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Honeymoon Gift for Son

South Bend, Indiana
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Honeymoon Gift for Son

Hello Everyone,

So, my wife and I plan on giving our son and future DIL a very special honeymoon as our wedding gift. Their date is not yet set but will be next Oct (2014) at the earliest. He is an artist by trade, so I wanted to send him to Paris (where he has been before) and on to Italy. In short, I'm trying to find a vacation packager I can trust -- or maybe that is always iffy. An ideal trip would be 10-12 days with London, Paris, and Rome -- or maybe even a switcheroo with Amsterdam or Venice thrown in. If I have to do all the packaging myself, I'll do it, but I'd much prefer someone I can trust doing so.

Our budget is 10-12K, but we're more concerned with having a solid package to hand him rather than the dollar amount. In other words, if I don't have to spend that much, of course I'd be all for that.

Since I don't travel, I don't have a travel agent nor do I even know where to start. Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thank You

TA

New Hampshire
Destination Expert
for Paris
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21,261 posts
25 reviews
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1. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

<<10-12 days with London, Paris, and Rome>>

I probably won't be the first to declare that 10-12 days is long enough for only two cities, not three, or four. When you deduct day of arrival, day of departure, and a day each for traveling from one place to the next, that leaves too few days for seeing and doing.

If you are referring to a "vacation package" that includes hotels, guided tours, transportation from one place to the next...I, personally, cannot imagine that sort of thing for a honeymoon.

Packages are difficult due to the components. First of all, hotels may not be as "conveniently located" or "central" as the literature suggests...rather too far or without public transportation should one wish to return to the city during free time for cocktails or nighlife. Included hotels are usually "tourist" class and typically receive wildly mixed reviews, particularly with regard to room assignments.

With even the "best" (and priciest) tours, you pay a huge premium for everything being packaged for you and being escorted.

Packages that include meals are particularly problematic because you're confined to those, which are often reported to be less than satisfactory.

The better bet may be to give them a budget and allow them to plan the trip, with you assisting with booking air, hotels, etc.

Overwhelmingly, those who participate on this forum are independent travelers who do not book with "tour packagers".

We've booked the occasional escorted tour, for very good reasons (Russia, for example). The right one does allow you to leave all the planning and logistics to "them".

But, I just cannot imagine being herded around on a restrictive schedule with a large group of people (some of whom can be so trying as to nearly ruin it all for everyone else) on a honeymoon.

If you have only a "package" of flights, hotels, airport transfers, in mind, with nothing "escorted", you'll pay a huge premium for things you can easily book (probably far better) on your own.

Anacortes...
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2,780 posts
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2. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

Very good advice you have just received above! I might only add that the idea of giving your Son and Bride a budget, and then working with them to plan a perfect independent honeymoon trip would be a splendid thing to bond you to both your boy and the new addition to your family. Besides, putting the planning on his capable shoulders would be educational for all of you.

I am sure that the folks on this Forum would be delighted to help by giving you information, and answering the many questions you may have. In fact, you will probably be inundated with more information than you can handle, at first. Many/most of the members here are rather highly opinionated, you will find.

Think it over and get back to us. You have a long time to plan a splendid gift.

Paris, France
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3,464 posts
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3. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

Two quick suggestions to start with:

1. Few people use an agent nowadays, even more so on TA, so any recommendation on that side may be hard to get;

2. Especially for a honeymoon, I would not consider more than two cities for a 12-day vacation (should the length be 10 days, just one destination would be even better, with possibly a couple of day trips).

South Bend, Indiana
2 posts
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4. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

Great Advice,

As I said, I don't travel, so I really have no preconceived ideas. And yes, I wasn't thinking of the "tour" type package, more along the lines of making sure the flights and hotels were all taken care of so they could do as they wish. Unfortunately, he has no interest in the "usual" honeymoon destinations that everyone seems to gravitate to such as Hawaii, the Carribean, etc.

So maybe I'll just tell him about the budget we have in mind and let him do as he wishes. Probably the best way to go.

Anacortes...
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2,780 posts
44 reviews
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5. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

Well, be sure to tell him about this site if you so decide. Many of us have input he might find useful.

los angeles
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6. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

What a wonderful gift. Maybe gift wrap a guidebook to Europe (like a Fodor's Guide to Europe), and let your son and his fiancee look it over to see where they'd choose to go. They could go to Italy (Rome and Florence at least--great cities and great art), or they could go to London-Paris (or even London-Paris-Amsterdam if they want to push it). But choose one area or Europe or the other in this amount of time.

Should they choose Italy, they can fly into Rome and train to the other cities. Should they choose London-Paris (or even add Amsterdam if time permits), then they should consider an open jaw flight, meaning they'd land in one place (like London), but fly home from the last destination (like Amsterdam). But they can easily train London to Paris, and Paris to Amsterdam.

Being an artist, your son will know what sites/cities and museums he'd most like to visit. (What artworks he would most like to see.) He certainly has amazing choices in London (also housing Greek art at the British Museum), Paris (Louvre for art from all over Europe, and smaller museums for artists of France and Impressionists), Amsterdam (Van Gogh and Rembrandt). And in Italy, of course, more wonderful choices. He will decide who is calling to him first!

MA
Destination Expert
for New England
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6,471 posts
206 reviews
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7. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

What a wonderful gift!! I think it is a great idea to fly into one city and out of another, that is a good way to maximize sightseeing time. I had an autumn honeymoon in Paris, your son and DIL will love your gift. I like the idea of wrapping up a guidebook and letting them choose where they'd like to go.

Texas
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6,193 posts
193 reviews
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8. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

Wow! Your gift will provide a lifetime of happy memories!

Another vote for giving them a guidebook!!

Montreal
Destination Expert
for Paris
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18,888 posts
151 reviews
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9. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

Hi, welcome to TA Paris Forum!

You might want to have a look at hotel and flight packages on expedia.com to get an idea of what is available and prices. Unfortunately, since you're not in Quebec, I don't know the better companies in your area. A two or three city package with direct flights and transfers (from airport to hotel) is better than an organised tour, when it comes to Europe (including Central and Eastern Europe).

Some such packages include a few hour guided city tour of each city visited and/or a boat sightseeing tour or dinner tour -- that's fine as long as it is just that, and not a daily schedule which often means just going from sight to museum to palace with a bunch of strangers.

Be sure to check TA traveler reviews and photos of hotels included in package.

Edited: 22 September 2013, 23:51
10. Re: Honeymoon Gift for Son

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