How To: Get Honeymoon Perks
After months of excitement, anticipation and stress, you’re finally married, and this is your first trip as husband and wife. You’ve planned the perfect holiday, but there is one way to make your honeymoon even sweeter: to receive gratuities along the way. A complimentary upgrade, a bottle of champagne on the house, a private snorkelling trip to a deserted island – free of charge – nothing makes you feel more like a VIP than receiving something courtesy of management. If you’re wondering how to get your hands on these extras, we’ve compiled a few tips to increase your prospects.
Before you start rubbing your hands in anticipation of all the freebies you imagine you’ll be showered with, it’s important to remember that these are complimentary and not obligatory. Many people will go out of their way to make your honeymoon memorable, but if you set out with expectations and a feeling of entitlement, you could end up being disappointed. This is no ordinary holiday, so plan and book everything you want to do, and if you happen to receive special treatment along the way, then that’s simply an added bonus.
Upgrades on flights are notoriously hard to get because of the limited availability of seats. There is usually a long line of people who’ve already put in their request, and unfortunately, you’re somewhere near the bottom. Preference is also given to customers with loyalty cards and air miles, but there are ways to improve your odds. Dress a little more formally than you normally do (airlines are more likely to upgrade a smart looking person than someone dressed for a day of TV surfing on the couch), use your newest suitcase and check-in early but board late – just don’t miss your flight!
You may not get bumped up, but you could get exit row seats, be moved to an empty row, or be given access to the VIP lounge at the airport. Nothing is guaranteed, but it’s worth taking the chance and simply asking. Nicely.
What pops into your mind as the ‘quintessential’ honeymoon destination? Fiji? Paris? The Galapagos Islands? While these destinations might tick all the right boxes, you’re certainly not going to be the only newly-weds heading to these versions of paradise and this lessens your chance of getting bumped up to a better room, or receiving a free sunset boat cruise.
New hotels are desperate for positive reviews, so consider staying somewhere that’s opened recently, as they’re more likely to treat you like royalty. Before you book, however, be sure to read the latest customer feedback.
Peak seasons are busy times because the weather is usually best then, but the increase in tourists means a decrease in your ability to get an upgrade. Investigate the shoulder periods, on either side of the busy season, where you can enjoy great weather and cheaper prices, but with the bonus of fewer travellers and a better opportunity to get perks. You’re also more likely to receive something complimentary if you’re going to spend more than one night at the venue.
Resorts and hotels are more prone to giving newly-weds an upgrade. You may get a bigger room, a better view, discount rates, free spa treatments, a night or two for free, or you could be allowed an early check-in or a late check-out at no extra cost. At the very least you should get a bouquet of flowers, a fruit bowl, chocolates and champagne, or rose petals in the shape of a heart on your bed.
Book your room in advance and be sure to mention that you’ll be on your honeymoon, and then remind them again when you check-in. If you’re at the hotel after 3pm, the possibility of receiving a better room will increase, as staff then have a better idea of what rooms are available. Just remember to be courteous, not forceful.
You can arrange the entire trip on your own, but it might be worthwhile to speak to a travel planner. They have all the contracts, and know the right questions to ask, to secure you great deals on your holiday. If you’re embarrassed to tell hotel staff that you’re newly-weds, this circumvents the discomfort as your agent will organise everything for you. Some benefits are also available exclusively through a travel agency.
Managers can literally put the cherry on top with a free dessert, appetizer or meal. You’ll usually be treated to chilled champagne or a bottle of wine – on the house – and don’t be surprise if you get a round of drinks from older couples who hear you’ve just got married.
Phone to make your reservation and inform them that it’s a special occasion. Even if you don’t get anything complimentary, you may be moved to the best table in the restaurant.
Tours and Activities
The person you need to befriend most is your hotel concierge. He or she will be the one who arranges free concert tickets, passes to local attractions, discounts on activities like golf or snorkelling, vouchers for a meal or a spa treatment, entry into the hottest nightclub, or a reservation at one of the best restaurants. Be friendly and sociable and let them know you’re on honeymoon – you never know what might be in store for you.
Make your reservations by phone, as this allows you to be your charming self, and the personal contact is more likely to gain you a freebie than communication via email. Flaunt your new status, but be approachable, composed and pleasant. Your cheesy grin is usually enough to broadcast that you’ve just got married, but in case you’re asked for proof, carry a few copies of your marriage certificate with you.
The best way to get an upgrade is simply to ask for it, but regardless of whether you receive something extra or not, it’s important to remember that you’re on honeymoon with the person that you love – and that’s the real perk.