How To Choose A Honeymoon Destination - Without Losing Your Mind
by: Michael Kabel

So where are you going?

It's a tough question when planning your honeymoon. So many destinations, with so much to consider. Many people look at honeymoons with almost rose-colored perspectives, seeing them as ultra-romantic fantasy voyages that appear, fully formed, at the end of the wedding reception. If only that were true!

But to put first things first, you can't plan the perfect honeymoon if you don't know where you're going. Making your final decision, from literally a world of opportunities and choices, means picking one place and sticking to it. The wedding will take enough of your time that you should go where you want to go - but make your decision early and plan accordingly.

Choose a locale neither of you have been before.

You know what makes for boring honeymoon conversation? Anything that starts with, "Now, the last time I was here…"

Find a place you both have always dreamed of visiting, but neither has - until now. It can be someplace tropical, someplace snowy, or even someplace close by, but it should be a place in the world you've both yet to discover. That way, you'll share its adventure and have a shared and unique set of common memories.

Research your destination carefully.

It's no fun to find yourself in a place vastly different than you imagined. Before confirming your flight and other travel arrangements, do as much research as possible beforehand about where you intend to visit.

As with so many other topics, the Internet offers vast research opportunities for determining if your destination is a smart, affordable honeymoon location. Checking with the city or country's official Web site, going through Wikipedia, and perusing travel sites with custom recommendations will also give you insight. You can also research foreign countries and travel advisories recommended by the United States State Department at its special Web site,

Apply well in advance for your passports, visas, or other travel documents.

If traveling abroad, you’ll need a passport to enter other countries. These are granted by the U.S. State Department, and information about obtaining them can be gathered at the Web site listed above. A special guide to applying for passports and visas is also available at this site.

And while credit cards have become accepted in all parts of the world, you'll also need to plan for last-minute contingencies. Bringing traveler's checks with you is a good idea, just in case of emergency. They're available from most banks.

Figure out how long you can be gone from work, other commitments.

Honeymoons, like vacations, pull you out of your everyday life. But that silver lining also has a touch of wool: you’ll have to come back eventually because of your day-to-day commitments.

Remember as a rule of thumb that the longer your honeymoon, the more you'll spend and the more you'll miss out at work and other time spent in your "normal life." Figure out how long you and your fiancé can reasonably afford to be gone. And don't worry - everything will still be there when you get back to it.

Go someplace where you can leave the world behind.

You final destination doesn't have to be a secluded spot in the desert or an isolated island retreat, but it should be someplace you can focus on each other. Simply traveling to the next city over or someplace much like your hometown will only make it harder for you to concentrate on the fun at hand. Instead, find someplace more or less completely removed from your day-to-day surroundings and head there. The honeymoon, no matter where you ultimately decide, should be about the two of you.