Get your health in order. Don’t let physical exhaustion ruin your honeymoon. Develop healthy habits during your engagement that will set a strong foundation for your marriage, as well as give you stamina during your honeymoon. Eat healthy foods. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. Schedule regular medical checkups. If you smoke, quit. Update your immunizations. Plan to deal with special health concerns that relate to your specific honeymoon destination, such as altitude sickness, malaria prevention, seasickness, water and diving safety, jet lag, and sun and heat safety. Talk with your future spouse about what health goals you each have, and how you can best help each other reach those goals.

Make travel plans wisely. Keep your honeymoon simple so you’ll have a minimum amount of potential complications and can relax and focus on each other as much as possible. Don’t strive for the most exotic location, the most extravagant vacation package, or the most packed itinerary. Instead, plan for a trip that allows you plenty of quiet and privacy, allows you to get to your destination without hassles and stay there for the whole trip, and features activities you and your future spouse both enjoy while also providing the downtime you’ll need to relax together. Remember that you’ll have plenty of time later for fancy vacations, but your honeymoon will help you get your marriage started best if it’s simple. Don’t go into debt for your honeymoon; make sure your trip is affordable. Instead of leaving for your honeymoon right after your wedding, consider giving yourselves at least several days to rest at home and recover from the stress of your wedding and reception before taking a trip. Consider spending some downtime between your wedding and honeymoon with close family and friends who will support you as a married couple. But don’t bring anyone along with you on your honeymoon; focus on each other alone, without distractions from others.

Pack a honeymoon kit. Include first aid items (like pain relievers, upset stomach relief, multivitamins, cold relief, and band-aids), prescriptions that either of you take, female health items, and items to help set a romantic mood (like love letters to each other, a book of poetry, candles, lotions, massage oils, and bubble bath liquid).

Celebrate intimacy together. Relax when it comes time to consummate your marriage. Take the pressure off yourselves to perform sexually in a certain way; understand that it will likely take some time to get to know how to best please each other. Expect your sex life to get better as you grow in your marriage. Talk openly and honestly about each other’s sexual concerns and desires, and be sensitive to that information. Know that it’s common for couples to vary on the frequency that they each desire sex. Don’t pressure or rush each other. Instead of focusing on your own needs, focus on what your spouse needs and ask him or her to do the same. Do your best to meet each other’s needs and expect everything to work out fine in the process. Keep sex in perspective, realizing that you can (and should) bond on your honeymoon in non-sexual ways as well. Plan to talk, pray, eat, laugh, etc. together as well, to build intimacy.

Start sharing daily devotional time as a couple. Use your honeymoon to begin the habit of praying together every day (if you’re not doing so already). Bring along a couple’s devotional book that you can continue after your honeymoon. Consider celebrating Communion together to share even more spiritual intimacy.

Adapted from The Honeymoon of Your Dreams, copyright 2007 by Walt Larimore, M.D. and Susan A. Crockett, M.D.  Published by Regal Books, a division of Gospel Light,Ventura, Ca., http://www.regalbooks.com/.