Getting to plan a one or two (or three if you’re super lucky!) week honeymoon is the icing on top of a wedding. After all that planning and what can often be a mix of nervousness and excitement on your big day, having a honeymoon to look forward to at the end of it all can cure that inevitable case of post-wedding blues.
While it can be a bit overwhelming trying to plan a big trip while also planning a wedding, think of your honeymoon as not only a time to relax with your new spouse, but a sort of light at the end of the planning tunnel. A time when you can toss all those wedding venue catalogues and catering estimates and seating charts out and just enjoy being married!
The first thing you’ll want to decide when planning a honeymoon is WHEN you want to go. Do you want to leave the week after your wedding? Or do you want to take time to save a bit more money and go on your honeymoon several months later? Knowing when you can go (and for how long) will help you decide WHERE you should go based on weather, flight fares, etc. Figuring out where, however, isn’t as easy as it seems. Are you in the mood for an exotic locale that you’ve never (and might never again) experience, or do you have a romantic European destination that you’ve been to before but can’t help but love? Decisions, decisions! And hey, don’t get us wrong, these are awesome problems to have. But sometimes trying to figure out where to go can feel like you’re on a train to nowhere.
Which is why we decided to reach out to some of our favorite travel writer and bloggers to get a bit of inspiration for you! From amazing African safaris to magical adventures in Thailand, getting advice from these world-renowned travelers is way more insightful than a trip to the travel section in your local bookstore (even though that is one of our favorite weekend activities). Read their picks for the best honeymoon destinations, below.
Already have your honeymoon booked? Tell us where you’re going to in the comments section!
Thanks so much to all these amazing writers and adventurers for their time and recommendations. And brides–be sure to visit their blogs for more great tips!
Dr. Paul Johnson, A Luxury Travel Blog
” A honeymoon is something you only do once (ideally!) so make it memorable. In our case, we went to Tanzania and enjoyed a safari in the Serengeti, and at Lake Manyara and the Ngorongoro Crater, before heading off to a beautiful private island off the north-east coast of Zanzibar. You take your footwear off for the boat crossing to Mnemba Island and don’t put it back on again until you return to Zanzibar… so a true barefoot paradise!”
Read about the Top 4 Safari Experiences in Tanzania!
David Hochman, Author and Speaker
“There are so many! Soneva Kiri in Thailand is magic even before you arrive. You are met at Bangkok Airport by a smiling representative in white garb who whisks away your luggage and brings you to a private lounge while he deals with pesky passport details. You board a private plane to a small island then a vintage wood racing boat to Soneva Kiri itself. There, you’re met by your Girl Friday who takes care of special needs and requests for the rest of the week. For instance, what time do you want to have dinner in this incredible Tree Pod, where you are served by waiters flying in on ziplines with your organic dishes?
The newly revamped Ritz Carlton in Bali is everything you want in a honeymoon getaway. Secluded villas with plunge pools and butlers. Spectacular views of the Indian Ocean. A Culinary Cave. Oh, and perfect cocktails served in coconuts and watermelons.
Imanta on the Pacific in Mexico is so secluded, you could go a week and not see another guest. 11 super-beautiful rooms, pristine beaches all to yourselves, 250 lush acres of jungle to explore, and phenomenal (totally private) dinners atop this rooftop.
Three final words: Shangri-La Hotel Paris. This room has the most romantic city view in the entire world.”
You can also find David Hochman at the Upod Academy, or listen to his awesome TEDx talk about his journey through the Omo Valley of Ethiopia.
João Leitão, Nomad Revelations
“The Dunes of Erg Chebbi were the first travel destination I fell in love with. The whole scenario is magical: immense orange color sand and breathtaking sunsets on top of the dunes. This special part of Morocco is absolutely astonishing for stargazing.
Erg Chebbi is one of the most exciting honeymoon destinations for the “adventurous” just-married couple. And if they wish to spice things up, why not get re-married again with a traditional Berber marriage, where you are carried on the back of a camel followed by local musicians?!
The Auberge Café du Sud is one of the best hotels located on the dunes. Special luxury desert camps or hotel suites, camel rides and a swimming pool is available. They cater to honeymooners with romantic hideouts, desert tours and special requests.
Read more great tips from João in his Africa Travel Guide.
Kiersten, The Blonde Abroad
“While I was traveling solo at the time, I couldn’t help but feel an air of romance everywhere I went in Bali. From the beautiful beachside bars in Seminyak to the rice fields in Ubud to the sunset soaked skies in Jimbaran Bay. For honeymooners, the Ayana Resort is an absolute dream. Their Rock Bar offers incredibly ocean views and their infinity pool is one of the most beautiful swims in the world. Plan dinner at their Kisik restaurant one night for incredible seafood and a sunset that you’ll never forget!”
Read Kiersten’s guide to traveling solo in Bali (which is still just as awesome with two people!)
Susan and James, The Savvy Backpacker
“Paris will always hold a special place for my wife and I. We got married about two months before we moved to Paris so it’s almost like Paris was our (extended) honeymoon. Just because Paris doesn’t have sandy beaches it doesn’t mean the City of Light isn’t a great honeymoon spot. Actually, each summer the city creates a huge sandy beach along the banks of the Seine river called Paris-Plages — they even have beach chairs, umbrellas and palm trees.
When it comes to romance, Paris can’t be beat. Everywhere you look there are happy couples canoodling with each other and it’s easy to get swept away — the architecture is gorgeous, the parks and gardens are picturesque, the wine is cheap, and the food is world class. I suggest grabbing a seat at one of the many sidewalk cafes and leisurely sip on great French wine while you watch the world pass by.
If the hustle of the city gets a little overwhelming you can pack a picnic, a bottle of wine, and some French desserts and head to one of the many large parks scattered throughout the city. If all that wine starts getting you in a romantic mood you can stop into one of the many lingerie boutiques. 🙂
There are so many great restaurants in Paris — too many to list here. There are also many really bad ones. We suggest getting out of the tourist zones and finding where the locals eat. If you see a menu with multiple languages you can be certain it’s a tourist trap.
Paris has no shortage of luxury hotels that will gladly cater to your every whim. Those hotels will also cost you a fortune. Unfortunately, cheap hotels are often terrible. That’s why I’m a huge fan of renting an apartment. For the price of a mid-range hotel you can have your own cozy slice of Paris.”
Kate McCulley, Adventurous Kate
I think South Africa is one of the most beautiful and romantic places I’ve ever visited, and it’s perfect for a honeymoon! You can’t do South Africa without a safari — I’m a big fan of andBeyond’s Ngala Tented Camp. You can’t get much more luxurious than that!
Read more about Kate’s South Africa road trip here.
Erica Ho, Map Happy
“Honeymoon destinations [like Italy] are amazing, but if you’re looking for somewhere off the beaten track…I think Turkey would be great. It’s not too expensive… it’s like Greece and Western Europe for half the price! It’s got something for everybody. You can do the city thing or the beach thing…there are so many different pockets. I also really like Mexico City. I know everybody freaks out about Mexico, but Mexico City itself is really safe because it’s the capital. It’s like going to Greenwich Village. It’s a very laid-back place, and the food is REALLY good. And the weather is consistent, like LA. If you REALLY want to do something adventure-y and have an amazing trip that you won’t forget, Jordan is it. I went there by myself and felt completely safe. It’s definitely in my Top 5. Sleep under the stars in Petra, or up North you can go to the Sea of Galloway. People think it’s hard to navigate, but there’s actually quite a bit of tourism there because of Petra, so you can cater it however you want to.”
Check out this helpful post on how to create a custom itinerary in Google maps.
Mark Wiens, Migrationology
“With an amazing mix of culture and natural beauty, Zanzibar is an enchanting place to spend a honeymoon. My wife and I stayed at Ras Nungwi Beach Hotel in a private bungalow overlooking the turquoise Indian Ocean. It was a truly memorable trip.”
Check out Mark’s guide to the best travel food!