Can we just get a quick hurrah for the theme of this Wedding Wednesday post? Yup we’ve reached the stage of honeymoon planning people – HURRAH! As exciting as wedding planning can be, it’s also overwhelming, stressful, time consuming and just downright difficult at times. There are points, much like the one I’m currently in, when frankly it all just gets too much. When the back and forth emailing with suppliers has you pulling your hair out, when dreams of torrential rain storms and hurricanes on your big day blowing everything to smithereens have you waking up in the middle of the night in a panic sweat, when even the slightest little hiccups (such as the ribbon you’ve ordered arriving in the wrong colour or the rose petals you’re drying going brown) will see you bursting into floods of tears in public places and when you find yourself seriously considering ripping your husband-to-be’s silly head off of his silly neck when he asks silly questions such as ‘will anyone actually notice what shoes you are wearing?’ or brushes off your stresses with ‘I’m pretty sure it will all be fine’ when inside you are screaming ‘HOW?? HOW WILL IT BE FINE? TELL ME? I NEED TO KNOW!!!!!’
Of course, I know he’s right. And I know it will all be fine, and this wedding is not the most important thing in the world but still, wedding stress is real people. It’s a real and seemingly never ending fog when you’re in the midst of it and there is only one thing I’ve found which will release you from its clutches and help you see clearly again, and that’s planning the honeymoon.
So my advice to anyone going through similar foggy terrain is to take a step back from the table centres and the seating plans and colour co-ordination and just…. Think of the honeymoon. Think of those white sands and clear blue seas, think of those days of relaxing without a care in the world, think of a year of hard work and stress being behind you while you bask in the glory of getting through it all together, in one piece and finally as a Mr and Mrs.
With less than 7 months to go, we’ve started getting down to the nitty gritty of planning an epic adventure together, our first as husband and wife, to see out what will have been the busiest year of our lives in true style. As excited as I am about the wedding day itself, it feels pretty – butterflies in tummy – amazing to start mapping out the details of our trip, to imagine us getting on that plane with all of the years worth of planning behind us, simply taking in the fact that we did it, we’re married and we can relax and enjoy three weeks of sunshine and escapades.
As we are getting married in November of this year, we decided pretty early on that we didn’t want to wait until next year to wind down and relax after the wedding. It seemed much more fitting to see out what will have been a crazy yet wonderful 2015 and start our first year of marriage together with the honeymoon of our dreams, so we’ve decided to go away over December and the start of January and make our first Christmas as a married couple, also our first Christmas out of the UK. Planning a Winter adventure of course did limit us with locations somewhat, as to be guaranteed some warmth and sunshine you have to travel that bit further afield. Our final destination hasn’t yet been decided on, but in this post I thought I’d share some of the options we’ve looked at and the possibilities for anyone else planning some Winter sun (whether as a honeymoon or just a holiday).
As holidaying goes, we tend to like to travel around and adventure for the most part. We aren’t really the type of couple who can just lay on a beach for two weeks solid (mainly because I’m Scottish and GB is ginger and sun doesn’t really agree with us) and ordinarily we like to slum it a little with our accommodation to leave more funds for exploring and soaking up the atmosphere. However we’ve both agreed that for at least one part of the honeymoon we’re going to book an all inclusive stay somewhere fabulous, because if there is one time in your life that you absolutely don’t mind being brought a cocktail with your breakfast and given a complimentary massage at your villa, it’s your honeymoon right? (As soon as I see the words ‘complimentary massages’ in an apartment or hotel listing I am SOLD).
Nowadays all inclusive deals aren’t limited to those cheesy family getaways which have creches for the kids and evening talent shows for the adults, you can get some amazing options at some equally amazing far flung destinations. These are a few of those such destinations we’ve been considering, along with what you can expect from the weather (beware of rainy season some places) and flight times (because I’m a terrible flyer).
Where: Small island of the Coast of Madagascar, Africa
Flying time: around 11-12 hours from the UK
Weather: Pretty hot all year round, high 20s and 30s from Dec – April but expect the odd rain shower.
Main attraction: The beaches. White sands, palm trees, waterfalls – the works.
It might be quite far to go, but judging by the pictures I’ve seen of Mauritius it’s worth the long haul. We have some friends who have chosen this destination as their honeymoon and are heading there this year so we’re awaiting their feedback but as far as an idyllic honeymoon beach destination goes, I’d say this might be one of the best. If you’re into diving, and/or skuba diving these clear waters are apparently home to plenty of exotic creatures and surfing is meant to be a big draw too.
Where: In the centre of Indonesia
Flying time: around 12 hours to Bangkok
Weather: Can vary. Ideal times to go are from Dec – March when you can expect temps in the early 30s. In November and April expect some rain.
Main attraction: The culture.
Thailand really appeals to me as there is so much on offer and we can spend time travelling around both the city vibe of Bangkok, the beaches of Phuket and then even travel to other parts of Indonesia such as Laos, Cambodia and Ho Chi Minh City. It’s an area that’s been on my travel bucket list for a long time and having heard such great things from other friends/ bloggers and travellers I know we wouldn’t be disappointed. There are some beautiful honeymoon beach destinations on the coast, there are the markets, plus the jungle and the chance to see Elephants, not to mention the Thai food.
Where: An island in the Carribean
Flying time: around 9-10 hours from the UK.
Weather: Sunny all year round. February is the coolest averaging 26 (still hot for me!!) an the rest of year temps can reach up to 32 (woah!). May, June, Oct and Nov are traditionally the wettest months.
Main attraction: the laid back vibes.
Who doesn’t want to go to Jamaica? All those stories and cliche’s we’ve come to know which centre around beautiful beaches, Bob Marley esque music and tasty jerk chicken, I mean surely some of that has to be true? I think what appeals about Jamaica is the laid back vibe of the island. You can imagine a honeymoon here being the perfect mix of un-interrupted relaxation and super fun partying, coconut cocktail in one hand, delicious BBQ’d meat in another.
Where: bridging the gap between North and South America
Flying time: around 11 hours from the UK.
Weather: varies region to region but generally the dry period is from Feb to July. April and March are the hottest months with temps from 28-35. To see the tropics at their best go between Aug andJanuary when the country is at its greenest.
Main attraction: the diverse landscape.
Costa Rica isn’t a destination we had at first considered, but it’s one that came up a lot on honeymoon searches. Being in the middle of both South and North America, you can get the best of both worlds with the scenery and landscape, enjoying both sandy beaches, rocky volcano terrains and rainforests. A quarter of the country is also protected meaning you can see plenty of national parks and nature reserves. It’s sometimes dubbed paradise on earth, which is pretty much what you look for in a honeymoon destination right?
Anyone else started looking into honeymoon locations? I’d love to hear where you are considering and what time of year you’re planning?
*All pictures courtesy of First Choice, who this post is in collaboration with. As always all words and opinions are my own.*