But after all the planning that goes into a military wedding -- and the adjustments that Uncle Sam requires of you -- what's next? What do you need to consider when planning a military honeymoon?
Deciding Where to Go
You may have been dreaming of your honeymoon as long as you've been dreaming of your wedding, but now it's time to actually narrow it down. You have several decisions to make, and there are no wrong answers.
You can take your honeymoon immediately after your wedding or do it later. You can turn your first permanent change-of-station move into a honeymoon. Or you can take a few nights at an Airbnb and then do something bigger when you have time.
You'll have quite a few "honeymoons" throughout your military marriage, and you can celebrate them any way you want.
But when considering a big trip, you'll want to look at a few things.
First, check out the State Department's travel advisories. Chances are if the State Department says it is not recommended for U.S. citizens to travel there, the military is also going to say "no."
Getting the Best Deal on a Military Honeymoon
After deciding where to go, you'll want to find the best deal. By being flexible with dates -- a skill you'll be grateful for as you continue your life as a military spouse -- you may be able to save a lot of money.
Look at places that traditionally offer a military discount on things such as cruises, airfare and lodging. Then, call them. Explain that you're in the process of planning your honeymoon to a service member and ask whether they offer a military discount. They may or they may not. But if you don't ask, you'll never know.
You'd think that the whole process of your service member requesting leave would be completely out of your wheelhouse. Sorry to break this one to you, new military spouse: It's not. Yes, it's something they have to do on their own, but if they aren't asking you questions about it (repeatedly), they're complaining about how the paperwork got lost, again.
Here are the things you should have close at hand to easily answer those questions, probably several times:
- Itinerary for your flight, cruise, train trip etc.
- The address of where you are staying.
There may be more forms required, depending on where you are going, what branch of service you're marrying into and what your service member's unit's policies are, but these are the main items that you'll want to keep handy.
And you absolutely should look at travel insurance. Things change in the military every single day, and you'll want to make sure your trip is refundable or transferable, in case your service member's leave is denied or plans change at the last minute. Read carefully, because not all travel insurance policies will cover military orders changing.
Planning your military honeymoon will be a practical life lesson for being a military spouse. You'll then know all the ins and outs of planning a vacation, learn the best ways to travel at a discounted rate when it's time to move again, and be prepared to change plans about a hundred times over the next few years.
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