Hi friends! In case you missed it over on Instagram, Kevin and I returned from our honeymoon about two weeks ago! Upon return, I found my inbox flooded with questions about our trip. Rather than answer them repeatedly and individually, I figured it would be easier to compile them all in one place for you to check out. To keep things manageable for readers, in true Primary Party fashion (aka I tend to ramble), this is going to be a multi-part blog. In this first part, I am going to answer some of the questions that I got asked by many of you and give you an overview of our trip. In parts two and three, I will be giving you more info on Greece and Paris, respectively. Let’s dive in with a little Q&A!
How did you plan what to do and where to stay/did you use a travel agent?
The answer to this question is, yes, we did use a travel agent and that is how we planned out what to do! After we decided where we want to go, Kevin took on the task of planning the honeymoon, so he contacted an agent that a friend had used. They chatted on the phone about budget, where we wanted to go, what we wanted to do, etc. and she gave him some suggestions and ideas, then she sent an itinerary our way. We looked it over, changed and cut things that we didn’t love or that we felt would be too much (we wanted a good mix of relaxation and some planned things to do), and went from there! Honestly, we could have likely done it ourselves, but I personally had all too much going on at the time of wedding planning to tackle a trip too. Another perk of using an agent was that we ran into a few unexpected hiccups along the way, (like a 24-hour ferry strike in Greece) and it was great to have the peace of mind and someone to communicate with to take the stress out of the situations. Whether or not you choose to use a travel agent is totally up to you – I think planning can be done just as well either way!
How did you budget/save for a honeymoon AND a wedding?
This was a question I got asked quite a few times, not surprisingly, as weddings and honeymoons are expensive! I wish I had some magical trick to share about how we did it, but truthfully, I don’t. But here is what I can share…As far as the wedding itself went, we were very fortunate to have parents that were generous enough to help us in many ways. We took the budgets that they offered and figured out what types of wedding expenses they could cover (photographer, DJ, venue fee, etc.) and what we would need to contribute ourselves. From there, we saved and saved. Kevin is very good with saving, so he started both a honeymoon fund through an app called Qapital and a high-interest wedding savings account through Ally bank. I took some of each paycheck and direct deposited it into our wedding account, along with my Teachers Pay Teachers earnings from each month and any other outside income from tutoring, babysitting, etc. We were able to save up enough to cover what we needed to in about the twenty months that we were engaged. Then, we took some of our wedding gifts as spending money for the trip itself! Like I said, I have no secret tip or trick for you, just lots of saving…sorry!
How long did you travel for? How long did you spend in each place?
We travelled for two weeks total! The other two parts of this post will have specifics, but here is the basic breakdown of our trip:
Overnight flight Boston to Athens
One night in Athens
Ferry (ended up being a flight, more on that in part 2) Athens to Naxos
Three nights in Naxos
Ferry Naxos to Santorini
Four nights in Santorini
Flight Santorini to Paris
Four nights in Paris
Flight Paris to Boston
Were the hotels you stayed at all-inclusive? / How did you choose where to eat?
To answer the first question, no we did not stay anywhere all-inclusive for this vacation. Kev and I love to adventure and explore when we eat, so we stayed at places that only had breakfast included. Then, we ventured into the towns to try out local restaurants! To figure out where to eat, we asked the hotel or tour guides for recommendations, chatted with people we met on excursions about where they ate and loved, looked things up on Yelp or Google, or just popped into places that looked like a spot we may enjoy. We tried to avoid places near tourist spots (like the Eiffel Tower or right on the main pedestrian path in Oia) and venture to more authentic, off the beaten path spots. Our friend told us never to go anywhere with pictures on the menu or an English-only menu, because that often means it is a tourist trap, so we usually followed that rule! I think of all the spots we tried, we disliked two or three, and two of those were definitely sneaky tourist spots. Hey, we’re not perfect. 😉
How did you pack for your honeymoon?
The first thing you need to know about me is that I am a chronic over-packer. I will pack an outfit for every day and then 5 extras, just in case. In an attempt to avoid too much over-packing, here is what I did. First, I created an outline/itinerary of every day of the trip, both day and night. For each day, I asked myself: where will we be going? What will we be doing? Should my outfit be cute or functional (hopefully both!)? What type of shoes will I need? Any extra accessories for this day (like a cute hat?), and other questions along those lines. From there, I planned a specific outfit for that day and wrote it down on the itinerary I created. Now, I know you are probably thinking I am crazy, and you’re right, I am. But, this worked! It helped me to avoid the “maybe I will wear this…or maybe I’ll wear that…eh, I’ll just bring both!” situation that usually occurs when I pack. Once my daily outfits were planned, I made a list of other extras, like pajamas and bathing suits, that I would need and wrote those down too. As I packed, I checked things off the list to make sure I had it all. Oh, and don’t forget your adapters!
PS: one of the best things I registered for was a luggage scale from Amazon…we used it at home once we were all packed and then moved things around (okay, from my suitcase to Kev’s), so that we wouldn’t need to open them back up in the airport! You can shop my luggage and honeymoon essentials in my Amazon storefront!
Okay, I think that covers all of the basic questions I got. If you are reading and find that you have unanswered questions, feel free to drop a comment below or send it my way via email or Instagram and I will try my best to get that answered! But now that you have some general information, let’s head to Greece!