No holiday is as overloaded as expectation and the potential for disaster as a honeymoon. It’s got to be different, it’s got to be special and, above all, it’s got to be romantic. No problem then. Here, to save you from trouble and strife, are Skyscanner’s top tips for avoiding a honeymoon from hell, and our top 10 honeymoon paradise destinations.
So, you know all the stuff about making sure your passport is up to date and that you don’t book yourselves into a family resort and checking that you haven’t booked in the middle of the rainy season, or a room with twin beds. Oh yes, and of course tell everyone you’re on honeymoon so you get the really nice rooms and lots of freebies, but pay attention, this is the really important stuff if you stay married after you come back.
Skyscanner’s three golden rules for a perfect honeymoon
1. Think it through
Booking the honeymoon is often the groom’s responsibility. In which case, it’s worth checking your idea of romantic matches your bride’s. We’ve heard of some brave souls who really went the extra mile to surprise their new wives. One bloke we were told about took his wife kayaking Norwegian fjords for two weeks with just army rations and a tent. Another captured the romance of the occasion by organising a tour of Treblinka and Dachau. History does not relate how the marriages are doing now, but you have to admire the risk-taking.
2. Remember you’ll need a break
Your bride will be probably be suffering from post wedding exhaustion after all those months planning the big day itself. Yes, we know it’s supposed to be a memorable holiday of a lifetime but does she really want to spend two weeks wearing oilskins and learning to crew a yacht in the Atlantic? And even if she has spent the last year in the gym to fit into her wedding dress and is as fit as a flea, she still might not want to go rock-climbing. Maybe you’ve always wanted to climb K2 but marriage is supposed to be about compromise so you might as well start here.
3. Alone time
Make sure you build in time when you don’t have to be anywhere or do anything. It is your honeymoon after all. And when we say, you don’t have to be anywhere or do anything – we mean by yourselves. We know of a very entertaining South African chap whose consuming passions, like many of his fellow countrymen, were sport and beer. He got married, went on honeymoon to the Maldives, and much to everyone’s surprise came back saying it was the best holiday he had ever been on. Further questioning revealed that he had met a fellow, bored South African bloke at the bar on the second day, and spent the rest of the two weeks drinking beer and talking about rugby for fourteen hours a day. Someone pointed out that this was not very romantic, to which our hero pointed out that it most certainly was, since sometimes the two of them drank champagne.
In honour of our South African friend and all the other romantics out there, we begin our round-up of dream destinations in one of the honeymoon capitals of the world…
Huvafen Fushi, Maldives
If your banking bonus has come through this month, then this might be the place for you – otherwise forget it. Private bungalows with glass above turquoise waters are the order of the day here. Don’t expect much change from US$2000 per night for the Lagoon Bungalow with plunge pool – but you do get breakfast thrown in which is good of them.
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Safari Holidays, Botswana
Botswana has cunningly decided that whilst tourists are a good thing, lots of them are not. Consequently, it has adopted a high price/low volume approach which means that the wildlife is undisturbed and plentiful, and its tourists are generally well off. Treat yourself to a trip staying at luxury camps like Mombo Camp, Vumbura Plains Camp and Jao Camp which are the places to stay in the Okavango Delta.
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The Galapagos Islands are an archipelago off the coast of Ecuador, and represent one of the wonders of the natural world. To a certain extent, the authorities have copied the Botswanan model of trying to limit the number of tourists who go there. If you can afford the hefty price tag, then you will be treated to wildlife wonders and some of the best scuba diving on the planet.
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Dubai, United Arab Emirates
If you are after a bit of luxury, you need look no further than Dubai with its plethora of top hotels. One of the most famous is the sail-shaped Burj Al Arab which has become one of best known buildings in the world. With truly extraordinary levels of service, the hotel will pamper to your every need whilst you admire the opulence wherever you look.
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Whilst some of the Caribbean islands have turned into charter holiday hotspots to be avoided like the plague, Mustique retains its exclusivity. Stay in style at the Cotton House Hotel and choose from a range of beautiful accommodation with stunning views over a turquoise ocean.
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Hire a motor-home round California
You don’t have to break the bank for ultimate romance. What could be nicer than spending a few weeks in the cosy confines of a motor-home as you explore the vast state of California. A diverse geography, coupled with an equally diverse range of cities means that for around $90 a day, you can travel wherever your hearts desire.
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If you’re after a memorable honeymoon, then what could be more so, than making one of the great journeys of the world with your new wife or husband. Okay, it might lack the glamour of the Maldives or the Caribbean, but you’ll have much better stories to tell than if you spent two weeks on a sun-lounger.
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Amazon Jungle trek
For those of an adventurous nature, why not think about honeymooning amidst the splendour of the rain forest on an organised jungle safari. Whilst the idea of roughing it with plenty of interested wildlife might not be everyone’s cup of tea, there will be no danger of getting bored by the pool.
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Climb Mount Aconcagua, Argentina
And if your new wife happens to love the idea of rock-climbing after all, why not make an attempt at the summit of this 22,840 ft mountain. Clearly you’ll need to be fit, but guided tours make this impressive ascent possible even with minimal experience of the mountains.
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Metropolitan magic, New York
If the middle of nowhere is too from anywhere to float your romantic boat, why not go to New York, voted most romantic city in a Skyscanner poll? Beating Paris, Venice and Rome, the excitement and buzz of New York makes it a great city for couples. Stage your own Hollywood movie moment on the top of the Empire State Building, kiss in the middle of the Brooklyn Bridge or go skating in Central Park.
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