While all couples look forward to the moment their partner walks down the aisle, most just can’t wait to let loose on the dance floor afterwards! But after all the stress of wedding planning is all over, the event that most couples look forward to is of course the honeymoon. But what kind of honeymoon is best for you and your partner?
City vs beach honeymoon: Which would you choose?
I’m often consulted about honeymoons because a lot of people know I’m both in the wedding industry (as a photographer) and a travel writer. I’ve photographed weddings in the Caribbean and Europe. I’ve vacationed in both as well so I have a unique perspective many friends can’t offer. The number one question I’m asked in regards to a honeymoon destination is: Where should we go? Furthermore, it ends up being a choice of two very different trips:
- Tropical location with visions of spending days by the ocean
- Centuries-old location with a lot of historical sites to explore
So which should you choose? Let’s break this down for you!
Option 1: Tropical location
Tropical destinations are any sort of destination from the Caribbean, to St. Lucia, to Indonesia and beyond. These are the places I consider to be ‘beach bliss’ vacation spots full of palm trees and banana leaves, lots of sand and sunshine. They’re a bit more low-key in terms of planning.
So what do you need to book? A starting point is of course:
That’s the bare basics! If you book an all-inclusive stay, your meals and drinks are included. Heck, if it’s on the beach and you sincerely desire a simple, beach vacation and there’s a restaurant at the hotel, then you’re set! Other activities you might like to look into before you jet off include:
- Planned restaurants/meals
Who is this good for? This kind of honeymoon is great for any couple that simply wants to unwind and relax with their new spouse all day and all night (with one or two excursions mixed in). For instance, we certainly had a romantic time in the Yucatan Peninsula recently. We chose to do one excursion to the Uxmal Mayan Ruins.
This could be the perfect kind of honeymoon for you if you’re coming off planning an intense wedding that has a lot of logistics involved, eats up a lot of money, and a lot of energy! If your wedding is emotionally demanding then you may want to simply relax to get a break, bond with your sweetie and come back to the ‘real world’ refreshed!
Option 2: Historic location
These are the areas that require a bit more planning, like Europe or some locations in Asia (like Japan). These destinations may take a bit more research and coordination because it’s potentially full of a lot of sightseeing. For instance, can you image going to Paris and just hanging at your hotel all day? I can’t! There’s the Champs-Élysées, the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, the Eiffel Tower, Musee D’Orsay, Notre Dame, a possible day trip to Versailles – the list goes on!
So what would you need to plan and book in advance? You’d obviously start with:
- Overview of sites you wish to see
These bigger destination rarely (not always but rarely) have all inclusive resorts because they’re likely to be in some sort of large urban city. You might also consider booking:
- Restaurant reservations (because urban areas book up further in advance)
- Transportation between cities (for instance if you’re traveling between Madrid and Barcelona you may want to book your train ahead of time to secure your seat and save money – the later you book, the higher prices climb)
Who is this good for? A couple that is go-go-go and wants to see a city they’ve long dreamed of (or a series of them). This kind of honeymoon requires much more planning so if you have the energy after all that wedding planning this could be the perfect option!
Option 3: The best of both worlds
What if you’re thinking, Well I want the best of both options? Well, there’s no reason you can’t! Something like a cruise gives you the best of everything – a bit of sightseeing and easy-to-book excursion options, a bit of pool lounging and great meals each day. This is all with minimum planning, hence the beauty of a cruise honeymoon. Conversely, a destination like Hawaii gives you plenty of excursion and adventure options (like Na Pali Coast day tours, sunrise hikes, luau dances, fishing trips, and then some) but have all inclusive resorts options and plenty of coastline to relax on the beach.
The good news is you can’t go wrong. As long as you’re with your new spouse you’ll be set for a honeymoon to remember!
In the midst of planning your wedding? Check out these posts:
- Dreaming of a Destination Wedding? Here’s How to Pick the Ultimate Location
- Things I Totally Underestimated When Planning Our Wedding
- How to Create the Ultimate Wedding Guest Welcome Bag
Thinking ahead to your honeymoon? These posts might help:
- Stress Less: How to Have the Most Relaxing Honeymoon
- 8 Special Honeymoon Experiences Every Couple Should Have
- What I Packed for my Tropical Honeymoon
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Which kind of honeymoon would you book?