5 Ways a Travel Expert Can Make Your Honeymoon Amazing

Newlyweds are leaning on expert travel advisors to craft honeymoons that surpass every expectation.

A private guest villa at Blancaneaux Lodge in Belize
Blancaneaux Lodge, in Belize, is one of many honeymoon-worthy destinations in the country. Photo:

Gundolf Pfotenhauer/Courtesy of Blancaneaux Lodge

Katie Reisert knew she wanted her honeymoon to South Africa and Mozambique to be epic. “I haven’t taken a two-week vacation since I started working,” says the New York City–based publicist. But the self-proclaimed “huge planner and researcher,” who got married in 2019, knew that to pull off the once-in-a-lifetime trip she’d been dreaming about, she would need to enlist some help.

Enter the expert travel advisor — or, in this case, two.

Through a friend, Reisert connected with Diane Weidenbaum, an advisor at Cloud 10 Travel, who suggested tracking big cats in Sabi Sands Game Reserve, sampling pinotage in the Cape Winelands, and sunbathing on the powdery beaches of Benguerra Island. To help with the planning, Weidenbaum tapped Elizabeth Gordon of Extraordinary Journeys, a member of Travel + Leisure’s A-List and an expert when it comes to safaris.

“They got the ball rolling while we were still busy planning the wedding,” Reisert recalls.

In the end, Reisert and her husband, James Amen, had to wait almost two years to take the trip because of the pandemic. But when they finally landed in South Africa last April, they were fêted at stops along the way with Champagne, a suite upgrade, discounts on services like spa treatments, and insider restaurant recommendations in Cape Town. The whole two-week extravaganza, the first trip Reisert had ever planned with the help of an advisor, exceeded every expectation. “I was very happy to have given up control,” she says.

Here, five ways a travel expert can help make your honeymoon unforgettable.

Making Sure You’re a VIP

Conceptual illustration representing the VIP experience at a hotel

Illustration by Jackson Gibbs

“All trips are special, but we know that honeymoons are next-level, because couples rightly expect them to be the best trips they’ve ever had,” says Henley Vazquez, a cofounder of Fora Travel.

Many advisors go above and beyond for post-wedding vacations, calling resorts ahead of time to advise staff about the couple’s favorite foods, lock in spa services, or request the suite with the very best view. “We’ll tell them everything about the couple,” Vazquez says, “so they can add special touches to the stay.”

Taking Care of Everything

Conceptual illustration representing using a travel agent to save time with travel planning

Illustration by Jackson Gibbs

For all the things that an advisor can do, the most magical of all may be giving newlyweds the gift of time. For Reisert, who didn’t have to worry for a moment about her honeymoon in Africa, not lifting a finger was a godsend. “It was a two-week trip, and dealing with all the logistics would have taken away from enjoying ourselves,” she says. “Thankfully, I never had to think about that stuff once.”

Unlocking Unexpected Perks and Discounts

Conceptual illustration representing a couple having spa treatments

Illustration by Jackson Gibbs

“We often have access to special ‘value-adds’ for honeymooners,” says Becca Fritz of Alluring Africa. “These represent huge savings that aren’t typically offered.” While the details vary by season, destination, and even by property, plugged-in advisors can typically secure substantial discounts for longer stays and comped extras like massages and other à la carte services.

Delivering True Expertise

Conceptual illustration representing the expertise of a travel agent

Illustration by Jackson Gibbs

Beyond the deals, advisors can bring an expert’s viewpoint to honeymoon planning. For example, says Kaleigh Kirkpatrick, founder of the Shameless Tourist, “fall is always a bit difficult. It’s a popular time to get married in the U.S., but it’s also hurricane season. I steer honeymooners to Belize, Costa Rica, Hawaii, and Los Cabos, Mexico, which are less likely to see major threats.”

Acting As Your Advocate

Conceptual illustration representing having an advocate to help you plan travel

Illustration by Jackson Gibbs

The right expert can set your mind at ease: over the past two-plus years, advisors have juggled flight snafus, entry requirements, cancellations, and other hiccups with élan. But they can also help when plans change for all the right reasons, Vazquez says. She recently helped two clients in the Turks and Caicos who wanted to extend their stay at Amanyara — despite the fact that the resort was sold out. “Only because I knew someone personally at the hotel could we come to a solution,” she says. “Everyone was happy in the end.”

A version of this story first appeared in the November 2022 issue of Travel + Leisure under the headline "The Best Trip They Never Planned."

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles