yet another honeymoonfilter
May 23, 2008 11:00 AM   Subscribe

We need help! Please advise two hopelessly indecisive travelers on their honeymoon.

My fiancee and I have still not made any decisions on our late July / Early august honeymoon. Can you please help us? Here is what we know:

1. Duration: 10-14 days
2. Budget - 5k Canadian(slightly over is ok)
3. Would ideally like a combination of beach lounging and activities
4. Somewhere warm but not stifling would be nice
5. We don't mind staying in some ordinary places if we can stay in a really nice place for a few nights
6. We like tasty ethnic food, nature, and activities
7. What we don't want is to be stuck in an all inclusive resort for the whole time. Although we like lounging and having everything included, we would go crazy doing this for more than a week.

Thank you!
posted by sid to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Carnival or another cruise line? I never thought I would enjoy but we have always had an amazing time.
New ports, great food.
posted by doorsfan at 11:07 AM on May 23, 2008


Costa Rica?

Mexico? I would love to go somewhere beautiful in Mexico, like Cabo San Lucas. With 5K Canadian, it might be doable.

The above may be stifling hot for you. How about Bermuda? They have mild weather.
posted by LoriFLA at 11:19 AM on May 23, 2008

Maybe some places in this thread.
posted by mattbucher at 11:23 AM on May 23, 2008

How about Tofino? Miles of beaches, beautiful scenery, lots of stuff to do. The weather's usually pretty good around that time (but unlikely to be stifling) and the restaurants around "Tuff City" are surprisingly interesting and varied. The Wickaninnish Inn and Long Beach Lodge certainly count as "really nice" (though they might blow your budget if you stay there the whole time); you might find somewhere cheaper if you book now.
posted by timeistight at 11:27 AM on May 23, 2008

I spent six or seven months in Tunisia last year and I loved it. Tourism infrastructure is very good, the beaches are beautiful, and there are things to see and do (museums, archaeological sites). You could do one week in a resort and one week in Tunis. You can get by speaking English, but it's easier to talk to the locals if you speak some French.

One concern: it's very hot in August, although I found it to be dry heat.
posted by preparat at 11:28 AM on May 23, 2008

Going on a cruise is like spending a week at the mall and eating exclusively at the olive garden and applebees. Check out your flight options at Fare Compare it's the best way to see where you can go when you don't really have a preference in advance. Central America looks to be your best bet -- the airfare looks to be about $1k for two tickets, you'll have plenty of cash left for activities and really nice lodging (I'd rent a house or an apartment so you don't have to go out for breakfast every day).
posted by foodgeek at 11:45 AM on May 23, 2008

I'd suggest Maui. Perfect mix of beaches for lounging and lots to see and do. Hiking or biking Haleakala National Park, shopping and dining in Lahaina, driving to Hana, snorkeling any number of spots. Warm in the summer, but not too hot.

If you go, get this book. It's a fun read and has tons of great insider info we wished we had on our first trip to Maui.

We lined up a vacation package that included airfare, condo and rental car for a week for about $1200US/person. That leaves plenty of money for dining out, bike ride down Haleakala (a must do, though I'd skip the "sunrise" part next time, sleep in and go later in the day...), and dive expeditions. I'd suggest Pacific Whale Foundation for diving with an eco-flair.
posted by bottlerocket at 11:58 AM on May 23, 2008

Try Sandals in Montego Bay Jamaica. Yes it's all inclusive - however Montego Bay has some exciting nightlife, and there's lots of things (shopping etc) to do in the town proper. For a small fee you can get a Non-resort driver to take you pretty much anywhere you want to go on the island and you can get to sample the local Jamaican life - so you get the best of both worlds - the stability of being in an all-inclusive resort with the adventure of planning your own trips/excursions.
posted by ramix at 12:20 PM on May 23, 2008

Hawaii certainly is doable. Spread your trip over a few different islands and you will have a great time. There are some surprisingly affordable places to be had (and some crazy expensive ones as well). On Waikiki we stayed at the Hawaiiana and while it was sparse and simple it was in the heart of it all. It is a half block to the beach, half block to the strip. Wonderful restaurants were within two blocks. You really can't beat that. Prices are a little higher than they were 5 years ago but then again what hasn't gone up in that time frame. On Hawaii we stayed in a condo just south of the main strip of Kailua Kona. The ocean waves were literally laping at a seawall 25 feet outside our window. Unspeakably cool, awesome and romantic. This place was about as expensive as the Hawaiiana. Like you we wanted to splurge a bit and we did on Kauai.

The group that wrote the book that bottlerocket mentions has other editions for the other islands. I can't recommend them highly enough and they will point you to places that are affordable and places where you want to splurge. There are also extensive sections on activities and descriptions of the beaches. You will not have a problem finding things to do if you want to be entertained.
posted by mmascolino at 1:01 PM on May 23, 2008

Turkey! Fly to Istanbul, internal flight to Ankara, drive south through terrific landscape and monuments, hit the coast and stay at a resort or a sleepy fishing village as you prefer, live it up in Istanbul. I'm quite serious about this.
posted by Clyde Mnestra at 2:07 PM on May 23, 2008

I am in no way associated with this company, but I have had such excellent adventures traveling with Explore Worldwide that I thought I might suggest them. They run small group tours from the UK (so you would need a flight to/from the UK first -- fly BA, as they are reasonably priced and have cool individual movie players in the seats!). The typical vacation is to load 30 people into a (nice) bus, then drive you around from place to place within a country or locality, with a guide who knows the region well. You spend one or two days in each place, getting a small amount of beach time, walking, exploring ancient sites or local curiosities, and eating local foods (the real ones, not the tourist trap dishes). You get to actually meet local people and see how they live (I have, several times, been invited to visit someone in their home while on one of these trips. You stay in small hotels (2-star, so be prepared), visit local bars and assembly places, and eat in small restaurants and cafes. They have been in business a long time: they must be doing something well, because each of my trips has comprised several Americans, one or two Canadians, and at least one honeymoon couple!
I have toured around the Mediterranean countries, the Middle East, and Africa with this company -- I have never been disappointed and I have always come back buzzing with how different are the lives of people in these countries from my own. They are like Lonely Planet TV program trips, but with a knowledgeable tour guide and a sociable group of people to keep you company. Their current tours seem to be within your budget - you can choose how active you want your tour to be ... :-)
posted by Susurration at 2:21 PM on May 23, 2008

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