A lot of thought, a few tears and a bunch of undue anxiety went into picking our honeymoon destination so I figured I’d share our considerations for anyone currently in that stage of wedding planning. I put a lot of pressure on myself during this process because I had unreasonably high expectations of what I considered to be “the perfect honeymoon” and if I can spare even one person a fraction of the stress I experienced, this post is worth it!
Now, before I jump into our list of honeymoon considerations, I want to add a disclaimer that I recognize that this is super personal to me and my specific situation. I know not everyone cares to or has the means and ability to even take a honeymoon and I respect that. At the end of the day, it’s about spending quality time with your new spouse however, wherever that makes you happiest.
However, if you are considering a honeymoon and are struggling to decide where, take a look at our [errr…my] list of mandatories below! It may help you decide or at least narrow down a few places.
1 // A honeymoon is different than a trip or vacation. To me, it’s a once in a lifetime experience and I felt strongly that we honeymoon immediately following our wedding to avoid that blurry line separating a trip or vacation from a honeymoon. As an American, your wedding/honeymoon is truly one of the only times when it’s acceptable, and even encouraged, to check-out of work and life for an extended period of time. Plus, you’re so exhausted after all the planning and wedding festivities, it’s the perfect way to decompress and ride out the high as a newly married couple.
2 // Exotic location. I love traveling [hopefully that’s obvious from reading my blog] and have traveled quite a bit so I wanted to select a unique honeymoon destination that I may not otherwise go out of my way to visit. I love Europe and the Caribbean but in my opinion those are very reasonable week or 10-day long trips from the US. I also wanted somewhere neither of us had been before that could be unique and special to us.
3 // Warm, sunny weather. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy a good cold weather destination or winter vacation but my idea of rest & relaxation is laying in the sun, reading a book and sipping a frozen cocktail preferably next to some body of water. We got married in mid-September and honeymooned at the end of September through early October. That alone ruled out many destinations – Caribbean [hurricane season], Australia/New Zealand [spring temps], Europe [fall temps], Maldives/Asia [monsoon season].
4 // One part relaxing. I tend to experience extreme amounts of FOMO [fear of missing out]. When I travel, that usually translates into early mornings, late evenings and busy itineraries trying to cram “all the things you’re supposed to do” into my day. It’s not always relaxing or restful so I knew we had to pick somewhere where the thing to do is relax.
5 // One part adventure. As much as we wanted to relax on our honeymoon, we’re both explorers at heart so we needed a destination that was both relaxing and adventurous. It didn’t necessarily have to be the same place but it had to make sense logistically – from a travel and weather/packing standpoint.
6 // Luxurious. We saved and were prepared to splurge on our honeymoon. I wanted the iconic, picture perfect, magazine cover honeymoon. To me, that was overwater bungalows, see-through floors, blue skies, turquoise water, plunge pool, breakfast in bed, couples massages, etc. After a whirlwind wedding, the idea of being pampered and indulged sounded divine.
So where do you go once you take all of these mandatories into consideration? AFRICA! It was on the complete opposite side of the world from us, neither Kevin or I had been, the timing made sense and it offered relaxation, adventure and luxury.
For the relaxing portion of our honeymoon, we chose the SEYCHELLES. This tiny chain of islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean is known for its white sand beaches, clear blue waters and giant, granite rock formations. The pictures are incredible and the Seychelles top many ‘Best Of’ lists. The weather is sunny, warm and tropical year round but in September, it’s slightly drier and cooler. There’s a plethora of luxury accommodations to choose from and it’s only four hours by plane to the east coast of Africa.
From the Seychelles, we flew to TANZANIA for a five-day Safari in the Serengeti and Ngorongoro Crater to satisfy our adventure craving before ending our trip on the island of Zanzibar with a little more R&R before returning to reality. As in the Seychelles, the weather is warm and dry in Tanzania during early October and we were able to see the Big-Five and Great Migration while on Safari. It was such an incredible and unique experience and we traveled with the most amazing company who didn’t let us lift a finger the entire trip.
We absolutely LOVED our honeymoon and talk about it longingly to this day, almost two and half years later. I have zero regrets about choosing Africa and it opened my eyes to another incredible continent to explore. Now, we can’t wait to go back!