I Miss My Honeymoon

Honeymoons are a thing of genius. If not for that "lifelong vow" thing, I would definitely get married a couple more times just for the killer honeymoon. One in Paris, one in Fiji, and why not throw in one Australia for good measure?  
Im just kidding. Who needs a man to make all those vacations happen? When I grow up I'm going to get rich and take myself to all of those places!
For now, let me indulge you in a little story about our 8 days near Cancun. Secrets Maroma Beach in Playa del Carmen, Mexico was pure love and relaxation. We stayed in one of their preferred club suites and it was everything a honeymoon is supposed to be, the most luxurious experience of our lives... So far ;) The staff treated us like kings and queens, the room was CLEAN and had a fully stocked mini bar, snacks, a balcony with an incredible view of the resort and ocean, two jacuzzis (one inside & one on the balcony) and an incredibly comfortable king bed. Ryan and I stayed at an all inclusive resort once before in Montego Bay, Jamaica, but it didn't even come close to this slice of heaven. #Upgrade.  This adult's only resort is a true gem with top shelf liquor, a huge variety of restaurants, and unparalleled customer service. The staff seriously set this place apart and deserve the utmost recognition. 

Everyone, whether you are a first or fifth timer #ZsaZsaGabor, wants to make their honeymoon special. If you feel intimidated with all of the options out there, you are... human, and not alone! Below are my tips to help ensure that your honeymoon is #bananas. 

1. All-inclusive all the way! This is a personal favorite of mine. Unless money is no object for you, I can't fathom paying inevitably inflated prices for everything at a resort. There are so many incredible all inclusive resorts that offer delicious food, top shelf liquor, and awesome amenities. There is something so liberating about not having to pull out your wallet every time you want a pina colada (or 7). #ThatsNormalRight? If you do have a larger budget, and you are concerned that you won't find that top notch luxury experience at an all inclusive, think again. Check out Zoetry Resorts. A week at one of their uber exclusive properties during peak winter seasons can set you back anywhere from 6k-12k. I hear this is the creme de la creme when it comes to all inclusives (I did not get paid to write this. #iwish).   

2. Determine your budget at the beginning so that you don't let the trip get away from you. Without setting a budget, it can be very easy to spend thousands of extra dollars and have no clue where they went. Once you fall in love with something (even if it is out of your budget, it's hard to put it back on the shelf.
Kind of like shopping. You go to the store because you need some socks, and you come home with a $300 pair of boots, 2  sweaters, and a cute necklace that you just couldn't pass up. This is why Ryan doesn't allow me out of his sight in any store. Ever. 
Once you have a concrete budget in mind, it is much easier to sift through potential resorts or locations. There are TONS of options out there, and you can make yourself dizzy trying to weigh the pros and cons of each place, so if you have a budget in mind, you can easily rule out a bunch of places from the start. When you fall in love with a place that is within your budget, don't forget to lookup flights and add that to your numbers. 

3.  I have a confession to make. My name is Brittany and I am obsessed with TripAdvisor. I just "TripAdvisored" Zoetry before I posted the link above and spent 10 minutes reading it's amazing reviews. Can you guess where I am plotting our next vacation? Can you also guess who HAS let me out of this sight? I am starting to think I don't so much as have a shopping problem, more so an attention problem. I digress. The bottom line here is do your due diligence on your top 3-5 potentials.  If the price is right and the pictures on the website look great, but the reviews on TripAdvisor are awful, I would say cross it off your list. Also, if you are super picky about comfortably beds, and cleanliness of rooms, TripAdvisor is THE place for you. Just be careful...don't let yourself fall down the rabbit hole.
4. Decide what kind of honeymoon you want to have from the beginning. For example, if you want an adventurous/ hiking/ climb Mt. Kilimanjaro/sweating your butt off type of honeymoon you probably don't want to going to go to a beach destination. Instead, you might want to backpack through Europe, visit South Africa, or go to Paris. I don't know. That's not my idea of a vacation (except for Paris), so we chose a relaxing beach vacation. Ryan, on the other hand, can't sit still for more than 2 days without getting bored. He wanted to take a 3 hour bus ride to the ruins, and other things that required lots of physical effort like kayaking and bike tours. I compromised by getting off my lounge chair one afternoon and adventured with him into to the city of Playa del Carmen. Don't, however, be afraid do to things separately! You have the rest of your life to be together, there is no law that says you MUST spend every waking minute of your honeymoon together.
5. Take a ton of photos and video. You will want to remember this and someday show your kids. Sure, take some pictures of the resort property, but most importantly, take lots of photos of you and your new hubby. If I ever get old and fat, at least I'll have THESE photos to look back on as the glory days! 
6. Exploit the heck out of your new marriage. No, seriously. Ask your resort if they have any special honeymoon packages or any add-ons that are totally worth it if you love massages and dinners on the beach. If not, ask the resort if they can give you an upgraded room because it's your honeymoon. Also, if you are flying to your destination, ask the gate attendant if he/she can upgrade your seats because it would just mean so much! It worked for us on both legs of our trip. Don't forgot to bring a copy of your marriage license if you are going to participate in any sort of honeymoon package at your resort. 
7. Have FUN. Laugh your face off. But don't BURN your face off. Sun burn can ruin vacations. You may think one coat of block will last you all day, but you're wong. With today's ozone layer non-existent, you need to apply, apply and then apply again. I'd rather have a pasty white butt than fried and unable to physically sit down.

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