Honeymoon Travel Planning During the Economic Downturn

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While many travelers are delaying or canceling travel plans due to the economic downturn, there is no indication that the 99% of newlyweds who traditionally honeymoon, are stopping the ritual any time soon.

Romantic Honeymoon Couple

For those who really want to see Italy, Mediterranean Cruises are also an exceptional value, and still allow a couple to enjoy Venice without the breaking costs of accommodations in that city.

While many travelers are delaying or canceling travel plans due to the economic downturn, there is no indication that the 99% of newlyweds who traditionally honeymoon, are stopping the ritual any time soon.

Ron Haller, President of Honeymooner's Review Guide, says, "We are not seeing any lessening of bookings for honeymoons. However, the pattern of honeymoon destinations is shifting from higher cost areas like Tahiti and Europe to places like Mexico, Dominican Republic, Central and South America and Australia, where the dollar goes further and deals can be found."

For newlyweds, there appears to be a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Sandals is providing free airfare, and Expedia.com has a half-off hotel sale. You must book between October 15 and December 15 for a minimum 4 night plus airfare vacation. Similar programs are likely to continue past year's end.

Hawaii has been affected by the loss of air carriers and rising airfares. Reports indicate a decline of 17.4% in visitors and 10% in hotel occupancy rates. Some Hawaiian hotels and resorts are offering free rental cars, $50 gasoline cards, and additional nights free or discounted. Haller cited examples of the Four Seasons in Maui and Hilton Hawaiian Village in Oahu. They are offering four and five-night packages from $1,100 to $2,300 a person including a rental car, gasoline card, and airfare. Over 20 other Hotels are offering similar incentives. Cruise companies are close behind with their own incentives.

Michelle McKenzie, Vice-President, added, "Our advice is not to rush, but to go through the planning steps first. Next, seek out an experienced honeymoon or destination wedding travel specialist. Agents not only provide professional advice and expertise, they also have personal relationships with many hoteliers and cruise lines. This often results in special rates and additional perks like room upgrades and freebees."

Michelle Mangio, owner of Magical Escapes, says, "Couples who want a great international city are looking away from Europe -- where the Euro is crushing the dollar -- and towards other places, such as Australia (Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane factor very high) and South America, where the dollar carries much further." She adds, "There is a lot of increasing interest in All-Inclusive Honeymoons because of the stress and worry-free nature of it: once you've paid it, you don't have to worry about extra costs ... once the couple has arrived in their honeymoon destination." Mangio added, "For those who really want to see Italy, Mediterranean Cruises are also an exceptional value, and still allow a couple to enjoy Venice without the breaking costs of accommodations in that city."

Honeymooner's Review Guide is an online resource website for couples planning honeymoon travel and destination weddings. Planning tools take couples through the entire process from developing a personal profile to booking accommodations. There is no cost to use the website or its many features. Couples can find accommodations via its "Hotel Finder" searching by budget, type, destination, activities, and amenities.

The website's hundreds of planning pages include hot topics like: budgeting; packing; beauty & health; how to avoid a honeymoon disaster; how to book a romantic resort and room; top 10 honeymoon destinations and resorts; cheap ideas and affordable honeymoons; and much, much more. Hot Honeymoon Packages and Deals are also posted.

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Michelle McKenzie
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