How to Avoid Honeymoon Horrors


By the Editors of Farewell Travels

Illustration by Chris Murphy

Honeymoons are supposed to be dream trips. It’s the beginning of your lives together. You’re springing for the best rooms, the best champagne. You’re hoping to have some great memories.

But it’s not necessarily going to be the way you pictured it. Your hotel room might end up looking out at the parking lot, not the ocean…the couple in the room next door may sound like they’re rehearsing for “American Idol”… you could get in a fender-bender with the rental car…
Problems like this CAN happen.

But they don’t have to ruin what can still be a memorable vacation. You just need to be armed with the right attitude and some coping skills, and a handful of all-purpose strategies for overcoming honeymoon horrors.

It’s raining in paradise. The locals may be dancing around gleefully celebrating the long-overdue rain, but you’re feeling like a soggy sponge. You had planned to play tennis and take a hike. Don’t fret. This is precisely why you booked the honeymoon suite. What better time to hole up in your room and enjoy one another’s company. Isn’t that what a honeymoon is all about?

The room is NOT romantic. You’re looking at a brick wall. You hear the kitchen fan at night. There’s a disgusting stain on the rug….Here’s where advance planning can help. Don’t rely on internet booking for such an important trip. Have a travel agent book your honeymoon. Most hotels treat newlyweds special; they just have to know they’re newlyweds. A top agent will simply call their contact at the hotel and see to it that you’re taken care of. And this can mean rose petals on the bed, a bottle of bubbly waiting for you.

If you don’t use an agent, make sure you alert the hotel yourself. If there’s still a problem when you arrive, speak to the manager. Chances are he/she will help. No one wants to spoil someone’s honeymoon.

Jet lag, Montezuma’s Revenge and other travelers' ailments. They happen. Your best course of action is to take all precautions. Get the necessary shots or prescribed pills. And when they say don’t drink the water—DON’T. And that means brushing your teeth with bottled water and keeping your mouth shut in the shower.

Your spouse has a fight with airline counter folks, or the hotel bellboy. No matter how well you know each other, you may not know how your partner reacts to stress. A simple flight delay may tip the scales and causehoneymoon couple one of you to over-react. Don’t let this unpleasantness affect your honeymoon, or your relationship. Talk about what’s happening. Confide in one another. Consider this a learning experience that will end up bringing the two of you closer together. After all, isn’t that what a honeymoon is for?

Sunburn, jellyfish bites, a twisted ankle. Suddenly, everything you planned to do is on hold. Forget that sunny boat ride, that strenuous hike. Here too, you need to be flexible. How about just lounging on a porch or deck, feet up, reading that novel you began on the plane? Just relaxing may end up being even more fun than the activities you hoped to do.

Third wheel. You run into your old college roomie at the pool bar. She’s chilling out after an ugly divorce, on her own for the week and is thrilled to have company. If you sense she’s starting to latch on, come right out and remind her that you’re on your honeymoon.

Earthquakes, hurricanes, terrorism and other national disasters. Your wedding is in a week and a hurricane devastates the island you’re heading for. Be prepared. Make sure, when planning your honeymoon, that you get the right trip insurance. With a full refund, you can reschedule the trip for a later date, or go somewhere else. This is another place where it comes in handy having an agent. A good travel agent knows how to read the fine print and can assure you that you have proper coverage.

And if an earthquake or flood occurs while you’re at your destination and presumably you’re okay, look at it this way. Some people come back from their honeymoons with tans. You’re coming back with some major stories to tell.

Paperwork is missing. While you may be crazy busy planning the wedding, don’t overlook the small-print demands of travel. To enter some countries, you may need visas, vouchers, even havhoneymoonse to have a couple extra blank pages in your passport. Be sure you know what’s required and are prepared. A travel agent stays on top of this sort of thing, saving you from some serious problems en route.

Lost luggage, missed connections and weather delays. Again…travel insurance can help with all of this. And a travel agent may be able to help with re-routing in the event of a missed connection. As for the inconvenience of it all, it’s important to adopt the “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade,” policy. Stuck in an airport hotel room overnight? A few candles from the gift shop might just add some romance to your unexpected delay.

Remember, this is YOUR honeymoon. Don’t let ANYTHING spoil it. With some preparation, and the right attitude, nothing will.


Photo Credits: Couple on beach, ©Dmitry; couple in airport, ©Pawel Nowik -

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