After deciding on a destination, some couples divide up the labor: She handles the wedding arrangements and he handles the honeymoon getaway. Either way, it takes a fair amount of effort to ensure a getaway will go smoothly. So here are a dozen great suggestions to help you get organized:
1. Decide on the dates you want to leave and return...then consider seeing a travel agent together. He or she has the resources to arrange all aspects of your getaway, from airline tickets, room reservations, and car rentals to cruises or complete tour packages. Inquire about special rates, promotions, and honeymoon deals in effect during the time you plan to travel.
2. Check out the Web site of the local tourism bureau to find out about special events taking place in the area during your visit.
3. Use a travel guide. Compile a sightseeing list and select great attractions near each other for day trips. Read the best parts aloud to one another.
4. Figure out if you need a passport. You can pay extra to get expedited 3-5 day service, but why waste the money?
5. If you're traveling into questionable territory (and I'm not referring to marriage itself, mind you), check to see if there are any US government travel advisories posted about your destination.
6. Consult with your doctors to make sure you have an adequate supply of any regular medication. Should you want to add a bee-sting kit or motion-sickness patch to a first-aid kit, this is the time to ask for a prescription. If you're going some place that requires inoculations, get them well before the wedding in case of a reaction.
7. Make photocopies of your driver's license, airline tickets, and the credit cards you'll be bringing on the trip. Store one separately from your wallet and leave another at home with someone you trust.
8. Buy twice as much film as you intend to use or batteries, if you're shooting digital.
9. Forget about sending postcards. Fill out a couple of great electronic ones before you go or right after you come back, and let that be it.
10. Make a packing checklist. Pay attention to it.
11. Take enough cash or traveler's checks -- and know where to locate an ATM near your destination.
12. If you don't already belong, join a frequent flyer club. Trust me: You'll already be thinking about your next vacation on the plane ride home.
And don't worry so much. You're going to have a great time on your first getaway as Mr. and Mrs.!