Tips for a Successful Honeymoon – 133

A major trip for many people is their honeymoon. This is a special time to celebrate each other and the new stage in your relationship. What are the considerations for planning the perfect (as possible) honeymoon vacation?

Planning a Perfect Honeymoon Vacation

Our friend and fellow travel advisor Michelle is here today to share her expert knowledge.

  1. When a couple plans a honeymoon, what should their first considerations be?
  2. How do you, as the travel advisor, guide them through the process?
  3. Great Honeymoon destinations, why?
  4. Things to avoid or be concerned about with honeymoons?
  5. 3 pro tips when it comes to planning your honeymoon (anywhere along the process)?

Question: Where did you go for your honeymoon?

Please let us know in the All Things Travel Podcast Facebook group!

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Ryan and Shayne are both Travel Advisers with Creating Magic Vacations, an authorized Disney Vacation Planner. Feel free to reach out to us for a free quote and to start making magical memories.

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Episode 133 Transcripts

Episodes are transcribed with artificial intelligence, so there are likely some highly amusing translations!

Ryan: so Shayne, where did you have your honeymoon or did you have a honeymoon? I guess I should ask that first.

Shayne: We had a delayed honeymoon. We had circumstances around the time of our wedding that made us decide not to take one then, and then as coincidence would have it, we, what we counted as our honeymoon was a trip that we took to New Orleans,

Ryan: Nice, Nice. Kind of goes along with our, with our guest here

Shayne: Yeah. That just happens to be the place near where Michelle is from.

Ryan: Yeah, so we went to Traverse City and we’ve talked about Traverse City before on this show, Traverse City, Michigan. And we were living in central Michigan at the time, and we actually Shayne, we had a hotel booked and everything. And then of our wedding guests said, Hey, we have a condo up in Traverse City, and we’re not using it that week for your honeymoon.

Would you be okay if that’s your wedding gift? And we’re like yeah, we, so we had like this four-bedroom condo for our honeymoon in beautiful Traverse City. So we did the wineries and restaurants and relaxed on the beach in the pool. It was a pretty good.

Shayne: That does sound like a nice honeymoon destination.

Ryan: But hey, as much as people want to hear about our honeymoons, they want to hear from an expert, and we are excited to have Michelle with us. Welcome, Michelle.

Michelle: Hi guys.

Shayne: Hi, Michelle.

Ryan: Give us a little introduction of yourself. I know you were on the Cancun episodes with us, but give everybody a little introduction.

Michelle: Yes. My name is Michelle Helmlinger. I am an agent with Creating Magic Vacations along with Ryan and Shayne and I am from just the outskirts of New Orleans in Abita Mandeville area. I love planning honeymoons and helping people along on possibly their first vacation together.

Ryan: Yeah. Yeah. That’s pretty crazy to think about, right? Like you get married and. And then you travel together. That would be a little, that there’s a lot of things you have to know about somebody before you get married and I think travel style is definitely one of those things.

Shayne: That that might be the most important

Ryan: Yeah, so, So I heard Michelle say a little word Shayne.

I don’t know if you caught it, but she said she’s from the Abita, Louisiana area.

Michelle: That’s right.

Ryan: bet that has something to do with a be to.

Michelle: It does.

Ryan: Nice. That is a great beer. And my kids are one of our favorite restaurants to go to. They actually have the Abida root beer, and my kids love to get that,

Michelle: The bootlegger is is the hard root beer. It’s

Ryan: Oh, well they don’t, they don’t get that one.

But there you go. So how did you get into planning honeymoons? I, I How, how did that become part of your, your repertoire?

Michelle: Well, it’s, it’s not the only thing I planned, but I do get a good chunk of business from my honeymooners. My first booking was actually a group honeymoon cruise. A couple were getting married. They were on the fence about if they were gonna get married on the boat and. And then just have their cruise, or if they were gonna have a wedding prior to the cruise, and then do the cruise as their honeymoon.

They ended up doing the wedding first, and then everybody just joined them on the boat. And

Shayne: Fun.

Michelle: for my first booking, it was a little complicated and a little nerveracking, but I made it, I did it.

Ryan: I’m excited to get into it. Michelle. We want to hear all of your tips and strategies for planning as much as possible. A perfect honeymoon. Most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip perfect for your interest, saving you time, money, and stress.

Shayne: We would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation.

Ryan: You can reach me at That’s r y n Creating Magic So Michelle, when a couple is planning a honeymoon, what should their first considerations be?

Michelle: I thought about this for a little while and I think budget should be top of the list cuz you’re just starting now. You don’t wanna start out going into debt for a vacation. So, and some people, their fathers or their parents or something are paying for it. So budget may not be an issue, but if it is an issue, that should definitely be the first consideration.

Cause you don’t wanna go overboard. You can do, you can find a very nice destination. In budget no matter what your budget is.

Shayne: That’s also a good way to help narrow down all the choices out there is to have a budget in mind. Well, Michelle, how do you as the travel advisor help guide the couple through the process?

Michelle: Well, if once a destination is chosen, I’ll give options for different resorts that fall within their budget and within their requested amenities. Or if they, if they’re beach people, if they wanna lounge on the beach, I wanna make sure I get ’em on a good beach. If they’re more pool people and beach isn’t a big deal, I’ll make sure that.

They have nice pools to lounge at. Some people want entertainment at night. Some resorts offer more entertainment than others. I’ll give options for the resorts. I’ll remind them about their passports. Make sure that all of their flights are in order and that with the appropriate layover times, because a lot of times if you’ve never flown before, you don’t realize that 45 minutes in Atlanta is not gonna cut it.

Shayne: Right.

Michelle: especially coming back from like an international destination, you gotta have a couple of hours in between. And a lot of people don’t know that. They don’t realize that I make sure that they have their transfers and if they wanna do any excursions or if they wanna have maybe a romantic dinner on the beach.

I get everything set up. They don’t have to worry about anything. They just tell me what they want and I handle everything. And then I also make sure that they have all their documentation before they leave any kind of confirmations that maybe needed. And when Covid was, Then I made sure that they knew all about the testing procedures and stuff like that.

And always, always travel insurance cuz you never know what can happen.

Ryan: So really you’re, I mean, you’re holding their hand through the entire process and I, I think that’s really important. like you said, sometimes this is their first time traveling together. Sometimes we’re talking about younger folks who may not be as savvy with traveling, and also too, they’re coming right off of a wedding where, where they’re probably being bombarded with 9 million things that they have to take care of and worry about, and having somebody just to hold their hand through the entire process is great.

Michelle: Yes. I don’t like to add any extra stress on a bride. She’s got enough, so I make sure that I handle everything that I can handle and what little she has to do. I make sure it gets.

Ryan: Now, it’s interesting you say that because the two destination weddings that I’ve worked on, the groom has been the person organizing it all. So

Michelle: I’ve only had one groom that was kind of like the one that contacted me so far. So

Ryan: you go.

Shayne: So who is it that you usually talk to? Is it usually one of the couple or is it one of a planner or a best

Michelle: sometimes, well, no, usually it’s it’s usually the bride, but a lot of times they’ll have, like the bride and groom will be on speakerphone together.

But my main contact is usually the bride.

Ryan: Gotcha.

Shayne: Michelle, what might be a difference in a honeymoon vacation that you’re planning for someone versus a regular family summer vacation or spring break vacation that you’re planning for someone?

Michelle: Well, for my brides, I always make sure, or for, my honeymoon couples, I always make sure that I have a, a folder that I, and I print out every single confirmation every. Single piece of paper, their travel insurance. I print everything out, put it in there with my business card, and I mail it to ’em two weeks before they go.

Just because I know the bride is busy. She’s doing last minute wedding things and stuff, and she doesn’t need to worry about did I print this? Do I have this? I give them everything in a packet except their passports.

That’s pretty much the only thing they’re responsible for.

Shayne: So you really do just remove all that

Ryan: Yeah, that’s


Shayne: Very nice.

Ryan: So Michelle, you’ve mentioned pools and beaches and resorts. What are some great honeymoon destinations?

Michelle: Well, Cancun is always the biggest. Tropical destinations seem to be the, most requested. I haven’t had any, like snow ski winter type. Destination requests. Everybody always wants to be tropical, I guess, because no one wants to be cold.

Ryan: I don’t want to be cold. It’s starting to get cold here and I’m already rethinking where I live right now.

Michelle: but yeah, any tropical destination islands Aruba, wherever, anywhere warm. I haven’t had any cold destinations yet.

Ryan: Well, hey, we’re gonna get into some of the nitty gritty with Michelle as far as tips and, and things to really consider when planning a honeymoon vacation. But first Shayne, I wanna know where in the world is All Things Travel.

Shayne: Bessemer, Alabama.

Ryan: Alabama will welcome Alabama.

Shayne: This is our first stop in Alabama.

Ryan: And where is Bessemer?

Shayne: It is southwest of Birmingham.

Ryan: I bet there’s gonna be a great place for us to meet our uh, listener. Isn’t


Shayne: This one’s gonna be a little different for my previous ones,

Ryan: It’s not a, it’s not a speakeasy.

Shayne: It’s not a


Ryan: out. Okay. All right.

Shayne: Autobon indoor Speedway or some

Ryan: do I get to drive like a go-kart?

Shayne: Electric go-carts and these, And these can go up

Michelle: sounds fun.

Shayne: up to 50 miles per hour for a go-cart.

Michelle: Wow, that can be dangerous.

Shayne: It says that they are less likely to overturn at wreck than regular go-karts.

So it sounds pretty it. You know what, This sounds like a great idea for a honeymoon.

Ryan: There you go. Yep. A little competition between bride and groom going 50 miles an

Shayne: I think so. Oh.

Ryan: hey Bessemer, we are so glad you’re listening to All Things Travel. It really means a lot to us to have listeners in Alabama do us a favor. Reach out to me because I have a little thank you gift for being featured on the show today.

Shayne: And to make sure that you hear where in the world as All Things Travel next week, be sure to follow the show to make sure that you never miss any of our travel ideas, travel tips, or travel stories.

Ryan: All right, Michelle, so you’ve talked about some key considerations. You’ve talked about kind of the process that you go through with folks. What are some things that we should avoid or be concerned about when planning a honeymoon?

Michelle: I don’t try to put my honeymooners in a family friendly resort. I like to put them in an adult only resort.

Ryan: Sense.

Michelle: if they prefer or not necessarily prefer if they have different stipulations. And that is what falls into it just happens to fall into a family friendly. Most family Friendlys do have adult only sections.

That we can put them in. So if I do end up finding one that fits the bill, I’ll put ’em in a family friendly, but in that adult only section. But we wanna make sure that they’re comfortable and not, they don’t feel outta place and they’re not in like a party resort or a resort that caters to like singles or something like that.

So I do try to avoid, Those kind of resorts.

Ryan: Yeah. Anything else?

Michelle: Now let me tell you, I don’t like being a go between. I was talking to the mother of the groom, and that was a pain because it’s like I need to talk to one of them, you know? And it was like I was doing extra work because I wasn’t talking to the bride and groom.

Ryan: A and really when we’re planning trips, I find that happens not even with honeymoons, but just you figure out, you figure out quickly. You’re talking to the wrong person, you’re not talking to the decision maker, and that can really slow the whole process down.

Michelle: right. That’s very true.

Shayne: Michelle. What would be, even if it’s something that you’ve already mentioned and and would like to reiterate, what are three pro tips when it comes to planning a honeymoon? And this applies to anywhere in the process.

Michelle: Well, number one, you’re gonna, I’m gonna tell you, use a travel advisor. You know, that’s always number one.

Ryan: Like people who listen to this podcast have heard that before and there’s some really good reason. I mean, my goodness folks, did you hear everything that Michelle does for you along the process?

Shayne: That

Michelle: Why wouldn’t you use it? And, and it’s complimentary. It’s not like you’re being charged an extra for it. So use a travel advisor. Number two, I like the bride and groom to work together. I don’t, I don’t like to talk to just one or the other. I, I would like to know that they’re making decisions together.

And there might be some compromise along the way. He might not get his resort, but he really wants to go deep sea fishing, so maybe they do an excursion, I like to work with both of them together to make sure they, they’re both getting things that they want out of the, the

Ryan: both their honeymoons.

Michelle: right?

I recommend four to five days in des in destination ca not counting your travel days, so, I’ve done three day trips and stuff for myself, by that end of that third day, you’re like, Oh man, one more day would’ve been great. I really try to do at least four days in destination, if not five or more, depending on where you go.

Shayne: That second one sounds more than just a good idea for a vacation. It sounds like a good way to start off the marriage in the

Ryan: Yeah, I was gonna say, if, if, if you’re not including your, your soon to be spouse in any of the planning of the honeymoon, that’s not really a good sign for the marriage to come. Is it

Shayne: Yeah, I don’t care. You pick a place, you plan it. That’s, that’s probably not a good start.

Ryan: Well, Michelle, as we wrap up here, are there any honeymoons that you’re working on right now?

Michelle: I am, I have a couple that I have one leaving next week. They are going to Punta Some people go into Aruba, Dominican Republic, some sandals, Grand St. Lucian. I have Jamaica and I’m working on a European one right now.

That one’s not booked yet, but I am in process of that one.

Ryan: So that will that, that will break the mold of some of these that you’ve been talking about today.

Michelle: Right. It will definitely.

Ryan: Good deal. Well, hey, Michelle, if people wanna reach out to you and talk about their honeymoon plans, how can they do so?

Michelle: They can reach me. Email Michelle m i c h e l l e, creating magic

Ryan: All right. Well, thank you so much for being on the show today.

You are a honeymoon expert and we really appreciate it.

Michelle: No problem. I appreciate being here.

Ryan: right.

Shayne: We would love to help you plan your next amazing vacation.

Ryan: You can reach out to me at That’s R Y A n, at Creating Magic

Shayne: Most families are confused and overwhelmed when planning a vacation. We work with you to plan a trip perfect for your interests, saving you time, money, and stress. Cut that out. No,

I want, I wanna put it back. I wanna put it in


Money and stress,

I went all stress at the end of it. let’s do, I was.