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Destination I Do Magazine

Ask the Expert from Destination I Do magazine

28-Jan-2011

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Expert Answers for Destination Wedding and Honeymoon FAQ

Words by Courtney Cox
Photos courtesy of AllAboutHoneymoons.com, NewZealand.com & SouthAfrica.net

Our friends over at All About Honeymoons have graciously offered their services to provide answers to some frequently asked questions for couples contemplating a destination wedding or honeymoon. All About Honeymoons is the largest romance travel agency in the world and caters specifically to couples wanting to escape the everyday hustle and bustle for some R & R abroad. With travel agents all over the country, there's someone nearby who has all the answers to your romance travel questions. This is the first of three Travel Tuesday posts with our guest bloggers. Today, four All About Honeymoon experts weigh in. Stay tuned next week for a continuation of questions!


1. If guests are flying to a destination wedding, how far in advance should they begin looking for their airfare?

I generally recommend they begin looking for air as soon as possible. I also recommend they check air fares every couple weeks to see if prices seem to be rising or if there is a sale on. Waiting until the last minute does NOT get you a lower price and I make this clear to them at the beginning of the booking process.

If I receive information about an airfare sale I will send an email blast to the group to let them know the current pricing.

All About Honeymoon franchise owner Tina Hearn, Houston, TX

2.What are the best destinations based on time of year? For example, if a bride is getting married in July, what would be fitting options for destinations?

The world is big and with so many choices for a honeymoon or destination wedding, how does one decide? The biggest factor to consider is the local climate and time of year. You wouldn’t want to travel to Brazil in August and expect beach weather or to Costa Rica in September and expect it to be dry. Proper research of your destination climate zones and weather patterns are crucial to ensure your expectations are realistic. Here are my top picks for destinations based on the month of the travel.


January: Enjoy fabulous beach weather and mild jungle climates throughout Costa Rica this month.

February: Divers and jungle explorers will delight in the multitude of activities in Belize.

March: St. Lucia’s foliage is beaming this time of year. Enjoy gold colors, the spa and beach romance.

April: Be mesmerized by the rich culture and history of Mexico (if you can tear yourself away from the stunning beaches).

May: This is the perfect season to tour Italy without the crowds and before the heat of the summer.

June: Lounge on the beach or shop for hidden treasures in Bali.

July: It’s all about the crystal clear water, whales and romance this month in the islands of Tahiti.

August: Island hop through Greece and enjoy the culture and lively villages.

September:
Romance lovers and divers will find paradise in Islands of Fiji.

October:
South East Trade Winds calm the waters in the Seychelles making the northwestern beaches the most attractive.

November: Relish in the excitement of a South African safari or beach-time with the penguins.

December: Adventures and wine tours await you in beautiful New Zealand this month.

All About Honeymoon franchise owner April Schmitt, Sacramento, CA

3. On the flip side, what are the worst destinations based on time of year? For example, if a bride is getting married in July, where should she avoid.

The weather is always a big concern for brides. With hurricane season from June-November in the Caribbean this can be a deterrent for a wedding. Although the resort/hotel rates are typically lower because of this, so it is also a very economical time to get married in the Caribbean. I've had couples get married just about every month of the year in the Caribbean and not be disappointed. Cost is also a big factor when deciding where and when to get married. The Holidays are a magical time of year but also the highest rates for hotels/resorts/airlines. Sometimes this is the only option depending on the couple and their guests' schedules.

All About Honeymoon franchise owner Deb Bixby, Maple Grove, MN


4. Are there certain airlines that provide discounts for booking large parties? If so, how much of a discount?

Many carriers offer group air discounts. All require a minimum of 10 passengers traveling together on the same flight. Some offer upgrades to the bride and groom.

American Airlines offers the following:

-Discount Air Fares
Groups can receive 5% off published fares when 10 or more fly American Airlines, American Eagle®, AmericanConnection® or itineraries that connect to a OneworldTM member airline. Passengers may travel from various originating cities to a common destination that is serviced by American Airlines or a Oneworld Alliance Partner. Discounts do not apply to certain restricted fares and excluded sale fare inventories.

-Self-Service Check-In For Large Parties and Groups
Groups of 10 or more passengers booked on a single reservation can check in individually with our Self-Service machines. With this feature, families and large parties can avoid long check-in lines at ticket counters in airports across the United States.

Air Jamaica offers the following:

We offer an outstanding range of solutions to respond to your needs including:
Pricing Solutions
-Enjoy competitive group discounts or guaranteed fares for 10 or more adults
-Consider even greater discounts available for off-peak travel
-Our generous travel window allows attendees to extend their travel date before and after the event.

Service Solutions
-VIP Meet & Greet program
-Group Check-In and Recognition
-Advance seat assignments and Group Block Seating

Destination Wedding Party Groups
-Bride and groom will enjoy complimentary upgrades to Air Jamaica's exclusive Lovebird Executive Class
-This program is available for contracted groups only through our Group Department
-Minimum 22 passengers (including bride and groom) required to qualify for the upgrade program.
-Supporting documentation is required
-Restrictions: Certain fare types are not eligible

Click here for a great article about receiving group discounted airfare.

All About Honeymoon franchise owner Dana Franklin, Annandale, VA

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