My fiancé and I have recently decided to elope. We have 3-5 months to plan the getaway. We’re thinking Paris, a Greek island, or a Caribbean island. Any suggestions, thoughts, or website we should check out?
You ask for suggestions, thoughts, and websites. We have all three.
You are a lucky bastard. You are the envy of 99% of the guys reading this site. You get to skip all of the tedium, awkwardness, and punishment of the wedding planning and cut right to the good stuff. This is our thought: we hate you.
Obviously, those are all amazing choices. You can’t go wrong. It’s simply impossible to imagine you traveling to Paris, feeding your new wife strawberries, soaking in the culture and beauty and bliss, and thinking to yourself, “Man. We shoulda gone somewhere else.” And we’re not going to foist our own idea of “fun” on you. Yes, we could give you our own personal preferences of where to travel–and, in fact, someday we just might–but you don’t really need our opinions on beaches. What you need is a methodology.
So here’s what we recommend. Instead of narrowing down the specific choices, think more generally–without a destination in mind–about the types of things you want to do. Think activities, not locations. Think categories, not countries. Make a big pie-in-the-sky wish-list, and then, after you have your Utopia Destination, see what correlates to that in the real world. Jot down the stuff that’s important to you, and consider the features you desire.
1) Do you need beaches?
2) Are you thinking luxury-resort-style hotel, or more Bed & Breakfasty?
3) Do you want nightlife, or something more remote and sedate?
4) Is outdoor-adventure stuff important? (i.e. skydiving, kayaking)
… and on and on and on.
As far as “planning exercises” go, this is about as rewarding as it gets. Pretend, for a moment, that you’re literally creating your own imaginary island. And then, once you and your fiancée agree upon the key characteristics, you convert the theoretical into the practical. And how do you do that? This is where the website comes in.
See also: Honeymoon Packing Checklist
We’ll admit it. We’re a little jealous. About a year ago, we were thinking about launching a website that does this very thing… and then we found out that it exists, and it’s a site called Travelmuse. You enter in all the characteristics you want–beaches, wine tasting, whatever–your budget, your time window, and then it spits out some ideas. Here’s the beauty of the site: it might completely surprise you. It might suggest islands and a country that you’ve never even heard of. Or, if you’re wildly skeptical of the above methodology, you can just filter your destinations to the Greek Islands, Paris, and the Caribbean, and get some info on packages. If you’re looking for the best honeymoon destinations that you probably haven’t considered but should, we’ve got you covered.
Good luck. We’ll be thinking of you when we slit our wrists while picking out wedding stationary.
For more, we cover this methodology in more detail: The Honeymoon Departure: Getting Out of Dodge.