Whatever your honeymoon fantasy is, you can make it come true. Here, five of the most popular dream honeymoons, with three different budgets. You provide the love; we’ll help you with everything else.
1. Private Tropical Beach
On a Budget: Instead of going abroad, hit the Caribbean, Bahamas or Miami Beach. To keep the costs down, go off-season, generally from May through November (you can save up to 50% on hotel rooms). To get all the action needed, look for an all-inclusive resort. You’ll get unlimited meals, which will give you extra cash for day-trips. Also, check for package tours that combine your hotel with the airfare.
Money to Spend: Same deal, but you can afford to go during high season, from December through April. Instead of booking an all-inclusive, check out four and five-star hotels. Miami has wonderful ocean-view hotels, with a city that’s made for tropical romance.
Sky’s the Limit: Why stay close to home when you can hit Greece, Hawaii, or Bora Bora? Go whenever you like, find a five-star, and work from there. Some Caribbean islands have tree-houses that go for a couple thousand a night! It’s your fantasy, so live it up.
2. Full-Staff Pampering
On a Budget: While most of us don’t know what it’s like to live like kings and queens, we can live the dream for a couple of nights. If your budget is tight, find a hotel that specializes in spa treatments, then hit the off-season mark. Another wise move? Get a great deal on a Las Vegas or Atlantic City hotel, avoid the casinos, and take advantage of all the amenities. There are also B&Bs and lodges in the United States that specialize in personal service.
Money to Spend: Find a hotel-spa combination (they abound in the Caribbean), and plan to spend a lot of time ordering up room service. A tip for all honeymooners: When calling around, tell them you’re on your honeymoon and you’re looking for a pampered trip.
Sky’s the Limit: Two words: Private Villa. There are many resorts where you can rent your own villa, complete with cook and full-time staff. In general, these places have their own pool and Jacuzzi, and keep the bar stocked. It’s amazing how exciting it is to spend a week doing absolutely nothing.
3. Cruise of a Lifetime
On a Budget: Cruises are tres romantic, and your honeymoon is a perfect time to experience the fun. If your budget is tight, stick to a short cruise (three to four days), off season, usually one that hits the Bahamas and/or the Mexican Caribbean.
Money to Spend: Take your time! Better yet, upgrade to a large cabin and hit the ocean during high season. There are also many amenities to take advantage of, such as spa treatments. You also might want to motor off to Belize or Costa Rica.
Sky’s The Limit: Go online and make your own cruise. Some tour operators will actually design your own tour, provided you’ve got the cash. If that isn’t enough to float your boat, head off to Alaska or the Greek Islands.
4. High Adventure
On a Budget: If your idea of relaxing is rock climbing at the gym, make your honeymoon an adventure to match your marriage. On a smaller budget, you can ski, sky-dive, scuba, or golf without ever leaving the United States. All four of those activities require knowledge and advanced training, unless you study at a resort.
Money to Spend: First and foremost, stick to one of the above-mentioned activities, but choose a more exotic locale. Scuba diving in the Caribbean is wonderful, skiing in Switzerland is divine, and golfing in Scotland, a dream come true. What’s most important for the larger budget is to think of the destination first—say, Belize—and then pick the sport (diving).
Sky’s the Limit: Take that African safari you’ve always dreamed about, or climb to Machu Picchu in Peru. You can trek the Himalayas in Tibet, or do some climbing on Everest. If you’re up to it, it’s available.
5. City Lights
On a Budget: If you want to hit a big city for your honeymoon, tighter budgets stay close to home. Depending where in the country you are, book to San Francisco, New York, Miami, Chicago or Los Angeles. All of these cities offer glamour and romance, and a range of hotel prices for every budget.
Money to Spend: Do like the Jeffersons, and move on up. Hit New York and stay at one of the new, exclusive hotels in the Meatpacking District, or anything on Central Park South. San Francisco means Nob Hill, and Miami and Los Angeles call for the Ritz-Carlton.
Sky’s the Limit: And so are the cities. Name your city, and jet off. Hit Paris, London, Venice, or down south to Buenos Aires or Rio. Blame it on love.
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