• Emily Gustafson

Honeymoon Time! My tops picks for 2019 #wednesdaywisdom

Hello friends! I feel like my travel bug is showing, because my last couple of posts have centered on getting the heck of out town. Last week, we discussed tips for #destinationweddings planning and how to create a celebration that feels both exotic and exciting; while still being accessible and family-friendly (if you're bringing the fam along).

This week, let's tackle the honeymoon. Honeymoon planning is so exciting and the options are endless! The the word "honeymoon" can mean many different things to different people. Some people's only image of a honeymoon is lounging on a beach, while others picture backpacking through the mountains. My husband and I honeymooned in Bermuda and spent our days on pink beaches, zipping around on our moped, eating delicious food and exploring the island. It was a wonderful trip and I wouldn't have done it any other way.

But, it's important that you and your fiancé choose a destination that fits your budget and your vision for a fabulous trip together. So, I've compiled two lists of honeymoon destinations. One list is full of destinations that offer adventure and lots of activities like hiking, camping, scuba diving, snorkeling, fishing, and so much more. The others offer a more relaxed pace with great dining options, amazing, all-inclusive resorts, and plenty of opportunities to rest and relax after your busy wedding season.

Each of these destinations offers accomodations and dining options for a range of budgets. Even though some of these far-flung locales will require expensive airfare, you might find that you can balance out the budget with inexpensive food options or reasonable accomodations (especially if you're willing to carry your hotel on your back). So, I've compiled two lists of honeymoon destinations for 2019. This week I'll be sharing my picks for those seeking a big adventure and next week, you'll see the list for those seeking rest and relaxation. Both are equally exciting and full of the kind of memory-making experiences that every couple should enjoy as they begin their married lives.

So let's get started!

For the adventure seekers:

1. Patagonia, Chile/Argentina - I feel like photos of this amazing place speak for themselves. This vast moutainous region stretches across Argentina and Chie and there's so much to see. Glaciers, lakes, penguins, the towering Andees moutains, this place holds striking natural beauty. Accomodations here range from basic to ultra luxurious and you'll find that your dollars can go a long way. And more great news is that you'll feel far from home with no jetlag from the United States. Direct flights are available into Chile from larger US cities, the closest to little ole Knoxville flies from Atlanta.

Photo via Condé Nast

2. Jackson Hole, Wyoming - If you want mountains without the international price tag, coupled with charming small town feel, look no further than Jackson Hole, Wyoming. There's plenty of skiing, hiking, fine dining, sight seeing, and romantic mountain views. Imagine sipping a glass of wine on a balcony overlooking this!

Photo via Travelers Joy

3. Portugal - Now to switch gears completely. As a traveler, I will always have the softest spot for European destinations. Nothing delights me more as a traveler than rambling around centuries-old cobblestone streets for hours. I love them dearly, so I couldn't skip adding one to the list. Portugal is a country that sometimes gets overlooked as a neighbor of Spain and France. But, this little country packs a major punch. It's seacoasts are stunning and offer lots of opportunities for some luxurious relaxation as well adventure. It's a scuba diver's dream destination as it is home to the Azores, a rugged and world renowned diving hotspot. But, there's so much more - vast countyside, beautiful wine and seafood, rocky cliffs, and ancient cities full of Portugal's maritime history.

Photo via Jet Setter

4. Yosemite Valley, California - No list claiming to be "adventurous" could pass up Yosemite Valley. This National Park is a treasure. The world-famous El Capitain, waterfalls, and endless mountains - this place just calls the wild soul. It is a camping, hiking, and rock climing mecca while also boasting world-class dining and inside and outside of the National Park's boundaries. My advice would be to take in the park's full beauty by finding lodging inside. Whether in a tent or the lodge, you'll want to see the sunrises and sunsets.

Photo via Sunset

5. County Kerry, Ireland - This amazing region of Ireland is location on the southwestern coast of the Green Isle and has charm to spare. It's full of history, beautiful seacoasts, friendly people, and hiking galore. You can follow the famous Ring of Kerry, a 179 km long circular trail, that will take you along waterfalls, charming fishing villages, tiny inns, many, many sheep, and the best Guinness you'll ever taste! Don't miss out on the opportunity to stay in a real-life castle, like the fabulous Muckross House pictured below.

Photo via Michelin Travel

6. Nova Scotia, Canada - Do you want to do something a little out of the box for your honeymoon? Consider the salty sea-coasts of Nova Scotia, Canada. Full of charming, fishing villages, and outdoor activities galore, Nova Scotia offers honeymooners the chance to get away from it all and eat all the lobster their hearts desire. Of course, if you're getting married in the fall or winter, expect snow and lots of it. But summer brings mild temperatures, low humidity (a southerner's dream), and sunshine.

Photo via Planet Ware

7. Peninsula Papagayo, Costa Rica - Costa Rica has long been known as the eco-tourism capital of the world. That of course, makes my little sustainability-loving heart happy. But, within Costa Rica, Peninsula Papagayo prides itself on having eco-friendly, but luxurious travel down to an artform. This region of Costa Rica sits on the Pacific coast and was formed by volcanic activity. There are resorts of every style and price point and an easily-accessible international airport. There is no lack of outdoor fun to be had here. Beach kayaking, swimming, scuba diving, paddle boarding, golf, fishing, rain forest hiking tours, ziplines. I mean, you can adventure until your heart's content and them come relax in your infinity pool... tough life, right?

Photo via 4 Seasons

All this travel research has got me adding a few new destinations to my ever-growing bucket list!

And if you're wondering how in the world people afford these airfares, consider opening a credit card that offers points to customers. If you are able to book (and pay off, of course) a few of those wedding expenses with the card, you may find yourself with a nice points bonus that could cover or partially cover the cost of your air tickets. That can be a big help!

For more tips on travel and using credit card rewards, check out www.thepointsguy.com. He has a wealth of knowledge of on the subject.

Stay tuned for next week's post that centers on destinations for those who to slow it way down after their busy wedding season. Expect lots of resorts with great spots for naps :)

A good travel agent can help you plan the ideal honeymoon for your style and budget. If you need recommendations of travel agents, shoot me a message! I know several in our area who are fantastic.

Happy planning,

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