Travel specialist: Make honeymoon plans early

COURTESY TO THE BELLINGHAM HERALDJanuary 6, 2014 

Hawaii, along with Florida, Disneyland, are among the most popular domestic destinations for honeymoons.

MATT MCDONALD — THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

Travel specialist Lani Haveman has worked at Bellingham Travel & Cruise since 1981.

Q: How far in advance should a couple start planning their honeymoon?

A: Ideally six to nine months, or longer if they can.

Q: Where would you recommend a Whatcom County couple go if they only have two or three days for their honeymoon?

A: With only a few days from here, it would be Las Vegas, Reno-Tahoe, Phoenix, San Francisco area - unless they want to drive. We don't do a lot of "local" things, but Whistler, the San Juan Islands, Victoria and Winthrop are all fun places.

Q: What are your favorite U.S. destinations for honeymoons?

A: Hawaii is probably the most popular, but we see Florida and Disneyland a lot, as well.

Q: What are your favorite international destinations for honeymoons?

A: Europe and European cruises are popular. Thailand, Fiji or the Cook Islands are always a good choice, and then, of course, Mexico is a huge seller.

Q: Why should a couple choose an all-inclusive resort destination?

A: The nice thing about all-inclusive is that everything is paid upfront, so they don't have unexpected expenses when they arrive. All meals, drinks and tips are included.

There are so many different options. Some of the chains have more than one property in a destination, and many of them allow you to use the features at their other properties as well.

Q: How can a couple make the most of a cruise honeymoon?

A: Cruises are nice because everything is in one place - your dining, entertainment, pools, etc. - and you get to get off in port and experience different islands, cultures, etc.

However cruising is different than all-inclusive resorts, as your drinks are not included (even pop is extra), so that can add up quickly. There are a few cruise lines that are now including drinks, but they are the smaller ships, which typically would be for "older" honeymooners.

Q: What are some ideas for adventure honeymoons?

A: A trek into Machu Picchu on the Inca Trail in Peru would be an incredible adventure.

I've done a safari in Kenya that was probably the best trip I've ever done. Slept in tents and been up close and personal with the elephants, zebras, giraffes and lions - truly a life-changing experience.

Costa Rica and Belize are popular for zip lines, diving and rain forests.

Q: What's the most extravagant honeymoon you've ever booked?

A. Probably the Amazon River. They did a three- or four-day cruise on the river, and then spent a few days in the jungle.

Q: Where did you go on your honeymoon?

A: We went to Kona "many!" years ago.

Bellingham Travel & Cruise is at 200 W. Chestnut St. For more information, call 360-733-1270 or see bellinghamtravel.com.

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