It's official. The wedding is over, the two of you have become one, and now you are about to embark on your first trip as husband and wife. Giddiness abounds, as it should, since the honeymoon is a relaxing reprieve from all the stress that went into making your dream day happen. There's even more reason to smile, if you go about planning your trip like you did the ceremony: uniquely you and monetarily realistic.
Choose a destination that has numerous amenities and attractions, says Renee Duane-Meyer owner of Unforgettable Honeymoons in Portland, Ore. "A honeymoon is an investment in memories," she says. "The more options you have when you get there, the better. If you focus on just one thing you must have, like a plunge pool, it can disappoint when you get there."
You each should list three must-haves, three dream destinations and three activities you want to do or try on your honeymoon -- all while envisioning your ideal budget. Share this information, and then pare down to your ideal destination based on what categories and locales will allow your money to go further. Keep an open mind on what it takes to make your dream destination a reality.
"People are looking for places with nightlife and nature, even if they don't do it all when they're there," says Duane-Meyer. "Don't spend all your money on a hotel in Bora Bora so you don't have enough money to do anything on the island. Set a budget first and go from there."
5 Hot Domestic Destinations
You don't need to travel abroad to have a great honeymoon. says Duane-Meyer. Her top 5 locations for a fabulous close-to-home honeymoon are:
1. Prince William Sound, Anchorage, Alaska. For the same price of a honeymoon on a cruise ship with thousands of people, a cruise on a yacht in this destination is more personable with just a dozen couples. The cruise includes meals and drinks, as well as excursions on glaciers with an educational guide.
2. Sedona, Ariz. Cool trips abound in Arizona with the Grand Canyon and cliff dwellings nearby. And when you get back from your adventures, luxury cottages and resorts await near water, where you can indulge in spa treatments.
3. Hawaii. The islands can be done on a budget and high-end. Just make sure to book your luaus up to two weeks prior to your arrival. They fill up quickly during Christmas and spring breaks.
4. Puerto Rico. Crescent, white beaches give way to cultural sites that have a lot of history, like Old San Juan.
5. The U.S. Virgin Islands.