Planning a Honeymoon?

Travel Expert Reveals Top Trends and Warns Against Common Pitfalls

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 8 /PRNewswire/ — With both Valentine’s Day and the summer wedding season approaching, romance is at the forefront of many people’s minds. As couples plan honeymoons at this time of year, they often face an endless array of travel options that can make the planning process somewhat overwhelming. How can you plan the vacation that’s best for you? Classic Vacations(R), which has booked luxury honeymoons for close to 30 years, offers trends and advice to help you plan a wonderful trip.

Top Honeymoon Trends: Longer Trips, Blend of Activities, Destination Weddings

According to Michael Flory, vice president of Classic Vacations, couples are booking longer honeymoons. “People often book trips lasting 10 days or more, particularly if they wish to visit more than one city or island.” He notes that many couples want more than a leisurely stay at the beach, and seek to blend relaxation with sports, cuisine experiences or sightseeing trips. Activities that accentuate the romantic are highly sought after; favorites include a private candlelight dinner on the beach in Hawaii; a private horseback ride during a full moon in Bora Bora; and a hot air balloon ride with local pastries and wine in Tuscany.

What are the most popular honeymoon locations? Booking trends at Classic Vacations show several top spots: For Hawaii, the Big Island is rising in popularity, with honeymooners enjoying visits to the Volcanoes National Park and the Mauna Kea observatories, as well as water sports, golf and helicopter tours. The unrivaled beauty and secluded atmosphere of its resorts make Tahiti a perennial favorite. This destination also offers a range of activities, from mountain biking and hiking to some of the best diving and snorkeling in the world. In Europe, Italy and Greece continue to be top choices for romance travel. Prague and Budapest are becoming more attractive to honeymooners because of their rich cultural experiences, as are Salzburg, Lausanne and Lucerne.

Finally, destination weddings are a growing trend for 2006. However, couples are not necessarily staying in the same destination for both the wedding and the honeymoon. “A couple might bring family and friends together for a wedding celebration in Hawaii, but then depart for Tahiti to continue their vacation,” Flory said.

Pitfalls to Avoid

“Your honeymoon will be one of the most memorable vacations of your life, so don’t leave any part of the planning to chance,” said Flory. He warns against the following five honeymoon planning pitfalls:

— Pitfall #1 — Focusing on price alone. Price should not be your top
criterion when planning your vacation. Think instead about how you
want to feel and what you want to do — and use these points to guide
you in planning each part of your trip.
— Pitfall #2 — Waiting too long to book. Don’t wait until the last
minute to book the trip in hopes of getting a better deal. Doing so
can lead to disappointment, as the best properties and the most
exclusive activities have limited space and sell out early.
— Pitfall #3 — Failing to consider the crowds. If you’re planning a
summer honeymoon, keep in mind that you may be traveling during peak
season for family vacations. “Couples often arrive in destination and
are surprised to find the hotel and surrounding areas packed to
capacity, particularly with children,” Flory noted. If you want peace
and seclusion, try a less family oriented hotel or destination, or
honeymoon during the off-season.
— Pitfall #4 — Planning activities once you arrive. It’s sometimes hard
to know exactly what you want to do on vacation until you get there.
However, booking at least a couple of things before you leave means
you’ll guarantee your place in popular activities and spend more time
enjoying your vacation once you’re there, rather than continuing to
plan it.
— Pitfall #5 — Not asking for help. The choices for destinations,
properties and tours are countless for honeymooners. Don’t spend all
your planning time looking at brochures or web sites. Talk to friends
and colleagues for recommendations, and contact a travel professional
for assistance in making the right decisions.

Classic Vacations recently launched its Classic Romance(TM) promotion, which includes a collection of hotel and resort offers with special amenities for honeymoon travelers, including couple’s massages, candlelight dinners, complimentary champagne and chocolates, and much more. For more information, call 800-635-1333 or visit www.classicvacations.com.

About Classic Vacations

Classic Vacations provides perfectly tailored vacations for discerning travelers. Classic offers a full line of vacation components — hotels, car rentals, flight options, activities and private transfers — to create customized luxury vacations in Hawaii, the Caribbean, Mexico, Costa Rica, Europe and Tahiti. For more information, contact your travel agent, call 800-635-1333 or visit www.classicvacations.com. Classic Vacations is based in San Jose, Calif. CST: 2079429-50

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