Recently, a common exchange with Mr. G sounds something like this…
Me: Mr. G! It’s only xx days til our Japanese wedding!
Mr. G: Yes, and only xx days until our honeymoon!
Mr. G is very excited about our honeymoon, and this is probably because he planned the entire thing. When we first started wedding planning I knew there would be no way I could plan two weddings and a honeymoon, so I asked Mr. G if he could be in charge of the honeymoon and I could be in charge of the weddings. Mr. G jumped at the chance and has done an amazing job of planning out the honeymoon and loves sharing what he has learned and planned with everyone. I’m going to hand the reins over to him now so he can share his honeymoon-planning story.
Hello, everyone. This is Mr. Gondola again. I’m starting to get use to writing a blog. Maybe I should start one myself? Hmmmm… anyway, I will be writing about the process of planning the honeymoon.
Ms. Gondola and I love to travel, so the honeymoon was a BIG project that had to be perfect. A lot of destinations were thrown around—Hawaii, Mexico, Bora Bora, etc. One day I was on Hulu watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations and an episode of Tuscany was on. I saw the lush green mountains, the fuzzy warm sun, and the mouth-watering cuisine and decided “This is it!” Once my beautiful fiancée returned to the living room I pitched the idea of going to Italy. Her face lit up and she just whispered “I love Italy.”
Now that the “who” and “where” and “why” were decided we needed the “what” and “how.” How is simple enough: airplane, of course. What class do we fly? Seeing we will be enjoying a once-in-a-lifetime experience I wanted the flight to be the same, and first class seemed the answer. Neither of us has flown first class so it was an exciting notion, but reality kicked in: a single ticket would be about $20,000. That’s about how much the wedding is going to cost! I started to check business class and economy, but figuring out how to do a three-city round-trip ticket for Japan, America, and Italy was complicated. I also started looking for hotels on Trip Advisor, but it was difficult since I didn’t know what days we would be staying or good locations for hotels.
Sometime later, Ms. Gondola’s mother asked how the honeymoon planning was going. I told her how hard it was to find flights and hotels. She said she had a great travel agent that she could introduce me to. My first thought was “A travel agent? Do those even still exist?” Trying not to be rude I said I would contact her. Best. Decision. EVER! Once I contacted the travel agent she immediately gave me a list of prices and possible flight plans. Then she emailed some suggestions of things we could do while in Italy. Ms. Gondola and I like to keep things simple and easy, so we wanted to keep our days pretty open. The only things we wanted to do for sure was visit the Vatican, see the Trevi Fountain, take a cooking class (I like to cook), and, of course, take a gondola ride in Venice. The rest of the time we could keep open for us to just walk around and take in the old architecture and just enjoy the fact that we are husband and wife in a romantic foreign country.
Once the “how” and “what” were taken care of I needed to find places to rest our heads. The travel agent suggested a few places, but I’m pretty picky when it comes to hotels. I wanted something cozy and somewhat modern. Why modern? I refuse to stay at a place that doesn’t have Wi-Fi or air conditioning. Would you? I jumped on the web and checked Trip Advisor under “Luxury.” (Yeah, that’s how I roll). After checking hundreds of hotels I decided on Babuino 181 in Rome, Riva Lofts in Florence, and A La Commedia in Venice. Babuino is close to the Spanish Steps and is in the center of Rome. Riva Lofts is a bit far from the center of Florence but seems amazing. A La Commedia is just luxurious.
A La Commedia / Image via commediahotel.com
The whole planning process was easy once we got in contact with the travel agent. It may seem like an unnecessary process, but if it means less stress it’s well worth it. My advice to anyone planning a honeymoon would be to check all your options and make sure to do all your homework before booking anything. If you have a chance to use a travel agent, do it! Just make sure they know about the place where you plan to vacation.
I cannot wait to go on our honeymoon. I love being Miss Gondola because whenever I see my icon I get excited about our honeymoon to Italy. Whenever I get too stressed or worried about the wedding I just picture myself sipping a glass of wine at an outdoor cafe.
Who planned your honeymoon? Has anyone ever used a travel agent?