Honeymoon Ideas

by Melissa on March 2, 2011

West Bay Beach in Roatan, Honduras. Photo by stella 781/Frommers.com Community. A few months back, I approached the honeymoon topic with my fiancé with some trepidation.  Why?  Because I really, really did not want to take a honeymoon right after the wedding.  The thought of having to plan for two big events (wedding+vacation) did not sound relaxing or appealing to me at all. But, because that’s what couples are “supposed” to do, I wasn’t sure how other people, including my fiancé, would react to such a suggestion.

Honeymoon Criteria

Luckily, when I brought it up, my fiancé agreed wholeheartedly!  A vacation right after the wedding wouldn’t be relaxing for us.  Getting back into a nice, calm routine however, would be.  So, we’d probably go on a bigger vacation sometime during the Spring of 2012, after our November 2011 wedding.  We both like to travel, but we do have some criteria:

  1. Destination cannot be entirely about relaxing and lounging at the pool.  We like to sightsee and take lots of pictures!
  2. With criteria #1 being said, I also don’t want to feel bad if we take a day or two to just relax on our honeymoon.  For instance, I wouldn’t want to honeymoon in Europe because I would feel so guilty if I was “relaxing” and not out and about enjoying all the sites!
  3. I don’t want to have to take a long plane ride to get to the destination.  I’m classifying a “long” flight as one that is 6+ hours (including connections and layovers) from the East coast of the US.

Honeymoon Ideas

So, what are some of the things we’ve come up with:

  • Alaskan Cruise. My fiancé and I are big fans of cruises.  He and I have gone on two together (I’ve been on about 10 total).  We have already gone on one Caribbean cruise and one Europe cruise out of Barcelona.  It would be picturesque, we’d have relaxation time on the ship, and plane ride wouldn’t be too long from the East Coast, especially since many of the cruises leave out of Seattle or Vancouver 
  • New Zealand. Well, this one throws the “no long flights” criteria right out the window.  But a friend of mine posted pictures from New Zealand on Facebook not that long ago, and WOW.  I had no idea it was so beautiful!  Very tempting!  This would require a lot more research, because I’m not sure what the best time of year is to visit New Zealand, plus how much airfare typically is. 
  • Belize (or some other Central America locale). I think this one suits the criteria pretty well.  Not a terribly long flight, plus there’s some really interesting sites in Belize, but there’s also beautiful beaches to relax. 
  • Southwestern USA Road Trip. Ever since our last road trip (DC> Atlanta> New Orleans> San Antonio> Memphis> DC), I’ve been itching for another.  I’d like to do one that starts in New Mexico and goes Monument Drive> Yellowstone> Glacier National Park> Devil’s Tower> Mt. Rushmore> Badlands.  (And then maybe try to drop off our rental car and catch a flight out of Denver instead of driving all the way back to New Mexico.)  It would look a lot like this.  But, I’ve always wanted to do this road trip by starting off in Albuquerque, NM during the International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, which takes place in early October.  So if we did this trip in the Spring, we’d miss out on that festival.

Our honeymoon budget would be pretty flexible and would depend largely on what the average costs of trips like these are.  On our last 12 day/ 11 night road trip, we spent $2540.56 (yes, to the penny).  That figure includes everything we spent (even the chapstick I had to buy from CVS in San Antonio when I lost mine).  This base price of the aforementioned road trip would probably be comparable, but would require us to purchase airfare to actually get to New Mexico, or wherever we started the trip, as well as a rental car.  Our most recent 14-day vacation, a week in Spain plus a seven day cruise out of Barcelona to France and Italy cost us a total of $8351.50 (again, that’s every penny from the cruise to airfare to taxis, meals, snacks and bottled water, souvenirs, admission tickets, etc.).

As I write this, I find it interesting regarding how we’re flexible on travel budgets, but we view our wedding costs as annoying and unnecessary.  We only like to spend money on things that are worth it.  I suppose.  Catered wedding food?  No dice.  An amazing vacation?  You betcha.

We may take a “mini-moon” shortly after the wedding, just for a few days and some place that’s within driving distance of DC.  But I suppose that is for another post!

Any honeymoon ideas that will meet our criteria?