Thursday, February 20, 2003
A wedding can be the celebration of a lifetime. It can also take a lot out of a couple, between planning the event, making sure everything happens as scheduled, keeping the guests happy, and being the center of attention for a few days.
That's why there are honeymoons -- essentially the reward and vacation after planning a whole wedding.
Honeymoon options are endless, from adventure camping, hiking and climbing trips to a lazy week on the beach.
Sun and sea, however, are by far the most popular destination.
"Most people we get go to Hawaii and the Caribbean," said Sarah Scott, a travel agent at Great Escape Travel.
Jamaica is also popular with honeymooners, she said, particularly the couples-only Sandals Resort.
"They sort of cater to honeymooners," Scott said.
But cost always is a factor, she added. Budget often determines everything from where a couple goes to what hotel they stay in. In Hawaii, for example, a seven-night stay for a couple can range from $1,100 to $7,000.
"You can spend up to $20,000 in 10 days in Hawaii if you want to," she said.
Location also plays a big factor in a honeymoon package's final price.
"Tahiti has been real popular, but it's not cheap" said Julie Rabbitt, owner of Steamboat Reservations and Travel, Inc. Airline tickets alone are more than $1,000 to Tahiti, doubling what it would cost to get to Hawaii.
Mexico is more moderately priced, Rabbitt said, adding that Cancun has been a hot spot for honeymooners.
Scott said costs vary greatly for Mexico trips, but couples can usually find better deals there than in the Caribbean.
And the search for a romantic honeymoon getaway doesn't require leaving the country. Rabbitt said her company books honeymooners to Florida and San Diego.
"We've also had couples go to San Francisco and the wine country in California," Scott said.
Cruises -- relaxing and romantic -- through the Caribbean with stops at different islands have also been a popular choice in recent years, Rabbitt said.