This week, I’m FINALLY starting to plan my honeymoon! And wow. Honeymoon planning is like vacation planning’s much more glamorous cousin. There are just so many beautiful places to go and gorgeous resorts to stay in – it’s overwhelming in the best possible way. Like, overwhelming in the way that a giant candy store is overwhelming, where you just want to go crazy and eat everything all at once.
OH MY GOD, IT’S HONEYMOON TIME!
When I got engaged, I bought one of those giant three-ring planning binders with this meticulous, six-page timeline of everything I should be doing every month until my wedding day. And with some of the things on the timeline, you’re like, “Ugh – take a blood test? No thank you.” But not planning a honeymoon! Honeymoon planning is the opposite of that!
That’s not to say that figuring out where to go on your honeymoon isn’t a big decision. Where I’m going on my honeymoon is probably the number one question people ask me, followed by “When are you getting married?” (April) and, “April? Aren’t you afraid it’s going to rain?” (Yes. Why would you ask me that? Stop jinxing me).
So where do you start?
By working your way down in specifics from destination to hotel to room type. The best, and easiest, thing to do is to come up with a short list of places you might want to go, and then talk hotels and specifics once you decide on a location.
Some questions to ask when you’re trying to come up with this short list:
- What’s your budget? This is probably the quickest way to narrow things down. I, for example, won’t be honeymooning here.
- How long will you be gone? I’ve been squirellishly saving my vacation days, so I’m aiming for at least a full week with a nice buffer day once I get back. I know some people return from their honeymoon on a Sunday night and head into work on Monday morning, and to them I say – you’re a rock star. Never change.
- How far do you want to travel? In other words, how long are you willing to spend in an airplane to get to where you’re going? I normally don’t mind flying (when else can you eat pizza-flavored Combos at 9:00am with no shame?), but I think my threshold here is about four hours. I’m going to be way too excited, and way too hopped up on wedding cake, to sit still for any longer than that.
- What do you want to do? I don’t want to plan a single thing for the entirety of our trip. Maybe you’re still riding that spreadsheet high and want to go somewhere you can create an agenda, who knows?
…And if that doesn’t work?
You know when you’re so confident in your opinion that anything else seems unfathomable?
All I want to do on my honeymoon is hop on a quick flight to somewhere warm, settle into a giant hotel room, and not leave the beach for seven days. That’s it! Nothing else. So when my fiancé started throwing out places like Morocco and Greece, I kind of thought he was joking. It winds up all HE wants is to travel somewhere far away, spend our days exploring, and rack up a bunch of adventures.
I did not know this at all. I’m not even sure I realized there were people who wanted to do anything but lay on the beach for their honeymoon, and this is where our planning has kind of sputtered out.
So now what? We’re currently trying to Frankenstein together our two dream honeymoons into one trip that will make us both happy. Here’s what we’ve come up with so far, in no particular order:
- Cancun - I love Cancun. Besides having great airfare, and direct flights from just about everywhere, this is one of those places where you can paddle around the pool one day and then go explore some ruins the next. There are also about 1,000 fantastic hotels, which means that we can split our time between two different properties if we want. That way it SEEMS like we’re doing a lot of exploring, when in actuality we’re just exploring two different sets of swim-up bars.
- Antigua - Antigua is relatively close to nearly everywhere on the east coast, but still seems like one of those great little hidden gems. It’s gorgeous, and has tons of beautiful beaches (literally 365 of them), and is just far-flung enough to feel like we’re going somewhere exotic. Not to mention the hotels are absolutely some of the best in the world. Like, award-winningly the best.
- Hawaii - Hawaii is not a short trip, but maybe a few hours reading and looking out a window wouldn’t be the worst thing after a whirlwind 11 or so months spent in the middle of constant to-do lists. It IS one of the most beautiful places on earth, with a lush green interior and stunning beaches, and it’s easy enough to island hop and do a bunch of different things in the space of a week.
And that’s where we are now! We’re not at the coin-flipping stage quite yet, but we do need to iron things out relatively soon or we’ll be honeymooning in glamorous Paramus, New Jersey.
We have a self-imposed deadline of next week to make a decision, so check back then when I (hopefully) lock this down for good! I’m also talking with the Romance Product Manager at Secrets Resorts & Spas, the amazing Amanda Davis, who lets us in on some of her top-secret honeymoon tips (Spoiler: want to know what the world’s best smelling sunscreen is? Me too, and Amanda’s going to tell us!).
In the meantime – any other honeymoon suggestions? Where did you go? Or where would your dream honeymoon be? Worst case, how can I get my fiancé to agree with me? Hypnosis seems too extreme.
Want to know more about wedding planning? Check out the rest of our Megan Gets Married series!
By Megan Ranney