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Weddings > Hot Tips for Scorching Honeymoons

HOT TIPS FOR SCORCHING HONEYMOONS
By Suzanna Bain (28 Mar 2006)

Hot tips for scorching honeymoons.All that hectic running around in preparation for `the big day` is enough to make even the most chilled out, relentlessly relaxed person crave a happy holiday and be keen to get away from it all. So, see your honeymoon not only as the perfect opportunity to get to know your new husband or wife even better, but also as the ideal chance to totally treat yourself and really splash out on something extra special.



Different things in terms of location, climate and activities appeal to different people, but with so many delightful destinations and perfect packages to choose from - or carve out individually yourself - the problem is less to do with finding your very own slice of paradise, and more to do with narrowing down the options.

Team all of this with top-notch tour operators, who really know what they're doing and how to take the hassle out of organising such an important event, and the dreamiest imaginable start to married life is right there at your fingertips.

HOTTEST DESTINATIONS

So exactly where are newlyweds flocking to right now this minute?

"For those after short haul honeymoons, Europe is an obvious choice, and places like Italy, France and the Greek islands are all currently hitting the top slots," observed Sean Tipton of the Association of British Travel Agents (ABTA). "Destinations tend to go in and out of vogue in cycles, much like fashion in general, but honeymooners generally like the classic touch, so anywhere that boasts beautiful beaches combined with wonderful, romantic architecture and so on, tend to do really well."

Ideal for people not so keen on long distance travelling are places like Tuscany, Rome, Florence, Crete, Corfu, and, of course, Paris might tickle your fancy. Cities are a good choice if you enjoy getting out and about for the nightlife, restaurants, shopping and culture, while scenic retreats are just the ticket for those who love to lie back and take things easy.

"For long haul destinations, the Maldives make the grade for a huge number of honeymooners, followed by Kenya, Thailand, the USA and Dubai," added Sean. "However, I think the Caribbean will be making it into the top five pretty soon, as it has so much to offer and is gaining a much higher profile and a safer reputation."

There are plenty of ways to shop for your magical romantic experience and people's buying habits are changing all the time, due largely to the internet. Looking and booking via the web is a growing trend and there are lots of online travel companies that offer the basics.

But there's also an increasing demand for expert, personal advice to help create complicated itineraries, so that newlyweds can cram in lots of exciting things they might never get the chance to do again. Many operators specialise in providing honeymoons - and catering for your every whim, no matter how obscure or out of this world - and have loads of contacts, connections and experts on hand to offer advice and guidance, and tailor make your trip.

Go diving and make friends with exotic fishes!So lounging about beside a picturesque pool and basking beside a beautiful beach aren't your only options. You could go diving and make friends with exotic fishes while exploring haunted shipwrecks, for example, or even really embrace your sense of adventure by indulging in a spot of mountaineering. The world is your oyster, so set your spirit free and let your imagination soar.

WEDDING & HONEYMOON PACKAGES

If heading to Kenya tickles your fancy, take a look at the wonderful service offered by African Safari Club (0845 345 0014 or www.africansafariclub.com), who can also arrange for you to actually tie the knot over there as well. Saying 'I do' atop the rocky promenade at the elegant Flamingo Beach Hotel, overlooking the idyllic palm-fringed white sand Shanzu beach, will truly take your breath away.

And you can even pay a little extra for Masai dancing entertainment, then be swept away to go totally wild on safari at the company's very own Kimana Game Sanctuary, which boasts the incredible Kilimanjaro as its backdrop.

According to Sean Tipton, combining the wedding ceremony with the actual honeymoon itself is becoming an increasingly popular option. "Getting married abroad is very cost effective and often works out cheaper when you consider that most couples spend around £15,000 on the whole shebang here in the UK," he explained. "It also means you can be more selective about who to invite, as carting hundreds of long lost relatives off to foreign climes isn't really that practical.

"Plus, certain tour operators specialise in this sort of thing and know how to take care of all the paperwork and technicalities, to ensure your marriage is legally binding back in the UK and that everything goes smoothly."

When booking your honeymoon, make sure you clarify exactly what's included in the price, by asking lots of questions and getting everything confirmed in writing. This way you'll know exactly what to expect and won't be disappointed. "I'd say the average couple splashes around £1,500 per person, for a two week honeymoon," continued Sean. "It may sound extravagant, but most honeymooners are happy to really push the boat out and spend more than they would on a normal holiday, as it's a once in a lifetime experience."

Whatever your budget and whatever your tastes and dreams, you're sure to find the perfect place to whisk your soul mate off to, and are sure to come back laden with hundreds of happy memories to cherish forever.

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