honeymoon

Puntacana

Even if you’ve been married for decades, a honeymoon-style vacation is never a bad idea. Curious about which destinations today’s honeymooners are flocking to? I’ve combed through 11 years of Honeyfund data to bring you four of the most popular destinations since 2006.

Hawaii

Hawaii

Five words describe the national treasure that is Hawaii: Get away from it all.

So if that’s what you’re craving, let me take you away to the North Kohala region of the Big Island, a world where eco-sustainable lodging is plentiful and days consist of hiking past ancient rocks and religious sites, doing yoga with an ocean view and relaxing with spa services that highlight the traditional healing practices of native Hawaii.

Or, spend your days in Hawaii sipping cocktails by a pool on any of the islands. Thanks to the archipelago’s famed hospitality, or aloha, you’ll feel at home anywhere!

Best time of year to go: Hawaii is one of those magical places that is pleasant to visit year-round. However, spring is ideal for dryer weather and best flight prices to the Big Island. Winter is considered a peak season, as are the months of June and July.

When to book: At least two months in advance.

Top romance travel tip: The Big Island affords you time to relax and be together. Don’t fill up your days too much here. If you have to be doing something, book a couples massage with the sounds of the ocean as a backdrop.

Italy

ItalyMilan

If a hip city scene is the vibe you seek on your honeymoon or romantic getaway, Milan is an excellent choice. Italy’s economic and financial heart, Milan is home to the country’s stock exchange and tech scene, not to mention renowned fashion, design, shopping and a sparkling nightlife. Don’t visit without some extra spending money.

The Brera District looks like the perfect place for love birds; it’s full of art galleries, shops and restaurants, close to major landmarks like La Scala and the Duomo and has a plethora of B&Bs. While a B&B could be romantic, a love-cation in Milan calls for a luxury hotel ” the Baglioni Hotel Carlton (see deals below) is a short walk away.

Best time of year to go: Visit Milan in April, May, late September or October. These spring and fall months avoid the city’s peak summer season and hot temperatures. The months between November and March are cold and foggy.

When to book: At least four to five months in advance.

Top romance travel tip: Take a day trip to Lake Como. One of the most spectacular sights in the country is located a mere hour out of Milan by train.

Mexico

TulumMexico

Looking for a reprieve from tourist-laden Cancun? Try Playa del Carmen. This area offers the same luxury and beauty without the touristy vibe. Shoppers, foodies and night owls will love this beachside town and its many opportunities for adventure.
Playa del Carmen is also wonderfully close to the ancient ruins of the region. From here, you can visit Tulum, an ancient city built on bluffs facing the Caribbean Sea, and Chichen Itza, with its famous El Castillo Pyramid (one of the New Seven Wonders of the World).

Best time of year to go: If you want the best weather in the area ” still sunny but milder with less rainfall and virtually no risk of storms ” plan your vacation from December to April. May works, too, but it’s hotter and more humid.

When to book: At least two to three months in advance.

Top romance travel tip: Set aside one day for a tour of Chichen Itza, followed by a dip in one of many cenotes in the region (the Riviera Maya is known for these giant sinkholes filled with groundwater.) Bring cash on all day trips.

Cruise the Caribbean

Cruises

It’s easy to see why a visit to the Caribbean makes for the ideal honeymoon: warm climates, pristine beaches (including some of the world’s best), and crystal-blue ocean. Now imagine seeing the many beautiful Caribbean islands without having to change hotels or schlep your bags.

Generally stretching from South Florida to South America, Caribbean cruises offer many combinations of ports, lengths and departure cities for cruisers to choose from. Few other honeymoons provide that much variety. I recommend travelers take at least eight days (ideally 10+) so they have enough time to sample the culture and history at four or five different ports.
Best time of year to go: Late spring and fall offer the best combination of weather, off-peak savings and last-minute deals. Weather-wise, the warmest and driest season is December to April.

When to book: Six to 12 months in advance to get early bird rates and the best availability of popular ships, especially during peak season. Or book very last minute for off-peak deals.

Top romance travel tip: Save some money and gain some romantic quality time by staying on board during a port day to enjoy some peace, quiet and poolside cocktails.

Enter Honeyfund and Travelzoo’s search for love contest for a chance to win a romantic 6-night Bali vacation.

Sara Margulis is a honeymoon expert and CEO of Honeyfund, the No. 1 wedding registry app.

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This entry is from our Expert Guest series where wedding and honeymoon professionals share their best tips on creating memories that last a lifetime.

To keep your wedding costs in check, there are a few budget-friendly ideas for your wedding you can do to that will not compromise the quality of your day.

 

Budget-Friendly Ideas for Your Wedding

Limit your guest count

Tip 1: Limit your guest count

Opt for a smaller, more intimate wedding with your closest friends and family. Organize your invite list into different categories such as family, college friends, friends from home, co-workers, teammates, and acquaintances. Consider sending out invitations in different waves, and invite additional guests as you get declines.

Pick a date

Tip 2: Pick a less in-demand-date

Instead of choosing a Saturday in the middle of wedding season, save some money by considering having your wedding on another day of the week like a Friday or a Sunday. Also, the winter months are considered the off-season, but you can still have a fantastic wedding if your venue is indoors.

Hire a wedding coordinator

Tip 3: Hire a wedding coordinator

 These professionals have already done the research and have relationships with local vendors that can help you save on costs. Their experience in the industry and their connections will save you a lot of time and hassle. A wedding coordinator knows what works and what doesn’t and can brainstorm ways to work with your budget.

 Hire a photo booth

Tip 4: Photo Booth pictures are fun favors

Everyone loves taking fun photos! Guests can take their photos home as a keepsake and you can enjoy looking back at an album of all the funny pictures your guests took. You can look into hiring a photo booth or if you are tech savvy, you could create your own photo booth station too! Get imaginative with backgrounds, signage, and accessories!

Tip 5: Save Trees and Save Money 

Instead of sending out traditional Save The Dates and Invitations, consider sending your invites electronically. You save on the cost of paper goods and stamps, and you’ll also likely get a quicker response. Paperless Post has elegant templates for online invitations and can also collect and organize RSVP’s and addresses.

Floral favors

Tip 6: Enlist your florist or rental company for help with decor elements

 Love those mason jars or sparkling chandeliers that you saw on Pinterest? You don’t need to buy those items yourself, florists and rental companies already have an inventory of these items. Let the professionals set up the decor for you so that you don’t need to stress about any DIY projects on your big day.

Choose an all-inclusive venue

 Tip 7: Choose a Venue that has it all

 Having the ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception all at one venue moving from space to space allows for a nice flow for the evening. You’ll save on transportation costs and time that vendors need to set up in multiple locations. When you are searching for the perfect venue, be sure to inquire about whether they already have tables, chairs, and linens included in the price. Be sure to choose a venue that matches the style of wedding you are going for. 

Homemade desserts

Tip 8: Homemade Desserts 

See if your talented family and bridal party can help bake goodies for dessert. You can have a variety of homemade cookies, brownies, and cake at a more affordable price! These delicious goodies can also double as favors for your guests. Prepare some cute goody bags for any leftovers to be taken home. 

Wedding table

Tip 9: Be a savvy shopper 

Brides often post wedding decorations such as table runners, signage, and centerpieces on sites like craiglist.org at a discounted price. Sometimes you can even negotiate and bargain for the best price. Another great way to save is to shop for your wedding dress at a resale shop such as Dahlia Bridal where dresses can be found for 40-70% off!

Tip 10: Create a registry at Honeyfund 

Don’t have a use for any more toasters and toasting flutes? Ask your guests to contribute to your honeymoon fund if they would like to gift something to the newlyweds. Your wedding guests will be happy to send you off on an unforgettable honeymoon.

Honeymoon at the beach

Bio: Events by Sonya: At Events by Sonya, the organization, attention to detail, and passion for helping others is what makes Sonja an excellent wedding coordinator. She enjoys getting to know each couple and learning each unique love story. Sonya loves that every wedding and event is unique and she works hard to bring out each couple’s personality and style. Sonya plans and coordinates weddings in Southern California. Please visit www.eventsbysonya.com for more inspiration!

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