Image courtesy of Topflight
Weddings are more individual than ever – and honeymoons are following suit. With global travel becoming more and more affordable, and the furthest corners of the world getting closer and closer, modern couples can have their pick of virtually anything they want. If you’re having a hard time deciding how you want to spend your first weeks of married life, here are five options you may want to consider.
Image courtesy of Hidden Vintage Tours
It’s still the top choice for honeymooners and always will be. The reasons are a-plenty: the lure of sunshine, the soft sand, the need to take a well-deserved holiday (you’re going to need it after all that wedding excitement), all with fewer worries about the budget. It’s always summer somewhere in the world, so you can book it anytime. You can opt for anywhere from Sunny Spain and Greece to far flung destinations like Bali or Vietnam! A beach honeymoon is rewarding even if your time is limited to one week or even less. Just a short stop in the sun does wonders for your body and soul, and a honeymoon will be even more beneficial because, well, you’re there to celebrate the start of your marriage. When booking, be sure to ask about any activities that may be available at your hotel or resort, such as excursions, games, tours, or courses of any kind (local cooking or arts). Get as many unique experiences as you can – after all, you can lie on a beach anywhere in the world, but this is a most special holiday you’ll ever have, so make sure to include some special experiences as well.
Image courtesy of eilireland.org
The popularity of volunteering honeymoons rises year-on-year, with more organisations coming on-board with a variety of opportunities. If you’re the type of person who thinks combining doing good for the community with a sunny holiday is a winner, this one may be for you. Typically, you’d spend a part of your time on the project you’ve joined, and the rest of the time enjoying the holiday – the sunshine, the local culture, and the beaches. The costs vary depending on where you want to go and your accommodations, but this is definitely an option to consider for couples who are closely acquainted with their budget.
There are two ways to organise one – pick your location first, then look for Irish or British-led volunteering projects in the area. This way, you’ll choose your own hotel or resort, and your own activities for your free time. Or, you can join an organisation that will provide everything from accommodations to activities in your free time, usually with several options for each.
Don’t think you’ll have to dig muddy trenches or herd goats either (unless, of course, you actually want to) – volunteering opportunities range from teaching English, helping out at orphanages, fixing bikes, planting trees, safari research, documentary photography, diving explorations, and even medical work or religious missions. This is a perfect way to make your honeymoon a true “trip of a lifetime” – you’ll never forget it, and neither will the people you’ve helped.
Image of the Pacific Coast Highway courtesy of weather.com
If your usual holiday dreams include more than sitting on the beach, then an adventure honeymoon is something you should definitely consider. Think of it as “honeymoon with a purpose” – and that purpose is to experience something unforgettable, extraordinary, something that perhaps you’ve dreamt about doing for years, but never quite had the opportunity to make happen. And if you’re a keen photographer, this is your chance to take some of the best shots of your life as a visual record of your journey.
Do you love good food and wine? Consider a gourmand’s tour – how about Italy or France? These two are known as foodie paradises, but in fact you can go anywhere you fancy, anywhere in the world. There, you can try all manners of local delights, drink the unique brews, watch bread being made from scratch and taste cheese freshly sliced from a wheel made not in a factory, but at a traditional farm. Another alternative is a foreign cooking course you can attend for a few days, and spend the rest of the time resting and exploring the region.
If you love wind in your hair, you may want to take a road trip – an option where you’re very much in charge of the budget because you can choose your own accommodations, your single biggest expense would be your car rental fee, and you may just wish to splash out and get a convertible if the weather is warm enough. There are places in the world just meant to be seen by car – like Amalfi Coast in Italy, California’s Pacific Coast Highway, Pirate Route in Jamaica, or Provence, France. In fact, the National Geographic Magazine has published a list of 50 ultimate road trips – it’s well worth a look. Imagine how much fun you could have finding all the landmarks and planning all the stops along the way.
Backpacking has long been a staple of those who prefer the slow pace of exploring the glorious outdoors on foot. It’s a fantastic option for an adventure honeymoon, because you can combine any type of travel with exploration, accompanied by your trusted backpack. You’ll need some top-quality hiking shoes of course and a small stack of memory cards for all the fantastic photos you’re going to take. The best thing about backpacking is that you can really do it anywhere – in the most remote areas of the world, or in the urban jungles.
Grand Tour Honeymoon
Image of Venice, Italy by Rachel Green
Just saying those words is a thrill, imagine actually being on it! You may be familiar with the phrase – hailing from the 18th century, European upper-class young ‘men of means’ took a Grand Tour as part of their education, to acquire a taste of culture and visit famous places they learned about in school. The tour would cover all the major points of interest on the continent, sometimes going even further abroad. Well, doesn’t it just sound like an ideal prescription for a honeymoon? Those young men with no budget in sight had many months to complete their journey – and while you may have to settle for something shorter, there’s no reason it can’t be just as spectacular. Why choose one destination when you can have three or seven? Grab a map and pick up to ten places you’ve always wanted to visit – then see realistically how many you can cover and all the transit points in between. During a typical two week honeymoon, you could spend three days in four famous places, which is more than enough time to make beautiful memories. Then, you could return to your favourite place for your first anniversary. How romantic.
Image courtesy of gohop.ie
It’s no secret that cruises just love honeymooners, which is good news if you’re considering one. Just ask your travel agent about all the choices available, and you’ll be positively gobsmacked at the variety. You can have your rest and relaxation, or your adventure and exploration, your sunbathing and your Vegas show. You can grab a honeymoon package, or have something tailor-made. You can also sail to your chosen destination, leave the boat to enjoy a stay, and come back by plane, depending on how much time you have. Just ask your travel agent about all the options, there’s lots to get excited about!
To see the top spots and packages for 2014 Honeymoons click here! Or browse our Honeymoon Supplier Directory to help you decide on your dream destination.
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If you think the bride should always have the last word, then Rachel is on your side! A devoted fan of everything quirky, unusual, colourful or crafty, she loves scouting WOL's real weddings for unique and fun touches. When not gazing at pictures, she's dispensing no-nonsense advice on everything from reception entrance songs to bridesmaid problems.