Photo by: Anna Kuperberg
Choosing the Destination
Like real estate, destination weddings are all about location, location, location. When you're traveling with loved ones of various ages, from kids to seniors, it's practically essential to find a destination with direct flights, lots of family-centric attractions and a safe reputation.
Your best bet for safety is to go to the source: Talk to people who live there or who have recently gotten back from a trip, and get their perspectives on the lay of the land. And consider not just the destination but also the region or town you'll be visiting; for instance, Mexico's drug-related crime wave is making headlines internationally, but the epicenter is along the U.S.-Mexico border — literally thousands of miles from resort centers like Cancun and Los Cabos, which are considered perfectly safe. Another great source on a destination's safety record is the U.S. Department of State's website, travel.state.gov. It has up-to-date travel warnings for locations around the globe, as well as pertinent info such as how to obtain passports, which destinations require visas, and tips for traveling with children to specific countries.
Another key consideration is transportation — getting kids and grandparents from point A to point B can be complicated, especially in an unfamiliar place. "The best wedding destination is an area where dining and activities are all within walking distance or a short shuttle ride," says planner Susan Southerland of Just Marry! in Orlando, Florida. "It's so much fun for guests to run into each other around the resort or town. It gives the weekend an intimate feel."
An ideal solution: Base yourselves at a resort that's large enough to accommodate your group and events. Many couples also like to plan an offsite excursion or meal, which gives guests a chance to experience something away from the resort. If you want this or plan to hold events at various venues around your locale, book transportation in advance; a bus or other local pick is not only practical but also great for entertainment and group bonding. For example, the Kukoo Kunuku party bus in Aruba can spice up transfers with Caribbean music, tropical drinks and welcome carnival beads.