In the entire confusing, expensive, and stressful process of wedding planning, there is one shining light: the honeymoon. It’s the light at the end of the tunnel, the prize for all the hard work, a well-earned chance to relax and reconnect with the partner you’ve just made a lifelong commitment too. Guys, I can’t wait!
Mr. V and I are all-in on wedding planning right now for our upcoming nuptials (July 2020), and whenever anyone asks about it, I kinda shrug. They follow up by asking about the honeymoon… and I shrug with a little more enthusiasm and a smile.
After all, it’s hard to choose a honeymoon destination! Mr. V and I love to travel, and we’ve explored a lot together. Now we have to choose one (or more?) destinations to mark an occasion that we’ll remember our whole lives?!
To help, I started brainstorming ways to choose a honeymoon destination if you love to travel, like we do. We still haven’t picked our honeymoon spot, but we’re using these techniques to narrow down the list of all the places on earth we might go. (Omg, what about space? You know I love it there… we could do a space honeymoon instead – now I have a whole universe to choose from! ? Kidding.)
Go Somewhere You Both Love
Mr. V and I are very fortunate: we’ve had the chance to travel together a lot. We both have places we loved when we visited (here’s my list, and here’s his), and places we’d love to visit again. As we started brainstorming honeymoon ideas, one destination jumped onto our list right away: Dubrovnik, Croatia.
We spent a dreamy month living in Dubrovnik in 2016 as part of our seven-month trip together. Given that we both love it, I feel confident that if we chose Dubrovnik, we would have a great honeymoon.
If you’re stuck on where to take your honeymoon, chat about the places you’ve been together. If there’s one you both love and talk about wanting to visit again, your honeymoon is a great chance to do it!
Go Somewhere You’ve Both Never Been
Conversely to my last point, you might not want to plan your honeymoon to somewhere you’ve already been. Maybe you’re a bit more intrepid and want to forge honeymoon memories in a new place instead of trodding down memory lane.
In that case, consider the Venn diagram of your travels:
- Places you’ve been
- Where they’ve been
- Destinations you’ve visited together
Now throw the Venn diagram away and consider all the places neither of you has ever been. Is there one place that sounds really interesting? Maybe that’s a good place to go explore together for your first trip as married people.
Grab Your Bucket Lists & Compare to Find Overlap
One day when I booked a new trip with friends (it was the one to Santiago, Chile, actually!), Mr. V told me that he was bummed to be missing the trip because he’d always wanted to go there. I didn’t know that!, I exclaimed. It turns out we had never compared our separate bucket lists to see where they overlap… And that is a great way to find a dream honeymoon trip!
If you both have bucket lists, honeymoon planning is the time to grab them. That’s how Mr. V and I discovered we both really want to do an African safari; we’re still trying to figure out if we can afford it, but hey – at least we know we want to do it together someday!
Write a New Bucket List Together
You’re getting married – and one of the most exciting things about this step is the idea that you’re formalizing a life together forever. (Or however long you conceive of marriage – some people say vows ‘forever,’ others ’til death do us part.’)
Instead of using your existing separate bucket lists and trying to combine them, sit down and write a new bucket list together. You can use things from the overlap of your existing bucket lists to get you started, but you can add new places and experiences you want to have as life partners.
Drinking across Europe? Taking a dream trip to Antarctica? Spotting animals on Safari? Whatever it is you want to do together – the two of you get to add it to the list!
Once you’re done, you can use that new ‘our’ bucket list to choose a honeymoon destination.
Think Bigger to Come Up With a Shortlist
Okay, I know you have a budget and a certain number of days – but one thrill of planning a honeymoon is the chance to treat the whole world as your oyster. I mean, the world is your oyster, you crazy lovebirds!
Grab an atlas or open Google Maps together and just browse around. Make a couple of lists:
- Places you might want to go
- Places you know nothing about
Don’t worry about budget or flight times right now. You’re just trying to get inspired! Once you have both lists, do a little research about the places on list #2, and then you’ve got a shortlist of ideas to consider for a few weeks or months until you need to make a final decision.
Book an Open-Jaw to String Together a Few Places
Have you heard of an “open-jaw” ticket? It’s an airplane ticket where instead of flying from A to B and back, you maybe fly from A to B to C on one ticket, then from C to A on another – or sometimes from A to B to C to A on a single ticket. (Wikipedia explains it more clearly here.)
The great thing about open jaw flights is that they allow you to visit a few destinations – A, B, and C instead of just A and B. They can sometimes be cheaper that A to B tickets too, depending on the destinations and your dates.
Scott’s Cheap Flights has a handy guide on how to search for open jaw flights (basically, you just use the “multi-city” feature in Kayak or your preferred search site), as well as which of their deals to watch for if you want to snag an open jaw deal.
Ask Your Social Media Friends
As you might recall, Mr. V and I are pretty fearless in travel planning – sometimes we crowdsource to let you tell us where we ought to go! (Last time we did this via Twitter poll and ended up in Romania in 2016!)
For honeymoon planning, I decided to do the same:
Okay travel Twitterverse, it’s time to start getting serious. Here are some of the honeymoon destinations Mr. V and I have discussed. Opinions (vote) or thoughts?— Valerie Stimac ? (@Valerie_Valise) January 13, 2020
While I’m not sure we’ll end up in any of these places, it was fun to put some ideas out there and get feedback. (Galapagos is still #1 on our list!)
You don’t have to run a Twitter poll to get feedback; you could just ask your Facebook friends to comment with where they went on a honeymoon and what made it great. Use the feedback to help you and your fiancé start to narrow down the world of options you have.
Spin the Globe – Literally!
Feeling really bold when it comes time to choose a honeymoon destination? Grab a globe and spin it – then stick your finger out and see where it lands. (Ideally, grab one of these blow up globes so you can give it a multi-axial spin on the floor and not be constrained by a globe stand.)
Landed on a country you can’t or don’t want to visit? Try again! End up in the ocean? Research cruises! (70% of the planet is ocean, so this is pretty likely!)
In any event, you’ll probably land on a country you’ve both never been and can research to see if it sounds interesting for your honeymoon.
Mr. V and I are still planning our honeymoon (I’ll update this post once we’ve gotten married and gone!), but we’re using many of these ideas to come up with our list of ideas. How will you choose a honeymoon destination? (If you’ve already been on yours, let me know in the comments how you made the tough choice!)