Monday, April 24, 2017

How To Plan The Perfect Mini-Moon

This How To Plan The Perfect Mini-Moon post is partially sponsored by Kimpton Hotels. 

After you're done wedding planning, you want a break. You don't want to think about table linens or RSVP cards or flowers -- unless that flower is in your hair as you sip a cold drink on the beach.

There's a reason honeymoons exist. Sure, it's great to start your new life together off with a trip, but it's also just a way to relax ... before you get back to real life.

Sometimes, though, you can't take a huge island adventure. You spent a boatload of money on your wedding and sure, it would be nice to put a boatload into a Caribbean cruise with a private butler, but it would also be nice to put that same money into a savings account to make a down payment on a house. And that's what a lot of couples are doing. But they're not giving up a honeymoon although. Instead, couples are opting for a Mini-Moon.

If you can't take a honeymoon, consider a mini-moon! Find out how to plan the perfect mini-moon with this post on

How To Plan The Perfect Mini-Moon

Figure out the timing.
Do you want to head out the day after your nuptials or you do want to take a day to relax, sleep in your own bed, and then go? Or if you have family in town for your wedding, maybe you want to wait until the following weekend. Make sure you set your date first before anything.

  • Quick tip: If you're lucky and your dates are flexible, think about going away during the week instead of the weekend. Hotel prices will be cheaper and attractions will be less crowded during the week, making your trip more enjoyable.

Find a place to go.
You want to go somewhere within driving distance. If you're only going away for three or so days, you don't want to spend a day on each side in an airport. That only leaves one day for your mini-moon.

You do want to go away somewhere that feels like a vacation though too, so pick somewhere you can drive on one tank of gas, but not somewhere you can travel regularly. This is not the time you want to plan a staycation.

And decide if you're taking your car or if you're going to rent one. If you're going with a rental, be sure to book that as soon as you can. And be sure to ask if you can take the car to a different state (if that's what your plan is). I know of a company that will charge us an extra $50 a day to go to visit our family in New York, so we don't book with them.

  • Quick tip: My cap would be six hours, which for us is Washington, DC. So, we actually went there for a long weekend, mostly for this post. We drove there and back, and it gave us a lot of car time to spend talking. That's so nice. You just got married, you're planning your life together. How fun would it be to spend time in the car planning it? Ah, so romantic!

If you can't take a honeymoon, consider a mini-moon! Find out how to plan the perfect mini-moon with this post on

Book a hotel.
For something as special as this, I wouldn't pick a regular hotel. Even though you're not taking a long trip, you're still taking a honeymoon, so you still want it to be special. You don't want to book the bargain motel just because that's what you usually do. And you don't want to book the same chain you always stay at because it will seem familiar. You want your mini-moon to feel as uncommon as possible.

  • Quick tip: Look into a boutique hotel, like a Kimpton. There's something so special about staying in a hotel that has its own character. And if you can afford it, upgrade to a room with a view. We stayed in a City View room at the Kimpton Glover Park Hotel in Washington, DC and man, that view at night, you can't beat it.

If you can't take a honeymoon, consider a mini-moon! Find out how to plan the perfect mini-moon with this post on

Create an agenda.
I know, you just spent so much time planning a wedding. The last thing you want to do is plan one more thing. But sorry, you want to plan your mini-moon. You don't want to waste any of your time sitting around saying, "What should we do today?" or "What do you want to eat?" Take a bit of time to create a plan. Write out ideas for breakfast, activities for the day, lunch ideas, dinner spots, cool bars. etc. You don't have to get to everything each day, but it's a good idea to have a schedule.

Create a Google doc and share it with your spouse-to-be. Fill it out with times and addresses. Then, if you find something else or decide to rearrange a day, it's as simple as cut and paste instead of handwriting your entire schedule again.

  • Quick tip: If you know someone who lives where you're taking your mini-moon, or a friend who has been there before, get recommendations. I found a fun place for dinner when we were in DC for night one, but night two's dinner was based on a recommendation. And oh. my. gosh. It was one of the best meals I've eaten in a very long time. If I hadn't asked a friend, I would have never found that restaurant.

Work amenities into your plan.
If you're staying at a hotel that offers free coffee in the morning, be sure to grab a fresh cup there instead of heading to a coffee shop. I grabbed a cup at the Kimpton before walking to church at the National Cathedral on Sunday morning. It was great to not have to drive to get a cup of coffee.

What I loved about Kimpton was if you're a Kimpton Karma Rewards member (it's free to join), you get a $10 Raid The Bar credit. It's basically a free $10 to spend on the mini bar in the room. So you can pick out a snack or a drink and, if it's under $10, it's free. If it's over, you'll just pay the difference at checkout.

And, the Glover Park hotel actually had an offer online where you could add a continental breakfast for two at the hotel's restaurant Casolare on to your reservation for only $1. We had breakfast there (and my sandwich was amazing!), and the couple next to us had the continental breakfast. It looked great.

  • Quick tip: If your hotel offers a free breakfast, eat it. Saving money on breakfast means you can spend that money somewhere else. If breakfast is too early, you can always wake up, walk down in pajamas, grab some fruit and cereal boxes to bring back to your room, then go back to bed and eat when you wake up. Some hotels may say you can't take the breakfast back to your room (so check on that!), but I've never had any problem doing this (and it's so worth getting to snuggle back into bed!). 

If you can't take a honeymoon, consider a mini-moon! Find out how to plan the perfect mini-moon with this post on

Make reservations before you go.
Is there an excursion you really want to take? A restaurant you have to eat at? Be sure to make reservations ahead of time. You would hate to get there only to find out there's no room for you. So anything you definitely will be broken-hearted to miss needs to be reserved as soon as possible.

  • Quick tip: Check places like for discounts on meals and Groupon for discounts on attractions. If you can save a little, go for it! You did just pay for an entire wedding.

Pack for everything.
You have no idea what the weather is going to be like, and you may not be sure if your new spouse likes to sleep with the AC cranked super high. So pack shorts and sweat pants to sleep in. When we went to DC -- for  two nights in April -- I packed (I kid you not): summer pajamas, sweat pants, gym clothes (because our hotel had a gym), jeans, shorts, a tank top, a t-shirt, a 3/4 length shirt, a long-sleeved shirt, a long-sleeved button up, a sweatshirt, a dress, and a bathing suit. Plus I threw a peacoat in the car. And, at the very last second, when our car was already started, I ran back inside the house to grab sunscreen. I was ready for anything.

  • Quick tip: Make a list. Before packing, I always make a list. I write down outfit ideas, items I'll need (like my phone charger), and then a list of snacks I want to pack too. If you're not into making your list, I have a honeymoon packing list post that does all the work for you.

Take selfies.
My favorite photos are selfies. I just love them. Oh sure, it's nice when you can bother the closest stranger to snap a pic of you. But it's even better when you are alone, in your own little world, with a population of two, and snap a shot. Nothing beats that ... not even full body shots where you see more than just a close up of your arm.

  • Quick tip: If you're not well versed at selfies, you can always pack a selfie stick with you. It's a great way to get some shots that don't look like you took them yourself.

If you can't take a honeymoon, consider a mini-moon! Find out how to plan the perfect mini-moon with this post on

And just relax. You're on vacation. If you have a plan and reservations and you've packed a beautiful dress to dance in ... but all you do is stay in the room and sleep and eat room service at 2am, that's fine too. I always say the wedding is for your guests, your marriage is for you. Well, your mini-moon is for you too.

BRIDAL BABBLE: Where would you go on your mini-moon?


  1. One of my biggest regrets was never taking a honey moon!! At the time I had an 18 month old, in-laws in town from another country and we moved the week after we got married. So important to take that time to bound after getting married. Love the idea of a mini moon, DC would be the place for it!!! I don't think I would want to leave that hotel with the view!

  2. This is perfect! Can't wait to take my family in August to D.C.! That hotel looks so nice. Can't wait to start planning.

  3. Great tips! Good things to keep in mind throughout marriage, too, when you just need a night or two away but don't want to break the bank.

  4. I love this idea; I actually clicked over because we're looking for something special (yet budget friendly) to celebrate our 16th wedding anniversary. Pinned.

  5. Everyone needs to have a honeymoon. Wonderful ideas for a budget. Later, you can always indulge more. Thanks for sharing at DI&DI.