Budgets, compromise, and staycations: how to decide where to go on your honeymoon

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How to decide where to go on your honeymoon on @offbeatbride
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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
  • Meals/snacks
  • Booze
  • Transportation around the area
  • Tour packages
  • Activities (events, conventions)
  • Spas
  • Nightlife/shows
  • Adventure activities (scuba, parasailing, hiking tours, etc.)
  • Souvenirs/gifts
  • 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.

How to decide where to go on your honeymoon on @offbeatbride
By: daviddCC BY 2.0

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.

How to decide where to go on your honeymoon on @offbeatbride
By: Jon Olav EikenesCC BY 2.0

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.

How to decide where to go on your honeymoon on @offbeatbride
Convention honeymoon, maybe? By: Christopher BrownCC BY 2.0

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:


Want more honeymoon tips? We've got 'em

honeymoon-tips

Are you planning a honeymoon? How did you decide where to go?

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  1. We're doing a week in the Smoky Mountains. We rented a cabin in Pigeon Forge and are doing a train ride along the river, a helicopter ride through the valleys, Dollywood, ghost tours, mini golf…we are going right after the wedding (leaving March 23rd) so hopefully we don't get caught up in some crazy Spring Break -ish. We're doing this for around $2500.

    • My husband and I did something similar to this. We rented a beach house for a week in the off season and it was great. For food, we had some leftovers from the wedding, grilled a few nights, and hit a couple of the local restaurants. It was a place we'd been to before so we were familiar with the best spots. For us, the familiarity also meant we didn't feel pressure to see and do everything. We could just relax and be us.

      1 agrees
  2. We're not actively planning one yet as we can really only afford one thing at a time right now. I feel like the honeymoon is going to cause, not a fight per-say, but an exercise in compromise because I honestly would rather save the money and buy a house. I'm just not much a traveler and am perfectly content with my once a year journey to the shore. We've thrown out the idea of London for our one year anniversary so we'll see if that ever materializes. Honestly, a stay-cation would be perfectly alright with me!

  3. We're delaying our honeymoon by a year, but we're planning on attending Primavera Sound in Barcelona! It gives us a chance to save money and holiday leave, plus it gives us time to plan — it won't require as much planning as the wedding, but we'd like to give it our full attention. A year out, it's probably just "a holiday", but it's something we're thinking about now, so we're calling it a honeymoon. 😀

  4. I was hoping for a lovely 2 weeks relaxing honeymoon, but we didn't have enough holiday. We actually didn't plan it until a few days after wedding. We went for 6 days to Istanbul and it was Awesome! We've also been back there once already (5yr anniversary in 2 mths time). If you get the chance, go to experience it. It's a city of 2 halves, modern and old at the same time. There are some fab restaurants and sites to see.

    Not really sure why the honeymoon didn't get planned, I think we didn't know what was happening right after the wedding as friends/family were down so we hung out with them for a bit.

    It was nice to chill out though after the stressful planning and before going back to work.

    It wasn't too expensive either as it was a last minute booking.

  5. Don't forget to budget for visas if you're planning an international trip. You'll want to look into these at least 6 months in advance because some countries take a LONG time to get them to you! They can also be well over $100 per person, so it isn't a small amount of money.

  6. We're having a difficult time narrowing it down to one continent, honestly. We have a long list of "countries to visit before we die", and figure we can afford (at this point) to visit one every 5 years or so. However, prioritizing? Totally stumping us.
    My brother and sis-in-law went to Costa Rica for theirs and LOVED it, then recently did a tour through Italy (Pisa, Luca, etc.) with the same travel company, because they loved the folks so much. There's a month-long whole-city Renaissance Faire in one of those small Italian cities, so that immediately went on our list. But how do you pick The One? :/

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