Dev, Orlando, Florida
After a whirlwind wedding on March 21, 2015, Dev was ready to get away with his new bride, Amena. The couple knew they wanted to have a Caribbean honeymoon and ended up taking a six-day trip to Jamaica while sticking to a strict budget. (Read Amena’s take on their honeymoon here.)
I wish I knew…how much a little legwork would pay off.
Our friends recommended that we go to an all-inclusive resort because you pay for everything—hotel, food, and activities—up front, which means you don’t have to spend your vacation worrying about your budget. I spent a ton of time researching hotels and comparing prices online. While I didn’t negotiate prices, I did find that if I just picked up the phone and called the resorts, they were often able to give me a lower price than most online travel search engines. Still, HoneymoonsInc.com ultimately quoted us the lowest price, and we went with a Jamaican resort that gave us the most for our money. Not only did we get a suite with a separate living room and bedroom, but all of our excursions and motorized water sports were included too. Most resorts don’t cover those costs, so taking the time to really research our options saved us hundreds of dollars.
I wish I knew…to spend more time away from the resort.
When you stay at an all-inclusive, it’s easy to just, well, stay there. Amena and I wanted to experience some of the Jamaican culture. But trying to get transportation off the resort was tough—there weren’t regular shuttle buses, and taking a private cab was pricey. One day we did visit a local market and haggle with the craft vendors, which was fun. I wish I had asked in advance about how to leave the resort and what there was to see in the surrounding area.
I wish I knew…how easy it would be to balance relaxation and adventure.
Because we were on our honeymoon for only six days, we wanted to make the most of our time. I’m pretty athletic and adventurous, and while Amena is pretty active too, she wanted to make sure we had enough time to relax and recover from the wedding. Still, she was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to just hang around a pool all day, and frankly, so was I. To avoid feeling like we were locked into too tight of a schedule, we didn’t book any activities or excursions until we got to the resort, and even then, I usually signed up no more than a day in advance. In the end it all worked out; every day, we tried to do something fun in the morning—whether it was water skiing or scuba diving—and made sure that we spent afternoons relaxing by the pool before dinner.
I wish I knew…to remember that I was on vacation.
Getting from the airport to our resort took almost two hours, which was a bit frustrating. It’s easy to get annoyed when you’re traveling for your honeymoon; you’re tired from the wedding, and you just want to get to your hotel and start enjoying your trip. I had to remind myself that I was on vacation and that this was my time to relax. We got married pretty fast—a little more after a year after we met—and it had been go, go, go for a long time. It was nice to put down our phones and be present, chat it up with the locals and hotel staff, and just enjoy each other.
What Your Future Husband Wants You to Know About Your Honeymoon