I just got married in June and when selecting a destination for our honeymoon, I spent quite a bit of time trying to pick the BEST destination. I googled and researched and after getting lost in pages and pages of opinions and research varying from Lonely Planet to “romance experts”, I came to the opinion that the perfect destination does NOT exist.
This might be a less than popular opinion among some tourism boards and highly specialized travel agents, but it’s the truth. Selecting a destination for your honeymoon or truthfully any vacation is highly personal. Similar to planning a wedding, there is a lot of pressure out there to make your honeymoon absolutely perfect and over-the-top romantic. Romance for one couple might be hiking a mountain and for another, it might be getting a little tipsy at dinner in Paris. Personally, I’m partial to a little of both.
My husband and I chose French Polynesia, Taha’a and Bora Bora specifically. When planning our honeymoon, we had just returned from a whirlwind tour of Buenos Aires, Santiago and Chilean Patagonia. I’m the planner and logistics manager when we travel because I love it and am good at it. Fortunately, my husband is happy to hand over the reins to me, so it works. For our honeymoon, I wanted to relax. I was planning our wedding and am not a big fan of attention, so I wanted to fly off to the beach and sit for a while.
My opinion is that romance comes from within and that sometimes a highly “romantic” destination can end up being awkward and forced. It’s not that fun to watch other couples making out. Romantic moments can happen in the most unexpected places, like on the beach of a glacial lake in Patagonia when it’s raining sideways and too windy to even walk. I loved Bora Bora. It lives up to the hype; it is absolutely beautiful and absurdly luxurious, but it was SO quiet. I’m a New Yorker and am allergic to empty restaurants. I’m most comfortable in noisy, over-crowded, tiny Manhattan restaurants. Bora Bora was just a little too quiet for me. The hotel claimed to be 96% full, but I would still like to know where all the people were!
My advice is this: pick the destination that you’ve been dying to go to together. When picking your honeymoon destination, don’t worry about where your best friend went or what your parents think. Whether that’s a palatial resort in Kauai or a teeny hotel room in Tokyo, it’s going to be romantic because you’re there together. I mean you just GOT MARRIED!
(Side Note: I do recommend picking a seasonally appropriate destination. Weather and budget are the two unavoidable factors that everyone must consider when picking a destination, but otherwise go for it! Take the vacation you want to take. And don’t let anyone deter you!)