Ninety-nine percent of newlyweds have a honeymoon after their nuptials, yet just one in four say it's a dream vacation. It's a sad reality that for many, a honeymoon is far from heavenly. In fact, if you fall into these traps, it can be a living hell!
Contract Food Poisoning
Exotic locations might seem glamorous, but many don't have the food safety standards we're used to in the Western world. Eat or drink the wrong thing, and you could spend the rest of your honeymoon by the toilet. Not exactly romantic, right? Well, unless you’re into other people’s pain, in which case there’s a whole other host of other issues wrong with you that this article can’t fix.
You can cut your risks by only drinking bottled water, as much as that might suck. Choose hot food, as cooking can kill bacteria, or cold foods that can be peeled. Oranges and bananas should be fine, but you might want to avoid the strawberries or cherries, unless you like to live dangerously. Approach street vendors with caution (especially ones that can’t even spell their fruit’s name), and only buy if you can watch the cooking process. Reducing your portions can also help, as your body is better able to fight off a smaller amount of bacteria.
Get Your Identity Stolen via Unsecured Public Wi-Fi
The rapid growth of Wi-Fi hotspots in tourist areas makes it even easier to connect with loved ones back home, but logging on could be a costly mistake. Around 90 percent of public hotspots at hotels, airports, and cafés are unsecured. Don’t think that cyber criminals aren’t aware. They’re easy to spot, they’re the ones sitting in the lobby with a laptop and wearing a ski mask. Just kidding – hopefully. Accessing unsecured connections leaves you vulnerable to identity theft and other cyber crimes.
Confirm with hotel, airport, or café staff members that their network is encrypted before logging on. If they have no clue what you’re asking, avoid using their Internet. Avoid public computers and stick to your own laptop and smartphone to ensure other users don't access your history. Stick to encrypted channels by using the secure prefix https, rather than the traditional http. You can further minimize the risks by subscribing to a VPN network. This essentially creates another private network within the existing network which acts as an extra wall around your online activities.
It's best to avoid making payments or sending private documents via public internet altogether, but you can make the process a bit safer. Only enter your card details or passwords on websites using Secure Sockets Layer, or SSL. A padlock in your browser's bottom-right corner will confirm this. If you absolutely must make a payment over the Internet, pick up a Visa pre-paid debit card or something similar. The last thing you want to do is run out of money when you’re trying to enjoy the time with your new spouse.
Traveling to a new city can be exciting, but it's impossible to see everything. Attempting to do so will just leave you feeling burned out and ill-tempered. Do you really want to start a fight with your significant other? You’ve only been married for a few days, do you already want to sleep on the couch?
Chances are you were already feeling those emotions in the lead up to your wedding. What you really deserve to do now is just kick back with the one you love. Consider planning just two or three activities for every week you're away. Use the rest of the time to be spontaneous. You can add another activity on the spur of the moment, but you might prefer to spend your time lazing on the beach or sipping cocktails by the pool. Stay on top of your reservations. There is nothing worse than going to pick up your rental car and they have none left for you. Wow your significant other with your impeccable organization skills and read all the fine print for rental cars before you leave.
Struggle with Jet Lag
That cross-continental jaunt might have seemed exciting, but a nasty bout of jet lag may dampen your spirits. As a rule, you can expect to suffer a day of jet lag for every time zone you shift, so if you’re traveling to an exotic location, you may end up feeling bad most of the trip. The average American honeymoons for eight days, so that leaves just two jet-lag free days before you have to turn around and repeat the cycle.
Sleeping on the flight, getting plenty of sun, and other jet lag remedies can help you feel more alert, but if you're having a quick vacation, you may be better off staying closer to home.
Just make sure you don't overdo it with the sunshine, because a nasty burn will also ruin your honeymoon. Your tender red skin will put an end to any amorous encounters, and it could even lead to melanoma. Unless you and your spouse enjoy spending time putting ointment on each other and occasionally peeling each other’s skin, don't take the risk!
An overcast day is no protection either, as UV light can easily penetrate the clouds. Reflective surfaces like the ocean, snow, and white sand will also redirect those damaging rays. If you've traveled far, the UV index may be much higher than you're used to. The closer you travel to the equator, the more direct light you'll experience. This is great if you’re pale, so you guys that look like Casper might be tempted to get a tan, but don’t risk damaging your health.
Be sun-smart while you're away. Apply a sunscreen with an ultra-protective SPF 50 rating 30 minutes prior to sun exposure, and reapply as directed. Cover up with protective clothing, hats, and sunglasses to minimize the sunburn risks. If you want to go full-tourist, get a huge, floppy fisherman’s hat, some colored sunglasses, and a fanny pack. Going full-tourist is something that very few people can pull off, though, so don’t try it unless your confidence is soaring through the roof.
Don't let these common honeymoon pitfalls discourage you. Make sure that you earn that spot on the couch instead of getting it just because you’re sick. Research carefully rather than being blinded by the romance to ensure your honeymoon is heaven on Earth rather than a living hell!