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10 Things Every Honeymooner Needs to Know

While weddings are frequently a collaborative effort with family and friends, a honeymoon is often the first big decision you make together as a couple. Not all newlyweds take a honeymoon, but if you can, do so. It'll help you to recover from the wedding and give you a few much-needed days alone before real life intrudes. Here are some tips to ensure your honeymoon is everything you hope for:

1. Decide on a budget. Does your wallet allow for a night at Motel 6, a round-the-world tour, or something in between? Figure out how much you have to spend beforehand, and perhaps count on some wedding-gift money to add to your stake.

2. Discuss your idea of the perfect vacation. Who likes sports? Who likes sun? Who wants to explore an exotic destination? Make a list of the things that mean the most to you, and compare notes. Marriage is going to call for lots of compromise, and this is the place to start.

3. Pick your destination. If you're on a budget, keep in mind that many places adjust their rates seasonally. For instance, it's cheaper to visit the Caribbean in warm weather, and ski resorts that offer a lot of activities (but no snow) in summer will also be less expensive.

4. Use a travel agent. It doesn't cost any more, and he or she can make all the arrangements without you having to worry about them.

5. If you're going abroad, leave plenty of time to make sure your passport is current, you have the visas needed. If inoculations are required, get them well before the wedding.

6. When you make reservations, let them know you're honeymooning. People will want to please you (in the hope that you'll return). You may get upgraded to a better room at no charge, receive a welcome bottle of champagne, and who knows what else.

7. Protect your privacy. This is especially important if you have a destination wedding, where the guests tend to hang around. A honeymoon is for the two of you, period. No kids, no pets, no company.

8. Take more money than you think you'll need. (To make things uncomplicated, you may want to pre-pay for everything, or select a resort that offers an "all-inclusive" rate, which usually covers food, lodging, activities, drinks, transfers, tips, and more.)

9. Schedule time to do nothing at all. While it's great to know you have plenty of options in terms of things to see and do, this is, after all, a honeymoon.

10. Be considerate of your spouse's wishes. (My husband made me add this one.)

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