If you're anything like me, you're a bride that doesn't get overly giddy about wedding planning. It's been a constant stream of checklists and big-ticket items for months, and to be honest, sometimes that gets me down. I am absolutely excited and looking forward to the big day (less than two months!), but not always outwardly enthusiastic...you know what I mean?
But that started to change when I realized...wait. The honeymoon. I love to travel, and this is a real opportunity. A chance to go somewhere new, to do something that both of us really want, keeping in mind that this is a very special time. S and I began rattling off destinations. These days, it's totally common to hear about couples doing two or three week getaways to Thailand, or island hopping in Greece, or all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean.
When we were narrowing down our choices, we asked ourselves the following questions about our dream destinations.
- What is our budget?
- When scheduling the honeymoon, do we want to jet set right from the wedding, or wait some time before departing?
- What kind of destination are we seeking? Urban, European-esque, walkable city or somewhere by the sea? Somewhere to immerse in the history and culture, or somewhere to just relax?
- How many hours are we willing to spend in transit?
- What kind of activities (or lack thereof) do we want to do while we are there?
- Do we want to travel somewhere with access to other cities/destinations?
- What kinds of accommodations are we looking for in terms of hotel (spa, restaurants, amenities, etc).
One of my best friends (and bridesmaids) C recently tied the knot, and she pretty much affirmed my whole traveling/honeymooning philosophy. "We wanted a trip that was a good mix of relaxing and adventure so a trip through many cities of Spain was perfect!" I love how simple their decision was; it rests on the understanding that the honeymoon certainly is special, but is is not the only trip you'll take together. Considering what you want to do while you're there (sightseeing, taking photos? or hiking, parasailing? or happy-houring and swimming?) is an important first step, and then let the vacation itself arrive.
our factors | decision time
Without giving away our exact decision, let it be known that it was not the world's simplest choice! Budget was the most influential determining factor. After that, we needed to find the time to take off work. In retrospect, the decision to wait about 2 months after the wedding before departing for our honeymoon may have been the best we inadvertently made! It gives us something to look forward to, plus we can actually decompress from the wedding without rushing off somewhere. Our third biggest factor was travel time. We wanted to go somewhere far away, but not daaaays away. Especially with our budget, we wanted to maximize the amount of days we could enjoy our honeymoon - being in a plane or waiting for layovers doesn't count ;)