In America at least, epic honeymoons are made into an end all be all. But spending half as much as you did on the wedding on one trip doesn't make sense for everyone. It's certainly understandable if that's not in the budget right away. And even if you do have the funds, taking off even more time — and enough for a journey abroad — can be impossible, or at the very least stressful. For these reasons and more, many couples are now saving their big honeymoons for a holiday, more flexible time or even their first anniversary.
But that's not a reason to go straight from the altar back to work on Monday. After such a major life event, it's important to have a short honeymoon period that separates the ceremony, celebration and all the hubbub from the start of your new life. You need some distance, even if it's not a lot physically. That's why a staycation honeymoon — a staymoon? — can be the perfect solution. Make it special, memorable and fun by following our simple steps.
Step 1: Find the a cute, romantic hotel or Airbnb in your area.
Your staycation honeymoon lodging doesn't have to be super fancy, or far away. But it should have a pool, ideally, or if it's winter and you're somewhere cozy, a fireplace or jacuzzi. If you don't want to spend the money, make your own home into a little bit of a getaway. Before leaving for the wedding, make the bed with those nice new sheets you registered for, set out bathrobes and slippers, buy some nice wine and set out some candles to light when you get back (maybe in candlesticks that also made the registry!).
Step 2: Turn off your phones.
And if you have a land line, consider unplugging it. Give yourselves at least as much time as you would have spent flying somewhere halfway across the world to completely and utterly disconnect. There may still be people in town from the wedding, but don't worry about them. Don't check your wedding hashtag on Instagram. Don't deal with little everyday things. Just turn the smartphones off and be with each other.
Step 3: Bust out your vacation wardrobe.
Even though you're staying local, you can dress as if you were faraway. Wear a nice dress to dinner, buy a new bikini for the pool, and certainly break out the lingerie you amassed in all the pre-wedding festivities. Encourage your hubby to dress as if he's on vacation as well.
Step 4: Have an adventure.
Go somewhere you've never been before! Spend some time in advance (just like you would for a honeymoon) researching the area and finding hidden gems and tucked-away secret spots you haven't made it to previously. Everyone has a place they've heard people talking about or seen pictures of that they've never actually explored. Well, now is the time. Hike a mountain, have a romantic picnic by a lake, or just drive and see where you end up.
Step 5: Enjoy some splurge meals.
Stop counting calories now! Chances are you were on some kind of pre-wedding diet or at least watching your sugar, salt and fat ahead of the big day. So forget the discipline because you made it — it's time for the reward. Snag a reservation at the restaurant you've been dying to try and top it off with a bottle of bubbly. If you're making your staycation honeymoon at home, don't even think about lifting a finger in the kitchen. Order in everything (it's only for a few days) using Postmates or a similar app — or ask your hubby to make you breakfast in bed (and clean up the dishes, too!). Think about all of the room service charges you're not spending, and it will make the staycation feel that much more special.
Step 6: Hit a spa.
It wouldn't be a honeymoon without a couple's massage, at the very least, so head to the hotel's spa or a day spa in the area and pamper yourselves. Any tension left over from the wedding won't stand a chance.
Step 7: Document it.
Just like you would if you were in the Seychelles or Mexico, take pictures. You can share them later on Instagram when you emerge from your honeymoon cocoon to rejoin the real world and turn your phones on again. Every experience is what you make of it, so put your all into making a local honeymoon exotic, exciting and beautiful in its own way!