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Ten things all honeymooners should know

Whilst most couples get a welcome hand from family and friends when organizing their wedding, most honeymoon's ins and outs tend to be the product exclusively of bride and bridegroom.

In fact, in most cases, the honeymoon is the first substantial collaboration of the husband-to-be and wife-to-be to be. Incidentally, that's not to say that all newly-weds go on a honeymoon of course. But if you're able to, then apart from being a great way to relax after the hectic week of your wedding, a honeymoon is also ideal for spending some quality time together with your new spouse.

So let's go through our list of 10 things that could go a long way into making your honeymoon a perfect one.

1. Start by agreeing on the budget that's available for your honeymoon. Are you both keen to make it the globe-trotting trip of a lifetime? Or is a couple of days of lounging on a sun-kissed beach just the ticket for you both? Perhaps a happy medium in between these extremes two is what you're aiming for? Whatever your honeymoon objectives, settle on a common target and estimated budget to go with it. Don't forget that you may receive some envelopes during your wedding, so a little wiggle room is in order.

2. Are the two of you in synch as to what your honeymoon should be like? One of you may be in for a wild jungle-trekking adventure, whereas the other may prefer to go for a leisurely snorkel. The idea for married couples is to compromise, so what better way to start to given and take a little than during your honeymoon? Of course, there's nothing stopping you from going to a honeymoon destination that offers fun for both of you, like Tioman Island. After all, Tioman offers plenty of slow-paced fun activities for the languidly-inclined, along with exciting thrills for weekend warriors.

3. Narrow down your destination. The best way is to whittle your short-list down by elimination. Some places adjust their rates upwards during their peak season. Others will be too busy to have any real private time. There may be a rainy off-season. In the case of Tioman, December and January are best avoided if you really want some idyllic paradise time. During these months, the monsoon makes its presence felt in the way of blustery days and higher than normal rainfall.

4. Are you willing to tease out every single little detail of your honeymoon yourself or could you do with some help? Perhaps consider employing the assistance of a travel agent? Some travel agents are experts at compiling a honeymoon that's tailor-made to your specific wants and needs. Since travel agents can have quite a lot of clout, they can often negotiate attractive deals from hotels, airlines etc. Your final honeymoon price tag may actually turn out to be lower than if you'd done everything yourselves. Plus, should anything go wrong, you always know who to call to make it right.

5. Is your honeymoon taking you overseas? Perhaps you need a visa? Best not forget the little details, like ensuring that your passport has the minimum required validity remaining to be able to enter that particular country. Usually 6 months is the required minimum, but it's a good idea to double-check for the country of your choice. Better safe than sorry. While you're at it, check if you need a jab or a pills against malaria, dengue or yellow fever. No harm in making sure that you're good to go.

6. When the time has come to make your actual reservations, casually drop the fact that you're on a honeymoon. Frequently, the establishment in question will instantly be inclined to add a little extra, such as a room upgrade, a complementary spa treatment or honeymoon-themed decorations. You only go on a honeymoon once, so every gesture to make it special is a welcome one.

7. Some honeymoons are wedding and honeymoon in one, where the wedding guests share the same hotel for a day or two, before they go back home, leaving the newly-weds in blissful peace. Keep in mind that even though your guests are invited, it's important to ensure that you have plenty of private together-time. Make it clear that it's best not have any lingering kids, pets or well-meaning friends or relatives. Ultimately, your honeymoon is for the two of you.

8. Since your honeymoon is a once-a-lifetime occasion, money shouldn't be a source of issues. Not that it needs to be a no holds barred trip of course. But nothing would cool the fun factor more than realizing you budgeted too conservatively. If possible, pay for your honeymoon in advance, or make sure your destination accepts credit card payments. If you prefer not to have any hassle at all on this front, then go for an all-inclusive honeymoon. These can include pretty much everything: flight/transport, all your F & B, your room, activities. Even gratuities can be included. Free and easy.

9. Whilst divvying up your honeymoon days, make sure you schedule enough time to do absolutely nothing at all. There's nothing more relaxing than having a totally blank agenda. Peppering your honeymoon with a few hours of nothing is a great way to keep the pace nice and lazy. Besides, it's your honeymoon, who know what may happen?

10. For an awesome time from start to finish, try to always be considerate of your spouse's wishes. Not sweating the small stuff and a little bit of give and a little bit of take will go a very long way. Once this tone is set, you'll both be naturally more inclined to continue your lives together with plenty of mutual understanding and consideration.

Bonus tip: To avoid any name confusion on passports, tickets etc, it's probably best for the bride to have all reservations made in her maiden name. Once back home, the name-changing procedure can be completed legally.

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