It was finally over. All of the commotion that surrounded the wedding had died down. Like a lot of brides, I found sweet relief the moment my husband and I drove away from the venue, and I never looked back. Instead, we looked ahead to Cancún, and we left the Monday following our Saturday wedding—clutch decision made by my brilliant other half that gave us a full day to recover from the wedding before we traveled.

When we arrived at our beautiful resort, we were greeted by relaxing aromas, helpful attendants…and tons of clouds. It was March, so it rained most of the time we were there, but we didn’t let it ruin our vacation. We stayed cozied up in the room, we laughed, we ate until we thought we’d explode, and then once our food settled, we’d eat some more.

Our honeymoon was wonderful, but one of my hands-down-favorite memories was our excursion.

To start with, we woke up at 6:00am, something you should never do on vacation. After a quick, packaged breakfast, we were picked up in a large, white van that proceeded to pick up every vacationer in our vicinity. We drove an hour and a half without air conditioning to a sketchy building where we were asked to switch vans, and then we drove some more.

We arrived at a beach approximately one thousand miles away from our hotel, and the fun had only just begun. We snorkeled in the frigid ocean with a single turtle (even though we were promised a multitude), we swam in underwater caves despite my intense fear of small spaces, and lastly, our departure was delayed almost an hour because one of the kids in our group had left his gear at the first beach. The kid’s northeastern mother spent the majority of that time convincing our tour guide that her kid wasn’t the culprit. He had spent most of the day whining and playing on his iPhone and just being a general nuisance to the group, so we weren’t convinced it was outside of the realm of possibility. Our guide resigned to the fact that he wasn’t going to get his gear back, and we headed home.

Our excursion was nothing less than unforgettable, but the best part was that we experienced it together.

There was rain, a little arguing, and even an excursion from hell…but I’d say our honeymoon was close to perfect. The food, the coffee, the unnecessary amount of pools, the sweet conversations about our future…what’s more perfect than that? All because I married my best friend.

Now that the honeymoon is over, the world is ours to take on. And since I learned a lot from our experience, I want to share some of my most helpful Honeymoon Do’s and Don’t’s with you.

Honeymoon Do’s

1. Make a Honeymoon Tip Jar. You’d be surprised how much you end up spending on tips, transportation and travel, even when you’re going to an all-inclusive resort. Put the jar out at your reception, then have a groomsman take it around the party to collect a few extra dollars.
2. Think All-Inclusive. This was one of the best parts of the trip. Not having to stress about money is great, but unlimited food and drinks are better. Plus, it’s usually cheaper, and there are a ton of high-rated resorts and cruises to choose from.
3. Try 1-3 Hour Excursions. These are usually priced well, and they don’t take up a full day. Oh, and if it’s terrible like ours was, then you won’t waste as much time.
4. Tip well at your resort. Usually you’ll have the same small group of people serving you, so it’s always good to make new friends in this department. Not only will you get better service, but you might reap some other unexpected benefits.
5. Turn off your phone and computer. Isn’t this one of the best parts of vacation, anyway? Becoming inaccessible to your family and friends will help you soak up this time with your new spouse. Don’t worry, real life will be waiting for you when you get home.

Honeymoon Don’t’s

1. Bring your to-do list. Whether it’s related to work or moving in together, do your best to leave your to-do’s at home. Instead, commit to unwinding and dreaming up a beautiful future with your partner.
2. Go on all day excursions. Sure, I might be a bit biased on this one, but if you hate waking up early on vacation as much as I do, don’t do it. Not only are they expensive, but there are too many half day options that don’t involve tons of driving or being gone all day. Plus, it might not be as good as advertised, and if that’s the case, you won’t be wasting an entire day.
3. Get a sunburn. Y’all, seriously—use sunscreen and avoid the dreaded “vacation burn.” Forgetting this important piece could make for an uncomfortable trip…there are few things worse than sleeping with a sunburn.
4. Feel pressure to leave your comfort zone. If you don’t feel like leaving your room all day, you don’t have to. If you decide to lay by the beach from sunrise to sunset while people serve you fruity drinks, enjoy every minute. This is your honeymoon, and the only other opinion you have to consider is your new spouse’s.
5. Leave the morning after your wedding. This one was huge for Zach and I. Weddings are exhausting, and traveling the morning after can be miserable. I suggest you wait one or two full days before you take off.

If you have any honeymoon horror stories that you’d like to share or any wisdom for grooms and brides-to-be, hit us up on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. We’d love to hear from you.

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