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Honeymoon Mistakes

Pitfalls, No-No's, Gaffes, Goofs and Things You Ought Not Do

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In the planning stage, every honeymoon is dreamy. In reality, there's always a chance to mess up. But if you give your upcoming getaway some thought (we think it deserves as much as the wedding itself), you can avoid some of the most common honeymoon mistakes.

1. Waiting Till the Last Minute

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Although I advise couples to start thinking about their honeymoon six months ahead of the wedding (see honeymoon timeline), I know that's not always possible. Fact is, you can always find some place to accommodate you. On your honeymoon, though, it ought to be a great place. If you haven't gotten around to honeymoon planning and time's a-wasting, check out the last-minute getaways directory. But keep this in mind: Last-minute inventory is left-over inventory. The best hotel rooms, cruise cabins, and plane seats will be long gone. Since you're in love, none of that may matter.

2. Looking for Bargains

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Going into debt for a honeymoon is a mistake. Yet planning a cheap trip won't pay off in the long run. A honeymoon is your time to indulge, unwind, and spend quality time together before responsibilities descend. Do you really want to sleep in a low-class hotel, stay in a place where you have to cook your own meals, or camp out? (If the latter is your idea of fun, go for it. Otherwise, treat yourselves to the best you can afford. Save on transportation; take a driving trip instead of flying. Go for a shorter amount of time. But go in style. You'll remember it for the rest of your lives.

3. Suppressing Your Interests

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From now on as a couple, your travel plans call for compromise. Of course, you wouldn't be together if you didn't enjoy many of the same things. But what about your own bucket list? Does your partner know what they are? Whether this is your first or your fifth trip together, use this compatibility checklist to open discussions on how to spend your honeymoon — and make sure you both have a say in the decisions. It's a good basis for marriage.

4. Bringing the Kids

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Any vacation with kids is a surefire romance killer. If you don't have any and would rather not be surrounded by other peoples' spawn, avoid places like Disney and instead focus on adults-only options. On the other hand, if you already have children and can't take a honeymoon unless you bring them along, consider options where you can leave them in good hands and steal away. The corollary to Don't Bring the Kids is: Don't Stay with Family or Friends. A honeymoon is not a regular vacation, and you owe it to yourselves to revel in time alone.

5. Neglecting to Ask for an Upgrade

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Who doesn't love the suite life, when you're provided with a bedroom and a separate living room? Even at better hotels the cheapest rooms crowd it all together: Bed, TV, desk, chair, dresser, mirror, and a couch if you're lucky. Since not every hotel is fully booked every night, you may be able to wrangle a free upgrade. Do it at check in, not before. Smile and let the front desk person know you're on your honeymoon; offer to show your marriage license (you will pack a copy, right?). If you're not offered a free upgrade automatically, it's a mistake not to ask for one. You might end up in a room much nicer than the one you reserved but at the same price.

6. Forgetting About the Weather

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
For couples planning a beach honeymoon, those images of sunny skies, sandy stretches, and calm turquoise waters are seductive. But it's a mistake to believe it always looks like that. Between June and November, for example, countries in the Caribbean may experience a hurricane. Elsewhere there are rainy seasons, mud seasons, times when places are uncomfortably hot or cold. So take vacation weather into account before choosing where to go on your honeymoon.

7. Choosing a B&B

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I'll probably get mail on this, but I'm going to advise anyway: Choose lodging where your privacy is assured. At a bed & breakfast, there's no guarantee. I don't know about you, but I'm not looking to make friends, chat with strangers, or engage with anyone I don't know on a romantic getaway. The only ones I want to interact with are my husband and, briefly, the front desk clerk and the room service waiter. At a professionally run hotel or resort, you can pick up your keys, head directly to your room, place the "do not disturb" sign on your door, and make the world go away.

8. Packing Too Much

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Pack as lightly as you can for your honeymoon getaway. If you're going to a beach resort, you don't need much more than a few bathing suits and cover ups, flip flops, and a couple of nice outfits and shoes to wear at night. Traveling with only a carry-on bag means you can get to your destination quicker, without waiting by the baggage carousel and wondering if you'll ever see your suitcase again. Also, you don't want the person you love to carry a bag so heavy that he strains himself, preventing him from participating in much more enjoyable honeymoon activities.

9. Stressing Over Sex

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Do you expect honeymoon sex to be the best of your life? Ideally, it will be. Realistically, it may not. Couples who are exhausted after a wedding don't necessarily make the best lovers. So relax. Take the pressure off yourselves. Give it a few days. See the sights. Soak up the sun. If you're like most newlyweds, your sex life will improve even further after the honeymoon as you get looser and more comfortable with one another.

10. Marrying the Wrong Person

Of all the mistakes you can make on a honeymoon, marrying the wrong person is the most serious. The realization can start as a suspicion or strike like a lightning bolt. And you know something? More couples than you might realize entertain this thought at some point on their honeymoon. In cases of cruelty, abandonment, criminality, major misrepresentation or abuse, the path should be clear: You are not meant to be together.

Small annoyances and distasteful habits may become magnified on a honeymoon — but that doesn't mean you've chosen the wrong spouse. Doubt may wash over you when you realize you've vowed to spend the rest of your life, till the day one of you dies, with a woman who has a hyena-like laugh or a man who farts in his sleep. Yet as suddenly as doubts minor descend, they fade. Because no one's perfect. Because there's so much good in the other person, who you do truly love. And so begins the real life of marriage.

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  5. Honeymoon Mistakes and Musts to Avoid

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