We've been covering all kinds of topics about honeymoons lately from saving cash to having fun, and this time around we're talking about destinations and how to decide where to go on your honeymoon. Let's talk about what factors to consider when choosing where to go, like your budget, the activities you want to do, and ideas from offbeat couples themselves. Let's get to the travel schemes!
Prepare a budget
Le sigh, money is a big deal for most of us, so if you decide you want a honeymoon, be prepared to make a budget. This will help you decide if a honeymoon farther away is even doable or if staying nearer to home is the way to go (more on that later). Here's a list of things to include:
- Airline tickets/fees/taxes
- Transportation to/from airport and to accommodations
- Hotel/hotel tips
- Transportation around the area
- Tour packages
- Activities (events, conventions)
- Adventure activities (scuba, parasailing, hiking tours, etc.)
- Sunscreen, toiletries, etc.
- House/baby/pet sitting
- Emergency cash/traveler's checks
Overwhelmed? Staycations save cash
If you're on a budget, don't forget the lazy joy that is a staycation. You can totally become a tourist in your own city and see things from a whole new light. Just make sure to unplug from your usual routine and let everyone know that you're unavailable for the duration of the staycation.
Relax or go on adventures?
Decide what kind of trip you'd like: lounging on a beach, outdoor hiking and camping, traveling in an RV and visiting local tourist haunts, doing a tour of pop culture conventions, traveling to a Ren fair, or scouring cities for cultural haunts? Once you narrow it down, it's time to compromise…
Compromise on where to go with your partner
If one of you is totally down for catching rays and napping, and the other is all about museums and culture, you may need to find a happy medium. Try places where culture and history blend with adventure and sunny activities.
Think Belize or Mexico for beaches and Mayan Ruins, Copenhagen's canals and architectural tours, Cape Winelands for amazing B&Bs and drinking tours, Bran Castle (aka, Dracula's Castle) in Romania, Iceland's hot springs, Yosemite for sun and adventure, and Happy Magic Water Cube in China. Most places will offer leisure and adventure as a package deal if you choose well.
Your wedding timing may make a difference
If your wedding date is flexible and you definitely want to take your honeymoon right away, choose your wedding date during the season you want to travel. Watch out for high seasons where travel and costs are at their highest or when weather will be at its most volatile. Alternately, if you're not married to the idea of traveling right after the wedding (pun intended)…
Delay your honeymoon if you want to nab the best timing
Alternately, don't feel you have to take your honeymoon right away. This opens your timing up to plan your destination based on the best options for weather, season, and events.
Don't pooh-pooh all-inclusive resorts off-hand
All-inclusive resorts can streamline the enjoyment process by including everything: your room, recreational activities, meals, and drinks. If you'd rather focus your planning efforts elsewhere, an all-inclusive honeymoon can be an efficient way to just get it done and soak in the sun.
But don't think all-inclusives are your only option
Places like Airbnb, Welcome Beyond, Unique Home Stays, and Boutique Homes provide smaller and more interesting options if you're more into some DIY planning. They just take a little more digging than a travel agent or all-inclusive vacation but can be VERY worth it for finding hidden gems and locales. Plus, you'll often get insider information from the homeowner.
Travel sites can guide your adventures
If you want to try someplace a little more off the beaten path, try specialized websites that cater to the more adventurous. FriendlyPlanet.com and GlobusJourneys.com specialize in preparing guided tours of more offbeat destinations. Think outside the beach with options like a photo safari in Africa, out-of-the-way bungalows in Bora Bora, tiny castles in Ireland, exploring Machu Picchu in Peru, or learning about evolution in the Galápagos.
See where offbeat couples have gone
Offbeat couples have found honeymoon bliss in all kinds of places, including their own towns, nearby cities, and all over the world. Our full archive of honeymoons have lots of ideas, but let's pull a few out:
- How to have a not-so-ordinary honeymoon in Marfa, Texas
- Trans-friendly honeymoon spots
- Joyous Dawn & Mr. Mookie's three-week honeymoon road trip around national parks
- Rome, Italy, Sorrento, and the Amalfi coast: Heidi & Erin show you how to rock your Italian honeymoon
- 4 offbeat destination wedding & honeymoon venues in Puerto Rico
- Hannah and Simon's family-centered, baby-wearing adventure honeymoon in Bali
- Natalie & Joe's Vampire foodie New Orleans honeymoon
- Keren & Sean's nerdy self-guided WWII tour of France honeymoon
- Lindsay & Val's Vegas, splurge-city, foodie, Beatles and showtunes honeymoon
- Bret and Tera's amazingly lucky and surreal honeymoon in Belize
- Dina and Desiree: Screw you, earthquake — we're going to honeymoon in Japan!
Want more honeymoon tips? We've got 'em
Are you planning a honeymoon? How did you decide where to go?