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Old 06-10-2012, 11:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Need advice on honeymoon destinations

I need help planning my honeymoon! The big day is August 2nd, so the honeymoon would be shortly after.

We are interested in having a really FUN honeymoon. We like sight seeing but would rather go on an adventurous hike than check out the local museum. We love checking out the local culture, interacting with people and seeing new stuff (this means we'd like a place where its safe to talk to non-tourists). Wide range of possible activities is important. While we would like somewhere that has a great beach with clear water that you can scuba/snorkel in (warm water!), that can't just be it, there has to be something else to do. FOOD is a must! I need wherever we go to have amazing food.

As for price, we are probably going to be limited to spending about 2K per person, probably a bit less with everything included (food, hotel, air, taxi, taxes, fees, activities, etc. Time is open and we would like to stay as long as possible with that (10day+ at least).

We'd be leaving from either LAX in los angeles or Santa Barbara airport.

What are some places you guys would recommend?
Any places to avoid in August especially?
Any deals that you might know about?
Anyone been to one of these big all inclusive resorts? Are they a good deal?


Thanks in advance!
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I hate to be like "oh my state's ****ing awesome come here!" BUT. There is a reason Maine is Vacationland. Unfortunately the state's most touristy areas are pretty packed* in early august, especially the Canadians on the beaches, but it's a bigass state, where most locals are friendly, especially if you treat us like people and not your servants. Lots of amazing hiking and other nature related things pretty much everywhere in the state and I think you could pull off the under 2k price range for 10 days...


*Maine definition of packed, occasionally having to deal with actual traffic and having the tourist traps actually fill on the weekends, flooding the states economy with its lifeblood, while still being considered nowhere near crowded by many tourists
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Old 06-10-2012, 11:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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When I got married we did the tried and true Maui. That was unbelievably 7 years ago, but I'm sure it's still amazing. There was plenty to do: snorkel, beach, hiking, biking, driving (road to Hana), chopper tour, etc. Food was great. There are other benefits too of course. However, since it's America it's pretty expensive. There's also not much of unique local stuff outside of, well surfer/hipster culture. No disrespect, but you'll find Walmart and malls, etc.

Last year we did a short Costa Rica getaway and it certainly did not disappoint. If I had to do it again I might pick Costa Rica. I stayed exclusively in the Arenal Volcano region just for the views. There is a decent range of activities and excursions such as zip-lining, horseback riding, hiking, beach, etc. But we mostly did pure relaxation. (stayed in the hottub much of the trip) I know many people that do several spots in Costa Rica and I've never heard anybody disappointed. Costa Rica is significantly cheaper than Hawaii. Airfare to San Jose, CR, can be had for around $1,200 from LAX for 2 people, leaving you about $3,200 for hotel and food.

Anyway, congrats and good luck.

Last edited by poisonpill; 06-11-2012 at 12:31 AM. Reason: added some cost numbers
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Old 06-11-2012, 12:01 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Australia.
I'd go back there in a heartbeat. If it's still going, Tangalooma resort on Morton Island is pretty damn neat. Well it is! I found it: Tangalooma Island Resort | Tangalooma Holidays | Moreton Island Tours & Photos | Moreton Bay Brisbane Tours | Family Holidays QLD | Day Cruises

Honestly if you get a combo and do part of Australia and then part of New Zealand you will see some gorgeous scenery, meet great people, get to do a lot of different active things, and see some awesome history. Try checking out stuff with a travel agent too regarding different activities as well.

It's winter, but check and see how cold it gets. I visited in mid summer (their winter) before and it was quite lovely.
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Old 06-11-2012, 06:28 AM   #5 (permalink)
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here good way to find good place to go. what are some things you and your other half love too do. also what are some of place you and your other half want to see. that would narrow it down to picks since do not want to see what he said.
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I hate to be like "oh my state's ****ing awesome come here!" BUT.
we also need know how much can you afford since someplace will cost a lot where other are will be cheap. o say go somewhere special where might not been able do for long time since it will give something to remember. since you will want to save your cash down line to do something like that again. by going somewhere special and memorable will make great photo album to share with kids or friends and family. at least you got go somewhere might not be able to do for long time. it will something special in life to recall beside big day.
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Last year for our honeymoon 5 days in Oahu & 9 days on Kauai. Both were very interesting.

My wife especially like the swimming with the dolphins at sea life park on Oahu. It was expensive but every cool. All sorts of touristy things to do on Oahu. Kauai is was more hiking snorkeling & such.
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:26 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ok, let me tell you about Costa Rica. We spent between $4-5,000 total, including airfare and an all-inclusive resort. I'll break it down into pro's and con's:

Pros:

-Late summer is their "Rainy" season. That means it rains usually once daily, between noon and 3 for about a half hour and once in a while at night. Why is this a pro? Because it is the rainy season, the rates are cheaper. We NEVER felt like the rain stopped us from doing anything. Usually we just headed back to the room for honeymoon activities.
-All inclusive: Food is a big expense. You've gotta feed yourself for however long you're going (We went two weeks...I highly suggest a LONG honeymoon over a fancy one, but that's just me). The food was just OK. You can always go into town for a fancy (expensive) dinner.
-The locals were pretty awesome. We went into town a few times. Twice on a shuttle bus that transports people to/from the resort several times a day. Everyone was very nice, and although the country is pretty poor, we never felt unsafe. We were invited to a party where there was a 50/50 chance we could have been murdered, but we didn't have any of our stuff with us (only a small amount of cash) and we both needed a change of clothes after swimming in the ocean. It's a risk we would have taken.
-The place is BEAUTIFUL. Easily the most gorgeous place I've ever been. There is so much to do.. you can spend your days lounging by the beach or going on adventures in the mountains.
-Most people speak some english, but picking up a small amount of Spanish wouldn't hurt.
-The ocean water was incredibly warm and we swam daily.

Cons:
-Our resort (Riu Guanacaste) was about 45 minutes by insane bus driver from the beach towns (though it had a very nice beach of its own).
-I don't think there is an adults-only all inclusive. This is a bummer because there were kids running around EVERYWHERE.
-The food was nothing to write home about, but you could have as much as you wanted. When it got a little boring we went into town for a couple of dinners.
-We weren't able to stay for a month.
-Some people say CR is not that great for beaches because it's "volcanic sand" or some nonsense. They weren't white sand beaches but none of the beaches we went to were rocky or uncomfortable to walk on.

We took ATVs into the mountains for a day, walked on the beaches almost every day, swam butt-*** naked in the ocean in the middle of the night, I took a surfing lesson which ended in a concussion (whoops), we went on a boat tour around some of the islands, saw sea turtles and dolphins, went snorkeling in a beautiful bay and saw all kinds of fish, drank and ate all day, and all around had a wonderful time. I read several books while I was there...and none of them were for school. We rented a car and drove around the country, hit up a couple of towns, and it cost less than $100 with rental and gas for the day.

I loved Costa Rica and would go back in a second. It was easily the best trip I've ever taken. Don't go to San Jose. We were told, "It's very bad there...like Detroit." Most of the country is very nice, but wherever you go make sure to find out where you SHOULDNT go in the country.

If you're going out of the country, I'd suggest getting a GOOD travel agent (ours kinda sucked.) If you're busy and stressed like we were before the wedding, a good agent can take the stress out of organizing international travel. Also, if you do travel internationally, have your wife change her name when you get back (if she's doing that) rather than before you leave, so you have no issues with the passport.

Oh: Based on what I remember paying, for $4k you could probably get away with 10 days at an all inclusive. Other resorts may be cheaper but paying for 3 meals daily adds up quickly! We probably spent less than $1,000 on other miscellaneous stuff. So with the all inclusive, you get carefree eating throughout most of the day, but the food and booze is mediocre. Our resort only had one beer which was like Costa Rican Budweiser, and bottom shelf liquor (Got to know the rum really well...)
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:34 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:59 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Singapore, plenty of beaches, best food of anyplace I've ever been. Locals are friendly as can be, English is the national language. Safe, clean, lots of different cultural influences. No need for a car, public transit is plentiful and always on time. Cabs are cheap and ridiculously efficient. If you go, understand that all prices are negotiable. Ask before buying and then counter offer.
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Old 06-11-2012, 09:05 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Congrats! You any your wife will share anniversaries with me and mine.
We didn't plan anything. We just put a down on our home, and sprung for the wedding ourselves so we were broke. We decided to go to Point Sebago Resort in South Casco Maine and go fishing for a week. It was easy to get to, I had grown up in the area, and it was easy to pay for. We had a blast, my wife caught a trophy smallmouth. Keep it simple and inexpensive, you won't regret it.
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