What happens with all those honeymooners who want to do a little more than lounging about by a pool with a fruity drink in hand? Steer them toward Monograms, an independent travel brand with itineraries that make fantastic honeymoon options—from Oahu to Paris and from Peru to Australia.
“We developed Monograms in 2004 to address the getaway needs of independent travelers. As with all of our Globus family products, we value a traveler’s time and need for an unparalleled, stress-free vacation,” says Jennifer Halboth, director of marketing for the Globus family of brands. “If the intent of the honeymooners isn’t just to chill on a beach or a cruise, then a Monograms vacation ensures they can truly experience the destination but stay relaxed and focused on their special time together.”
According to Halboth, with more than 100 packages from which to choose, “any Monograms vacation package could be a good fit for honeymooners.”
Indeed, clients and agents will appreciate that the Monograms website designates romantic-friendly tours with a heart—ideal for honeymooners who are looking for just the right destinations and itineraries. They single out these offers as being of particular interest to honeymooners, given the destinations and length of stay, which can be anything from four days to 13. Their most sought-after honeymooning options include the new, 13-day Sorrento, Rome, Florence & Venice (starting at $3,559 pp), a 10-day version of this Italian getaway without Sorrento (starting at $2,549 pp), and the 7-day A Week in Paris (starting at $1,379 pp). Given the popularity of their European packages among honey- mooners—let’s face it, Europe is eternally romantic—they’ve added nothing but Old World-heavy packages to their rosters for 2009. Among the new offers is a 7-day escape to Paris & London, which combines plenty of free time with excursions to the most famous attractions in each city. The land/cruise portion can be as low as $1,349 pp, depending on the travel dates chosen (there’s also a 2-week version that starts at $2,689 pp).
This year, Monograms has also unveiled a 10-day Rome, Istanbul & Athens getaway starting at $3,799 pp that also highlights the best of the three cities with half-day tours and leisurely days in which to do some couples-only exploration. Optional excursions include a trip to Pompeii and a cruise on the Bosphorus to admire Istanbul’s architecture (personally recommended). And Monograms is currently offering a savings of $200 per couple on the air-inclusive price of select 2009 honeymoon vacations.
“With Monograms, we not only take care of all of the pre-trip planning details for independent travelers (honeymooners, boomers, girlfriends, families, and so much more), we also offer onsite support and around-the-clock access to someone who can make dream vacations a reality at a price that delivers a great value. And, because we’re part of the Globus family of brands, agents earn great commissions on all package components.
“Monograms makes planning an international honeymoon simple for the agent and delivers a great commission on the entire package price. You don’t have to put together the individual components, which saves you time, and you can count on the logistics being handled effortlessly,” Halboth explains. Hotels are well chosen so they are right in the heart of the destination, allowing couples to easily explore the place on their own. All transfers are included, eschewing the worrisome aspect of daily planning. Half-day sightseeing allows couples to see the most famous aspects of the city, “so that the rest of their time is truly their own,” adds Halboth.
There’s another important key to Monograms’ packages—access to the “local host,” which “allows [couples] to customize their honeymoon experience on the fly. The local host [in destinations abroad] will help with tips on navigating the city, restaurant recommendations, information on different neighborhoods within the city, and can even assist in setting up optional tours and sightseeing,” says Halboth. “The on-vacation support of the local host will ensure that your honeymooning couple makes the most of their time away and gives you peace of mind that there is someone on the ground ready to help them with anything they might need.”
Additionally, honeymooners can set up their own gift registry for their Monograms vacation, as well as a wedding website. They can register their entire honeymoon (or even destination wedding) and receive as gifts everything from a romantic dinner or optional tour excursion to a suite upgrade, forgoing the tacky custom of asking for cash. The website suggests gift amounts for couples depending on tour or activity, but they can break down the amounts any way they want to accommodate all guests. Wedding guests can even work with a registry representative by phone to purchase or contribute to a special gift if they are not too computer savvy. Couples can also send out announcement cards to let their guests know the registry is up and running.