Beanstalks in Pardadise: Reflections

If you couldn’t tell from all of my previous posts, we had an incredible honeymoon! It was a week of pure relaxation in paradise! I know a lot of you are in the midst of planning your own dream honeymoons and I wanted to share with you some tips and advice we picked up along the way.

Research

This tip is pretty basic, but it is an important one! We researched everything! TripAdvisor and YouTube were my favorite sources to gain travel information and insider tips. Doing your homework pays off, because you’re able to find the best deals and the best activities before you even arrive at your destination!

Start Shopping Early

I started shopping for the honeymoon even before it was officially booked! At the time, I didn’t know where exactly we would be vacationing, but I knew it would be someplace tropical. Seeing as we would be honeymooning in late October/early November, I knew finding fun resort wear in New England in the Fall would be rather difficult, so I started stocking up on swimsuits and summer dresses back in February! I kept buying cute items as I saw them. I resisted the urge to wear any of my new honeymoon wardrobe before we actually left because I wanted the items to still feel new for the trip! I kept all of my purchases in shopping bags on the floor of my closet (out of sight, out of mind…and therefore no temptation to wear)! When it was finally time to start to pack, I was amazed at everything I had acquired! I had completely forgotten about quite a few of the pieces! By the way, by starting to shop early, I was able to shop around and take advantage of sales!
Now with all of that said…

Don’t Over Pack

I did (I usually always do)! I brought way too much stuff! But in my defense, I had to pack for three weeks (the week before the wedding spent in Miami, the wedding weekend in Delray Beach, and then the honeymoon)! We managed to fit everything into four carry on bags (two each) and two checked bags.

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My luggage is definitely easy to spot at the baggage claim!

Mr. B brought far less than I, but he did forget a few key items (like sneakers for our hike and his new belt…more on that when I start my recaps). We took advantage of the laundry service at our resort and had some of our clothes laundered for us, which had I known about this service prior, I might have brought less (probably not, but it’s a nice thought).

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Did I need to bring the countless number of swimsuits? Not at all. Even if I wore two a day (which I did on some occasions) I wouldn’t have been able to wear them all. Really think about what you are taking (and listen to your soon to be husband when he says nine pairs of shoes is a bit much)!

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Buy An Elan Convertible Dress

This is hands down the best article of clothing I bought for the honeymoon! The Elan convertible dress is a short little dress with two long hanging pieces of fabric, which you can tie so many different ways (creating endless looks). The truly amazing thing about this dress is that for $38 you basically get nine different looks! Wear it as a skirt, with a tank on top. Tie the straps around your neck and wear it as a halter dress. You can make cap sleeves and wear it for lunch or shopping. I bought two of these dresses (one in black and one in teal) at Nordstrom and wore them more than I wore anything else. It was just so easy! I would throw them on over a swimsuit and instantly looked effortlessly put together. Plus, I could wear the dress multiple times, tied completely differently, and not feel like I was wearing the same thing! So if you are going someplace warm and tropical, you should definitely buy one of these dresses (nine dresses for $38, you can’t beat that)!

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The Elan Convertible 9 Way dress. *via Diane’s Beachwear
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One way I rocked the dress.

Unpack Once You Arrive

Unpacking all of your clothes at the beginning of your trip will help you see what you have and will make packing up at the end much easier. Plus it will help air clothes out and get rid of unwanted wrinkles.

Roll, Don’t Fold

I used to be a folder but last year I had read an article on how to save room while packing, and the author swore by by rolling! I tried it and loved it! Mrs. Fox also wrote about the wonders of rolling and how to pack, which is filed with great advice! I tell everyone to roll their clothes because for some strange reason by doing this you actually save room! Plus, your clothes don’t get as wrinkled this way.

Rolled-
*via 7 Heaven Vacation

Be Very Careful with Your Cameras

I usually never let my cameras out of my hands, but when we were bathing in mud at the drive-in volcano our tour guide wanted to snap a few photos of us, so I let him. It wasn’t until our tour was over that I realized my camera was missing it’s lens cap! I was completely bummed because I had taken such good care of my camera! We tried to contact the tour company, but never got ahold of anyone. We think our tour guide accidentally put the cap in his pocket when he was snapping our pictures.

Print All Itineraries Beforehand

This may sound like a given, but we didn’t do this. The morning we left St. Lucia, we were gathering our belongings in our room when I decided to do a virtual check-in for our flight, like I always do. I was able to check in for our St.Lucia to Miami flight, but it wouldn’t let me check in for our Miami to Boston one, which I thought was strange. It was then that that I realized why…my ticket for Boston wasn’t until the next day!!! I then asked Mr. B what his ticket said, and sure enough his ticket was wrong too! We quickly called the airline to straighten everything out, but because we had already used part of the round trip ticket (Boston to Miami on our way down for the wedding) we could not exchange these tickets!

Our only option was to either:
a) spend the night in Miami (my parents would have LOVED to have had us), then leave the next day and arrive in Boston past midnight
b) purchase new tickets for the same day we thought we were leaving on

Neither of us wanted to extend our traveling time to any longer than it was. Plus, we really didn’t want to arrive in Boston late only to have to get up for work early the next morning! So we bit the bullet and spent close to $900 on new tickets! It still upsets me knowing that we spent all of that due to a careless mistake!

If any of you are wondering how this ticket mishap happened…it was all my fault (yes, I admit it)! I took care of booking all of our airfare (except the tickets to St. Lucia, my parents generously gifted us those). There were just so many different dates to know that I guess I just got confused (but who wouldn’t with so many dates to know: my last day at work, the day my PTO started, the date I actually left Boston, the date Mr. B left Boston, the day we went up to Delray Beach, the day we left Delray Beach, the date we arrived on St. Lucia, the date we left St. Lucia, the date we went back to work)!

You would think I would’ve learned from this, but just a month ago while we were planning our Easter trip to Florida, and Mr. B had me book the airfare. He even joked not to make a mistake. Guess what I did?!? I made another mistake! I had us leaving on a date before we had even arrived down there!!! This happened because I waited too long and the webpage timed out and I had to start over, which meant I was slightly frustrated and doing things a bit too fast to make up for wasted time! Thankfully we were able to fix these tickets with no problem and we actually got a little money back because our new flight was a bit cheaper!

So take it from me…check over all of your itineraries beforehand!

What advice would you give those currently planning a vacation or honeymoon?

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Miss a honeymoon recap? Catch up on the Beanstalk honeymoon here:

- Arriving in Paradise

- A look at our Villa

- Chocolate, Yum Yum

- Hike Like There’s No Tomorrow

- An Unexpected Adventure

- Into the Trees We Go

- The Resort

BLOGGER

Mrs. Beanstalk

Location:
Boston/Delray Beach
Wedding Date:
October 2012

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comments

  1. Member
    msjackrabbit 1080 posts, Bumble bee @ 8:37 am

    As I was reading this I was doing a mental checklist. Yep! Yep! Yep! Ahhh I started shopping for my honeymoon before it was booked and I haven’t worn any of the clothes so they’re all brand new, too!!

    Great tip about the rolling – I’ve never heard of this before! I am going to go ready Mrs Fox’s post now.

    I must admit I get excited when I see your honeymoon posts – it looked soooooooo amazing.

  2. Member
    kmarie719 795 posts, Busy bee @ 9:17 am

    Unpack-that’s the FIRST thing I do anytime we go some place for more than two days, after I take in the view of course!

    I hate living out of a suitcase, so the sooner everything is unpacked-the better.

  3. Member
    camel 703 posts, Busy bee @ 9:42 am

    Argh, I wish I had started shopping for our honeymoon sooner. Now I’m trying to balance honeymoon purchases with wedding purchases (ahem, $300 worth of dress alterations coming up!) — it sucks because I just want to go on a major honeymoon shopping spree!!

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    JennyG, Guest @ 11:13 am

    Thank you, Miss Beanstalk, for these helpful tips! I have a honeymoon in about a month, and I’m already driving myself crazy with the travel details. We are driving from the the West coast of Florida to Miami the night before and staying in a hotel. So it was way confusing, trying to make sure all the dates and times matched up! And Miss Camel, I too did not start shopping early enough and am finding myself in the same spot as you! Amen, sista!

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    JennyG, Guest @ 11:14 am

    *MRS.* Beanstalk, please excuse me! ;)

  6. Member
    panda 1359 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:45 pm

    these are such great tips! I just started thinking about the honeymoon and I’m getting so overwhelmed just trying to figure out what to bring!

  7. Guest Icon Guest
    worker bee, Guest @ 9:17 am

    wow! super great tips!! and that dress that you can wear multiple ways is adorable!!! i am going to have to get one!!!

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