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Article submitted by - Elan Weddings

BOOKING

  • you can either book through a travel agent or directly through the airline, cruise line, etc. If you book through an Ontario registered travel agent you have better protection, through the Travel Industry Act, should your airline or cruise line go out of business (remember Canada 3000!?!?!)
  • make sure you mention that it's your honeymoon, some places will try to upgrade you or throw in extras
  • check if you need a visa or any other documentation to visit your destination country
  • invest in a travel book (Fodor's, Frommer's, Let's Go, etc.) these usually have descriptions of accommodations, transportation options, etc. which you can then discuss with your travel agent or use to book yourself
  • find out what constitutes "appropriate dress", you wouldn't want to show up for dinner in shorts when everyone else is in evening wear!
  • book everything in your maiden name as you won't have changed your ID yet and it could cause problems
  • find out about the customs of the country you are visiting

THINGS TO ARRANGE BEFOREHAND

  • book time off work
  • make sure you have passports and they're up to date (and not going to expire while you're away!). While these are not technically required to enter the United States, these days it is recommended
  • make sure you have adequate travel medical insurance. Check with your Human Resources department at work to see of you're covered by your extended medical. If not, or if it's not enough, you can purchase this insurance through your travel agent or bank
  • check with your bank to see if you're A.T.M. card will work in your destination country, don't depend on this as a sole source of cash though, many times there are issues even when it should work. Make a note of the systems your bank uses (ie Interac, Plus, Cirrus, etc.)
  • check with your doctor or a travel medical clinic regarding any vaccinations or medications you may need
  • when buying foreign currency always make sure you have at least some small bills for taxis, tips, snacks, etc. If possible try to avoid large bills as these may not be accepted everywhere (just like our $100's)
  • consider leaving any good jewellery at home, including your engagement ring, depending on where you're headed. This may be a good time to get a Safe Deposit Box if you don't already have one
  • leave a copy of your itinerary, including phone numbers, with family in case they need to reach you
  • stop newspapers for the duration of your trip
  • arrange for a pet sitter or boarding
  • arrange for someone to collect mail, water plants, etc.
  • consider a timer for lights so your house looks lived in

PACKING

  • pack half of your clothes in his suitcase and vice versa so if one bag goes missing at least you have half of your stuff!
  • pack toiletries, medication, a change of clothing and your tickets and confirmations in your carry on baggage
  • don't pack things like nail clippers, scissors, razors and other items that airport security people don't like in your carry on
  • if you're planning on visiting any churches or cathedrals keep in mind that usually your knees and shoulders must be covered so make sure you pack something appropriate
  • if you're visiting a Muslim country, thoroughly check into the required dress (especially for women) and pack accordingly.
  • write down credit card, traveller's cheque, passport, etc. numbers as well as phone numbers to call if they're lost or stolen. Bring this list with you but keep it separate from credit cards, traveller's cheques, passports, etc.
  • as well as an outside luggage tag, make sure your name, address and phone number are on the inside of your suitcase too
  • if you're bringing a hairdryer, curling iron or other electrical appliance check if you need to bring an international AC adapter
  • bring addresses of anyone you're sending postcards to as well as emergency contact information (including doctor's phone number)
  • bring all hotel, car rental, etc. confirmations with you in case you need proof of a reservation
  • bring Pepto Bismol, Immodium, etc. because "that" is the LAST thing you want on your honeymoon and sometimes even the slightest thing can set your stomach off
  • pack a laundromat (single) size laundry detergent so you can do a mini laundry load in the bathroom sink if necessary
  • when packing liquid items like sunscreen, moisturiser, shampoo, conditioner, etc. seal them in a Zip Lock bag. These things have been known to leak in a big way when depressurised!

FLYING

  • arrive a the airport in plenty of time usually two hours early, three for international flights. Keep in mind that getting through airport security can take quite a while now
  • be prepared to turn on your camera, Palm Pilot, cell phone, etc., have them handy
  • planes are notoriously cool, pack a sweater or pashmina in your carry on
  • the biggest cause of jet lag is dehydration, bring a bottle of water each and take any more when it's offered by the flight attendant
  • if you're the type who need the washroom fairly often request the aisle seat, it's easier for you and those around you
  • if you're taking a night flight or just a long flight(s) it's worth it to get an inflatable neck pillow, eye mask and ear plugs
  • check your airline's carry on baggage policy, it's usually one piece each and there is a size limit
  • consider packing your own little gourmet meal instead of airline food, after all it is your honeymoon! Just be careful it's not something that could spoil quickly, think flight delays!

HONEYMOON BUDGET WORKSHEET

Transportation
(airfare, train fare, etc.)
$________ each x 2 = $ _____________
Accommodation

$________ per night x ____ nights

$ _____________
Transfers
(to and from airport, airport to hotel, etc.)
$ _____________
Transportation while at destination
(rental car, taxis, subway, etc.)
$ _____________
Meals: breakfast x ________ days $ _____________
lunch x ________ days $ _____________
dinner x _______ days
Tours / Excursions / Attractions (pre-booked) $ _____________
Spending Money (shopping, phone calls, souvenirs, etc.) $ _____________
Other $ _____________
TOTAL HONEYMOON EXPENSES
*don't forget taxes and tips where applicable
$ ____________

GENERAL TIPPING GUIDELINE

15% - waiters, wine stewards, bartenders, room service waiters and taxi drivers
$0.50 - per coat at coat checks
$0.50 to $1 per bag to bellhops
$1 per night to chambermaids
$0.50 to $1 to valet parking attendants
$0.50 to doormen for hailing a cab

* always check the restaurant bill to see if they have already included a gratuity
* some all inclusive resorts and cruise lines have a policy of no tipping

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