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How To Plan The Perfect Honeymoon

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It’s your honeymoon – the beginning of your happy ever after, the ultimate romantic escape and your chance to relax together for the first time as Mr & Mrs in the after-glow of your wedding day. With decades of experience planning award-winning honeymoons, here’s our insider guide on to how to plan your perfect first holiday as newlyweds, and avoid the common pitfalls that can occur.

Use a honeymoon expert

This isn’t an ordinary trip away. It’s the holiday you want to get just right. Rather than wading through the thousands of enticing options online, or trying to book hotels, dinners and experiences yourself, use the knowledge & services of a luxury travel or honeymoon expert. Not only do they have their hands on the pulse, and are able advise on the perfect destinations and experiences to suit you, they have access to the best rates at the finest hotels and the bargaining power for those sought after room upgrades and special inclusions that you might not get by yourself. They may even throw in secret gifts, such as hot-air balloon rides or private candle-lit dinners under the stars, and arrange those magical honeymoon touches that you might not know exist. Using a honeymoon expert will take the stress and unanswered questions out of your honeymoon planning, save you a lot of time (and often money) and allows you to relax and enjoy the countdown the most important day of your life.

Be unique

You’ve seen pictures on Facebook & Instagram and heard about friend’s fabulous holidays. But what’s perfect for them might be completely wrong for you. Off-the-shelf, one size fits all packages are great for some, but your honeymoon expert will be able to plan a unique, bespoke itinerary that includes everything that you really want to see and do. Make your honeymoon that little bit different and exclusively yours.

Something to make you both happy

Often either the groom or the bride takes responsibility for the honeymoon planning but it’s important to include activities that you’ll both enjoy. If one of you is happiest soaking up the sun on the beach and the other more an adrenaline adventure-type then include both those features in your honeymoon. A 2-stop holiday, for example an exhilarating African safari in Kruger or the Serengeti followed by some barefoot beach time in Zanzibar, Mozambique or Mauritius, could be the perfect solution for both of you. Choosing 2-3 destinations allows some great contrasts, but avoid including too many destinations, as you need to give yourself time to relax.

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Plan ahead

It’s a busy and exciting time with wedding plans and family arrangements, but getting in early with your honeymoon planning and budgeting will allow your honeymoon expert to secure the perfect places for you at the best prices and really maximize your time and budget. Availability can be tight and prices can skyrocket if left until the last minute – so get your honeymoon booked in and leave ample for your honeymoon expert to sort out the finer details such as restaurant reservations, activities such as hot air-ballooning or helicopter flights.

Don’t necessarily go for the ‘deal’

Generally, you get what you pay for and going for the discount deal to save some bucks can often lead to you spending more money and time trying to make the best of a bad situation. Using a honeymoon expert won’t cost you a penny but you will benefit from their years of planning expertise and their expert advice & recommendations. Your honeymoon expert will be able to secure the best accommodation and experiences at the best value, without compromising on quality.

Built a relationship of trust

Your honeymoon expert, if you choose the right one, will become like a friend. They will get to know you well enough to be able to handpick the special magical inclusions that will add the cherry to your honeymoon cake. Are you arty? They’ll get tickets to an exclusive art exhibition happening whilst you are there. Foodie? They’ll arrange a candle-lit dinner at your destination’s finest restaurant or arrange a cookery class with the greatest local chefs. How about private game drives at sunset or bush banquets under the stars. No request is too big or small and they will be on hand throughout the planning process and your honeymoon to assist with your every question & concern.

Try something different; embrace the new

We see an increasing trend today for couples seeking to do something one-of-a-kind, out-of-the-ordinary on their honeymoon; think stand-up-paddle-boarding down the Okavango Delta in Botswana, or kayaking around the coast of Madagascar. These epic adventures certainly make for incredible stories to pass down to your grandchildren, but for the not quite so intrepid, your honeymoon is still an opportunity to experience something new and different together, such as sampling local fine wines, scuba diving or learning about local cultures or conservation initiatives. Why go abroad to experience the same things you have at home?

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Africa&You has recently won the Luxury Lifestyle Award for Best Luxury Travel Company 2016 and set the benchmark for creating unforgettably romantic honeymoons in Africa and the Indian Ocean Islands. Every honeymoon they create is different, tailored perfectly to each client’s wishes and expectations; fusing the finest wildlife adventures with barefoot beach luxury. Contact one of their team of experts to start planning your dream honeymoon today.

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Africa&You will be exhibiting at Condé Nast Brides The Show from 30th September to the 2nd October 2016, at the Business Design Centre, Islington, UK. Come along to the stand to chat Africa & Indian Ocean Islands honeymoons over a glass of Champagne and the chance to win a FREE dream honeymoon in Africa.

www.africaandyou.com

Images: Sanctuary Baines Camp | Londolozi | Banyan Tree Maldives | Angsana Ihuru Maldives | Lion Sands

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Testimonials

"Amazing experiences in Africa that I will never forget!"

Stephanie Alexander

This safari travel company did such a fantastic job on planning this trip. It was a trip of luxury and amazing experiences I will never forget! Every place we stayed was beautiful, the transport was always right on time, and the activities were unforgettable. Rachel was always an email away to help us answer any questions or concerns we had before, during and after our trip.

"honeymoon paradise"

Rachel & Anthony

We had the most magical & unforgettable 10 days in paradise. Thank you to the A&Y team for creating a honeymoon we will remember forever.

"The perfect honeymoon"

Kate & Steve

I can't thank you enough for putting together the perfect honeymoon for us. You really paid attention to detail and met our every wish and much more! I couldn't have dreamt of a better 2 weeks. Thank you. We'll be back!

"Trip planning was effortless"

Sarah Langford

We had a fantastic trip to Zambia and South Africa. Africa&You made trip planning effortless. It was a nice touch to connect live with our agent to discuss what kind of trip we were hoping for and they opened our eyes to the many different parts of Southern Africa. We appreciated their quick response, their flexibility as we changed our itinerary a few times.

"Amazing family holiday"

Andrew Proctor

Created a fantastic trip which felt personalized for me and my young family. Recommend Africa&You to anyone.

"Our trip was outstanding."

David Freeman

Our trip was outstanding. I enjoyed the level of support that our agent provided, all updates were communicated timely and the nice swag bag in Cape Town was a nice touch. All we were left with was enjoying the experience.

"Couldn't recommend better!"

Jono Durham

Amazing operator with exceptional service right from the beginning. I felt well taken care of and the lodge choice was exceptional. Couldn't recommend better!

"The perfect honeymoon..."

Jamie & Kate

Thank you so much for organising an incredible honeymoon for us Rachel. You were a superstar and planned everything perfectly.

"Probably the best getaway we've ever had"

Jane McCauley

I wanted to thank you again for your great work arranging our trip. It really could not have gone more smoothly -- absolutely no issues and everyone was wonderful. Probably the best getaway we've ever had.

"An exceptional itinerary"

Darren Cooper

I can't give enough thanks for the trip that you organised for me at very short notice. You produced an exceptional itinerary that took in Cape Town, Safari and the winelands. We were blown away by the whole experience which was wholly due to the fantastic service you provided. We can't wait to return to South Africa with your assistance again.

"Everything was perfect and memorable"

Pat Hanlon

We completely enjoyed every recommendation. Everything was perfect and memorable. We've travelled a lot but this one may take the cake. You are wonderful people whom we are very happy to know and to work with.

"Passionate and dedicated"

Jolene du Plessis

An excellent tour operator who doesn't treat you like a number. Belinda takes the time to listen to all your concerns and interests and puts forward the best options for you. She is passionate about Africa Travel - that's what makes the difference!

"Simply amazing!"

Angela Amos

Oh Serengeti, you were so good to us! Big 5 plus so much more! Simply AMAZING! Ready for the next adventure! Thank you Africa&You for putting it together so perfectly!

" Our expectations were high and they were exceeded"

Corinne Leite

This travel agency planned the perfect trip for our party of 8, four adults and four teens. Our travel planner listened to what kind of experience we were looking for and delivered. Our expectations were high and they were exceeded by the experiences we had. It was the trip of a lifetime that will never be forgotten by all of 8 of us!

"We will recommend your services.... "

Lyudmila Young

We are very grateful for your planing of the trip. We all found South Africa to be a beautiful country and will recommend your service to our families and friends. Thank you!

"Amazing value without comprimising on quality"

Jane & Nick

From a safari in the Serengeti to tropical beaches, everything was perfect. No hassles, no stress, just an amazing holiday. Africa&You gives the best recommendations and incredible value without compromising on quality. We'll be coming back to you for sure!

"Had the best vacation of my life!"

Andrew Berger

Amazing! Had the best vacation of my life... every accommodation was incredible, all my tours and groups were really really good and met the best people. I am really really pleased with how everything turned out!

"The experience of a lifetime"

Melanie Buren

I couldn't have been happier with the experience I had with Africa&You. Belinda was so helpful, and SO patient with me regarding all my worries regarding the upcoming trip. And the trip itself was unforgettable! Not only were the adventures I had more than I could've ever dreamed, but the organization (being picked up and taken to each destination on time and without a glitch) was extremely impressive.

"Tailor-made vacation to perfection"

Eileen Cahill

From the very beginning, the team at Africa&You were extraordinarily helpful and kind, and both professional and friendly. Able to hone in on exactly the type of trip with the absolutely precise interests that I was hoping for. I have traveled the world, but they stand out as the warmest people I have had the pleasure of working with.

"trip exceeded our expectations"

Robin Maslin

Our travel agent was extremely knowledgeable, had great suggestions, and took into account our special travel requirements and preferences. It was wonderful working with her, and the trip exceeded our expectations!