Honeymoon Ideas

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HardHitter
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Honeymoon Ideas

Post by HardHitter » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:41 am

Hello All,

I will be getting married in August this year and my fiance and I are looking for ideas for a honeymoon. What we are looking for is a beautiful place to relax and where we can get the best "bang for buck"

We don't plan on going "all out" because we have other items we want to address first (student loans) and we both agreed that come our 1 year anniversary, we would splurge the money and do a multi-week international trip.

With that said, we are looking at probably just a week honeymoon and wanted to hear everyone's ideas or places to look into. For my birthday last year, my Fiance surprised me with an all inclusive trip to Cabo and it was great. Amazing resort, all inclusive and just a blast and it was only around $1000 a person with flight. We were debating about doing something similar but again would love to hear everyone's recommendations or sites to check for good deals.

ny_rn
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by ny_rn » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:25 pm

May I suggest Grand Case (St. Martin) or Tulum. Both are relatively inexpensive and amazing places to relax.

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lthenderson
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by lthenderson » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:27 pm

I spent a couple hundred dollars on gas and food and we honeymooned while backpacking in the mountains. No one around to bother us, very relaxing getting away from everything and best of all, the price was right.

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XtremeSki2001
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:30 pm

My wife and I originally wanted to do something great ... travel around Europe for several weeks, etc. However, we decided on spending it somewhere we could rest and play. We chose Hawaii, specifically Maui (the other islands, which we visited, have their merits, too). We've went back every year since, save for this year. It's a special place and we love it.
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DaftInvestor
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by DaftInvestor » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:34 pm

Specifying your location may help people with the "bang for the buck" question. (e.g. flights from the East Coast might be cheaper to the Carri bean while flights on the West Coast are cheaper to Hawaii). Specifying your approximate budget will also help (for some spending $2K on flights might be okay, for others this is outside their reach).

LLTF1836
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by LLTF1836 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:43 pm

I'm in a very similar situation (getting married in July) and we are going to the Dominican. I find that it is always a great bang for the buck there. Similar to you we are doing a relaxing week at an all inclusive. We got a great deal through Costco that provides for an upgraded room with a lot of extra amenities and the grand total is around $1,100 per person so pretty close to where you want to be.

DEBTINATOR
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by DEBTINATOR » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:53 pm

Just got back from my honeymoon. We went to cancun and spent half the time at the Ritz and half at the all inclusive Hyatt Zilara. If you play the credit card game right you could probably stay at the Hyatt for near free. Husband and wife apps to a chase sapphire and hyatt card should do it.


It's my favorite hotel experience to date and cost me about $40-50 in tips. Food and drinks were amazing and the room and view were truly awesome if you are looking to do a beach.

HardHitter
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by HardHitter » Tue Mar 31, 2015 12:58 pm

DaftInvestor wrote:Specifying your location may help people with the "bang for the buck" question. (e.g. flights from the East Coast might be cheaper to the Carri bean while flights on the West Coast are cheaper to Hawaii). Specifying your approximate budget will also help (for some spending $2K on flights might be okay, for others this is outside their reach).
To help everyone, we live in the Bay Area (California).

As far as budget goes, I think it'll be hard to beat the $1000/person all inclusive trip to Cabo but she's never been to Hawaii and I've always wanted to go back. I should have enough points to pay for both of our flights (139,000 miles) which will save us a good amount. Is $2000 for a week in Hawaii enough or how much would a nice room/travel be there?

Logan T
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by Logan T » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:10 pm

My wife and I took a trip to Cancun in January and booked through Cheap Caribbean. We stayed at Now Sapphire in an ocean front room with a private patio and jacuzzi tub. Same thing next August would be around $3k. One of the places we are considering for our anniversary in November is Now Amber in Puerto Vallarta. 5 nights there with ocean view is $2,500. (prices are from Denver)

Here's the view from our room:
Image
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poker27
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by poker27 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:14 pm

LLTF1836 wrote:I'm in a very similar situation (getting married in July) and we are going to the Dominican. I find that it is always a great bang for the buck there. Similar to you we are doing a relaxing week at an all inclusive. We got a great deal through Costco that provides for an upgraded room with a lot of extra amenities and the grand total is around $1,100 per person so pretty close to where you want to be.
x2. My SO and I recently went to Punta Cana, and both of us, for 4 nights it was under 3k at one of the nicer all inclusive resorts. The water was much better then I saw in parts of Mexico. Beware, if you have a weak stomach, might not be the place to go. I spent half my time crying in the bedroom.

If you havent traveled to every where you wish in the states, this might be a great time to do so. You can spend a week and hit up NYC, Boston, and Phili for example. 2 years ago we flew into San Diego and drove up the coast to San Fran, was certainly memorable.

jpelder
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by jpelder » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:22 pm

Given that it'll be August, somewhere in the mountains/northward might not be a bad idea. Seems like an ideal time to go to Alaska, if you're into it. Hawaii is supposed to be nice that time of year, too. Wife and I are going to New Orleans for ours, but N.O. in August is brutal, especially if you're used to California summers

N.B: I've never been to either Alaska or Hawaii

Professor Emeritus
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by Professor Emeritus » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:30 pm

jpelder wrote:Given that it'll be August, somewhere in the mountains/northward might not be a bad idea. Seems like an ideal time to go to Alaska, if you're into it. Hawaii is supposed to be nice that time of year, too. Wife and I are going to New Orleans for ours, but N.O. in August is brutal, especially if you're used to California summers

N.B: I've never been to either Alaska or Hawaii
Been to both, several times.

August is turtle season on Oahu, and relatively cheap for Hawaii. We love it.

Alaska is great fun, but a little more challenging. If you are the outdoorsey type it is wonderful. We have rented RVs there (if that is your style) and stayed in both fancy and basic lodging.

I'm in Berlin right now. I would NEVER go to continental Europe in August. Ireland might be ok

SRenaeP
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by SRenaeP » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:40 pm

HardHitter wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Specifying your location may help people with the "bang for the buck" question. (e.g. flights from the East Coast might be cheaper to the Carri bean while flights on the West Coast are cheaper to Hawaii). Specifying your approximate budget will also help (for some spending $2K on flights might be okay, for others this is outside their reach).
To help everyone, we live in the Bay Area (California).

As far as budget goes, I think it'll be hard to beat the $1000/person all inclusive trip to Cabo but she's never been to Hawaii and I've always wanted to go back. I should have enough points to pay for both of our flights (139,000 miles) which will save us a good amount. Is $2000 for a week in Hawaii enough or how much would a nice room/travel be there?
In that case, I second the previous poster's suggestion about CC 'games'. You and DW could each get the Hyatt card and get two free nights each. The Hyatts in Hawaii appear to be very nice. Just be aware there may be some sticker shock on the nights you have to pay full freight. They're ~$400/night. If you use your miles, you could probably get the whole week (airfare, lodging, rental car, dining) for close to $2000.

-Steph

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XtremeSki2001
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by XtremeSki2001 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 1:49 pm

HardHitter wrote:
DaftInvestor wrote:Specifying your location may help people with the "bang for the buck" question. (e.g. flights from the East Coast might be cheaper to the Carri bean while flights on the West Coast are cheaper to Hawaii). Specifying your approximate budget will also help (for some spending $2K on flights might be okay, for others this is outside their reach).
To help everyone, we live in the Bay Area (California).

As far as budget goes, I think it'll be hard to beat the $1000/person all inclusive trip to Cabo but she's never been to Hawaii and I've always wanted to go back. I should have enough points to pay for both of our flights (139,000 miles) which will save us a good amount. Is $2000 for a week in Hawaii enough or how much would a nice room/travel be there?
139k in miles could probably get you first class enroute to Hawaii. Then again, from CA it's not worth it since the flight is short. You may want to look in to deals the airline has with hotels. I know Marriott and United have deals where you can, I believe, use your miles towards hotels. The Marriott's in Hawaii are very nice. I'm partial to Maui, which would put you in the Marriott Wailea or possibly the Ritz in Kapalua.

For a week in Hawaii (Maui specifically) in August, you're looking at $200-$300 (maybe more) per night. ~$300 for rental car (plus gas). This, of course, doesn't include food or activities. For what it's worth, my wife and I are very frugal and found a small condo to rent for two weeks and cooked our own food. We actually had a great time that way and saved money. Shameless plug for our favorite resort in Maui, Hale Pau Hana. http://www.hphresort.com/
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WL2034
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by WL2034 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:42 pm

We went to an All-Inclusive near Cancun for our honeymoon a few years back. We lived on the east coast. As far as value is concerned, typically Mexico and DR are the most value for your money. Since you are on the west coast, that probably means Cabo.

However, if you are interested in Hawaii, I would recommend checking out Kauai if you really want some R&R as well as an absolutely beautiful island. This is where Jurassic Park was filmed. It can be a bit expensive and you won't find an all-inclusive, but we spent a couple of nights there last year and it is one of my favorite places in the world. I would definitely recommend over Oahu (which I also like and spend much more time on, but is quite crowded).

I just checked my email receipts and we got a rental car for $17/day and stayed at the Kauai Marriott Resort (amazing pool and beach) for $170/nt. Both of these prices were on priceline bidding, the retail rate for the hotel is $300-400/nt. So basically, Hawaii can be more reasonably priced if you are willing to book on priceline or hotwire (opaque sites) and not know the exact hotel until after you book. Otherwise, Mexico will be much less expensive on average.

If you visit Kauai, I highly recommend doing a helicopter tour of the island. The terrain and many waterfalls are incredible to see, and much of the island isn't accessible by ground. The Na Pali coast is one of the most beautiful places on earth. Find an operator that offers to fly with the doors off. The helicopter tours can be a little pricey (I think $200pp or so), but money well spent, would be great for a honeymoon.

If interested, this is the company we used for the helicopter tour. Would recommend, can find less expensive but these tours are private, 2 person, with doors off option. http://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_R ... awaii.html

Random Poster
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by Random Poster » Tue Mar 31, 2015 2:47 pm

Alaskan cruise.

Lake Louise, Alberta (at the Fairmont, staying on the Gold Floor--likely $450+ a night, plus food).

Jenny Lake Lodge, Grand Tetons (but most certainly won't be cheap and availability probably isn't there either).

Maybe a 5-star hotel in San Diego, Sedona, Seattle, or San Francisco** and just kick back for a week?



** Yeah, so you are already in the San Fran area. So what? Be a tourist for a week.

MattE
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by MattE » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:17 pm

When my wife and I got married in 2011, we did a 7-day Carnival cruise of the southern Caribbean that left out of\returned to San Juan, PR and stopped in St. Kitts, St. Thomas, St. Maarten, St. Lucia, and Barbados. Cruise + airfare (round trip from PHL) + ground transportation ended up something like $1400pp including an upgrade to a balcony room on the boat; it would've been like $250pp less with a cheap interior cabin. We went kayaking in St. Kitts, scuba diving in St. Thomas, zip lining at a restored cocoa plantation in St. Lucia, jet skiing in St. Maarten, and on a catamaran trip that included lunch, booze, and snorkeling and sea turtles in Barbados for what totaled up to something like $400pp more. You can hang out on beaches and do cheap touristy stuff for like 1/5 of that if you're trying to keep costs down. We enjoyed the scuba diving enough that we went back to the same place\dive shop two years later on another cruise, and the Barbados catamaran trip was probably top 5 days of my life.

knowledge
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by knowledge » Tue Mar 31, 2015 3:41 pm

My bit of advice - a honeymoon is one of the few times in your life that you're expected to go away and enjoy the time off with your new spouse, and work will understand. So I would try to take full advantage. I took over two weeks off of work, went halfway around the world, and spent more than I planned on, but don't regret it.

I'm not advising you to overspend, but given that you're already on these forums, I imagine you're already cautious about spending. Definitely load up on miles (I put many wedding expenses on a Starwood card and stayed in Bangkok for free), but I think it's ok to loosen up a bit.

That said, I love Hawaii. Nothing wrong with going to a top honeymoon destination. Deals can be had, and it's relatively easy to go island hopping. But, if you're so inclined, you can find better bang for your buck (aside from airfare) in certain Intl destinations: SE Asia, primarily.

HardHitter
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by HardHitter » Tue Mar 31, 2015 4:18 pm

Thank you all for the insight on this.

My fiance brought me through Cheap Caribbean as well and we were very happy with the resort and price. We will probably end up looking into it more but I'll also throw the Hawaii idea around. I'll be able to get the flight free with my points, but then worried about hotel costs which will add up quickly. Car rentals I also have Hertz points that will be able to cover us.

Perhaps we try something within the States. I've never been to New York and we've always thrown the idea around of moving to Colorado. I'll see what she's wanting!

ddurrett896
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by ddurrett896 » Tue Mar 31, 2015 7:51 pm

Fly to Vegas - tickets are cheap.

Rent a 4x4 Tahoe and drive to Utah. Explore North/South Coyotte Butte, Buckskin Gulch, Bryce and Zion. Then drive back to Vegas and chill for a week. We did that on our honeymoon and I can't wait to go back!

Perfect combination of seeing natural beauty, being alone then relaxing in Vegas. Plus, it's a trip young kids can't do, where they can chill on a caribean vacation in the future.

As far as costs, they were about:

Flights: $600
Tahoe: $400
4 nights at the Bellagio: $700
Fuel/food/permits: $500~
Total: around $2500

TallBoy29er
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by TallBoy29er » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:07 pm

knowledge wrote:My bit of advice - a honeymoon is one of the few times in your life that you're expected to go away and enjoy the time off with your new spouse, and work will understand. So I would try to take full advantage. I took over two weeks off of work, went halfway around the world, and spent more than I planned on, but don't regret it.
I completely agree with this. I will tell you, my wife and I went to Argentina, and that has been the favorite trip of our lifetimes. The dollar is strong right now. You can eat meals, and drink wine, that will knock your socks off. There is the Mendoza region (wine country), or, our favorite, the Patagonia region, with beautiful lakes and mountains. Just my $.02

WhyNotUs
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by WhyNotUs » Tue Mar 31, 2015 8:11 pm

Mayan Riveria is a steal. www.bookit.com or cheapcaribbean.com. Same $1000 pp range +/- Isla Mujeras and Tulum are nice.
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Professor Emeritus
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by Professor Emeritus » Tue Mar 31, 2015 11:09 pm

knowledge wrote:My bit of advice - a honeymoon is one of the few times in your life that you're expected to go away and enjoy the time off with your new spouse, and work will understand.
In 1975 I was a WAE employee for the Feds. I was stone broke, deep in debt and getting married. (and Graduating from law school). DW was a med student.
my wonderful mother in law realized I was not planning a honeymoon since I could not pay for it and she put up the money for a trip out west.

I asked my newly appointed boss for time off for a honeymoon and was immediately fired. Not even refused, fired . That was two weeks before the wedding. Some things you never forget. The unstinting support from my wife's family and the cold calculating cruelty of a very petty person.

This comes to mind every time someone writes about a pre-nup. We have been partners since Day one, and her family was willing to invest in the partnership.

Geist
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by Geist » Thu Apr 09, 2015 2:55 am

My wife & I went on an 8-day Alaskan cruise....it was fantastic. Most relaxing and enjoyable experience of my life (newlywed status might have also helped there). We enjoyed it so much that we plan to continue to go on multiple cruises in the coming years... looking at going throughout the Caribbean, Bahama, Central America, and so on... And that assumes we're still in the US over the next few years. If we can find our way to Europe, we've got our sights set on various corners of the Mediterranean. So bottom line: My vote goes to a cruise!

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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by dolphinsaremammals » Thu Apr 09, 2015 6:25 am

I would avoid Kauai. By the time a week was up, I was bored. Seen everything.

I would go for the Alaskan cruise. See the ice and animals while they're still there.

SleepKing
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by SleepKing » Thu Apr 09, 2015 9:12 am

HardHitter wrote:Perhaps we try something within the States. I've never been to New York and we've always thrown the idea around of moving to Colorado. I'll see what she's wanting
NYC is a great idea, though be warned hotel costs can be quite high (depending on level and location of hotel). However, you can do tons of stuff for any budget: central park, all the museums and tourism stuff, tons of jazz/music shows in various clubs, any stye and price point of restaurant you can imagine.

If you have extended vacation time and want to stay domestic consider spending 4 nights in NYC and 4 nights in wine country, or another domestic destination you'd like to visit.

Sleepy

photoshoppedunicorn
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by photoshoppedunicorn » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:04 pm

We went to Belize for our honeymoon last year. We wanted something tropical with more than just beaches that didn't take forever to get to from the East Coast.

We split our time between an all inclusive resort in the rainforest and a non-AI resort on Ambergris Caye. If we had it to do over, we would have stayed in the rainforest the entire time. It was so gorgeous and relaxing and the food was amazing. We stayed at Chaa Creek and I would recommend it to anyone. We went horseback riding, went to see two different sets of Mayan ruins, swam, ate, slept SO MUCH (best part) and did a bunch of nature hikes. It was hot like the blazing pits of hell though, and this was in early May, but we just ate lunch and did the afternoon nap thing and it was fine.

I didn't love the beach portion of the trip... it was fine, but compared to the rainforest part it just didn't seem as nice. The beaches were fine, not the greatest, the accommodations weren't as nice, and only breakfast was included so it was more expensive overall. What you could do instead is just fly over for the day. They have super short flights on tiny planes that go up and down a couple times like a little air bus. I would definitely recommend doing that to take a snorkel trip to the reef which was very nice. I think they said it's the second biggest barrier reef system in the world. The boat was small so it was just us and one other family. I think all the boats that went out were small. I mention that because we were just in Antigua and their snorkel tour boats were huge with like 100 people on them. It was a much nicer experience having just a few people and a guide.

And if you do go, absolutely stop at the Belize Zoo on the way from the airport. That was one of the highlights of the trip for us. It was more like an animal rehabilitation place and you could get so close to all the coolest animals. Giant jungle kitty friends!

angelescrest
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by angelescrest » Thu Apr 09, 2015 8:12 pm

Professor Emeritus wrote:
knowledge wrote:My bit of advice - a honeymoon is one of the few times in your life that you're expected to go away and enjoy the time off with your new spouse, and work will understand.
In 1975 I was a WAE employee for the Feds. I was stone broke, deep in debt and getting married. (and Graduating from law school). DW was a med student.
my wonderful mother in law realized I was not planning a honeymoon since I could not pay for it and she put up the money for a trip out west.

I asked my newly appointed boss for time off for a honeymoon and was immediately fired. Not even refused, fired . That was two weeks before the wedding. Some things you never forget. The unstinting support from my wife's family and the cold calculating cruelty of a very petty person.

This comes to mind every time someone writes about a pre-nup. We have been partners since Day one, and her family was willing to invest in the partnership.
I had a bad boss day today, but this just pisses me off further. What a moron. So glad you had a very supportive family during an emotional moment. Hats off.

minneapples
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by minneapples » Fri Apr 10, 2015 10:31 am

LLTF1836 wrote:I'm in a very similar situation (getting married in July) and we are going to the Dominican. I find that it is always a great bang for the buck there. Similar to you we are doing a relaxing week at an all inclusive. We got a great deal through Costco that provides for an upgraded room with a lot of extra amenities and the grand total is around $1,100 per person so pretty close to where you want to be.
Agree! DR is affordable, whether you go with an all-inclusive or not. And so beautiful. One of my favorite trips I've taken.

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Meg77
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by Meg77 » Fri Apr 10, 2015 2:05 pm

TallBoy29er wrote:
knowledge wrote:My bit of advice - a honeymoon is one of the few times in your life that you're expected to go away and enjoy the time off with your new spouse, and work will understand. So I would try to take full advantage. I took over two weeks off of work, went halfway around the world, and spent more than I planned on, but don't regret it.
I completely agree with this. I will tell you, my wife and I went to Argentina, and that has been the favorite trip of our lifetimes. The dollar is strong right now. You can eat meals, and drink wine, that will knock your socks off. There is the Mendoza region (wine country), or, our favorite, the Patagonia region, with beautiful lakes and mountains. Just my $.02
My husband and I are considering a trip to Argentina right now for this reason. While generally affordable, the current exchange rate is making this place a steal. Right now you can rent a very nice trendy apartment for a week in Buenos Aires for just a few hundred bucks, and the New York Times did a recent piece on all the 5 star restaurants there where you can get a 6 course meal with great wine for under $50 a person. Flights would be expensive, but if you have miles that would be ideal. Plus exploring a new and exotic city together could make for a fun honeymoon.

However I also think Hawaii can be done on a budget. That's where we honeymooned last year. A whole week for under $2K might be tough though. The touristy restaurants and hotels are ridiculously expensive, but amazing food can be had anywhere and we enjoyed our local hole-in-the-wall meals as much as some of the fancy dinners. Also all beaches and many attractions are free, so you don't have to pay an arm and a leg to enjoy the scenery. If you rent a condo or stay somewhere that you can make some meals at home it could work.
"An investment in knowledge pays the best interest." - Benjamin Franklin

humalupa
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by humalupa » Fri Apr 10, 2015 3:22 pm

My wife and I honeymooned in Alaska in August. The weather was perfect. We did a combination land tour & cruise, which wasn't cheap, but you could definitely do it more affordably. We'll be going back in a couple years for our 10-year anniversary.

Iceland is another place that would be great in August. Beautiful scenery there too, and if you are lucky enough to live near an airport serviced by Icelandair, you can fly direct for a reasonable fair. I would save the tropical vacations for the winter unless you live somewhere that doesn't get cold or dreary.

BanditKing
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Re: Honeymoon Ideas

Post by BanditKing » Fri Apr 10, 2015 4:01 pm

Star Trek Convention. That's where our honeymoon is going to be :)

Yes - we are nerds. We are having a TARDIS on the wedding cake and our wedding rings are Lord of the Rings One Ring replicas.

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