Real Honeymoons: Africa, Hawaii and a Northwest Roadtrip

Whitney & Ross: Africa

Whitney and Ross were drawn to Africa for its YOLO safari experiences. They rounded out their week in the bush with world-class dining, exotic adventures and a dreamy stay at a pinch-yourself beach resort. Want their honeymoon?

  • Budget: $35,000
  • Time of year: December-January
  • Length of trip: 21 days
  • Travel time: 17 hours from New York City

Where to go and what to do: Ready to share the adventure of a lifetime, Whitney and Ross splurged on every aspect of their African honeymoon. Their trip started with four luxurious nights in Cape Town, South Africa, at the One&Only Cape Town resort, where they requested a top-floor room for the best views of Table Mountain. Next they made their way to Kruger National Park for four nights in a private villa at the Singita Lebombo Lodge. Whitney calls it “the most remark- able hotel we’ve ever stayed in.” They also made a stop in Zanzibar, Tanzania, at Baraza Resort and Spa Zanzibar, where their oceanfront villa had a private beach and butler. Of all their amazing experiences, they say getting up close and personal with lions, rhinos and elephants made their trip and was well worth the price of entry. “The cost of the safaris gave us sticker shock, but once we were there, we knew exactly what we paid for,” Whitney says. “If there’s one time to splurge, it’s on your honeymoon.” We couldn’t agree more.

Jane & Brian: Hawaii

Looking for a fun trip that wouldn’t cost a fortune, newlyweds Jane and Brian set off to Hawaii for some R & R in tropical paradise. Want their honeymoon?

  • Budget: $7,000
  • Time of year: June-July
  • Length of trip: 12 days
  • Travel time: 11 hours from Newark, NJ

Where to go and what to do: “We went over our budget for our wedding—as I’m sure most couples do—and wanted to enjoy a nice, long honeymoon without breaking the bank,” Jane says. With help from TripAdvisor, The New York Times, Yelp reviews and suggestions from friends, Jane and Brian planned their entire 12-day Hawaiian honeymoon themselves. They began with five days on the beach in Kauai at Koloa’s Ko’a Kea Hotel & Resort, the most laid- back and least developed of the islands. “We wanted to start our honeymoon off right and relax all our post-wedding stress away,” she says. Next, they made their way to the Big Island, where they spent four days in Hilo at Orchid Tree Bed and Breakfast. Snorkeling near Captain Cook Monument, which Jane describes as “something out of National Geographic magazine,” was a definite highlight. And their last stop—Oahu, staying at Honolulu’s Turtle Bay Resort —was all about the food. Jane calls the omakase at Sushi Sasabune the best meal of the trip and says the shrimp scampi from Romy’s Kahuku Prawns & Shrimp is to die for. Yum!

Jade & Mike: Northwest

The California natives hit the road for an easy-on-the-wallet tour of the hippest spots in the Pacific Northwest. Want their honeymoon?

  • Budget: $2,000
  • Time of year: Late August
  • Length of trip: 8 days
  • Travel time: About 22 hours of driving

Where to go and what to do: Jade and Mike left their home in Chico, California, for a 600- plus mile road trip to Seattle, with stops in Oregon’s Eugene and Portland. “We decided to drive because the route through Northern California, Oregon and Washington is just too beautiful,” Jade says. “Also, it saved us a chunk of money!” Another interesting twist: They opted to stay exclusively in Airbnb rentals instead of hotels. “We wanted a relaxed, homey feel,” Jade says. “Everywhere we stayed had access to some sort of kitchen, which we thought we would use to save money on food, but there were too many places we wanted to check out in each city!” In Eugene, a tour of Ninkasi Brewing Company, their go-to craft beer, was a must. They continued north to Seattle, where their favorite adventure in the Emerald City was kayaking in Elliott Bay at sunset with Alki Kayak Tours. The best part? They found an awesome Groupon deal, so it cost less than $100. They finished their road trip with a culinary tour of Portland (Jade says she’s still craving the walnut taco salad at Canteen!).

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