Emily's I Do Update

Honeymoon Dilemma

6 months ago by

In Partnership With Zola
Honeymoon Dilemma

We’ve made huge strides with our wedding planning (I know I know, just stop talking about it already!) but now we’re stumped on the most fun part of the wedding—our honeymoon!

Not only are we doing the wedding in Italy, but we’re planning to do a big trip immediately following the wedding for a few weeks of newlywed bliss. But the problem is…we don’t know where to go.

Talk about first world problems, but this is a really special trip for us and there are so many places we want to visit. Not to mention, Zika is really limiting our options. The CDC website might be the 2nd most visited in my browser (behind my online banking, because, money), and it’s really spreading. There are now warnings for the majority of Africa as well as most of Southeast Asia, which was where we really wanted to go. Our original plan was to do a mix of Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Thailand, but Cambodia and Thailand aren’t an option anymore (babies are in our not-so-distant future, hopefully!) We’ve been throwing around Japan (because it’s been Josh’s dream to go and after my trip with Garance I know it’s amazing!) or going to Africa for a mix of Cape Town, Safari, and beach. We’re hoping to do a mix of exploration and adventure and some beach—we’re definitely not the people to stay in one resort or be at the beach for the whole trip. Our registry includes a honeymoon fund (we’ve been living together for 4 years, we don’t really need that much stuff for our home), so we really want to figure out something amazing!

All that to say, I’d love your advice and recommendations! Anywhere that you’ve been that was truly life-changing with your loved one? Or honeymoon horror stories and things we should avoid?

Zola

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51 comments

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  • Roberta May, 18 2017, 3:35 / Reply

    Ilha de Mocambique, Gorongosa Park, and Vamizi Island in Mozambique. It is beautiful and unspoiled, and there are wonderful, environmentally sustainability resorts. Seafood is also great!

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:52

    Thank you for the tip Roberta! x

  • Maricarmen May, 18 2017, 4:00 / Reply

    Africa would definitely be an exotic, adventurous trip. You can go to Zambia, stay by Victoria Falls and have the romantic vibe of old English traditions. Go to a Safari (there are too many to mention), or to Mozambique for the beaches, and finish in Cape Town, that reminded me a lot of the French Riviera, continue the romance at the most beautiful vineyards in Stellenbosch.

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:51

    Josh likes the idea of going to Zanzibar–just to go to Zanzibar, because, why not?! x

  • We went to Paris and Corsica for our honeymoon (slightly Garance-inspired)! It was an amazing combination of urban exploration and then relaxing on peaceful beaches and driving through mountains!!!

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:51

    We’ve talked about Corsica as well! 6 years of working with Garance and I still haven’t been! x

  • Our honeymoon was in New York… (We are from Greece.) Probably not exactly the kind of thing you have in mind! Have a great, happy time anywhere you decide, cherie!

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:51

    I’m sure that was wonderful! If we were living in Europe I think a trip here would have been great.
    Thanks for your kind wishes! xx

  • My advice… if the rest of the world (ok, I’m exaggerating here) is no longer an option because of Zika, just stay in Europe… there are enough places to go visit!! And the sea in Sardinia ( in Corsica as well, I guess) is better than in Thailand!

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:50

    We thought about this too! I think if we stay in Europe we’d love to explore Portugal! x

  • I’d say Sri Lanka or Japan, check my blog for pictures and itineraries!

    Best,

    Pauline

    http://thevoyageur.net

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:49

    Thanks Pauline! I will definitely check it out! x

  • Go to Japan and jump on a plane to Okinawa island, from Naha (capital) take the speed ferry to the Kerama islands. Completely unspoiled paradise with seaturtles, lush green and unspoiled beaches. Hopefully you are not going in peak Japanese holiday season. Japan in August, not the best time with humidity and high temperatures. Happy holiday shopping (the best shopping??)

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:49

    Thanks for the tip Eva! We’d be going in mid-September, so missing the August rush! x

  • Croatia has lot’s of nature land and sea. Or head to New Zealand. Or Tahiti. South America, cartagena Colombia.

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 4:54

    Ahh that’s the problem! Too many wonderful places to visit!

  • kat woodside May, 18 2017, 5:06 / Reply

    Six Senses Laamu Maldives – The most amazing experience – romantic, no shoes, no cars, the whole time – otherworldly! Plus the Maldives are rapidly disappearing so it may be your only chance. I cannot even describe how incredible every single thing was.

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 5:06

    Thanks for the recommendation Kat! Caitlin on our team is honeymooning in the Maldives in November! I will suggest this to her too! x

  • Autumn May, 18 2017, 5:13 / Reply

    Two words: New Zealand

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 5:26

    Looks so beautiful!

  • LisefromNL May, 18 2017, 5:16 / Reply

    You can combine a safari in Kenya or Tanzania and after one week in Zanzibar which is beautiful, you can do a spice tour, beaches, nice town very different from Africa. It was one of my favourite trip. Beautiful and very unique.

  • Emily May, 18 2017, 5:26

    Thank you for the tip Lise! x

  • Jordyn May, 18 2017, 5:46 / Reply

    Go to Rome and visit Mimo. He misses you.

    xoxo

  • shannon May, 18 2017, 6:04 / Reply

    Are they Seychelles an option? We went for our honeymoon in 2010 and had the best.time.ever. They are beautiful, isolated and relatively unknown for Americans. In fact, we saw only one other American couple the whole time we were there.

  • I have lived for the past five five years in different regions of Africa and the most romantic trip I did was in Maasai Mara at Governor’s camp. You are staying in beautiful tents, having hippos waking you up in the middle of the night for their midnight snack of green grass. During the day if you decide to skip one of the drive (we had our private guide and 4X4), you can either lay in your bed looking at the Savannah and spot Elephant and Giraffes herds passing by (there is no fences around the camp) or visit Maasai villages (my most memorable moment). Plus, you have direct flights from Nairobi to Zanzibar for a change of scenery and turquoise water for your second week. And no need of the yellow fever vaccination. Oh and the food and service was amazing (I has special menus for my entire trip as I am celiac and it was perfect!)

  • Séverine May, 18 2017, 6:19 / Reply

    With my husband, we went to Costa Rica for our honeymoon. A very long trip for us because we live in New Caledonia, near Australia. But it was an amazing trip!

  • Emily May, 19 2017, 8:56

    I love Costa Rica! Josh and I have been twice and really enjoyed each trip! x

  • Cyclades complex of islands, Greece (Hellas ;)

  • Colleen May, 18 2017, 9:48 / Reply

    My fiancé and I are going on our honeymoon in Greece shortly after our wedding – starting with a few relaxing days in Santorini and then renting a sailboat and going island-hopping for a week! We’re going to Italy shortly afterwards and hiking around the Dolomites.

  • Japan is AMAZING. I highly recommend for your honeymoon.

  • eastern part of Indonesia. choose yourself. bali, too crowded, maybe? but you can always try lombok island, or east nusa tenggara, or raja ampat. truly heaven on earth. #IndonesianPride!!

  • I spent 3 weeks in Sri Lanka over Christmas and all I can say is Go There!
    Gorgeous beaches, people, UNESCO listed cities, safaris, rainforest, amazing historic temples and artifacts. Really I could go on and on.
    There are some beautiful villas and bespoke hotels perfect for honeymoon style travel. Seriously – look no further….

  • Marine May, 19 2017, 3:30 / Reply

    Why not Italy (or Greece) (or Corsica ;.) while you are in Europe ? For a complete and intense experience ! I would imagine a trip there with a honeymoon budget could be really nice… And there are plenty of other wonderful options in Europe : romantic swedish island, wineyards in fRance…

  • Well, il you go in mid September Southeast Asia would not be very good because of monsoon season. And as it is cheap, you can do that later.
    South Africa and Namibia could be great but I do not know the weather, and as they are expensive this is the kind of destination you can dream for a honeymoon.

    If no what about Morocco ? The weather is great at this season, this country is so beautiful, I have been there 5 times and there is so much things to do : the imperial cities and médinas : Marrakech, Fes (wonderful), Rabat, Meknès. Then the desert in the very south, the oueds and oasis in the Draa Valley ad Dadès mountain, the trekking in the Atlas, Essaouira the great Atlantic medina, Tangiers, home of many authors. There is all the great handicrafts of the Berbers, and the food !! But beware of the mint tea, they put an unbelievable amount of sugar in such a tiny teapot.
    The only downside would be the sea, as the ocean is only 20°. But maybe you could try a flight from Morocco to the Canaries Islands, or in Southern Europe for the beach.

    And you also have the option of Greece and the Aegean islands.

  • We went to Hawaii for a month on our honeymoon (we opted out of our first idea of a safari for safety reasons, and we decided not to go to Maldives or Zanzibar for ethical ones). Hawaii seemed like the perfect balance and it was memorable. We did all the honeymoon stuff (like helicopter rides, a few days on Lanai or diners on the beach), plus a few adventures like looking for every colour possible of sand (from white to black with red & green in between), hiking a volcano crater (there’s an 11 miles long trail inside the Haleakala crater in Maui and it’s stunning), scuba diving with mantas at night, and the Kalalau Trail along the Napali coast (2 or 3 days hike).
    But I guess Hawaii does not seem as far away and exotic for someone living in the US, so I could suggest the Azores islands. Lost in the middle of the Atlantic, the food is great, and they are not very touristic. In the middle of August we were often alone on the beach or able to find secluded lakes at the bottom of tiny craters.

  • Hannah May, 19 2017, 6:06 / Reply

    New Zealand! Agree with above comments – it’s beautiful, and you could do a bit-of-everything-honeymoon with vineyards, nature walks, thermal pools… Completely biased here, as I am a kiwi!

  • I don’t work for them, but the French Vogue has a few pages on the most spectacular wedding retreats this month ;-)

  • Emily May, 19 2017, 8:55

    Thanks for the tip A! x

  • I would say Estonia! :) But it’s because I live here. :)
    It might be too cold for the classic honeymoon.

    But South of Europe always sounds great. Italy, France and maybe Croatia – I’ve been to Dubrovnik and it’s a hit even among celebrities.

    https://sofaundermapletree.wordpress.com

  • McNeill May, 19 2017, 6:53 / Reply

    Sri Lanka is wonderful! And you could definitely spend a few weeks there. I did 10 days, and covered a lot of the highlands (Kandy, Adam’s Peak, Nuwara Elia, Ella, etc.) plus a little bit of beach time at the end, and it was really too short. Transportation through the highlands is time consuming, so you really want to have extra time to spend in each place.

  • Melanie Steinemann May, 19 2017, 7:26 / Reply

    How about Morocco??? It’s not too far, still Africa, but easy to access. A friend of mine stayed at Hotel Nord-Pinus Tangier and raved about it. Of course there are endless places in Marrakesh to stay.

  • Suzanne May, 19 2017, 7:51 / Reply

    La Namibie est incroyable !!

  • Sarah P. May, 19 2017, 2:18 / Reply

    As an epidemiologist, I am SO glad to hear you are not planning to travel to a country affected by the Zika outbreak, since you are considering getting pregnant shortly thereafter. The risk is real, and in my professional opinion, not worth taking.

    Now in my personal opinion… my husband is French and I’m from NJ, so we had a brief ceremony in NYC, another in his hometown two days later, and then packed the car and headed through the Alps for our honeymoon. We drove through southern France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and spent a few days in Slovenia before we turned around to cruise back through northern Italy and France. We had an absolute blast seeing so many charming places, historic cities, museums, B&Bs, and a variety of landscapes. Slovenia in particular is breathtaking (Lake Bled and Piran were stunning… and the WINE! Oh, you didn’t know that Slovenia has amazing wine?! Nor do most people!) and the only thing we regret is not having a bit more time to have continued down into Croatia. We had always loved road trips, so it was the perfect honeymoon for us. Just another option to consider :)

  • Katarina May, 20 2017, 6:11

    I am from sLOVEnia, so totally biased, but I second you, it is a country well worth experiencing. Nature is amazing and we are actually the world’s most sustainable country.
    As for Croatia – the seaside is simply mindblowing, especially their islands as Hvar and Mali Lošinj.

  • Please take this opportunity to help prevent Zika! Just to get started https://www.cdcfoundation.org/zika-response
    Oh and climate change! https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/21/world/americas/in-zika-epidemic-a-warning-on-climate-change.html

  • We went to Argentina and Uruguay, the latter of which has no Zika warnings. We loved it, but I would probably steer clear of South America completely. Our second choice was Portugal, which is supposed to be amazing. Let us know what you choose!

  • Je suis allée à Porto avec mon copain, au Portugal, et c’est très romantique :) après tu peux bouger à Lisbonne, et éventuellement visiter Barcelone ou Rome/Venise ensuite.

  • The ring road in Iceland is a must. If you have two weeks you can hit all the great spots and see glaciers, beaches, volcanoes, waterfalls, geothermal pools, and the spas :)

  • tatite May, 21 2017, 2:38 / Reply

    I suggest Reunion Island – l ile de la Reunion. you can get do a lot of hiking in the mountains and on the volcano, and when you are tired you can relax on the beach… The landscapes are beautiful and the food is awesome. It is not a posh island, it is a relaxed little French island with a lot to do.

  • Jessica May, 22 2017, 11:04 / Reply

    I HIGHLY recommend the Greek islands. We went there for our honeymoon…two weeks, split between Mykonos-Santorini-Athens. A dream!! The trip has a great combination of romance, beach time and historical sites and museums. I highly recommend it and September would be a perfect time to go. Still warm and lovely, but outside of high season will the packed crowds. If you go to Mykonos, stay at the Andronikos Hotel. My favorite hotel in the world at mid-range prices!! xo

  • We did the Maldives but if you are into moving and visiting, why not Croatia? Not a long flight from Italy. If not New Zealand and YES JAPAN!

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