So some of you might not know this, but the now-husband has been planning our whole honeymoon, and even better, the whole thing has been a secret. Now let’s just say, in his own words: this has been an effing mission! as expected. So I thought it would be a good idea to give you romantic blokes out there a few hints and tips on how to pull this off.
now for someone like me whose never been overseas, i wouldn’t know the first thing about organising a trip. tickets and accommodation and visas and currencies and consulates. just so much! so i’ve picked the now-husband’s brain a bit and got the down low on PLANNING A SECRET HONEYMOON:
so firstly, pick your country. doesn’t seem that difficult…*side note: at this point i selected ‘publish’ instead of ‘save draft’ so many of you have read half a blog post…refer to messy brain post*…anyway, deciding to marry someone, one would imagine that you know each other pretty well. so choosing your romantic destination shouldn’t be such a brain teaser. Lucky for the now-husband I’m easy to please so any country would have had me drooling and oohing all over the place.
Doing research on your picked country is, of course, always a good idea. So try and get as many hints and tips on awesome little places to visit. Ideally you want to avoid your commercial spots and preferably hang out where the proper locals hang out. Find out a bit more about the weather, culture, do’ and don’ts etc.
Find out your visa requirements for your chosen destination. there are loads of small prints so make sure you read them. for instance, you have to have a minimum spending amount in your bank account for every day that you are on holiday. if you don’t have the minimum daily spending amount in your account already – DECLINE. and that declined process comes AFTER you’ve booked flights and hotels so make sure you read your visa requirements first, before booking and paying for ANYTHING.
If you only have a south african passport, it means you will have to go see the consulate of the country you are visiting. this is probably the one and only time where the whole secret can be ruined as you have a pile of paperwork to fill out. The now-husband, however, was determined to keep this a secret and went into their office whilst i was waiting outside. he explained to them that the trip is a secret and really doesn’t want me to find out, and they were amazing. they were so extremely helpful in keeping it a secret. they assisted all the other people first so that by the time i had to come in and do finger prints, the office was completely empty and it was just me (you know, in case someone talked about the country etc). They were also of course completely in love with the fact that the now-husband went through all this trouble to keep it a secret. I left there, still not having a clue of where we are going.
The now-husband and I are hitting our honeymoon in low season, which means we hitting up the snazzy hotels at an almost 50% discounted rate. This is a huge saving and the crowds will be far less as well. There are downfalls to this as some tourist destinations take this opportunity to do a lot of maintenance.
In terms of flights, you can either fly direct or make a few stops. Flying direct will of course be more expensive. You can save up to about R4000 each by having a few stop overs. This just means that you’re adding a couple of hours to your traveling time. Unfortunately I have no fancy tips on this one. You literally just have to spend some time on different websites and compare prices. I would say the earlier you book the better, probably? There are a few airlines that just announced that they are now flying direct from dbn! yay! (Qatar being one of them).
Booking accommodation is always a nightmare. Hotels always look so much more glamorous in the pictures, so how would one know?? Tripadvisor people, tripadvisor. It would be wise to look your hotel up on tripadvisor and read some of the reviews and see what ratings they got. We’ve learned our lesson with this one where the pictures looked amazing on the website and when we got to our room (this was for a local trip in the berg and not honeymoon related) it was so disgusting that we actually paid to stay somewhere else and just forfeited that accommodation. The now-husband used the website hotels.com to search for places but airbnb is the latest trend these days.
once you’ve booked all your flights and accommodation, you will then go see the consulate as mentioned earlier. Your passport will be sent to Pretoria where your visa will be approved (or declined). The now-husband signed an affidavit giving him permission to collect my passport so that I don’t peek inside to see what visa I got. Once all that is done – you are ready to go! yay!
At some point, I had to know what country we were going to. Logistically, it’s a bit tricky to keep it a complete secret. For instance, if you travel overseas and plan on using your credit card, you have to let your bank know and with that, you have to state which country you are going to. So luckily by that point I knew which country we were going to, but I had no idea which cities we were visiting, so it was still a bit of a surprize.
Honeymoon came and went and it was absolutely out of this world!! Blog post to follow 🙂 (and we might be planning our next trip already. eeeek)