There are so many places to go to celebrate saying “I do,” so why choose somewhere conventional? Rather than the same old beach destinations you’ll share with countless other happy couples, we’re sharing some less-frequented honeymoon areas.
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We asked Bob Deiner, travel expert and co-founder of Hotels.com and Getaroom.com, for his insight into a few places that might not be on every honeymooner’s radar and why they make good alternatives to standard post-wedding trips.
Just a short hop from Miami, consider Key West as a unique and affordable honeymoon option. Deiner describes Key West as a charming and tranquil destination with a lot to offer any type of honeymooner. “Rent a bike and bike all over the Island, watch amazing sunsets, eat at great restaurants and enjoy great weather,” he says. Laid-back Key West offers accommodations for every budget and a wide array of activities, from shopping and water sports to beaches and museums.
For the couple looking for a honeymoon that offers the chance to be more active, rather than simply sit on a beach somewhere, Costa Rica is a great choice, says Deiner. “It has great weather, it offers fun and exciting adventures such as jungle treks and it’s affordable.” Adventurous couples can hike volcanoes, take a canopy tour, go horseback riding and explore national parks.
Deiner notes Belize as an up-and-coming destination for honeymooners. “It has warm weather, some of the best diving in the world, it’s very exotic and not far,” he says. The country is small enough that you can see most of it in a couple of weeks, and it’s versatile enough to appeal to many types of travelers. While not known for its beaches, there are some nice stretches of sand, along with the opportunity to hike, enjoy some laid-back islands, dive, snorkel and relax at some elegant jungle retreats.
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Although it might be a trek to get there, the Galápagos Islands offer couples looking for an off-the-beaten-path honeymoon a chance to really get away from it all and see some otherworldly landscapes and wildlife. “Cruise on a private yacht or a small luxury cruise and see some of the most-amazing islands and animals indigenous to the Galápagos,” says Deiner.
For couples who are really looking for something different, Deiner suggests a honeymoon in Borneo. Not only will you be surrounded by untouched jungle, you can meet some unique wildlife and truly feel like you’re escaping the everyday. There are two sides to Borneo — Sarawak and Sabah — and each offers different attractions and activities. If you have time (at least two weeks), you can do both. You can access Borneo via a flight from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (an exciting city if you have time to stop for a couple of days).
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Deiner went to Kenya on his honeymoon and loved it. He suggests the destination for anyone who’s ever dreamed of seeing wildlife up close and personal. There are many opportunities to go on safari in Kenya, which would make for an exotic and exciting honeymoon. But you don’t have to sacrifice comfort — luxury accommodations are available in many cases.
Spend a couple of weeks in Thailand and you may never want to come home. Amazing beaches, island escapes, great good, friendly people — there are countless reasons to honeymoon here. “Thailand has world-class hotels, amazing food, exotic temples, fascinating cultures and so much to do,” affirms Deiner. “Or do nothing at all on small islands such as Ko Samui.” Spend a few days in Bangkok and then travel south to island hop, or visit Chiang Mai for some culture, food and trekking.
If you haven’t thought about Bali, Indonesia, as a honeymoon destination, Deiner suggests adding it to your short list. “Bali is an amazing island with top resorts and fascinating culture,” he tells us. Rent a secluded villa where you can honeymoon in blissful peace in your own slice of paradise, or go exploring and take in the rich culture and gorgeous landscape.