Since 2015, Vicki Sneed of Vicki’s Travel Designs has been helping couples plan their dream honeymoons. Here, she offers her best honeymoon planning tips as she breaks down some frequently asked questions about hiring a travel agent and getting the most out of the planning process.
I typically start by asking clients three things: time of travel, budget, and how they envision the experience. Are they looking for a tropical paradise, like the Caribbean? A romantic destination such as Paris or Italy? Or an exotic escape like Bali, Thailand, or Dubai? Other than accounting for weather, it’s important to keep the calendar—and local, seasonal customs—in mind when choosing a destination. The Greek islands, for instance, essentially shut down for tourism in the late fall and winter months. An experienced travel agent can offer options based on all factors, as well as insider guidance, so you get the most out of your trip.
When working with a travel agent, you’re benefiting from their years of experience. We work with teams across hundreds of destinations to provide an authentic travel experience, so that our clients know what to expect from beginning to end—including all the extras that you might not know are available if you go it alone. For foodies, this could be an Italian cooking class in Florence. Sightseers might love a golfcart tour of Rome or private boat excursion from Sorrento to Capri. And for the groom who loves horsepower, how about driving a Ferrari through Modena? We work one-on-one with our clients to get to know them and provide the most personalized honeymoon experience. We also offer advice and tips on logistical aspects of travel, such as tipping etiquette and currency exchange.
Local couples are flocking to tropical locations like Antigua, Barbados, Saint Lucia, Tahiti and the Maldives, while go-to European destinations such as Greece, France, Italy and Portugal are also in high demand for their culture, cuisine and history.
The biggest benefit of going all-inclusive is the flat-fee cost incentive. This is especially beneficial if you enjoy taking full advantage of culinary and alcoholic-beverage offerings, as these items tend to add up when you purchase them a la carte. However, having limited reasons to leave the resort can be a potential downside—you might not truly experience the destination’s authentic culture or cuisine. A travel agent can help find the balance you want, as some destinations are more conducive to an all-inclusive experience than others.
Every travel agent has their own fee structure. Some work on commission (paid by hotels and wholesalers) while others charge the client. A reputable travel agent will always detail any fees during an initial consultation so you know what to expect. As a thank-you to our Garden State couples, Vicki’s Travel Designs is currently waiving honeymoon planning
fees for all New Jersey Bride referrals!
Consider adding a honeymoon fund to your wedding registry. Guests can even gift a special event during the trip: Our clients have registered for sunset cruises, private beach dinners, snorkeling adventures, and more.—Denise K. Potter