Congrats! You've decided on the perfect destination for your wedding. If you can travel to the location beforehand to familiarize yourself with all the area has to offer and finalize some details in person, you should. Here are 6 tips to help you maximize your pre-planning trip.
Check your weather app. You'll want to time your trip to reflect the climate you expect to enjoy during the actual wedding. Do your homework though, because some properties may be seasonal and you won't want to arrive to find the best options closed.
Fly the red eye. This trip will likely be short. 3-5 days for a planning trip is standard. Therefore, an overnight flight is practical and convenient. You'll want to use the flight time to rest up. The last thing you'll need is to be exhausted by the time you reach your destination!
Book your venue visits in advance. Once you've narrowed down your choices, reach out to the event coordinators and let them know you'll want a property tour (known in the industry as a "site inspection"). This should include indoor and outdoor ceremony and reception options, rooms & suites, and beauty & spa services. And don't forget the food! With a reservation, they can prepare sample menus and provide a special gourmet experience. They'll have every chance to win your business.
Book ground transfer services that you intend to recommend to your guests. It is a detail often overlooked when planning a getaway. Although Uber may be available, if you're traveling to a foreign country it's better to book a vehicle in advance. Consider the following: International roaming charges if Wi-Fi is unavailable, waiting time if the driver is not in the area, potential language barriers or taking a chance with a taxi turning a 3-mile trip into a 15 mile, 3Xs the price transfer. Ask your travel agent to request an English-speaking driver to be there when you arrive.
Meet and hire a local wedding planner. Don't DIY your destination wedding. Even if you have family or friends who are willing to act as your intermediary because they live in the area, hiring a local professional is your best option. Communication is the factor in the successful execution of your vision, and distance has become less of a concern as Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts, etc., give you real time access to your team.
Carpe diem. A spa treatment, a stroll through town, or a bit of shopping before you go home may be the perfect way to wind down from this whirlwind trip. Celebrate your progress and take a little time for yourself. The best is yet to come.