There’s no sugar-coated way to fudge the facts: planning a wedding is expensive. And after you shell out the dough for your nuptials, the price tag of the honeymoon might seem that more daunting. Instead of sticking to the traditional go-to of Hawaii or Paris, which can be pricey year-round, consider selecting an international off-season destination that offers the same romantic luster, on a smaller budget. These fall getaway spots will fulfill the visions you had for your first trip together as a married duo, without sending you into debt. Here, a guide to where to go:
Though the 'San Francisco of Europe'—Lisbon, Portugal, is a hop-and-a-skip kind of flight, consider extending your trip to Iberia with a 3-hour drive to the coast of Algarve. During the fall, Portugal has brighty, sunny days with milder temperatures and low humidity. Even better, tourists are back at their desk jobs once summer has had it’s final hoorah. Stay at the cliffside resort of Tivoli Carvoeiro Resort, which was recently remodeled. Now a 5-star luxury getaway, you will celebrate your new Mrs. title in a suite overlooking the sea, dining at their luxe restaurants, taking a dip in the pool or rooftop bar and touring this gorgeous, jaw-dropping destination.
Barossa Valley, South Australia
Did you and your new spouse spend more time tasting the wine you’d serve at your wedding than nibble on cake samples? For the winos who want to experience different blends across the globe, consider Barossa Valley in South Australia. Though it’s fall in the United States, Australia is experiencing their spring season, making it a blooming time of year to head down under. Just northeast of Adelaide, you can tour your way through a mix of more than 100 renowned wineries, with Shiraz being the star of this region. For a luxe place to stay, while still savoring the 19-century vibe of the area, consider staying at The Louise. Here, you can enjoy a romantic suite in the middle of it all, offering a short walk, bike ride or drive from a dozen cellar doors. Don’t forget to book a fancy dinner at Appellation Restaurant, a highly recommended culinary feast.
Is there anything more rose-colored than Italian honeymoon? No matter where you tour in this Roman nation, you’ll feel that moon hitting the sky like a big pizza pie—but for a place that’s more budget friendly post-October, consider the Southern coast. Instead of the sky-high prices in the Amalfi Coast, visit the quaint seaside town of Sciacca. Here, you can stay at the Verdura Resort with views of the Mediterranean Coast, book a treatment at the 4,000-square-meter spa or splash in one of their four Thalassotherapy pools overlooking the region. For the curious couple who needs to immerse in culture while traveling, you can pick from cooking classes, mixology classes, wine tastings and hiking among the Mayan ruins, orange trees or olive groves. For a chill night, this luxury find can book a private sail on their boat, where couples can stargaze, fish or just enjoy the sea.
When you roam around the colorful streets with acceletic characters in Amsterdam, you and your new hubby will have plenty to chat about, as you feel inspired by the cool, creative vibe of this Netherlands destination. During the off-season, less crowds mean more opportunities to stop and soak up the art scene, and cooler temperatures give you full permission to be outdoors from sunrise to sunset. While you’re in town, book your stay at The Pulitzer Amsterdam, where their signature suite comes with a free-standing bath in the center of the room and a super king-sized bed. Unlike other properties, this unique design features 25 connecting Golden Age canal houses, right in the heart of the city, giving you a more authentic experience. You can also book a ride on their salon boat to see the iconic canals surrounded by the rich tones of fall foliage.
St. Andrews-by-the-Sea, Canada
Just a stone’s throw away from Robbinston Maine, this Canadian gem might be a tad chilly during the fall, but it’s beauty will captivate your newlywed soul. This destination is right on the tip of the country, featuring a triangle-shaped peninsula stretching into Passamaquoddy Bay. Here, you and your new spouse can stay at The Algonquin Resort, where a New Brunswick honeymoon will feel like a little somethin’ out of a fairytale. You can putt some balls at their golf course, book a treatment at their newly-renovated spa or rent resort bicycles to explore nearby trails. Grab a jacket and learn more about the history, all while creating a little more of your own.
Though it’s important to pay attention to weather precautions when heading to Indonesia during monsoon season, from October to February, fall is an ideal to time to escape to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Less expensive than Bali, but within view of the volcano, Mount Agung, Lombak is an ideal spot to save money while still adding another to your passport. Stay at The Oberoi on the Medana Bay, offering private beach access over more than 24 acres of landscaped gardens, complete with indigenous trees and an infinity pool. Book lunch or dinner by the sea, take a horse carriage into the Tanjung village or snorkel your way through the nearby Gill Islands. Or simply soak up the sun (and each other) because you’re newlyweds.
Though technically speaking, summer lasts until mid-October, the air begins to cool around this time, making it an ideal time to hop on a flight and celebrate your honeymoon without the pricey rates of summer. Especially if you visit up until end of January, you’ll feel like you have a private island for two, giving you more time to explore culture, art and renowned restaurants, without lines or crowds. Stay at the Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa, where you can wake up to a cliffside view of the local fishing village of Port Soller. Look around this stunning resort and you’ll see the nearby Tramuntana mountain range from one of their 121 sea or mountain-facing rooms, span across 11 buildings. If you don’t make it into town because, ahem, you’re busy with other tasks, don’t worry, al fresco dining is the norm here, with three restaurants and two bars to pick from.
South Luangwa National Park, Zambia
Since the shoulder season for Zambia begins in October, it’s an ideal time to have a safari honeymoon! It’s also when the rains come in over Africa (refrain yourself from singing if you can), signaling the beginning of the Emerald Season, where you’ll see lush greens freckled with gorgeous, jaw-dropping animals enjoying the new nibbles. You can book your adventure with The Bushcamp Company, which tents and thatched chalets, you can have privacy while still exercising your adventurous bones bringing a lush green appearance, stunning views and incredible game-viewing.