Hello! Today, I wanted to talk to those couples who are planning their wedding and honeymoon. A honeymoon is a wonderful part of your new relationship as a couple. Think about it. The worst is over. You got hitched and survived an endless parade of debauchery called your wedding. So now you can wind down and relax somewhere beautiful and exotic with your partner. So where do you go? Well, start with the suggestions on these posts. I have narrowed down some choices after years of searches online, reading books, watching movies, liking Facebook photos, and reading travel blogs. I have created categories to help narrow down your interests and then recommended locations. I suggest you pick a location(s) that reflect your personalities, mood, and budget at this point of your relationship. Some couples choose to have an extravagant wedding and a low-key honeymoon, while others do the opposite. So consider these three factors when planning:
2. Time-off from work
3. Your interests and personalities.
There are many guidebooks available on beautiful locations and we hope you use this post as a starting point. Anyways here goes:
You have probably seen crisp and pristine pictures of luxurious water villas on turquoise waters with rainbows framing the shot. Well, that’s Tahiti in a nutshell. If you and your partner don’t want to travel from place to place and would like to relax in a luxurious and exotic locale then you do not need to look further than Tahiti. Another factor to consider is the number of water activities available. If you are a human-fish and love to snorkel, scuba dive, and do other water sports, then pick Tahiti.
Affordable – Hawaii
Hawaii is in the United States and that means you have to pay in dollars. If you are a United State resident and don’t want to travel far then Hawaii is a great pick. It’s just as exotic, fresh, and tropical like a foreign locale and has some unique activities such as helicopter rides over volcanoes with bubbling lava, and hiking. Each of Hawaii’s island has something different to offer. If you like a less touristy, quiet, lush location then Kauai is great. If you like the city life mixed with beach life then Waikiki or Maui is an option. Personally, I would like to go to the Big Island. It has nature, animals, water sports, and volcanoes! It’s not cheap, but definitely cheaper and less remote than Tahiti.
Cheap – Mexico
I love Mexico. People are nice, service is great, water is clear and clean and most importantly you can get luxury without paying a high price. I have only been to Puerto Vallarta, but my sister has been to Cabo San Lucas as well. From what I gather Puerto Vallarta is a small-scale Cabo San Lucas and a little cheaper and a lot less touristy. The waters may not be as blue and clear, but you get the beach vibe infused with all the Mexican culture. Cabo San Lucas is more developed, but you may not get as much charm. So depending on your preference, pick a location in Mexico. You won’t regret it and your wallet will thank you.
Extravagant – Paris and France
Like every little girl, I dreamt of going to Paris with my first love, my father. I remember he promised me if I get into UC Berkeley he would take me there. Well, that didn’t happen. He didn’t take me anywhere at the time, a mistake that was forgiven when he took me to London some eleven years later. So Paris is still an unexplored territory for me. I thought long and hard about if I want to go to Paris on my honeymoon and then I decided not to. Why? Because Paris has everything. That can be a dream and a nightmare if budget and time are limited. Paris is not a location you come to relax. There is so much to see! But if you want excellence and sophistication in everything from exotic food to top museums to designer shopping to luxurious hotels then I can’t think of no better place than Paris and France. So if you want to immerse yourself in some culture, art and not worried about splurging then consider Paris.
Affordable – India
This is a unique but very interesting option. As a born-Pakistani I may never get a chance to visit this beautiful country, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamt about it. For others, consider India in a mix of options if you want a completely, and I mean completely different cultural experience from your everyday life. There are other languages spoken, people look different, food is spicier, there are colors and festivals everywhere and the architecture and history are rich. There will be a language barrier so if you are not that adventurous, I would pick a reputable travel company to book your tours, transportation, and hotels.
Cheap – Peru
Peru is another location to consider if budget is a concern (See HERE). There are cultural influences from the Incan civilization, a lot of Spanish culture remnants mixed with modern Peruvian culture. If I were you I would avoid Lima. It is dirty, crowded, polluted and not at all romantic. The real crown jewel of Peru lies in Cuzco and Macchu Picchu. Cuzco is a cute little Spanish town with interesting architecture and a rich history. You can stay in any boutique hotel. The roads are cobbled and the buildings have the most adorable flower pots I have seen. After staying in Cuzco for a few days, I suggest hiking the Inca trail for an active couple. The scenery you find is beautiful and worth a million pictures. You pitch tents and sleep under the stars. A magical experience in my book. Macchu Picchu is a wonder of the world. You can spend a whole day here. For a low-budget but nonetheless exotic location, I recommend Peru.
If you are like me and have been lucky enough to travel the world then I would suggest doing something unique for your honeymoon. I have always been fascinated with Iceland. It is so far apart from the rest of the world and there is something exotic about it but not too exotic because it is westernized like any other European country. What attracts me to Iceland are all the great activities. You see the northern lights, go on a dog-pulled sleigh ride, bask in warm turquoise-hued springs surrounded by ice and stay in a glass igloo! If you want to have an adventure of a lifetime then look no further than Iceland.
Affordable – Pakistan
Ok. I admit it. This is an interesting choice, but being a Pakistani, I have to tout the beauty and uniqueness of my country–Pakistan (See HERE, HERE, and HERE). Sindh and Baluchistan have the beaches with huts and the rugged hills (I don’t recommend you visit here); Punjab is where you experience village life and miles of crops growing in fields; The north is covered in the rugged beauty of the mountains, rivers, and forests. Each region has something to offer as it is vastly different from one another. If I were on my honeymoon and I would like to do something unique (and adventurous!) with my husband, I would go to the northern regions of Pakistan. It is absolutely beautiful! You can spend days hiking in valleys or glaciers in between mountains. Expect to drive on few-feet-wide unpaved roads on a mountain, escaping in the quiet and serene forests with freshwater rivers flowing; and of course, partaking in the best hospitality found in Pakistan. For a unique and not too expensive experience, consider Pakistan.
*I know safety is a huge concern for many travelers there. That’s why I suggest going with a tour group, rather than attempting to do this on your own. You will get lost or taken advantage of my petty thieves.
Cheap – Road Trip across the United States
A road trip across the United States is on my bucket list. If you want an experience that is unique, as affordable as you want it to be, and adventurous then consider a road trip across the United States. You can rent an RV or an SUV and book hotels as you go. You can take in all the natural beauty the United States has to offer, people from various states, and unique sights and towns as you go. I would do the south-west route so you can see the beautiful deserts and rock formations of the states here. But you can also go through The Yellowstone Park and some of the northern states, which has beautiful fall foliage. You decide.
If you are an animal lover, can you think of a better place than visiting animal heaven on Earth, Africa? What stands Africa apart is that there are tons of activities involving animals other than going to the zoo. You can swim with sharks in Cape Town, go on a safari in Kenya, or go trekking in Uganda for some gorilla interactions. Depending on your budget you can stay in a sanctuary hotel, where you feed giraffes and other animals they house or a tent-style hotel in one of the parks where animals roam around freely and can walk up to you while you have breakfast. South Africa, in my opinion, is more developed and urban than other countries popular with tourists like Tanzania, Kenya, Uganda, Namibia, Zimbabwe, and Zambia. Africa has some of the most beautiful scenery as well like Victoria Falls and Mount Kilimanjaro.
Affordable – Costa Rica
If you love exotic wild animals you have to visit Costa Rica as a couple. I have been actually blessed to visit this country (See HERE) and had the time of my life. Costa Rica offers tours, hotels, and activities for all budgets and for couples seeking adventure and those who seek relaxation. If you ever wanted to experience seeing sloths crawl up trees with babies on their back, raccoons and monkeys roaming the beaches, bird watching or meeting colorful crabs on nature-walks, then Costa Rica is the place for you two. I even had a baby Scorpio room (yikes!) escorted out of my hotel room in Montenegro. Costa Rica’s number one source of income is tourism so you will find an endless supply of companies offering travel packages at competitive prices. It’s certainly not cheap, but it’s certainly not extravagant.
Cheap – Bali
My brother and his new bride went to Bali on their honeymoon (See HERE). I first fell in love with the idea of traveling to Bali when I read the book and watched the movie Eat, Pray, Love (See HERE and HERE). I knew I had to go there someday. Before Bali seemed like a great place to view nature and experience Indonesian culture. The rice fields, temples, and beaches just screamed come hither. However, after seeing my brother and sister-in-law’s honeymoon videos, I realized it’s animal heaven as well. In Bali, you can interact with elephants, hold parrots, feed monkeys, snorkel, and even get a fish pedicure. They went on an elephant ride, which I personally would not do being an animal activist, but it looked cute. For a honeymoon involving plenty of wildlife and animal interaction on a budget, look no further than Bali.
Extravagant- New Zealand And Australia
Okay only go to these countries if you are a serious adventurous junkie and a nature enthusiast. Both these countries are close by and so isolated from the rest of the world that I would recommend doing both of them together. New Zealand has everything. It has bustling cities, but it is its natural beauty that attracts people from all over the world. A location for numerous movies, including Lord of the Rings, it boasts volcanoes, mountains, valleys, lakes, glaciers, and islands. In terms of activities, you can do whale-watching, bungee jumping (uh, no), trekking, or just go on a road trip, etc. Australia offers more rugged beauty with rock formations across the large continent. While Sydney is a fun city with its own unique culture, I think for nature and adventurous couples, scuba diving at the Great Barrier Reef will be an awesome adventure instead.
Affordable – Canada
I live in the United States so I have heard a lot about Canada’s natural beauty. The Canadian Rockies are absolutely heaven on Earth. You can go in any season and experience a new aspect and beauty of nature. The summers are lush, the falls brilliant, and the winters are snow heaven here. Take a road trip, or ride the rail, either way, a paradise on Earth by many people’s standards.
Cheap – Thailand
This is a bit of a controversial pick. You may be wondering why Thailand isn’t under the beach or culture category. Why? Because Thailand is a lot fast-paced than the other beachy picks I have researched. While places like Mexico, Hawaii, and Tahiti have a relaxed and slow-paced atmosphere, in Thailand, you two can immerse in its city life with temples and rickshaws and mix it up with beautiful natural locals like Phuket. Water sports like jet skiing and parasailing are everywhere here, but Thailand boasts some of the most beautiful beaches surrounded by unique rock formations. Only a few places in Asia offer such type of scenery. You can visit little islands on a cruise, eat some of most delicious fusion cuisine, and just relax. For a different beachy vibe, I pick Thailand.
City Life Honeymoon
Like Costa Rica, I have visited Japan (See HERE). The entire country is an absolute delight and I would love to go back there someday. It offers a glimpse of everything from modern Japanese culture to their thousands of years old heritage. The serene natural backdrops filled with cherry blossom trees, mountains, and clouds are juxtaposed with neon buildings, neon people, and some of the most interesting food. Not to mention, Japan has excellent public transportation and shopping. If you want a honeymoon that is exotic, cultural but incorporates city life, then Japan is your cup of green tea.
Affordable – New York
I visited New York for my 16th birthday and was so thrilled by the experience that I actually dreamt of living out my twenties there. That dream didn’t come true but what was left were beautiful memories of my first and only trip to New York. New York is arguably one of the biggest cities in the world and if you yearn for that metropolitan feel in your honeymoon plans than you can’t go wrong with New York. It has world-class restaurants, avenues designed for your shopping pleasure, traces of multi-racial history, live theater, and a decent public transportation system. For something unique in between your visits to art museums, horse-pulled carriage rides, luxurious window-shopping with gelato in hand, and views on skyscrapers, you two can have a low-key picnic in Central Park. You won’t regret it.
Cheap – San Francisco
I live near San Francisco and have seen a lot of it. Let me tell you, San Fransisco is a beautiful little city. It is a lot smaller than New York and less expensive so you can come and stay on a budget here while enjoying vibrant city vistas and a dynamic lifestyle. You can shop till you drop at high-end designer stores in Union Square, scour some of the best vintage shops the Bay Area has to offer (See HERE), get a little spooked on Alcatraz Island, see street art on Fisherman’s Wharf, and eat in fancy restaurants in the ultra-modern financial district. San Francisco also has cute little neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy where you can immerse in a little bit of ethnic food culture. Don’t forget the natural beauty here. Some of the best views can be found from Coit Tower, Angel Island, Sausalito, and Golden Gate Park. You can cross a popular bucket list item by walking the entire span of The Golden Gate Bridge and catch the light show of the Bay Bridge from Embarcadero Center. This little city is honeymoon heaven and you won’t regret coming here on your honeymoon.
Well guys I hope I have given you plenty to ponder over. Hope you two have wonderful and safe honeymoon travel. Happy Traveling!