Everything you need to know about planning your LGBTQ+ honeymoon
Far be it for me as part of the LGBTQ+ community to be offering a guide on how one should or needs to do anything as far as planning their wedding experience. It’s no secret that one of the wonderful things about weddings and marriages in our corner of the world of social expectations is that we’re still establishing our own rules.
However, at a time when things are probably a little hectic, and in a world that seems a bit complex at the current moment, perhaps the points that follow will help in planning the honeymoon of your and your spouse’s dreams.
Not sure what you want? Start with the basics.
My husband Matthew and I know from our dating experience that we travel best in new cities. We like to eat, drink and take in the local culture and some nightlife, and upon talking about it, it was quickly apparent that this was along the lines of what we wanted.
Go wild, though. There’s a world out there of honeymoon opportunities, including (though certainly not limited to) beach vacations, outdoor adventures, hiking, craft beer and vineyard tours, cruise, and cross-country road trips. Biggest advice here: Do what’s you!
So, you’ve got a general idea. Great! What’s your budget?
Be really honest with yourself. While a honeymoon is a perfectly justified opportunity to splurge, the reality is that bills still have to be paid when you get home. Don’t risk coming home to a wallet in pain!
Okay, so you safely know what you can spend. Now the big questions… Where and when?
Do you have an idea of when you want to go?
If you’re unsure of a destination, start a list of potentials and write down each one’s pros and cons. Knowing we would be traveling in the month of August, Matt and I ultimately chose South Africa over Italy because we knew the weather would be way more agreeable there at that time of year.
Allow me to let stuff get real for a moment: Is the destination LGBTQ-friendly?
Is your honeymoon really a time to be in a position to deal with the potential of incurring any kind of anti-LGBTQ+ nonsense?
If you’re going internationally, at the very least, consult the US State Department’s page on LGBTQ+ travel. While the language used here reeks like someone left a bag of expired doom-and-gloom in the place, I’ll offer you solid mom advice that we stuck to (although rarely did we need to use): Be smart and always use your gut instincts to make a better judgment in any situation.
Sorry. Still being real: Do you need any kind of documentation or medication?
If your plan falls within the United States, you should be fine, although research might be required if you’re heading to any of its territories.
If your intent is to travel abroad, of course, a valid passport is needed. Be prepared to go further, however, and do some research to know what else specifically is expected from your destination. For our own trip, we learned that South Africa requires two unstamped pages in passports for tourists to even be let in the country.
No medication was needed, nor did we need to apply for any tourist visas. You’ll want to consult the US State Department website to know what is expected and required of the country to which you’re headed. As some visas do take time to process, it’s certainly in your best interest to take care of this as soon as you know where you’re going if that locale requires them.
So, now that you have this whole vision and everything is ready to go and you’re all covered in terms of legal and medical details, how comfortable are you planning it?
We had a plan, and I was ready and eager to sit down and tackle this. I rolled up my sleeves and dug in. After a whole hour, it was pretty clear that I didn’t have a clue as to what on this Earth I was doing. So we went with a travel agent!
The takeaway from this experience is that a great travel agent can be a honeymooning couple’s best friend. It was because of our travel agent that someone met us at the gate of our arriving flights and helped us re-check our bags when we were in a crunch for time.
She left us a gift here and there throughout our trip (and made sure everyone else on the trip knew we were honeymooning). She knew what was good and what wasn’t, and the trip I was going to plan would not have been the wonderful honeymoon that we wound up taking because of her.
Most importantly, make memories and have fun!
It is your honeymoon, after all!
William Travers (pen name) and his husband Matthew were married at The Piermont in Babylon, New York, in August 2019. At that point, they had been together for nearly five years. William is a public school teacher on Long Island, and Matthew works at a nearby university. Together they blissfully enjoy shared interests in television, travel and food.