Honeymooners: Michelle and Dan
Type: International travel
Budget: Mid-range ($1000-$5000)
Where did you go? We went to Reykjavik, Iceland for our honeymoon. We wanted to go somewhere neither of us had ever been and the fares to Iceland were amazingly reasonable in early 2010. In the dead of winter, most people want to go to tropical locations but we figured, as kids who grew up in Texas, why not try to experience what a real winter feels like?
We were fortunate enough to witness Northern Lights on our third night in Iceland and the memories of that night will stay with us forever.
What did you do? Our family and friends were kind enough to book us packaged activities during the honeymoon, so we were able to do a bunch of different things during our stay.
- We went to the Blue Lagoon, a geothermal spa located outside of Reykjavik. The water is so warm and in the winter you are surrounded by snowy landscapes. It's just absolutely surreal and beautiful.
- We also toured the Golden Circle, a journey to Southern Iceland's most famous destinations- Gullfoss Waterfall, Thingvellir National Park (home of the world's longest continuously running parliament), Geysir.
- We snowmobiled on Langjökull — Iceland's second largest glacier.
- While in Reykjavik, we did a lot of walking around and trying out all the local food. I wasn't a fan of seafood before, but everything we ate there was so fresh and delicious.
- Finally, my husband accidentally packed Deadwood: The Complete Series in our luggage. So, we ended up watching a lot of episodes during our stay. Now, that show is forever linked to Reykjavik for us.
What was the most meaningful moment of the trip? When we spent three nights standing in the middle of a giant field waiting for the Northern Lights, only to have the first two nights turn up nothing but starry skies. We chose Iceland primarily because we wanted to see the Northern Lights and were afraid that it just wasn't going to happen.
However, on the third night, the sky suddenly developed a light green line over the mountains and eventually turned into a magnificent ribbon of several shades of green.
What would you have done differently?
I only wish I had brought some thicker gloves. The wind is biting in Reykjavik.
What's your advice for other offbeat honeymooners? We are really glad that we booked a place with a kitchen. It enabled us to cook for ourselves and spend some time alone. Even though Iceland was going through an economic downturn at the time, things were still pretty expensive. Eating-in for breakfast and dinner a few nights allowed us to spend some of our budget on other things, like souvenirs.
Be adventurous! We are probably the poster children for the typical “homebody,” but we decided to try everything we possibly could on our honeymoon. That included going snowmobiling and horseback riding. Something that our friends and family would NEVER expect us to do, and we are so glad we did.
Also, always pack a bathing suit! You never know when you might come across the opportunity to go swimming!