After the whirlwind of your dream wedding weekend, all you want to do is run away with the love of your life and bask in this new stage of your journey together. But just like the big day, the honeymoon requires a plan and a budget—two things you might not agree on at first.
One of the toughest challenges with the honeymoon is matching both of your expectations without spending just as much as you did on the wedding. So when a reader asked us how to create an affordable honeymoon experience with ample sightseeing for her hubby-to-be and plenty of beach time for her, we knew it was time to get an expert involved.
Enter Robyn Mark, a travel specialist and partner at MAYAMAYA, which designs high-end custom travel experiences. There are two main things that she thinks about first when creating an itinerary: "If you’re coming right from your wedding, you may need some days of downtime," she says, "but you also want a trip that feels really special, something you’d do at no other time in your life."
That doesn't have to mean scaling the side of a mountain or deep-sea diving to see coral reef up close. "Interactive experiences are fun, especially if it’s the first time for both of you—whether it’s a cooking class or an elephant trek or a wine class," Mark says. It's all about making new memories as you embark on the next chapter of your life together.
If you're worried about pricing, Mark is way ahead of you—she's got a great formula for knowing where to save and where to splurge: "You can get culture in lots of places that have well-priced boutique hotels, so you can spend more money on activities," she says. "Then there are beach resorts, where it's all about being at the property itself, so you'll spend a little more."
Not only did she have that awesome advice, but she also shared some of her favorite itineraries for a honeymoon that will offer the best beach bum views and the most memorable sightseeing.
"In Bangkok, Thailand, a private guide can take you around by tuk-tuk, longtail boat, and Skytrain to see the city sights and sample the street food. Then head to Chiang Mai to visit an elephant sanctuary and take a cooking class, and end the trip at the gorgeous beach resort Six Sensense Yao Noi."
"In Bali, Indonesia, you can spend time in the spiritual center of the island, Ubud, and hike Mount Batur at sunrise or bike through rice fields. Then spend the last days at the Nihiwatu Sumba Island resort, taking surf lessons—or indulging in spa treatments."
"In Vietnam you have Hanoi, which is filled with French colonial influences, and the beauty of Halong Bay, where you can do a tow-night stay on a private junk (a traditional boat). Then fly to Hội An for the markets, and continue to the secluded and stunning Amanoi resort."
Argentina and Uruguay
"Argentina has become a big destination for my clients; it's great for couples who are really into food and wine. Start in Buenos Aires, then head to the Mendoza region for wine tasting, traditional barbecue, and sunset horseback rides. Follow that with a stay at Estancia Vik in José Ignacio, Uruguay, which is a bohemian beach town."