Planning your Honeymoon with The Honeymoonist

I bet you are like me today and looking out the window at all the snow and the 14 degrees on the mercury in Chicago and dreaming of clear blue waters, sandy beaches and beautiful sunsets. Perhaps you are thinking about your honeymoon now? Most couples plan their honeymoon about six to eight month in advance. Enter the incredible Susan Moynihan, the owner and lead honeymoon planner at The Honeymoonist. 

We grabbed a glass of champagne with Susan when we were in Grand Cayman for the Engage Conference and asked her some questions about honeymoons! 

Ali: What is the average length of honeymoon you are seeing?

Susan: Ten days to three weeks, depending on work schedules. No one wants just a week--getting away at all is hard, so if you're going to get away, better to do it for longer. 

Ali: Most popular places to travel in 2015? 

Susan: Tahiti is a perennial, especially for hotel lovers. There are so many amazing options just in Bora Bora alone, and people are excited about the opening of The Brando, a gorgeous new resort on what was once Marlon Brando's private island. With the renewed economy, Europe is popular again, especially the Mediterranean: Italy, Spain and Greece. People who have been before are going back to new areas, like Montenegro or Croatia.

Ali: What are the new HOT off the wall spots?

Susan: Peru is booming with chic new hotels, and great food and nightlife scene, and of course Macchu Picchu. It's a great way to combine luxury with a bit of bucket-list adventure.

Adventure cruising sounds like an oxymoron, but it isn't; cool small ships get you to places you can't see via land, be it the Amazon, Mekong Delta or smaller islands in Turkey or the South Pacific.

Ali: What tips do you have for couples when they begin planning their honeymoon?

Susan: Go in with an open mind. There's a big world out there, and your perfect honeymoon may be someplace you never considered! 

Look for someplace new to you both. No doubt you'll return to favorite travel spots throughout your married lives, so take this opportunity to explore someplace new and make it your own. 

Be realistic with budget. You get what you pay for, and need to allot money accordingly for a special experience. Transfers, taxes, tours and experiences, and extras like massages--these are all a part of your trip, and need to be considered up front along with hotel rates and airfare. If a deal looks too good to be true (ie, "free airfare," steal of a hotel rate) chances are there's a catch, or hidden fees that they'll get from you later in other ways.

Get professional planning help. There are a million places to stay, and hundreds of ways to book, from online mega-sites like Expedia to DIY sites. But what is going to get you the best combination of experience and value? The answer changes from place to place and trip to trip, so find someone who knows the pros and cons of each to help you cut through the clutter and get you the best combination of destination, experience and value. 

Ready to book Macchu Picchu or an exotic overwater bungalow in Tahiti? Reach out to Susan at The Honeymoonist and let her know that I sent you over to her and she will take great care of you and make sure you have a honeymoon you will remember for a lifetime.