrange for transportation to and from the airport
Uber and Lyft are not available everywhere, so you’ll want to make sure you have your transportation planned. This includes getting to and from the airport to the hotel or resort. You can arrange transportation logistics through your travel agent, transportation company, or hotel directly to eliminate unnecessary stress, avoid confusion, and stay safe.
Explore and book experiences in advance to give you not only something to look forward to but also enjoy cost savings for early reservations. Be sure to check to see if onsite activities like spa visits, dining experience, or entertainment are included or discounted in your package. Excursions and special onsite activities will help you optimize your trip and create memory-making opportunities. Reserve the first few days of your trip for relaxing and then balance out each day of activities and adventures with a day of relaxation. You’ll enjoy excursions and activities more once you’ve had some down time, and this schedule will ensure you return from your second honeymoon relaxed.
Take care of the major travel musts
If you are traveling out of the country, you’ll want to make sure to check the dates and names on your passport and driver’s license. They need to be current and have to match exactly. You’ll also want to take care of exchanging currency, so you don’t forget amidst all the other to do’s.
Pack in advance
Use the tips from those travel blogs you read to make a detailed list of everything you need to pack. If you are traveling to a different climate, you need to check your wardrobe for things you need to buy and get them ordered as soon as possible. Any online shopping for clothes and accessories you need to do can be done a few months in advance of your departure date. Pin your list to the top of your suitcase and start packing a week or two ahead of time.
Relax and have fun!
Don’t let planning your second honeymoon stress you out too much. Keep your focus on what matters most—celebrating this special occasion with your spouse! Your second honeymoon should be an enjoyable, romantic conclusion to your vow renewal. What could be better than jetting off for a few days with the love of your life?