Book Review: The Honeymoon Handbook by Lonely Planet

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@Miguel Castans Monteagudo / Shutterstock

Couple trekking the high mountains Picos de Europa, Cantabria, Spain / © Miguel Castans Monteagudo, Shutterstock via Lonely Planet

 

The Honeymoon Handbook by Lonely Planet

An essential tool for engaged couples

 

As a Travel Consultant, I get a lot of requests from confused couples trying to plan their honeymoon. They are so overwhelmed with all the information on the internet that they have no idea where to begin!

Lonely Planet Honeymoon Handbook

Lonely Planet’s Honeymoon Handbook

Thanks to Lonely Planet’s new travel guide exclusively for honeymoons, The Honeymoon Handbook, they now have an essential resource to help them get started in the planning process for this long-dreamed of life event.

The book gives couples the tools they need to narrow down their choice of destination and type of honeymoon, so that, if they have the time and desire, they can research, plan and book the trip themselves.

Couples could also take their newfound knowledge to a Travel Agent who will make sure they haven’t missed any crucial details that could derail their dream trip.

That’s one reason I really love this book – the fact that it’s a practical tool for couples who want to do it on their own as well as for those seeking assistance.  I also love the book’s breezy style and colorful details.

Boats moored on beach at Admiralty Bay, St. Vincent & the Grenadines / Justin Foulkes, Lonely Planet

Boats moored on beach at Admiralty Bay, St. Vincent & the Grenadines / ©Justin Foulkes, Lonely Planet

The Honeymoon Handbook has gorgeous photos that will make it impossible to think of anything but your trip. And pastel sidebars offer advice on “Essential Honeymoon Experiences”, such as:

“Don’t miss Mt. Gower, considered one of Australia’s best day hikes.  It’s an 875m climb to the summit through lush forest, best tacked on a guided ascent.” (Lord Howe Island, Australia)

You’ll also find fun ideas in the “Itinerary” sidebars.  Such as:

“Hop on a scenic train to Nuwara Eliya for tranquil hikes across hillsides blanketed in tea bushes.” (The Maldives and Sri Lanka)

 

Rock formation in sea, Kabui Bay, Raja Ampat / Roy Singh / 500px via Lonely Planet

Rock formation in sea, Kabui Bay, Raja Ampat, Indonesia / ©Roy Singh / 500px via Lonely Planet

When asked what the thought process was behind creating The Honeymoon Handbook, Jessica Cole, Lonely Planet editor, says,

“Getting married is the most socially accepted excuse in the world to throw off the bowlines and plan your ultimate dream trip. But planning such a big trip is a huge undertaking. We know that not all honeymooners want to lie on a beach for a fortnight: more couples than ever before are looking for adventure and activities on their honeymoons. So we made a book full of inspiration, ideas, destination guides and advice for how to plan the trip of a lifetime to set marriage off to a magical start.”

The Honeymoon Handbook is organized into two main sections, “Planning” and “Inspiration”.

Young couple looking the famous Machu Picchu / Onfokus, Getty Images

Young couple at Machu Picchu, Peru / ©Onfokus, Getty Images via Lonely Planet

Planning

The planning section will guide you in making decisions about the things that are most important when it comes to planning your getaway, such as when to go where, choosing the right hotels, and creating a realistic budget.


Tip:  The book  also gives advice on how to compromise, if you both have different visions of an ideal honeymoon.


A new trend I’m seeing with my honeymoon clients now are “Minimoons”.  Couples who have November weddings, for example, are taking a short post-wedding getaway to Mexico or the Caribbean and planning their big European honeymoon for the following Spring when the weather’s nicer.

You can read about Minimoons in the book, as well as Destination Weddings.

“Unique is the new normal: honeymooners no longer want to settle for a one-size-fits-all package vacation,” Cole says. “They want the perfect trip that suits them, which means familymoons and minimoons are becoming more and more popular, along with other unique and custom itineraries. Couples are seeking more experiential activities and adventure for their special trip.”

Beyond the destination sections, The Honeymoon Handbook also offers themed getaway ideas, including safaris, luxury trips, island and family‑themed trips.  Additional features include alternative destinations (Can’t afford Italy? Try Croatia) and an LGBT‑friendly indicator for same‑sex couples, rating each location from 1 to 5.

Houses at Bonifacio in Corsica is built on cliff / Pascal POGGI / Getty Images

Houses at Bonifacio in Corsica are built on cliff / ©Pascal POGGI / Getty Images via Lonely Planet

 

Inspiration

The book’s “Inspiration” section features over 25 of the most exciting world-wide locations for couples, ranging from Andalusia to Zambia.

“We wanted to incorporate trips that worked for everyone, no matter what you love and when you want to go.” Cole says.  “So our destinations cover everything from city fun in frenetic Tokyo to Caribbean island-hopping and tapas-sampling in Andalucia.”


Tip:  Before you dive into this part of the book, I highly recommend you take the quiz.


Based on what you both love the most, whether it’s a backpacking trip through Borneo, a cultural tour through Tuscany, or renting a villa in Mallorca, the quiz will help you learn what type of honeymoon would suit you best.

Colonial buildings and balconies in the historic center of Cartagena, Colombia / Jess Kraft, Shutterstock via Lonely Planet

Colonial buildings and balconies in the historic center of Cartagena, Colombia / ©Jess Kraft, Shutterstock via Lonely Planet

When asked what tips Cole feels are essential for couples to remember regardless of their honeymoon spot, she says,

“Choose a destination that works for your both – and don’t feel you have to cave to others’ expectations of what a honeymoon ‘should’ be. Trust your instincts of what you two will love the best. Mix up your activities – Indulge in luxury treats, but don’t overlook the budget options – you might find it’s the more down-to-earth experiences that will help create memories that last a lifetime.”

Honeyfund called The Honeymoon Handbook “An essential toolkit for all honeymooners”.  I agree.  I think this book would be great not just for honeymooners or those planning destination weddings, but for anyone looking for a romantic getaway.

So, if you are about to plan your honeymoon, do not walk, run to the nearest bookstore (or dash over to Amazon, Barnes and Noble or Lonely Planet’s online shop) and pick up a copy. Any honeymoon-planning stress you have, whether you plan to DIY or use the assistance of a Travel Professional, will melt away by page 10.  And by the time you reach page 167, you’ll be ready to plan your friends’ romantic getaways as well.

Reproduced with permission from The Honeymoon Handbook , © 2017 Lonely Planet.  Disclosure:  I received a complimentary review copy from Lonely Planet, however all opinions are my own.

About Melody Moser

Melody Moser is a Travel Agent and Travel Writer specializing in Europe, river cruises and romantic travel. Based in southern New Jersey, she spends her time traveling the world, writing about it, and helping others fulfill their travel dreams.

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