There are two things a couple who have decided to tie the knot must take seriously. The first is the wedding day. This is not a day for things to go wrong.

Next is the honeymoon. Often taken for granted in this part of the world, the honeymoon is a very important stage in a couple’s lives. This is the traditional trip taken by newly weds to celebrate their marriage in seclusion and sexual intimacy. This is your own special celebration!

Whether or not you choose to travel to a different country, your first few days together ought to be special. This is the time to bond and develop a solid foundation for your marriage. This is the love nursery. Some of the memories you create during this time could help keep your relationship through tough times.

  1. Time

How much time have you got to spend on your honeymoon? The average time for a honeymoon is about a week but you can have a honeymoon ranging from a weekend to a month. The amount of time you have really goes a long way to determine what destination you both can go to. It would be foolhardy to travel to Brazil from Lagos and just spend only two days! Consider jetlag and you understand why. Other issues like family and business or work may also determine how long you can stay away.  In the end, always remember that however short or long you honeymoon is, it should be about the TWO of you and no distractions allowed.

Remember to ask your honeymoon consultant about the best times to visit your destination of choice. If you had the intention of shopping, you don’t want to be visiting a country that is prone to icestorms at winter.

  1. Style

This is one area where your personalities come into play. Are you both laid back and romantic? Can you spend a week all alone on an uninhabited island? Without TV and the internet, just the two of you! Or you prefer a fun-filled, adventure-like, fast-paced honeymoon? The good thing is there are lots of destinations that can cater perfectly to both kinds of personalities. These destinations would appeal to couples who have different personalities. It is now up to you to balance the aspects of the honeymoon as well as the activities to suit the two of you. Your style also determines what kind of accommodation you’d go for, an ocean view room or a water bungalow?

Whatever style you choose, do not schedule any activities for the first two or three days! You need this time to rest and relax after the hassle of planning the wedding. You can also take this time to talk and bond.

  1. Budget

Obviously while everyone wants the perfect honeymoon in paradise, your budget will determine where you can go to, except of course, if you use a honeymoon registry to reduce your expenses. The good news is there is always a honeymoon for every budget. You could ask your honeymoon consultant to look out for any special offers and honeymoon package deals. A good honeymoon package covers travel, accommodation, return transfers to and from the hotel and some meals. It advisable not to ask for all meals, referred to as full board, if you are honeymooning in a destination where you could enjoy the variety and adventure of eating out. Always ask for details of what your package includes and budget for a few sundry issues end even tips.

  1. Sights

If your idea of a perfect honeymoon is lying on the beach and playing in the azure waters, have your honeymoon in the Seychelles or Maldives. Of course even in these island destinations you still have trips and excursions that could interest you. But if you prefer the adventure of wild game safaris or historical museums, do Johannesburg. Remember to find out before you travel as much as you can on the destinations so you know your choices of excursions. This could be the key to discovering exciting moments together.

  1. Visas and health requirements

The last thing you want at the beginning of your honeymoon is to be quarantined at an airport for hours or even days because you do not possess the right visas or entry documentation or even vaccination certificates. Remember to find out what the requirements are for the passport you are carrying, especially if you have dual citizenship.

Some of the most exciting destinations do not require a visa or visas can be procured at the arrival airport without hassles. Try the fast track service available at some destinations like Dubai to breeze through immigration. Should the destination you choose require a visa, ask about the processing time and give room for any delays.

  1. The night before

I do not want to advise you as to what to do with your first night together. And I don’t want you to tell me either, lest it’s classified! Regardless, it will be ideal to begin the honeymoon with the ultimate romantic treat. In the very least check into a cozy hotel close to the airport and save any stress of waking up very early to catch your flight.

  1. The honeymoon consultant

Go get yourself a creative honeymoon consultant. Like your caterer or event planner or photographer for your wedding, who you entrust the planning of your honeymoon would determine the magic or lull of the honeymoon.

A good honeymoon consultant can help you decide on the right destination for your personality and needs as well as advise you on current travel deals and places to avoid. He will also advise on documentation including visa and health requirements to travel to your destination of choice. Most importantly, you will have more time to focus on planning your big day and worry less about the travel details.

  1. Luggage

No matter where you decide to go to for your honeymoon, you will need good suitcases to carry your stuff with you. Invest in strong and durable travel bags, especially ones that come with rollers that are easy to handle. Do get reliable nametags on all your bags as well as locks to keep them secure.

Also remember to check your weight limits if you are flying, or budget for extra baggage fess for any excesses. It is good practice however to pack light when traveling for your honeymoon. And you never know, you may need some space for that item you’ll buy at the duty free shop! Need I remind you to pack your bikinis and shorts? This is the best time to relish the sights of yourselves without clothes.

  1. Spa. Massages. A dinner cruise. Treat yourselves to something special.Treats

All the top honeymoon hotels and resorts have facilities for honeymoon treats like massages for two. And you could learn a thing or two for your private massages when you get back home.

  1. Music

Music is still the most potent love weapon, cupid’s arrow if you like. The food of love.

Imagine waking the love of your life up to sumptuous breakfast (delivered by your resort of course) with the Jaheim’s Today’s a special day for you playing in the background. You may also try I was made to love you by Gerald Levert, for effect. Better still do the classic, I can’t take my eyes off you by Frank Sinatra.

Whatever you do, CELEBRATE!