For brides-to-be, Hawaii is the dream honeymoon destination

Maybe it's the palm trees, the blue water, endless beaches or just the gorgeous, tropical setting, but Hawaii continues to be a top draw for honeymooners, according to a survey of brides-to-be.

In July, MacNair Travel & Cruises/American Express, a travel agency based in the Washington area, surveyed 100 engaged women for its Honeymoon Trends Survey, and 39% of them picked Hawaii as their dream honeymoon destination.

Tahiti/Bora Bora was second at 31.1%; 23.7% chose Italy; 17.2% chose Greece; and 15.1% picked the Virgin Islands. Only 17.2% showed an interest in taking a cruise.

While 48.4% said word of mouth spurred their choice of honeymoon destination, 60.2% said they got ideas by researching the Internet. Just shy of 50% of said they got recommendations from family and friends; 38.7% said travel agents; 21.5% said brochures influenced their decision.

Nevertheless, 62.4% said they intended to consult with a travel agent to plan their honeymoons.

The survey also revealed an interesting tidbit about how close in newlyweds book their honeymoons.

There was a time when honeymoons were typically planned as far out as a year. But when asked how many months in advance they intended to book their getaways, most of those responding to McNair's survey (43%) said three to six months, while 21.5% said in as little as three months.

"Survey results indicate that the engaged couple is planning a honeymoon in a shorter time frame and is going for a shorter amount of time than in past trends," Skip Fortier, MacNair's vacation manager. "However, the budget for honeymoon travel is still higher than an average vacation."

Indeed, 36.6% of newlyweds plan to spend $3,000 to $5,000 on their honeymoon.

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