I am the type of girl that has a hard time narrowing down things to 1 absolute answer. I often have a top 2 rather than a #1 response when asked to pick a favorite destination or resort. However, there is one tip that I would instantly shout out to a couple that is newly engaged and considering a destination wedding OR even planning a local wedding, and that is . . . drumroll . . . open up a credit card with a “frequent flyer” airline attached to it.
Prior to American filing for bankruptcy in the end of Nov, I may have suggested American Airlines if you plan to travel to the Caribbean for your wedding or planning to travel there for your honeymoon. American Airlines virtually had a lock on Caribbean flights and their “advantage” program was one of the best in the frequent flyer arena. Since the dreaded bankruptcy announcement, I now suggest the CHASE United/Continental VISA card, but basically, if you already have mileage on a particular airline, simply check to see if that airline flies to your desired location and has a credit card with bonus offerings.
Once you get your card, put all your wedding deposits on it, and though I am not advising you to run up a credit card, rather, pay it off each month if you can. My tip with this is that if you tend to use a debit card or have a little credit on a credit card, WHY not build miles so your flights can possibly be free? Some other great perks are free luggage on your flights, a potential first class upgrade, AND one of the best things that comes with these types of cards, is getting to board in the first ZONE, so you can carry your dress and place it in the overhead before ANYONE else gets on board. Heaven help you if you are in zone 4 and there is no overhead space left!! If you have outstanding credit, CHASE visa also gives you 2 miles for every 1 dollar you spend and access to their “club” lounge at the airport!
Some of the best tips on navigating that crazy world of frequent flyer cards can be found at www.awardwallet.com or the www.traveltipsguy.comand the www.frugaltravelguide.com. I never realized there was such a science to building miles; but fly on a nonstop 10 hour flight to Honolulu with no meals, zone 4 boarding, and $25 per bag, AND you quickly wish you had known how to get FREE upgrades, free bags and free coupons for meals/drinks!! I remember planning my wedding and the amount of initial deposits that had to be made, the costs of the dress, the shoes, the final payments on the rooms. All of the deposits earned valuable mileage! So, figure out which airline is best for your preferred airport and destination and try getting a new credit card! If you get FREE wifi from the club lounge, send me a note letting me know you took my advice!