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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

10 tips for Choosing Your Honeymoon Destination

The pool at Le Meridien Tahiti -
a nice spot for a honeymoon!

Not sure where you want to go on your honeymoon? HoneyLuna offers some advice on choosing the honeymoon destination that's perfect for you.

It's a big world, after all! And there are so many places that sound wonderful for your honeymoon. And it is the trip of a lifetime right? How do you decide where to go on your honeymoon?

It may seem obvious, but the first step in planning a trip is deciding where to go. Here are some simple guidelines:

1.) Be realistic – the first step is determining how much time you have to travel, and as important, how much money do you have allocated for your honeymoon. (Using HoneyLuna’s honeymoon registry can give extra cushion to that budget!)


2.) The best way to start your planning may be to choose a list of specific destinations that interest you. Then start reading and researching these places to see if they fit your desires. If there are only beach and water sports and you don't tan and can't swim, then it may not be the place for you.


3.) Narrow your choices. The world is big. Even one country is big. You can't see it all in a lifetime, much less in a week or a few weeks. Most people try to do too much in too little time. You'll have a much better experience if you can actually take the time to enjoy where you are - instead of being exhausted because you're running from one city to the next, one country to the next. (This makes for some cranky travelers!)


4.) Choose a place that interests you - not just for the monuments but also for the culture and way of life. Your daily activities and the people you meet have more influence on the quality of your travel experience than the sites you visit or the sights you see.


5.) Make your own choices. Don't go somewhere just because someone else liked it or told you to go there. See #4 - again, just because a friend enjoyed the trek through the Himalayas in freezing temperatures carrying a 60-pound bag doesn't mean you will. If you're idea of roughing it is a 5 star hotel in Tahiti then a river-rafting trip down the Grand Canyon may not be for you!


6.) Think about who is giving you advice and what their knowledge is based on. Have they actually been there or are they experts on this destination? Look for resources from and by people in the places you are thinking of going for the most accurate picture of what travel in those places will really be like.

7.) Travel in the present. Learn about contemporary life and current affairs in the places you are going. (The Internet makes this much easier than ever before.)

8.) And most importantly, be sure that you and your fiancée are on the same page. If you want a week at a luxury hotel with a spa and a swim up bar, and he wants to go to a dude ranch, then you need to talk about that early on and find a way to compromise. (That is what you do in marriage!) Perhaps you can go to Kauai and stay at the Princeville Resort, which has a wonderful spa and is conveniently located by the Princeville Stables!

9.) Once you’ve made your decision, book early! Waiting for those last minute Internet fares is not honeymoon appropriate. The most popular honeymoon destinations such as Tahiti sell out months in advance!

10.) Don’t forget to say “I DO” and go have the honeymoon of your dreams. You should come back from your trip feeling like you’ve just experienced one of the most memorable and enjoyable events of your new life together.

Creative Ideas for a Honeymoon Registry

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Honeymoon Planning TIPS from the experts at HoneyLuna

So much time, energy and money go in to planning your wedding day. It is, after all, the day you’ve dreamed of your whole life! It has to be perfect! It is the day you walk down the aisle, say I do and kiss, sealing the communion of your new life together. And then what? You go off on your dream honeymoon, right? But is it your dream honeymoon? How much do you really know about your honeymoon? What are your expectations? Did you spend as much time gathering critical information for your honeymoon as you did for planning your wedding?

You will be spending more time together on your honeymoon than you did on your wedding day. Your honeymoon is an important time for laying the foundation of your new life together. Making sure your honeymoon is your dream honeymoon is not just about reading a travel or guidebook for your destination. Planning your honeymoon takes time, thought, communication and work – from both the bride and groom. We all dream of that exotic locale or tropical paradise, but if your expectations aren’t met, that tropical paradise can become a tropical nightmare and a ruined honeymoon. (Thus, not the ideal start to your married life!)

Be sure to talk about your honeymoon ideals BEFORE you book your honeymoon! HoneyLuna recommends you review the following questionnaire. The bride and the groom should complete this separately and then discuss it – together.


1 -What is your ideal honeymoon setting? (ex. tropical, big US City, Europe (what countries?), mountains)

2 - How much time can spend on your honeymoon (including travel time)?

3 - What is your ideal honeymoon “activity level”? (lie on the beach and do nothing / Some beach / some activities, all golf, lots of museums, all adventure!

4 - Is nightlife important?

5 - Is shopping important?

6 - Do you want to visit someplace that’s new to both of you?

7 - If traveling outside the US, do you prefer an English speaking country? ( English speaking is a must, foreign language is ok, or foreign language is ok)

8 - How much do you have allocated to spend on your honeymoon? ($1,500, $2,500, $10,000 – choose an amount that seems right to you and BE REALISTIC!)

9 - Do you want to use a honeymoon registry service which allows friends and family to “buy pieces of your honeymoon” as wedding gifts?

10 - Do you want a couples’ only resort?

11 --When do you want to leave for your honeymoon? (immediately, a few days later, a delayed honeymoon)

12 - Do you have “separate activities” that you want to do on your honeymoon (groom golfs – bride doesn’t, bride wants massage – groom doesn’t, or we will spend all our time together!)

13 - Do you want an all-inclusive resort that includes meals, alcohol and lots of activities?

14 - Would you like to stay at one place or move from place to place? (If you want to see more than one place (i.e. Maui and Kauai) How many places? How many days at each place?)

15 - Do you want a large, a medium sized property or something smaller / more intimate?

16 - Do you want luxurious with lots of amenities like spas and room service or maybe quaint and charming but not so luxurious? (remember to keep your budget in mind)

17 - How much time will you spend in your room?

18 - Do you want a patio or balcony? Do you want a view? If so, how important is this (remember to keep your budget in mind)

19 - Is weather a factor for you? (i.e. I don’t want to worry about hurricanes, I don’t want it to be too hot, I don’t care if it’s rainy season)

20 - And because this is SO important, think about it again. How much do you have allocated to spend on your honeymoon? ($1,500, $2,500, $10,000 – choose an amount that seems right to you and BE REALISTIC!)

Answering these questions together will help define what BOTH of you really want. Take this questionnaire with you if you meet with a travel agent, or have it in hand as you start to plan and book your honeymoon here with http://www.lifeeventstravel.com/

And don't forget to create your honeymoon registry for your dream honeymoon! http://www.honeyluna.com/

FREE FIFTY DOLLARS cash back....


FREE FIFTY DOLLARS cash back when you book your honeymoon or travel package through www.lifeeventstravel.com by October 31, 2009 -- see attached coupon for details.

Monday, October 12, 2009

A wonderful (un)honeymoon in Jamaica at Sandal's Dunn's River

I spent last week at Sandal's Jamaica Dunn's River (it was a vacation, not a honeymoon). I have to say, I was absolutely blown away by how fabulous both Jamaica and Sandal's both were.
I have also tweeted already how I went from skeptic of the swim up bar, to a true believer!! My one suggestion is that Sandal's build a swim up bar at/in the beach! I realize most people prefer the pool over the beach (not sure why) but I'm a beach nut. It sure would have been nice to get in the Caribbean, swim on up to bar in the sea and order a cocktail. No worries, I made do with the swim up bar at the pool!
Ok, so Sandal's for a honeymoon. Absolutely!! Sandal's for a vacation. YES!! I am not being paid to blog or promote Sandals - my experience there was just that good. (Although I will say at times I did feel the staff was a bit "Stepford Wives-ish" -- but I would take that over complaceny and bad service.) Sandals is over the top in service, hospitality, and a "no brainer" vacation or honeymoon. The food was excellent, the wine was quality, the drinks were great, the staff was so gracious, accomodating and friendly. I never really understand the Sandal's formula until I went there - and they have perfected it.
The one surreal thing about Sandal's Dunn's River to me (and this by no means a complaint, just a comment) was the Italian theme. The lobby was gorgeous -- but Italiante. The restaurants were great -- but named things like Columbo or Marco Polo. I had to remind myselves several times that we were in Jamaica. You could spend a whole week there and never leave the property - and if you didn't, you could probably convince yourself you had honeymooned on the Italian Riviera. We however, wanted to KNOW that we had vacationed in Jamaica. So we ventured off the property to explore a bit and get a "feel" for Jamaica (although we did miss it while we were away!)
If you want to get out and explore or take tours -- and we did, Sandal's can help you with that too. We rented a car and drove out to Port Antonio. Port Antonio is where the Hollywood set goes in Jamaica but it is largely ignored by the typical tourist crowd. The resorts there and the beaches were, however, spectacular. Anyway, the road is new and it was a gorgeous drive (on the left) with several stops in small charming Caribbean/Jamaican towns. All the while we had stunning sea views on one side and gorgeous, lush, tropical mountain views on the other side.
Here is a NOTE: If you are in the area of Dunn's River or Ocho Rios, don't take a tour to Dunn's River Falls. We almost didn't go visit them because the guide book said it was overrun and overrated. However, we stopped there on our way to return the rental car at 8:30 in the morning right when they open. (If you don't rent a car, take a taxi.) We had the entire place to ourselves. But for the employees, there were no tourists there at all. Just us. When we left at 10 a.m. the first 3 buses of tourists were showing up and hundreds of people were headed toward the falls.
Back to Sandal's, if you are on your honeymoon (or just a really romantic vacation), they do an excellent job of creating romance. DO put things on your HoneyLuna Honeymoon Registry like their "private dinner for two on the beach" or "private beach cabana rental". If you can swing it, go Concierge service all the way. (We didn't and I found myself coveting the "concierge services" of those that did!)
I would definitely return to a Sandal's property - and by the # of the returning guests in their Signature Guest program, so do many others.
One last thing, I haven't actually done the math, but with all that is included with Sandal's ultra all inclusive, I do now believe that with the quality and luxury of the accomodations, the excellent food, snacks and beverages, the included activities like kayaks, hobie cats and even SCUBA, that a Sandal's vacation is actually more affordable than a comparable "a la carte" vacation with the same volume of food, alcohol and diving added up. It just feels like more because you pay a lump sum up front rather than doled out over time.
Trust me, it's worth it!
P.S. DO NOT believe weather.com!! It said 60% chance of thunderstorms for weeks before we arrived and for each day we were there. It was sunny and gorgeous -- with just one brief storm in the middle of the night.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Honeymoon in Jamaica - but first the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas

I just returned from a fabulous 1 week stay at the Sandals Dunn's River in Jamaica. No it wasn't my honeymoon but it sure felt like it! More on that later....

Before leaving for Jamaica, I attended a show in Las Vegas and stayed at the Hard Rock Hotel. There are definitely those that LOVE Las Vegas... and those that don't. I admit, I do fall into the latter category. I also admit, even when I was "younger" I never liked really loud music -- whatever the genre.

The Hard Rock Hotel just about gave me a nervous breakdown! The hotel was lovely, the pool was gorgeous, a wonderful selection of restaurants, our room had a beautiful view, the rock and roll photos and artificats interesting... the problem? It was SO LOUD! Always LOUD! Everywhere you went, music blasted -- the casino, the hallways, the shops, the elevators and even the restaurants. Thankfully it was not being blasted through the speakers in our rooms.

Oh but wait - we didn't need speakers in our rooms because we could hear the music BLARING by the pool. We were on the top floor of the hotel and may as well have had the rock bands in our room for as loud as it was.

And trust me folks, there is no fast forward -- this isn't an ipod shuffle - this is you take what they are blaring and live with it.

The best ( or worst part depending on how you look at it...) was the private pool party where the music was blaring -- again blaring -- at 1 a.m. in the morning. Now I love David Bowie - really I do - I own many of his albums (now CDs) but Suffragette City blaring at 1 a.m. through my hotel room window was just too much.

As if that wasn't enough... someone in maintenance thinks having the leaf blowers cleaning the pool area at 5:30 a.m. is a GREAT idea. I am not kidding. Maybe I'm the only one who actually goes to bed and sleeps in Las Vegas -- and leaf blowers at 5:30 a.m. go unnoticed by others?

Noise Noise everywhere... It was relentless. So honeymoon in Las Vegas - sure it's a great place with a lot to do. Honeymoon at the Hard Rock - not unless you don't want to sleep or relax on your honeymoon. Ok well maybe you don't want to "sleep" on your honeymoon but you have other ideas about keeping awake and I bet it's not loud music!

Thankfully my 3 days in Vegas were followed by a fabulous, relaxing week at Sandal's Dunn's River Jamaica - where it was "quiet". More on that later....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hawaii on Sale!!! Great deals for your honeymoon to Hawaii!


Honeymoon or not, there are some GREAT deals for travel to Hawaii right now!!


Click here to see some great deals - even in December and January!!


If it is your honeymoon, be sure to create a FREE honeymoon registry with HoneyLuna


Between these great deals AND with your friends and family buying pieces of your perfect honeymoon as wedding gifts from your HoneyLuna honeymoon registry, you may just get a free honeymoon after all!

Monday, August 31, 2009

A GREAT getaway price to Sandals Grande Ocho Rios All Inclusive






Savings of up to 65%, PLUS ask about two FREE nights. Luxury Included) Vacation includes: anytime snacks at beachside grills, all meals and fine dining options; unlimited premium brand drinks; luxurious accommodations; nightly entertainment; water sports and guided scuba dives; basketball, tennis, and championship golf; use of fitness center and all amenities; airport transfers, tips, resort taxes and more. Ask about $250 Red Lane(r) Spa credit for stays of 7 nights or longer (Must be booked by 10/01/09)


Valid for travel: From 09/14/2009 to 10/28/2009

Valid days: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday

Prices shown are per person, based on double occupancy. Rates shown do not include International Departure & Immigration Taxes up to $155, Passenger Facility Charges up to $18 and up to $10 in September 11th Security Fees. Rates based on published, NON-REFUNDABLE, retail airfares. Change, cancellation fees, and other restrictions may apply once tickets are issued. Rates & inclusions are subject to change, availability and any restrictions. CST# 1007939-10. UBI# 601 915 263. TAR# 5308.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Affordable Beach Honeymoons and HoneyLuna Honeymoon Registry

AFFORDABLE BEACH HONEYMOONS!!!

You keep it hearing it, but NOW really is the time to find, plan and book your affordable beach honeymoon. Cancun and Playa Del Carmen, Mexico, has always offered GREAT all inclusive values, but now they are almost giving it away!

Playa Del Carmen is a beautiful, tropical, cultural, historical beach destination! There is lots of romance, lots of adventure and a lot of stunning, wonderful resorts to just DO NOTHING!!

The all-inclusive aspect is too go to be true! And, if you use HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry, you can book and affordable honeymoon and get the pieces of your perfect honeymoon as your wedding gift! Play your cards right, you might just get your honeymoon for "free".

Some fabulous faves to check out

RIU Palace Riviera Maya for a junior suite from just $104 pp/night ALL INCLUSIVE!!!

The latest addition to the Riu family in Playa del Carmen this property sets the ultimate in pampering first class service.

Built along a spectacular stretch of white sand beach and framed by tropical palm trees, this hotel boasts 400 elegant junior suites with hydro-massage bathtubs and all the distinctive Riu amenities such as minibar and liquor dispenser. Enjoy the selection of a-la-carte restaurants and bars, along with continental breakfast, room service, 24 hour All Inclusive (snacks and beverages), and the impressive exchange privileges program with all sister properties within the Riu Resort complex.

The brand new Riu Palace Riviera Maya, creating long lasting memories of Mexican paradise.

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Also check out El Dorado Seaside Suites

El Dorado Seaside Suites embodies barefoot elegance for the carefree and relaxed. Spread along a white sand beach, this all-junior suite, adults-only, all-inclusive resort blends luxurious services, amenities and creative cuisine with a cool boutique-hotel atmosphere, perfect for laid- back rest and relaxation.

Jacuzzi suites from just $151 pp/night!!

It doesn't get much better than this.

To find other great affordable beach honeymoon deals and prices for your honeymoon dates, please visit www.lifeeventstravel.com.

To create a honeymoon registry for you affordable beach honeymoon please visit www.honeyluna.com!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A honeymoon registry can pay for your entire post-wedding getaway

An excerpt from Susie Rodriguez article on honeymoon registries from Examiner.com includes HoneyLuna!

Please visit Suzanne's site at http://www.worldsgreatesthoneymoons.com/

Honeymoon registries are a newish take on the old bridal registry formula. Instead of registering for table place-settings and stainless steel pots that friends and family will buy as your wedding present, you register for honeymoon goodies—one or more nights in a hotel room, room upgrades, a couples massage, an all-day jeep safari or kayak tour, a champagne breakfast delivered to your room, all or a portion of your air flight, or whatever else you might ask for.

Establishing your registry is easily done online. You'll end up with your own Web page which friends and family can visit. They'll see your wish list (with prices of each item), choose their gift, and pay by credit card. The registry informs you each time you receive a gift, keeps track online of what’s been purchased for everyone to see, and sends you a check before the wedding for the account balance.

How can registries afford to do this? They charge a fee (see individual registries below).

Some hotel/resort chains, airlines, and tourism destinations offer something similar to the registries described above. Be forewarned, however, that they typically allow you to select only items and activities falling under their umbrella. Rather than send a check or other form of straightforward monetary payment---which allows you to spend the money as you like---they send a gift card or a company credit to be applied against your bill. Often they charge the top rate for everything purchased through their registry—rather than the bargain rates you might get were you to book ordinarily.

A completely different take is the wedding/honeymoon registry offered by adventure tour company Mountain Travel Sobek. Friends and family can contribute money toward the kind of adventure honeymoon you’ll never forget—crusing the Galapagos, or climbing Kilimanjaro, or any of the other adventures they undertake in 65 countries around the world. Best thing: MTS charges no fee for their registry service.

And for couples who already have everything they need, consider this idea: register with Britain's Carbon Footprint, where friends/family can buy one or more trees in your name to be planted in Kenya's Great Rift Valley. The service is free; gift-givers pay no fees aside from the modest per-tree cost of around $13.

---------------------------------

The following companies have reliable reputations in the traditional honeymoon registry business. Each has a unique fee structure, and extra charges may apply for some services, so read the fine print carefully (which you should always do anyway). Keep in mind that most of these services charge a credit card transaction fee, which, when combined with the typical 7% service charge per transaction, amounts to a 10% fee.


HoneyLuna charges a 7% service fee that can either be added to or deducted from the cost of the gift. If credit cards are used to fund the purchase, an additional 3% credit card fee is imposed.
Honeymoon Wishes lets you choose whether you want the 7% fee added to or deducted from the gift amounts. An additional 3% credit card transaction fee applies.

  • Rodriguez, the Founder and Editorial Director of WGH, specializes in luxury, romantic, and historic travel; culinary & wine exploration; and outdoor adventure. She is the author of three books, including Checklist For A Perfect Honeymoon (Doubleday), and is the Honeymoon Travel Examiner at Examiner.com.

Suzie's articles have appeared in many national magazines and newspapers, including Bride's, Gourmet, Woman's World, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, and The Chicago Tribune.

A member of the American Society of Journalists & Authors (ASJA) and Bay Area Travel Writers (BATW), Suzie lives and works in Sonoma, California.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Have a Santa Cruz Honeymoon and HoneyLuna Registry

Out of desire and necessity, many people are choosing close to home vacations and close to home honeymoons. I am fortunate enough to live in Santa Cruz -- and I have realized what an amazing and romantic place Santa Cruz and the Central Coast could be for a honeymoon. Better still, there are an abundance of fun and wonderful activities that could be included on a honeymoon registry....


Sunset in Santa Cruz, CA

Although Santa Cruz does not have the always 80 plus degress tropical climes and water, it does have beautiful weather. The cool morning fog (if there does happen to be fog) paints a very different picture on the already beautiful land and seascapes. It also offers a chance to head inland for some sunnier activities or to take stunning hikes in the redwoods at Nisene Marks State Park of Big Basin without feeling like you're missing sunny beach time. After your hikes when the fog has cleared, you can head out to the beach!


Many people (although not me!) can and do get in the Pacific here for water sports without wetsuits. I can do it -- but find that the 30 seconds I can tolerate the water is not enough time for boogie boarding and surfing. However, with a wetsuit, I can boogie board for hours. There are an abundance of surf shops that rent wetsuits (and boogie boards too) for just $10 day.

If I were to honeymoon in Santa Cruz and the Central Coast, here is what I would do and have on my HoneyLuna honeymoon registry.... (if you're flying in, Santa Cruz is 90 minutes from SFO and 35 minutes from San Jose)



5 nights Santa Cruz (more if you can!)
  1. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk -- ride the Giant Dipper!
  2. Lunch and Dinners on the Santa Cruz Pier
  3. Dinner on Pacific Avenue, Downtown Santa Cruz
  4. Sunset Sail on Monterey Bay on the Chardonnay
  5. Kayak the Elkhorn Slough
  6. Wine Tasting in Santa Cruz and Corralitos (yes, wine tasting!)
  7. Hiking in Nisene Marks or Big Basin State Park
  8. A walk on the bluff top trail at Wilder Ranch State Park is a must!
  9. Day trip up Hgwy 1 to Pescadero (Famous Clam Chowder at Duarte's Tavern (I'm a vegetarian so I've never had it, but friends insists it's the best!), Pigeon Point Lighthouse and a glass of wine at the Ritz Carlton, Half Moon Bay
  10. Have a bonfire at the beach! (Bonfires are legal on most beaches)

2 nights Carmel or Big Sur
  1. Explore Carmel
  2. Wine Tasting in the Carmel Valley
  3. 17 Mile Drive
  4. A glass of wine (or brunch if you can afford it!) at Pebble Beach
  5. Dinner at Clint Eastwood's Mission Ranch Inn
  6. Lunch at Nepenthe
  7. Hiking at Pt. Lobos, Julia Pfeifer Burns or Andrew Molera State Parks
  8. Admisison to the Monterey Bay Aquarium
  9. If the whales are migrating, a whale watching trip

1 night RockyPoint (this is a few hours south on Hgwy 1)
  1. Just a really cool Inn in a stunning location. Ocean View Room worth the splurge. Dinner at the Rocky Point Inn.

If you want to continue on Hgwy 1 driving south, then a night or two in Cambria with a full day at Hearst Castle is a must!

There are so many more things to see and do -- so if you have more time, check out Pinnacles National Monument, Ano Nuevo State Park and the elephant seals (reservations a must), the very charming beach town of Capitola, Phil's Fish Market at Moss Landing (after kayaking the Elkhorn Slough).... You will find an abundance of affordable, beautiful, fun and romantic things to do in Santa Cruz!



Friday, July 10, 2009

Top 10 Reasons to Register your Honeymoon with HoneyLuna


Top 10 Reasons to Register your Honeymoon with HoneyLuna


10 You don’t need another salad spinner or a toaster (Receive the gift of travel, romance and adventure rather than house wares!)

9 Your insurance doesn’t cover Waterford crystal if you break it

8 You and your fiancée cannot agree on a china pattern

7 With the extra help you receive from your honeymoon registry, you may be able to upgrade your hotel accommodations from a parking lot to ocean view!

6 You’ll love the ease of “one stop shopping” for both your honeymoon travel and gift registry.

5 Your friends and family will love your honeymoon registry – they won’t even have to leave home to buy your gift! A quote from Nicole Bauer, HoneyLuna client: “Everyone thought our honeymoon registry was a great idea. And they enjoyed reading our itinerary and purchasing pieces of our honeymoon.”

4 You won’t have to return any unwanted gifts to the department store

3 You’ll love all the gifts you receive from your honeymoon registry (who wouldn’t love a sunset dinner cruise? A massage? A gondola ride in Venice?)

2 You’ll get to take your dream honeymoon you never thought was possible

And the number one reason to register with HoneyLuna….

1 HoneyLuna is the best honeymoon registry service around (since 1995!)

Visit our website at: www.honeyluna.com

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Not sure where you want to go on your honeymoon? Advice About Choosing Your Honeymoon Destination

Here are some simple guidelines from HoneyLuna.


  1. Be realistic – the first step is determining how much time you have to travel, and as important, how much money do you have allocated for your honeymoon. (Using HoneyLuna’s honeymoon registry can give extra cushion to that budget!)

  2. The best way to start your planning may be to choose a list of specific destinations that interest you. Then start reading and researching these places to see if they fit your desires. If there are only beach and water sports and you don't tan and can't swim, then it may not be the place for you.

  3. Narrow your choices. The world is big. Even one country is big. You can't see it all in a lifetime, much less in a week or a few weeks. Most people try to do too much in too little time. You'll have a much better experience if you can actually take the time to enjoy where you are - instead of being exhausted because you're running from one city to the next, one country to the next. (This makes for some cranky travelers!)

  4. Choose a place that interests you - not just for the monuments but also for the culture and way of life. Your daily activities and the people you meet have more influence on the quality of your travel experience than the sites you visit or the sights you see.

  5. Make your own choices. Don't go somewhere just because someone else liked it or told you to go there. See #4 - again, just because a friend enjoyed the trek through the Himalayas in freezing temperatures carrying a 60-pound bag doesn't mean you will. If you're idea of roughing it is a 5 star hotel in Tahiti then a river-rafting trip down the Grand Canyon may not be for you!

  6. Think about who is giving you advice and what their knowledge is based on. Have they actually been there or are they experts on this destination? Look for resources from and by people in the places you are thinking of going for the most accurate picture of what travel in those places will really be like.

  7. Travel in the present. Learn about contemporary life and current affairs in the places you are going. (The Internet makes this much easier than ever before.)

  8. And most importantly, be sure that you and your fiancée are on the same page. If you want a week at a luxury hotel with a spa and a swim up bar, and he wants to go to a dude ranch, then you need to talk about that early on and find a way to compromise. (That is what you do in marriage!) Perhaps you can go to Kauai and stay at the Princeville Resort, which has a wonderful spa and is conveniently located by the Princeville Stables!

  9. Once you’ve made your decision, book early! Waiting for those last minute Internet fares is not honeymoon appropriate. The most popular honeymoon destinations such as Tahiti sell out months in advance!

  10. Don’t forget to say “I DO” and go have the honeymoon of your dreams. You should come back from your trip feeling like you’ve just experienced one of the most memorable and enjoyable events of your new life together.

Oh - and be sure to use HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry wherever you go!!!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

From Ask Amy - a great response about honeymoon registries!

Smart Answer for Smart Brides about Honeymoon Registry --


From Ask Amy
By Amy Dickinson



Dear Amy: Regarding registering for honeymoon contributions, what gives? Where do people get off thinking they’re entitled to something, even though they can’t afford it?

I can understand a bridal registry — it’s the modern dowry for today’s couples. But come on, where does this entitlement complex come from?

If you want to take a trip when you get married, save for it and put your hand back in your pocket, not mine. — Suzanne

Dear Suzanne: A gift registry is meant to provide the couple with things they can’t buy. I don’t see the difference between registering for a china pattern or a trip to Colorado. Wedding guests don’t have to adhere to registries; they’re meant as gift guidelines.

Don't walk, RUN (or click really fast!) to register at HoneyLuna.com for your HoneyLuna honeymoon registry.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Creating a Successful HoneyLuna Honeymoon Registry

CREATING A SUCCESSFUL HONEYMOON REGISTRY

When Jenny Johnson and John Ericson got married, they didn’t bother registering with the traditional registries. They already lived together, owned a home, and had the household items they needed.

Instead, Jenny and John registered with HoneyLuna, the Honeymoon Registry Service, and received “pieces of their honeymoon” as wedding gifts.

Jenny and John had a very successful honeymoon registry! “Our honeymoon included Spanish Language courses in Cusco and hiking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu in Peru,” says Jenny. “It was so much more fun creating a gift registry that included these experiential gifts we would always remember. Our honeymoon was filled with fantastic adventures we will never forget, and allowed us to tie these special gifts to our loved ones back home.”

Honeymoon registries today are no longer “alternative” and are acceptable wedding registries, according to the Emily Post Institute of Etiquette (and others!). Honeymoon registries offer the opportunity for families and friends to give the couple something worth remembering for their honeymoon. However, because many people are not aware that honeymoon registries exist, it is important that the wedding couple (and their close friends, maid of honor and best man) let people know that their honeymoon registry exists and to “educate” their family friends about the concept. This will insure that they have the most successful honeymoon registry possible.

HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry service provides many tools to help create a successful honeymoon registry and to “get the word out” such as:

  • Registry announcement cards to send to family and friends letting them know about your honeymoon registry
  • Email announcements to send to family and friends letting them know about your honeymoon registry
  • An easy to use website to for friends and family to view your itemized registry and purchase your gifts. Our site also offers FREE wedding websites, wedding blog, and photo albums for wedding couples!

Ultimately, the wedding couple DOES need to participate in helping make the honeymoon registry successful. Here a few things you can do to create a successful honeymoon registry.

1. Be Creative - Have fun with your registry. Don’t’ just ask for cash – include fun items and activities your friends and family can get excited about.

2. Include Gifts In a Variety of Price Ranges - When creating your registry do include a variety of items in different price ranges. You don't want to leave anyone out, nor make anyone feel uncomfortable. With a wide variety of price ranges, guests can contribute anywhere from $20 on up – more if they want!

3. Upload a Photo – Upload your photo to personalize your registry even more.

4. PROMOTE YOUR REGISTRY – Don’t’ be Shy – PROMOTE YOUR REGISTRY! For a successful registry let everyone know where you are registered. Include registry announcement cards in your engagement letters, shower, and wedding invitations. Advise family members and bridal party of your gift wishes, so that they may be actively involved in communicating directly to your guests. Use email announcements as a follow up close to the wedding date. People DO want to buy you a wedding gift, so you might as well make it as easy for them as possible.

Remember, the more you promote your honeymoon registry, the better your chances of having a successful honeymoon registry. Wouldn't you rather have some fantastic honeymoon experience as your wedding gift rather than a zebra head cookie platter or another turkey baster?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Affordable Honeymoon Destinations for 2009 and beyond!

The word in the news every day now is "Staycation". Well call me silly, but if I were planning my honeymoon (and I wish I were!) a "Staycation" is not where I would want to go.

Because the economy is slow and so many people ARE NOT traveling, there are GREAT deals to be had for honeymooners -- I am trying to post great deals every day to the HoneyLuna TWITTER (#HoneyLuna) and they also upload to the blog here. So do check back every day!!

Also, don't forget - HoneyLuna's Honeymoon Registry is a great way to help expand your honeymoon budget. Guests LOVE buying pieces of your honeymoon as a wedding gift -- who wouldn't love to buy a couple the experience of a romantic dinner on the beach, a gondola ride in Venice, a night in an over the water bungalow? I digress...

What I am trying to say is, don't let the recession prevent you from taking the romantic honeymoon of your dreams. Many destinations are more affordable these days which means you can go where you want -- and maybe even upgrade a room category or two!!

Here are my pics for top deals right now... and some "off the beaten path"...

Fiji - Plane tickets still aren't cheap (no discounts there really...) but resorts on Fiji are offering GREAT deals.

Thailand
- Thailand has always offered many affordable options - but now even more are available. You can have the best of both worlds - culture and exotic combined with a wonderful beach vacation.

Brazil
- Again, it may be a haul and the flights may not be so cheap, but once there, Brazil has some great deals -- AND... Brazil has beautiful beautiful beaches, great food, fun nightlife, and an enjoyable cultural experience.

Mexico
- If you can turn off the news and imagine the Mexico we've all dreamed of... Mexico is ON SALE!!! Resort occupancies are at their lowest and discounts are at their highest -- up to 70 percent off!! Round-trip airfare for under $300 from most major US cities

Jamaica
- Even the Ritz is on sale here!!

Hawaii -
Even the Four Seasons has deals! My post earlier today had the Kiahuna Plantation offering the 3rd and 6th nights free!

Alaska - Lots and lots of cruise deals!!
Taking an Alaskan cruise is a budget friendly honeymoon idea and will provide memories and experiences you will never forget!

Miami
Not a "staycation" but maybe a close to home honeymoon. Miami has great beaches, great nightlife aned plenty of deals on accomodations.

To check out great honeymoon travel deals and affordable beach honeymoons and honeymoon destinations, click here.....

Free (Honeymoon) Nights in Kauai

Great Travel Deals to Kauai - the Garden Isle. Kauai is a stunning, tropical island - perfect for a romantic honeymoon or a fun family vacation -- or just a "getaway"....


6 nights with Car rental from $655 (see chart below)

Great promotions at Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation (my FAVE!) (3rd and 6th night free!)

Hilton Kauai Beach Resort (5th night free)

Marriott Kauai Beach Resort (5th night free PLUS free daily buffet breakfast)

Grand Hyatt Kauai (6th night free PLUS free daily buffet breakfast)

Use HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry (www.HoneyLuna.com) and have more dollars to enjoy from these great packages and your honeymoon gift dollars.

To price packages for your honeymoon or vacation, click here.....

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Have a beautiful destination wedding and honeymoon in Fiji

(picture of wedidng ceremony at Qamea Resort and Spa, Fiji)

Fiji is considered by some to be “heaven on earth”. With over 333 islands, the islands boast miles and miles of extreme pristine beauty and locations for heavenly, unforgettable destination weddings.

Throughout the islands there is a vast selection of stunning resorts. Choose from casual resort with a barefoot wedding on the beach or a luxurious resort with a formal ceremony overlooking the stunning South Pacific.

When you’re ready to begin the honeymoon, the Fiji Islands are tailor made for relaxed adventure, offering almost every conceivable activity to choose from. As newlyweds, hike mountain trails, raft white waters, or speed across and above the ocean surf. Follow the adventure with romance and spend the day on your own private island and have a sunset dinner for two on the beach. If you feel the need to say “Bula” and experience local culture visit a local village, drink some kava and attend a fire walking ceremony.

Whatever you choose, Fiji is a paradise that can make your dream wedding come true.

One of our favorites?... Check out Qamea Resort and Spa

Let us help you book your travel to Fiji!! Check out www.lifeeventstravel.com

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Have a beautiful destination wedding and honeymoon in Costa Rica

Costa Rica offers the perfect place to begin creating wonderful memories when you choose to spend your life with someone. With an abundance of beautiful locations offering stunning backdrops fvrom tropical rainforests and mountains to secluded beaches you are sure to find the perfect spot for your destination wedding in paradise.


Look no further than Costa Rica if you want to combine adventure, excitement and an exotic destination for your destination wedding and honeymoon. There are not only tropical rainforests and beautiful beaches, but surprises as well – active volcanoes, tropical jungles and windswept cloud forests.


Approximately 27% of the country is “protected”, providing an abundance and variety of wildlife in the preserved areas. After saying “I do” couples who dream to see monkeys, sloths, sea turtles and exotic birds (maybe even an elusive jaguar) can venture into nature and view them in their natural habitats.

Save the fireworks for after the wedding and visit Arenal Volcano, Costa Rica’s very active volcano. If after all the natural adventures you need a little rest and relaxation, head to the seaside where there is no shortage of beaches and luxury hotels on either the Pacific or Caribbean coasts. There’s always surfing and snorkeling if lounging on the beach is not for you.


Getting married in Costa Rica is easy – deciding which amazing place to exchange your vows and then where to explore as your journey into your new life together will be the challenge!


To look at package pricing and options check out www.lifeeventstravel.com and of course, be sure to use HoneyLuna's honeymoon registry www.honeyluna.com

Monday, June 15, 2009

Have a Destination Wedding and Honeymoon in the Caribbean


And here's a great sale! 4 nights All Inclusive in Antigua starting at just $589! Perfect for your honeymoon or destination wedding!


Think of the Caribbean and inevitably pictures of isolated white sand beaches, pristine turquoise waters or stunning waterfalls come to mind. The Caribbean Islands offer an abundance of islands that cast romantic spells and offer the perfect place for a destination wedding and honeymoon.

The Bahamas offer everything from the splendid mega Atlantis resort , bustling shopping and nightlife in Nassau to peaceful empty beaches of beautiful white sand that dissolve into turquoise seas as clear as glass.

Prefer something more exotic and tropical? Consider St. Lucia with it’s stunning tropical mountains and unforgettable peaks of the Pitons. Perhaps Barbados which embodies the white-sand-and-turquoise-waters of tropical paradise is your place to exchange your vows?

Searching for some European flair for your wedding, St. Martin offers both the Dutch and the French side.

Or if you see yourself celebrating with tropical rum punch and glorious sunsets surrounded by your family and friends, Jamaica offers everything from villas with your own private beach, to luxurious all inclusive resorts perched on cliffs or sitting on miles of beaches – say “I do”, mon.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Twitter, Blog, Travel and Shop - Fun Tools from HoneyLuna


TWITTER: NEW Please follow us on Twitter!

BLOG: Find interesting stories and articles on our honeymoon registry and travel blog

TRAVEL: Research and Book your honeymoon travel online, AND….

SHOP: For “Everything to wear while you are there!” Plus, Destination wedding dresses, jewelry, luggage and more!

Have a beautiful destination wedding and honeymoon in Mexico

Mexico is the quintessential destination for the perfect tropical destination wedding and honeymoon. Think Mexico and imagine beautiful beaches, tropical jungles, Mayan ruins, and adventures for all.

Couples marrying in Mexico have the best of all worlds – picture perfect wedding locations and a fantastic honeymoon destination. (With many great activities to include on your HoneyLuna honeymoon registry!)

If you’re looking for pristine white sand beaches for your wedding and honeymoon look no further than Cancun or the Mayan Riviera. Cancun offers the beach and nightlife, the Mayan Riviera offers the beaches and more secluded resorts – with excursions to the Mayan ruins of Tulum just a short ride away. After saying I do, spend some time enjoying world class snorkeling and diving in Cozumel.

If you imagine saying “We Do” on a cliff top with the mountains behind you and the stunning tropical waters below you than the Pacific coast of Mexico has it all. Stroll hand in hand on the cobblestone streets of Puerto Vallarta before zip lining in the Sierra Madres. Maybe the quaint fishing village of Zihuatanejo is more your speed. Cabo offers beautiful beaches, luxurious resorts and the remarkable back drop of Los Arcos – Cabo’s famous arch.

Whatever you dream for your destination wedding, Mexico has it all.

Take a look at Karisma Resorts and Palace Resorts for beautiful destination wedding options in Mexico! Both chains offer a fabulous selection of resorts and wonderful wedding packages for a destination wedding and honeymoon in Mexico.

And don't forget to create a honeymoon registry for all the fun and romantic things you can do in Mexico!! www.HoneyLuna.com

If you want to look at booking a travel package to Mexico please visit www.lifeeventstravel.com

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Consider a Destination Wedding and a Honeymoon Registry

Imagine Your Perfect Wedding...


Has he said "Will you?" and you said "I do" (or visa versa)? Is your dream wedding on a beach? Is it in a stunning tropical paradise? Are your friends and family surrounding you as you exchange your vows? If so, HoneyLuna and Life Events Travel help you!




Destination Weddings are a popular option – and a growing trend – for American couples. It’s a wonderful combination of a wedding that combines travel, an exotic location, and an extended celebration with family and friends.



A destination wedding can be a wonderful adventure filled with memorable experiences.


Planning a destination wedding does not need to be a daunting experience – but because of the travel factor, a destination wedding does need special attention. Your day should be perfect... But you shouldn't have to stress about it.

To help make your dream destination wedding a reality, first, book your travel and honeymoon package at
www.lifeeventstravel.com and then create a honeymoon registry for your perfect destination wedding and honeymoon at HoneyLuna.com, the Honeymoon Registry Service!

We can make booking your travel and the travel for your family and friends easy. Over the next couple of days I'll talk a bit about different locations for destination weddings!

Check back tomorrow for Mexico!

And as always, consider a a honeymoon registry for your destination wedding and honeymoon -- that way friends and family won't have to carry the gift to the wedding!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Have a beautiful honeymoon in Hawaii









Kauai's stunning Napali Coast

Hawaii is a favorite for honeymooners!

For the latest in honeymoon packages and travel deals, please check our travel site www.lifeeventstravel.com

And do be sure to check out our honeymoon registry at www.honeyluna.com Let your friends and family buy pieces of your perfect honeymoon as your wedding gifts.

I've put together a list of some of my favorite hotels in Hawaii - all PERFECT for honeymoons - or just a fun getaway!

Hawaii –

"The loveliest fleet of islands that lies anchored in any ocean." -- Mark Twain


Hawaii is the world's most geographically isolated landmass, located 2,400 miles from the West Coast of the U.S. and often called the "Crossroads of the Pacific." Many people are surprised to learn that Hawaii actually consists of 137 islands stretching across more than 6,400 square miles in the North Pacific Ocean. The eight major islands commonly referred to as the Hawaiian Islands are Ni'ihau, Kauai, Oahu, Molokai, Lanai, Kaho'olawe, Maui, and the Big Island of Hawaii.

Hawai'i: The Big Island

She is the youngest island, still growing with spewing molten lava from the earth’s depths to create new land. Hawaiian legend tells the story of the goddess Pele and the demigod Kamapua‘a battling over the island. Eventually striking a deal, the two decided to split the island – one with the drier Kona side and the other with the tropical Hilo side. Diverse is the word most commonly used to describe her natural beauty. There’s the Hamakua Coast, where vertical cliffs are adorned by abundant waterfalls and dotted with deep valleys.

RESORTS:

Fairmont Orchid

This luxurious beachfront resort is nestled on 32 acres of sunny Kohala coast at Mauna Lani. In addition to beautiful grounds, it also fronts one of the area’s nicest beaches and protected Pauoa Bay offers some of the best snorkeling on the coast. For the ultimate in relaxation, try the “Spa Without Walls” oceanside massage or sit back and watch the Kohala sunset from the vantage point of a swaying hammock.

One North Kaniku Drive
Kohala Coast , HI 96743

Phone: 808-885-2000

WEB: http://www.fairmont.com/Orchid/

Kona Village Resort

This unique resort is known for its thatched-roof bungalows and South Pacific village-style accommodations. The bungalows are situated in tropical gardens, lagoons and sandy lava beaches. There are no phones, televisions, clocks or radios to disturb the ambiance and tranquil nature of the setting. Some bungalows feature private whirlpools on their lanai.

Historic Kaupulehu
Kailua Kona , HI 96745 Phone: 808-325-5555

http://www.konavillage.com/

Kauai

The eldest of her sister islands, Kaua‘i has become more beautiful with age and is blessed with panoramic vistas so magnificent they defy description. It’s no wonder that over 60 movies have been filmed with her stunning scenery, making the island known as “Hollywood’s tropical back lot.” Kaua‘i is home to two of the world’s natural wonders: Na Pali Coast and Waimea Canyon. Hugging 15 miles of awe-inspiring northern coastline, the towering sea cliffs of Na Pali Coast plunge 2,000 feet to the sea. To the west is Waimea Canyon, measuring ten miles long, two miles wide and over 3,500 feet deep.

RESORTS:

Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa

On Keoneloa Bay just down the road from Po‘ipu Beach, this 50-acre beachfront resort reflects classic ’20s Hawaiian architecture and décor. Hotel features include an action pool with waterfalls, waterslide and Jacuzzis, expansive saltwater lagoons, tropical gardens and crescent beaches.

1571 Poipu Road
Koloa , HI 96756

Phone: 808-742-1234

WEB: http://kauai.hyatt.com/

Outrigger Kiahuna Plantation

This is the only condominium resort on Po‘ipu Beach (and truly one of my favorite!). Long famous for its 35 acres of landscaped gardens, the grounds are well maintained and the expansive units feature tropical décor. One of the few condominiums to have a restaurant on site as well, the Plantation Gardens features Hawaiian regional cuisine and one of the coolest bars on Kaua‘i.

2253 Poipu Road
Koloa , HI 96756

Phone: 808-742-6411

http://www.outriggerkiahunaplantationcondo.com/

Maui

The Hawaiians have proclaimed Maui No Ka‘Oi, meaning “Maui is the best” and it is an island worthy of such a superlative. She offers an ideal mix of nature and sophistication. Her enduring popularity is her uncanny ability to dazzle and soothe the spirit at the same time. The island is named after the demigod Maui, who drew the islands up from the ocean and harnessed the sun from atop the 10,000 foot Haleakala, or House of the Sun. Her magical beginning has given us miles of pristine beaches, pastoral villages near Hana, verdant lush rainforests, countless waterfalls and grassy ranchlands.

RESORTS:

Grand Wailea Resort and Spa

While all the rooms are spacious and luxuriously appointed, the Napua Tower offers special concierge services and extra amenities. The resort has an incredible 50,000 sq. ft. Spa Grande, offering nearly every treatment imaginable. The hotel’s huge riverstyle pool with unique water features, deep scuba diving pool, the world’s only water elevator and several waterslides are a magnet for families.

3850 Wailea Alanui
Wailea, Maui , HI 96753

Phone: 808-875-1234

Web: www.grandwailea.com

Sheraton Maui Resort

Situated at historic Black Rock on Ka‘anapali Beach, you’ll find the best snorkeling on the west side of Maui. Sprawled over 23 acres of tropical landscaping, 83% of rooms and suites face the ocean. Enjoy Sheraton’s large, 142-yard lagoon-style pool, nightly cliff-diving ceremony and many complimentary cultural activities on property.

Ka’anapali Beach Hotel

With 432 rooms, two restaurants, a poolside bar and grill, this is the ideal setting to turn your Hawaiian dreams into lifelong memories. Serenades by singing employees, Hawaiian regional cuisine, complimentary nightly hula shows, signature interactive cultural activities, weekly arts and crafts fair, welcome breakfast and farewell lei ceremony add to the value. Enjoy Hawaiian ho’okipa (hospitality), aloha at its best.

2525 Kaanapali Pkwy
Lahaina , HI Phone: 800-262-8450

http://www.kbhmaui.com/

Oahu

The center of the Hawaiian Islands, O‘ahu proudly bears the phrase “the heart of Hawai‘i.” Her diverse island lifestyle is home to Honolulu, the state’s capital and the trendiest and most cosmopolitan city in Hawai‘i. Waikiki, a mecca of tourism and attractions, is a 450-acre man-made beach of vacation fun, with beach, surf, hotels, shopping, dining and entertainment. Beyond Waikiki, discover O‘ahu’s vast natural richness, from the pristine sanctuary of Hanauma Bay to the towering surf of the famous North Shore and the lush tropical rainforest deep within her two mountain ranges.

RESORTS:

The Kahala

Long favored by jetsetters and celebrities, this legendary hotel is famous for its services. Spacious newly re-decorated rooms and suites, it has an idyllic crescent-shape, white-sand beach and lagoon and is home to bottlenose dolphins, tropical fish and sea turtles. The secluded beachfront location is only ten minutes from Waikiki. Experience award-winning cuisine at Hoku’s or enjoy island-style dining at Plumeria Beach House. Be pampered in privacy at the exquisite Spa Suites.

5000 Kahala Avenue
Honolulu , HI Phone: 808-739-8888

Web: http://www.kahalaresort.com/

Outrigger Reef

Experience this deluxe resort as it unveils a distinctive, refined experience on the beautiful Waikiki Beach. Brand new guest accommodations decorated in warm woods and colors, echoing stunning views from the mountains to the sea. Steps to the exciting Waikiki Beach Walk™ promenade with fun, fashion and delectable dining.

2169 Kalia Rd
Honolulu , HI 96815 Phone: 808-923-3111

http://www.outriggerreef-onthebeach.com/

Turtle Bay Resort

Located on Oahu‘s North Shore and only 37 miles from the high pulse and energy of Honolulu, guests enjoy spectacular ocean views from every accommodation. Featuring five miles of beach, horseback riding, hiking trails, surfing school, helicopter sightseeing, 36-holes of championship golf and world-class dining. Guests have preferred rates and tee times at the Palmer and Fazio championship golf courses at Turtle Bay Golf Club.

57-091 Kamehameha Highway
Kahuku , HI 96731 Phone: 808-293-8811

Web: http://www.turtlebayresort.com/