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Travel future: The big honeymoon question

Beach in Belize at sunset

With my wedding coming up in almost six weeks time, there’s one question I keep getting asked – where are you going for your honeymoon? It’s a big question for any couple getting married, but even more so when one of them is a self-confessed travel obsessive and blogger, so I’m putting the pressure on myself to come up with the perfect destination. Other than a short break in Cornwall after the wedding, we’re saving the big trip until the New Year and will have two weeks to spare. There’s got to be sun, which means Europe and North America at this time of year are out, as are south-east Asia and Australasia as we want to go somewhere neither of us has been before. So where does that leave us? Here are the destinations taking the top spots on my honeymoon shortlist so far.

Belize

Belize was an early front-runner when we started thinking about honeymoons. It’s got the right combination of gorgeous Caribbean beaches to laze on as well as rainforests full of wildlife and Mayan temples to explore, all without too much travelling between them. But it’s not the easiest place to fly from the UK to – flights can be expensive and most need an overnight in Miami each way. It’s also a fairly easy place to find accommodation on a backpacker budget or on an ultra-luxe one, but there’s not so much in the middle. Belize is definitely somewhere I’d like to visit soon, but it might be as part of a longer backpacking trip around the region instead, incorporating southern Mexico and Guatemala too.

Beach in Belize, central America

On the beach in Belize – photo credit Bob Reck

South Africa

A safari is one of my dream trips and being a huge wine fan too means that South Africa is top of my African wishlist. With two weeks we could spend a few days in Cape Town, taste our way around the winelands, drive some of the Garden Route and then spot the big five in Kruger National Park. The weather should be perfect in the New Year, there are plenty of flights and no jetlag coming from the UK. It’s a trip I’d love to do – but maybe not for a honeymoon. There’s so much I’d like to see in South Africa that we’d be moving around a lot to fit it all in and those pre-dawn starts and long days of game drives don’t quite fit my idea of honeymoon relaxation.

Giraffes in Kruger National Park, South Africa

Giraffes in Kruger National Park – photo credit Jack Zalium

The Maldives

So if a safari is a bit too active, how about the ultimate beach destination – the Maldives? I used to think I would get bored spending too much time on the beach, but the idea is starting to get a lot more appealing – lazy days reading and swimming, cocktails and candlelit dinners on the beach. But in the end I think that the Maldives might be a step too far, especially for two whole weeks. There’s only so much lazing I can do and I’d rather be somewhere with more to see and not be completely surrounded by other honeymooners. One option might be to combine the Maldives with somewhere else for a few days though – maybe flying via Dubai for a dose of bling and city life en route?

Sunset in the Maldives

Sunset in the Maldives – photo credit Selda Eigler

Sri Lanka

Then there’s Sri Lanka – another destination which seems to have the right combination of exploration and relaxation. It mixes up bit of everything in a fairly small area, with golden beaches, tea plantations up in the hills, ancient cities, temples and even a bit of wildlife spotting in the National Parks. It also looks like there’s a good selection of places to stay, with lots of historic colonial buildings that have been converted into hotels. With two different monsoons hitting the island we might come across some rain on one side and it can be energy-sappingly humid, but the highlands are usually a lot cooler if it gets too much.

Tea plantation in Sri Lanka

Tea plantation in Sri Lanka – photo credit Petr Kosina

So that’s my honeymoon shortlist – which destination do you think I should go for, or is there somewhere else I haven’t thought of?

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74 Comments Post a comment
  1. We did Kruger on our honeymoon. It worked excellently combined with an isolated each in Mozambique. We got married in the Cape winelands and then took UK friends with us to Kruger. It was manic with early morning game drives and late nights drinking red wine under stars but incredible. Then it’s just a short drive to Maputo where we took a helicopter to a hotel where we relaxed, just the two of us, next to the beautiful warm Indian Ocean. We thought it was the perfect combination so don’t count our Kruger just yet 🙂

    August 8, 2013
    • It does sound fantastic – and I like the idea of combining the game reserve with a bit of lazing on an Indian Ocean beach. I can see that this is going to be a tough decision! If I don’t make it to South Africa on honeymoon then it’ll definitely be my next big trip.

      August 8, 2013
  2. For me it would be SA or Sri Lanka – surprised not to see Namibia on your list! Wherever you go have a wonderful time. We get married early October 🙂

    August 8, 2013
    • Oh yes Namibia would be amazing too – loved your photos from out there. I haven’t made it to Africa at all yet so must get there soon. And congratulations to you too!

      August 8, 2013
  3. No doubt Sri Lanka! U will find a great mix to thing to do, not just beach and an amazing culture!

    August 8, 2013
    • I’ve just been reading the Sri Lanka guidebook and it does look fantastic – so much to see in such a small country!

      August 8, 2013
  4. We went to the Maldives and I too was worried about being bored – how wrong I was! Between eating the amazing food, snorkelling, going for walks, going in the pool, shark watching, stingray feeding, table tennis, sunbathing, going to the spa, having drinks at the beach bar, reading & enjoying watching all of the wonderful animals (etc etc) we wouldn’t have wanted to do more. Bearing in mind that you are knackered after the wedding too, we found it perfect.
    Saying that I’d love to go on safari too. Enjoy wherever you end up:)
    (we went to Kuramathi)

    August 8, 2013
    • Thanks, it does sound tempting! We’re going to wait a couple of months after the wedding for our big trip but if we were going straight off then I think the Maldives would be perfect to unwind and relax after all the excitement. It might be a good one to combine with one of the others though, so we could have a safari or Sri Lanka trip followed by a few days on the beach (budget permitting!).

      August 8, 2013
  5. We were talking about the same not too long ago and I mentioned that I’d like to travel China for 2 weeks. I got the comment back that a honeymoon is supposed to be relaxing. So I wouldn’t consider South Africa the right place to go. The Maledives and Sri Lanka both sound good. 🙂

    August 8, 2013
    • One of my old work colleagues spent her honeymoon travelling around Taiwan and absolutely loved it, so I guess you can do anything! Think there definitely has to be a bit of relaxation and doing nothing in there somewhere though – you do actually want to spend a bit of time together not be out sightseeing and doing activities the time.

      August 8, 2013
  6. Congratulations Lucy!!!
    Every one of those places sound perfect. Sri Lanka should be just past the SW Monsoons and the NE doesn’t start until mid October. And from what I gathered from our daughter who was in Kruger with her family this May, the safari drives only take place twice a day at dawn and dusk. The rest of the time is spent eating and lolling around those luxurious bungalows!!
    Happy planning, and have a wonderful honeymoon whichever destination you choose 🙂

    August 8, 2013
    • Thanks Madhu, it’s so difficult to choose, I’d be happy with any of them really! Think I’ll have to start looking at flights and logistics more closely as that might narrow things down for me.

      August 8, 2013
  7. Would you rule out Hawaii? I only ask because I was watching an Adam Sandler film last night, and it did look a bit special.

    I reckon you’ll go for Belize!

    August 8, 2013
    • The 16 hour flight put me off Hawaii a bit, though it does look amazing. Husband-to-be has to go to Las Vegas each year with work so we try to tag a US trip onto that as he gets his flights paid for, so might be a good time to go to Hawaii as we’ll be halfway there already!

      August 8, 2013
  8. Probably doesn’t win points for easy to get to but Suriname is meant to be beautiful and massive travel kudos 🙂

    I would personally always go for Africa – I’m a complete addict! Wherever you go I hope it’s wonderful x
    Emilymeetsworld.com

    August 8, 2013
    • That would certainly be different – not likely to bump into too many other honeymooners on the beach there! Africa will definitely be in my travel plans for the year, whether its for the honeymoon or later in the year, I’ve been wanting to do a safari for so long.

      August 8, 2013
    • Well I have lots of tips if you want any, especially more affordable options! Planning on getting them on my blog soon… busy busy 🙂 thanks for the follow x

      August 8, 2013
    • Great thanks, I’ll keep an eye out for some tips!

      August 8, 2013
  9. At the ripe age of 21, a honeymoon is a long way in the distance for me. However, I went to Zanzibar last year to relax after climbing Kilimanjaro, and there is nowhere better I can imagine than this place for a honeymoon. It has endless perfect sandy beaches, which were completely deserted. I expected it to be so touristy, but it wasn’t at all. But being Africa, there is also the chance for excursions to do safaris, swimming with wild dolphins etc. It is the most relaxing place, however go into Stone Town, and the bustling markets are really an experience! Good luck and I’m sure you’ll make the perfect choice 🙂

    August 8, 2013
    • Haha, yes at 21 it was a very long way off for me too! Zanzibar is a good idea though to combine with a safari trip, I’ve got a friend who went there a few years ago and the beach photos looked stunning.

      August 8, 2013
  10. All of those places sound wonderful! I am not a big traveler and neither is my soon to be husband–neither of us have ever been out of the country! So, we are making the trip to Jamaica after our honeymoon in October. We chose it because we are the ultimate cliche haha–swim up bars, candlelit dinners on the beach, horseback riding and snorkeling are some things we are excited about. I think you should go beach route. You’ll need a warm place to relax after wedding planning!

    August 8, 2013
    • I think a beach is a must – Jamaica sounds lovely too, you can’t beat a tropical island for relaxation! Have a great time and congratulations on your upcoming wedding too.

      August 8, 2013
  11. They all look absolutely fab! You know, no matter where you go, you won’t go wrong Luce as you will be with the may you are spending your life with – memories will be created for a lifetime!

    August 8, 2013
    • That’s so true Anita, I know that we will have a great time wherever we end up going, I’m looking forward to our mini UK honeymoon too as we plan to do nothing apart from relax and recover!

      August 8, 2013
  12. Luce on the luce, my second home Turks and Caicos has your name on it. A bit far but so is Belize. You’ll be in photo heaven and your food options are set (by set I mean just ask me ;))

    August 8, 2013
    • Now the Turks and Caicos look stunning, I’ve just seen some photos and the colour of the sea is just amazing. This isn’t helping me narrow down my options though – the list is just getting longer!

      August 9, 2013
  13. Reblogged this on yasarnorman.

    August 8, 2013
  14. Decisions! Decisions! I am in no way qualified to choose, but I’m pretty sure you’ll get it right. All the very best for your future together. 🙂

    August 8, 2013
    • Thanks Jo, I’m sure wherever we end up it’ll be a great trip – maybe I should just leave it to chance and pick a place out of a hat!

      August 9, 2013
  15. Reblogged this on EaziTravel Group.

    August 8, 2013
  16. You could visit the Maldives and Sri Lanka, they are only an hour apart after all! The right island in the Maldives is key, especially if you are a diver or a snorkeler. We got married on a Wednesday and flew out to the Maldives that night on our honeymoon, I did get some strange looks as I kept my tiara in the whole time! It was great though and the weather was perfect. We have flown Emirates to the Maldives twice now and they will always be our first choice, even over direct flights and we are planning on doing the same trip next summer.

    We have also done beach and Safari holiday in Kenya which was amazing and a great mix of action and adventure so I think whatever you choose of these you will have a great time.

    August 8, 2013
    • I didn’t realise that the Maldives and Sri Lanka are so close together so that’s definitely something to look into. Love that you kept your tiara on on the plane too!

      August 9, 2013
  17. We honeymooned in Belize and loved it. That being said, we’ve also seen South Africa and it would be our pick. Africa is the only place on earth with rhinos and lions and giraffes and.. (you get the picture). It’s just such a unique place! I would do Cape Town and Namibia as we heard not-so-great things about Johannesburg and getting to Kruger. Namibia is so simple that you and your husband-to-be can do it by yourselves and have “couple time” without drivers, guides, etc.

    August 8, 2013
    • Thanks for the safari tips, I’ve heard really great things about Namibia and distance-wise it’s no further than travelling to Kruger and it would be nice to do a self-drive. Glad you enjoyed Belize too, it’s somewhere I’ve wanted to go to for years so if it isn’t for the honeymoon I must get there soon anyway.

      August 9, 2013
  18. My vote is for South Africa. It’s exotic with a lot to do, but you always have the option to decide when to move and when to be lazy. Going on a safari sounds like a perfect honeymoon activity! Where else can you get the views that South Africa offers? Mountains, wildlife, gardens and the ocean make an awesome combination in my book. I add a tally to the South Africa count! Can’t wait to see what you choose and congratulations!

    August 9, 2013
    • Thanks – I think South Africa probably has the most votes at the moment! It does have such a great combination of things that I love with the wildlife, wine and beaches all together.

      August 9, 2013
  19. Congrats on your marriage! 🙂 I’ve been to South Africa and Cape Town is stunningly beautiful. And you’re right, there is a LOT to do. Go to the penguin colony, drive to the Cape of Good Hope, climb Table Mountain…it could be a bit too much activity for a honeymoon… we didn’t safari there, but in the Serengeti. Camping in luxury canvas tents with the sounds of zebra and wildebeest all around you can be surprisingly romantic.

    How about combining Sri Lanka and the Maldives? They’re very close together, and flights from Sri Lanka to the Maldives are relatively inexpensive. Sri Lanka is an amazing country with a lot of diversity and delicious food (the tea plantations of Ella are so peaceful and Galle Fort is so atmospheric) but the beaches are not great. The waves are so strong, that it’s difficult to even go in the water safely. The combo could give you the culture and the beach (which I agree is necessary to any honeymoon) 😉

    August 9, 2013
    • I’m so not a camper but I do like the idea of a luxury tented safari, with proper beds and gin and tonics while we watch the sunset! And thanks for the tip re Sri Lanka’s beaches.

      August 9, 2013
  20. They all look like fabulous ideas and since you will be with your sweetie, they would all be fun. My vote would be the Maldives with a stop in Dubai as it is my most favourite city!

    August 9, 2013
    • I’ve not been to Dubai yet but would really like to visit, it looks like such an interesting place and so different to anywhere else.

      August 9, 2013
  21. jeppe&katja #

    Congrats! Ideal Honeymoon vacation at Sanctuary Cap Cana, Dominican Republic. This resort is very quiet and perfect for couples! We have never been to the Dominican Republic but this place was absolutely amazing!!! Read more at our blog 😉

    August 9, 2013
    • Thanks for the tip – I hadn’t really thought about the Caribbean but it’s got some gorgeous islands so might be one to add to the list!

      August 9, 2013
  22. I wish you the best with your marriage. Good luck with your wedding plans!

    August 9, 2013
  23. Nice informative post on honeymoon destination …..i went to maldives for my honeymoon ,it is a paradise ….fell in love with dat place 🙂 🙂

    August 9, 2013
    • Thanks – the Maldives does look just gorgeous, good choice!

      August 12, 2013
  24. Congratulations Lucy! I’ve been to both South Africa and Sri Lanka and each is wonderful. Depending how much you want to do, I think you could pack it into two weeks and still have time to chill out. I had just over a week in Sri Lanka and saw the ancient cities (Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Sigiriya and Dambulla) plus Kandy and Nuwara in the Hill Country along with Galle so that plus a few days in the Maldives could definitely work. Many flights touch down en route.

    Or Cape Town (plus the wine lands, Cape of Good Hope, Boulder beach, Table Mountain, Bo Kaap) and then Kruger would also work – again, I’ve done that at New Year and the climate is lovely.

    Or how about Mauritius? You’ve beaches, diving and snorkelling plus loads of activities and a mix of cultures. It’s a much bigger island so more to discover than the Maldives but still stunning Indian Ocean. My own honeymoon was Brazil – amazing but a packed fortnight and could still only scratch the surface so I’d definitely recommend time to relax (though I couldn’t have done two weeks on a beach without going mad).

    August 10, 2013
    • Thanks for all the tips Cathy. We definitely want to have a good amount of relaxing time, but I don’t think I could do just beach either. Its trying to find a balance with doing some sightseeing but not constantly packing up and having to travel a lot. Brazil sounds great – and Mauritius is a good idea too. I think I’m going to have start flight hunting, we’d ideally like to go around New Year so that may narrow down the options for us!

      August 12, 2013
  25. Hi Lucy, congratulations on your marriage and all the best for you two. I highly recommend to consider going to Dubai on your way to the Maldives or Sri Lanka. I haven’t been to the Maldives and Sri Lanka yet but have been to Dubai twice on my way to Asia and absolutely loved it.

    August 11, 2013
    • Thanks Vanessa, I would really like to do a Dubai stopover – I think it’d be a great contrast to either Sri Lanka or the Maldives. I’m going to have to start the serious flight researching and see what I can come up with!

      August 12, 2013
  26. Come visit Queenstown, New Zealand (if you haven’t been there yet)! It’s a big treat for nature lovers, and there are so many adventurous things you can do! Milford Sound is amazing, super beautiful! You guys will love it! 🙂 December-February is summer time in New Zealand, so it’s going to be warm and lovely too!

    August 12, 2013
    • ok, whoops! scratch that, I just read that you’ve already been to NZ! :))

      August 12, 2013
    • I have I’m afraid! Otherwise that’d have been a great suggestion. I loved Queenstown – and the whole of NZ in fact – such amazing landscapes out there. I was there in November so not the height of summer but still had some great sunny days, sea was a bit chilly though!

      August 12, 2013
  27. What an interesting post! I started thinking what would be my dream honeymoon destination. There are so many beautiful places to choose from!

    I liked your list. Sri Lanka and the Maldives can actually be easily combined as they are not far away from one another. I’ve been to Sri Lanka and it is a wonderful island with lots to do and see. Another option would be Africa – first a lovely safari and sleeping under the stars in Tanzania, then off to Zanzibar!

    Anyway, I am looking forward to hearing where you will end up going. No matter where you go, I’m sure you will have a lovely time.

    August 13, 2013
    • It’s so hard to narrow it down isn’t it? I have such a long travel wishlist that I struggled to cut it down to these options. The time of year helped reduce the options as there is a lot of Europe I’d have like to see otherwise, but I’m itching for a long haul trip so any of these would be good – I’m sure we will have a great time wherever we end up!

      August 14, 2013
  28. Wow, how to narrow it down? I want to go to them all immediately! We went to South Africa earlier this year for two weeks and I felt like we fitted a lot in (including our friends’ wedding!) and the safaris were amazing. Also, have you thought about somewhere like Costa Rica – small country so easy to travel but so much to do – rainforest, volcanoes, beaches etc. Wherever you end up I’m sure you’ll have an amazing time!

    August 14, 2013
    • Costa Rica would be a great honeymoon destination, unfortunately it was off the list though as I’ve already been! It’s the only place in Central America I have been to and loved it out there so thought Belize would be fairly similar with the mix of beaches, rainforest, temples etc. But South Africa does sound so great too. I think flight schedules and prices are going to end up making the decision for me!

      August 14, 2013
  29. Wow – I’d love to go on all of your potential honeymoon trips! But to pick just one, I say go for South Africa. You seem most excited about that destination in your description, plus you could always follow the suggestion of another commenter and piggyback it with a beach holiday. Do it!

    August 15, 2013
    • I keep changing my mind every day on which one to go for! South Africa would be fantastic – the flights are quite expensive for the New Year but if I don’t make it out there for my honeymoon then I will definitely do it soon!

      August 16, 2013
  30. Thought about Kenya? It’s got the whole package- Nightlife in the Big city, Safari, Mountain climbing and of course, the white sandy beaches along the coast 🙂

    August 17, 2013
  31. Sro Lanka with no doubts! Second chiise South Africa! Did u come to a decision? 🙂
    Ciao,
    Monica

    August 22, 2013
    • I think Sri Lanka is the favourite at the moment, though I need to work out dates, flights and prices so it might still change completely!

      August 23, 2013
  32. Have you thought of doing a trip in Africa that would start by doing the Safari type, Nairobi down to Kruger and the Serengetti, but finish on the beautiful Zanzibar Island? That would tie in culture, something new (hopefully!), but relaxation.

    August 24, 2013
    • That sounds like a great option too – the combination of safari and beach would balance each other out well.

      August 26, 2013
  33. I agree with your comments on Belize. I did it as part of a bigger trip and it was amazing. I’ve just posted a blog post on my honeymoon – it was in Ubud in Bali. I can’t recommend it highly enough. I’m sure wherever you go on your honeymoon you will have the best time – it’s such a happy, lovely experience. Enjoy X

    August 30, 2013
    • I really liked Ubud – and the place you stayed looked great! We went to Bali a couple of years ago and it was the most honeymoony style trip I’ve ever been on, lovely places to stay and very relaxing. Just need to replicate that feeling somewhere different now!

      August 30, 2013
  34. I’m off to Sri Lank Next week..can’t wait. Not a honeymoon though haha Look at Kuoni for the packages..

    August 31, 2013
    • Have a fantastic trip! I’ve been doing a lot of reading about it and it looks great – just need to make a final decision now…

      September 2, 2013
  35. Thanks Lucy,
    Good collection of honeymoon spots.I would like to include vietnam in it .

    September 9, 2013
    • I really liked Vietnam and if I hadn’t already been than it would be a great place for a honeymoon!

      September 9, 2013
  36. Ben #

    It’s such a difficult decision! We’re stuck trying to decide what to do for our honeymoon next year as well. Of the options you’ve got here I think I’d go for a combination of Sri Lanka and The Maldives. Have you thought about India? I don’t know if you’ve been there already, but that was something I was looking at. A week somewhere in India followed by a week in The Maldives. I think I’d go a bit crazy spending 2 weeks on a tiny island! I look forward to hearing what you decide on in the end. Good luck!

    October 7, 2013
    • Still not decided yet! Sri Lanka is still very much on the shortlist though and it’d be great if I could combine with the Maldives. Did think about Kerala in India as a friend of mine raves about it. I’ve been to northern India and Goa and found it a bit exhausting but Kerala seems a lot more relaxed. Congratulations on your engagement too and good luck with your planning!

      October 8, 2013

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