Honeymoon planning might be the least stressful and most fun part of planning your wedding, but there’s still a lot to consider. While celebrities such as Carrie Underwood, Molly Sims, Fergie and Tiger Woods choose luxurious locations like Maui, Tahiti, the Bahamas or the open seas aboard a $57 million yacht, we regular folks don’t have to sacrifice our savings to have an unforgettable honeymoon. You just have to know where to go.
There are some honeymoon destinations that are not only insanely beautiful, but that also won’t drain your bank account. Of all the places I’ve traveled, here are my three favorites:
1. Koh Tao, Thailand.
Koh Tao is a tiny slice of paradise close to the Gulf of Thailand that will steal your heart and let you honeymoon like a star for a fraction of the cost. It has crystal-clear turquoise water and luxurious beaches, making it hands-down the most beautiful island I’ve ever visited. Plus, the locals are very friendly, and everything is inexpensive. And it’s not just the scenery and cheap prices that make this 13-mile island a honeymoon favorite. There are also boat cruises, snorkeling trips, world-renowned scuba diving, zip-lining and mountain hiking. When the day is done, you and your partner can settle down with $10 luxurious massages, to-die-for dining right on the beach and 2-for-1 happy hour. Now that’s what I call honeymooning!
2. Yangshuo, China.
Surrounded by hundreds of mountains in central China, Yangshuo is a destination for the adventurous couple who aren’t afraid to step outside of their comfort zones. From bustling walkways filled with bargains and delicious dining to bike riding through mountain-lined dirt roads and bamboo rafting down the Li River, this natural wonder will give you a honeymoon you’re sure never to forget. Don’t let the language barrier deter you! It’s easily overcome by downloading any translation app to your smartphone.
All in all, this little mountain paradise is the perfect place for newlyweds who not only have keen senses of adventure and open minds, but are also looking to kick off their honeymoon with a bang.
3. God’s Own Country (New Zealand)
I never understood why New Zealand was referred to as God’s Own Country until we stepped off the plane and onto the South Island. To say we were struck speechless is an understatement. The South Island of New Zealand is a spot at the bottom of the world that you have to see to believe.
Just looking at the soaring mountains and glacial lakes is exciting, but there are plenty of things to do in New Zealand as well. Like adventure? You can go bungee jumping, skydiving, surfing, hiking and more. If you prefer to relax, you can take a wine tour, go canoeing, explore the quaint towns or even see the sights from The Lord of the Rings. There’s no shortage of things to do here, especially if you want to start your married life in a truly thrilling and unforgettable style. How many celebrities can say they did that?
Photos: Courtesy of Vanessa Roberts