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Honeymoon planning how-to

Couples can take the following advice to ensure their getaway goes off without a hitch.

• Be budget-conscious. After all the stress of planning and paying for the wedding, couples will likely just enjoy the time away. Take this into consideration when planning a honeymoon. If a dream trip isn't in the budget, don't fret. A less expensive getaway is still a getaway, and couples will enjoy their well deserved break no matter where it is.

• Plan an off-season honeymoon. That dream honeymoon might be affordable after all, if couples can wait until it's not the height of tourist season. Most weddings occur during the summer months, when tourist season is in full swing. Couples who can put off their honeymoon until the off-season will find their dream honeymoon is much more affordable.

• Start early. The earlier couples begin to research destinations, the better feel they will have for what they can and can't afford. But don't book any flights or make any reservations too far in advance. The best deals are often available a few months before the trip.

• Spread the news that you're newlyweds. Hotels love hosting newlyweds, and many will upgrade rooms for recently married guests. Couples should not be too brash about it, though, as fully booked hotels won't be able to upgrade their guests.

• Think outside the box. When asked about a dream honeymoon, couples will often bring up Hawaii or even Paris. While those are beautiful places, they're also expensive. Fortunately, there are a bevy of locales that aren't nearly as pricey, but will still make for a honeymoon getaway that won't soon be forgotten. (MS)