Bahamas Ministry of Tourism / Barry Williams

Once your wedding ceremony and reception have wrapped you and your partner will finally be able to kick back and enjoy some R&R. While Canada has its fair share of stunning honeymoon destinations, you may want to embark on a journey to somewhere with white sands and clear waters or do something a little more adventurous than hopping on VIA Rail. Just like your wedding, it’s important to pick something that suits your wedding budget and style. This is the trip of a lifetime, so plan accordingly.

Here are a few tips on deciding on where to take your honeymoon.

Plan early and work it into your budget
You’ll want to start thinking about your honeymoon destinations in the beginning phases of your wedding planning. Why? It’ll impact your wedding budget. Chances are, you’re spending a pretty penny on your ceremony and reception, so you’ll want to make sure you have enough funds left to pay for your dream honeymoon. This may mean cutting the costs in other areas. For a little extra cash, opt for a honeymoon registry. Having guests put money toward your airfare, accommodations and activities makes all the difference.

Think about your dream location
Deciding on your honeymoon destination is a crucial part of the planning process. This is your time to dream big and go somewhere you’ve always wanted. Make a list of your dream destinations with your partner to find some common ground. Maybe you’ve always wanted to cozy up in a cabin near Lake Louise. Perhaps they want to hop on a plane and spend a week on a beach in The Bahamas. Talk it out and be prepared to make some compromises.

Narrow down your style
Even if you and your S.O. don’t agree on an exact destination right off the bat, there’s a good chance you want a similar style of honeymoon. Here are a few popular options to kick off your hunt:

  • Cultural: Immerse yourselves in a new culture. Fly abroad to try the cuisine, see the sights and explore.
  • Minimoon: A short and sweet retreat. Stay local and forget about changing your currency.
  • Adventurous: In the market for something a little more interesting than lying out by a pool? this is the style for you. Think biking, hiking, snorkeling, ziplining and exploring. 
  • Laid-back: If what you crave is a bit of R&R, you’ll want something laid back. Think spas and beach retreats.
  • Foodie: If food is central to your relationship, go this route. Think sampling bold new flavours, discovering street foods and trying Zagat-approved restaurants. 
  • Artsy: If you want something with a little more cultural oomph, try an artsy retreat. Think museum and art gallery hopping.

Decide what you want to do
Do you want to spend your honeymoon relaxing on a beach, wine tasting, checking out museums, ziplining or doing something completely different? Make a list of all the things you may want to do on your honeymoon to help you zero in on the perfect location. Many honeymoon destinations offer a smorgasbord of activities if you have trouble choosing one or two.

Consider the time frame
Once you have an idea of where to go, start thinking about how long you can stay there. Some couples are bound by work contracts and other obligations, leaving them with only a few spare vacation days. If this is the case, you’ll probably want to stay close to home. Others can take weeks off. These lucky souls can plan trips to faraway lands like Bali or Italy.

Decide on the date
Well you may want to hop on a plane immediately after your reception, that isn’t always the best plan. You’ll want to look into where you’re going and see what time of year is the least expensive (apps like Hopper can help you out). Also remember to check the weather conditions. Monsoons, hurricanes and tornados can really put a damper on your honeymoon.

Double up
Want to jump into your honeymoon right after the main event but don’t have the time or money? Opt for a weekend-long minimoon after your wedding and save a longer vacation for later. Take a trip to a vineyard or pack up your car and head out to cottage country to relax. This will give you the time to plan (and save) for something more extravagant, like a month long adventure in Europe.

Pictured here: Shopping in Marina Village, Paradise Island, Bahamas; image by Barry Williams Photography, courtesy of Bahamas Ministry of Tourism.

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