Now that we have had a little taste of spring but are back to the unpredictable cold Minnesota March temperatures, we are itching to plan a vacation, now is the perfect time to start dreaming about your perfect honeymoon and A1 travel is here to help you make those tropical dreams a reality! This week we spoke with Sandy and her team from A1 travel about everything you need to know about planning a honeymoon.
Q: What does A1Travel offer for couples looking to travel for a honeymoon or destination wedding?
A: We offer personalized service for our brides and grooms, whether they’re looking for a destination wedding or a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. We have a range of destination wedding packages, and your initial consultation is always free. Depending on the package you choose, we can arrange your guests’ travel needs, help you find the perfect setting, arrange group activities, and can connect you with an on-site wedding coordinator. And that’s just the start. No wedding or honeymoon dream is too big!
Q: What sets A1Travel apart from others when it comes to destination wedding or honeymoon planning?
A: We’re brides helping other brides! One of our agents just got married a few weeks ago and is planning her honeymoon in April. Another agent is busy planning her own wedding in June! We know exactly the questions our brides might have, and have the perfect combination: we’ve been (or are) in your shoes, but we also have the background and resources as travel agents to find you the perfect trip.
Q: What are some of your personal favorites when it comes to wedding or honeymoon destinations?
A: For destination weddings, Cancun and the Riviera Maya on Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula offer beautiful beachfront locations, and a resort for every bride and nearly every wedding budget. Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is also a strong contender. It’s already an incredible honeymoon location. Why not let your wedding guests experience it, too? Still want to exchange vows with your toes in the sand, but don’t want to have to have your wedding documents translated into another language to make things official? Head to Jamaica, mon! And for honeymoons, this is a trip worth splurging on. Visit Bora Bora and stay in an overwater bungalow! If not now, when?
Q: How far in advance should couples plan their honeymoon?
A: For international destinations, we recommend booking at least 6 months in advance, so that means starting the planning process a month or two before that. If you’re staying stateside, you can wait a little bit longer, but in general, the earlier you start your honeymoon planning, the better. We can start booking airfare as early as 11 months in advance, and the earlier you start looking, the better chance you’ll find good availability at your resort of choice.
Q: What are three small pieces of travel advice for couples?
- Practice, first! While vacations are supposed to be relaxing, if you and your significant other haven’t taken a trip together before, you may find that you have different travel styles or have opposing ideas on what to do, where to stay, and how to break up your time. You don’t have to go anywhere exotic – just take a day trip or a long weekend somewhere together to get used to being travel companions. It’ll ensure you are absolutely enjoying each others’ company when your honeymoon rolls around.
- Have a sense of adventure! You may visit a place where customs and ways of life are different than back home. Surprises will almost definitely happen, whether it’s trying a new food, taking public transportation, or finding out that it’s best to stick with bottled water as opposed to what comes out of the tap. You’ll both stay sane if you decide to roll with the punches, and enjoy the experience, even if it’s different from what you’re used to!
- Celebrate! You’ve just taken a huge step by getting married. Reward yourself. We can always let the resort you choose know that you’re honeymooners, and see what they can do to help you enjoy the big occasion! But you can also reward yourselves. Make reservations at a nice restaurant, pop a bottle of champagne, and enjoy your newlywed status!
Q: What would be your advice for couples just starting their destination wedding or honeymoon planning process?
A: Try to narrow down the search. You’ll undoubtedly read all kinds of articles in bridal magazines and blogs telling you what the newest, hippest honeymoon destinations are, or the beaches where you absolutely have to have your wedding. But the thing is, just because it’s popular doesn’t mean it’s the perfect fit for you and your fiancé. Figure out how you like to vacation. Do you want to spend a week getting tan and lounging by the pool? Feel like exploring Roman ruins and taking in historic sites? Want to zipline, snorkel and hike your way through your honeymoon? Tell us how YOU like to vacation, and we’ll find you the perfect spot.
Q: What is your favorite part about helping couples plan their honeymoon or destination wedding?
A: Honeymoons and destination weddings aren’t just any vacation. They’re something special – something you only do once – so we put a lot of work into them to make sure they go exactly as our clients want. The best part is hearing back from our newlyweds after they return from their trip. We love seeing their photos, hearing their stories, and knowing they took the trip of a lifetime.
Q: Do you offer different packages for couples depending on their needs?
Of course! Like we’ve discussed, no honeymoon couple is the same, and there’s no “one size fits all” vacation spot. We get to know our clients and find them the honeymoon or destination wedding that’s best for them.
A1 Travel Lightning Round
Q: Describe yourself in three words:
A: Knowledgeable, quirky, fun
Q: Red or White?
A: Red! It’s our signature color!
Q: Black tie or Farm to Table?
A: Farm to table is very trendy right now! We’ll go with that.
Q: Chocolate or Vanilla?
A: Our office is split on this one. How about both? Marble cake!
Q: Sweet or salty?
A: Depends on our mood! We have a weekly happy hour where we take turns bringing in snacks for the agency and any clients and friends who stop by. We always have an assortment of both sweet and salty options!
Q: Last book you read?
A: Atlas Obscura: An Explorer’s Guide to the World’s Hidden Wonders. This book, with its wanderlust-inspiring writing and beautiful photos, takes you to destinations across the globe to tell you about the most interesting, strange, and awe-inspiring sites. It’s a travel agent’s dream book – a great knowledge base to share with our clients, while simultaneously adding to our own bucket lists!
Q: Beach or Pool?
A: We can send you to a place with both! But let’s go with beach.
Q: If you had a time machine, would you go back in time or visit the future?
A: We’re always trying to stay on the cutting edge of travel trends, so I think we’d go to the future to see where people are visiting a few decades or centuries from now. Who wants to go on a honeymoon to the moon?
Q: If you could only vacation at one destination for the rest of your life, where would it be?
A: Italy! It has a little bit of everything. It’s a hotbed of history, a must-stop for foodies, and is home to one of the fashion capitals of the world, and has so much coastline even the biggest beach snobs are bound to find a stretch of sand they love.
Images Courtesy of A1 Travel