The search for the perfect honeymoon (part 3)

In earlier posts about my upcoming wedding and honeymoon, I have written about looking for a destination. After a thorough brainstorm and research we landed on Australia as the perfect place to spend some quality time together after our wedding. But, 2021 wouldn’t be 2021 if covid wouldn’t interfere. Australia is closed off to tourists and we’re afraid the country won’t open in time. Also, a honeymoon should be, in our opinion, a time to rest and spend time together, and not a constant worry about having to quarantine and wondering if we will be able to get in or out of the country.

So sadly, the Australia trip is yet another one we have to postpone. I was really looking forward to it, but the stress of it all is just not worth it. Planning a wedding in covid times is stressful enough as it is.

But what then?

We started googling honeymoons – again, and though we would love to find a destination far away, it’s just not smart at this time. So we wanted something closer to home, but still something that we wouldn’t ordinarily do for a regular vacation. It needed to be something special. Something exclusive. And we found something that is absolutely perfect…

We’re going on a cruise!

If you want to do something exclusive and luxurious, a cruise is perfect, if you ask me. I’ve never done something like this before (which is very understandable if you find out what this costs…). But it’s perfect. You have the thrill of traveling to different places, without the downside of public transportation and carrying your luggage around. You just take your bed, bath and restaurants with you!

It sounds amazing. The ship has several restaurants and bars with live music, a spa, a casino and a swimming pool (a swimming pool on a boat is something that my brain can’t quite capture…). If anything is luxurious, it’s this.

I for one, can’t wait. Have you ever done a cruise before?

The 12 steps to plan a perfect journey

I love planning. I really do. Planning a trip, for me, is almost as much fun as the trip itself. The anticipation, thinking about what you’re going to do, where you’ll stay, how to travel. I really love it. Usually, I plan short trips, a week max, and pick one or two cities that we’ll visit. It’s easy planning. Decide on a city, pick a hotel and then find out what kind of activities you want to do when you’re there. A bigger trip, like a honeymoon, however, requires a lot more work. So I made a step to step guide on how to plan a perfect journey.

This is not the first time I’m planning a trip of this scale. We had planned to visit Iceland in 2020 and, with some input of the Boyfriend, of course, I planned the entire route, chose hotels and B&B’s, and made a considerable list of things we wanted to see. The journey would have been amazing. Of course, covid hit, so we couldn’t actually do it, but the plans are still there, waiting for us to finally go.

Before we do that, I have to plan a wedding AND a honeymoon. In some earlier posts I already talked about finding the perfect location. This is the first step:

Step one

Deciding where you want to go is obviously the first step. If you decide on a small citytrip, the planning phase is easy, but if you’ll want a longer, extended vacation where you’ll visit several cities and landmarks, the first thing you’ll have to do is pick a country. For our honeymoon, we are going to Australia. Step one complete!

For me, Lonely Planet’s Honeymoon Handbook helped a lot in picking a location. This book is specific to Honeymoons but there are many, many, MANY other books to help you find the perfect location for your journey.

Step two

Decide on which area of the country you’ll want to visit. When planning the trip to Iceland, we decided that we wanted to see everything. Which is possible, as it’s not that big a country. For Australia, however, if you want to visit everything, you’re gonna need months instead of weeks. As I’m pretty sure my boss wouldn’t allow me to go away for months, we had to make some decisions on what areas we wanted to visit.

I asked around on Instagram what we definitely should visit, googled and looked through some books. Me and the Boyfriend made an excel sheet with all the areas in Australia and jotted down all the cool places I had come across. Two areas had the longest lists, so the decision to visit those two was easily made. For us this was Queensland and Sydney & New South Wales.

Step three

Pick a begin and end for your trip. All the places in between, you can look at later, but it’s important to set a beginning and an end, so you can buy your plane tickets early (which most of the times means they’ll be cheaper). The easiest way is to put all the places you wanted to visit in google maps, and let google plan your route. You’ll easily see a begin and end point.

Step four

Now is the time to fill in the spaces in between. I always buy a Lonely Planet or another guide of the area I’m visiting and then just read a lot and write down all the places I want to visit. Do some thorough research so you won’t miss a thing.

Step five

Turn on notification on flight tickets. If you know where you’re starting and where you’ll be going home again, find airports in the area and turn on notifications so you’ll get a message when the flight tickets are cheap. If you want to go by car, boat or train, of course you can skip this step and just buy the tickets as soon as possible, as they will probably get more expensive the longer you wait.

I haven’t used a flight deal alert yet, but I’m going to do it for Australia, as the tickets are usually quite pricey. I found a blogpost with a list of ten websites that offer these alerts.

Step 6

Decide on transport. You know where you’re going, how you’re going to get there and where you want to go. But how are going to get around in the country? If you want to go by train, buy tickets early, as they’re cheaper the sooner you book. If you want to fly, use the flight deal alerts. If you want to rent a car or a van, do this early too, and make sure you google what kind of car you’ll need. For instance, if you’re going to Iceland, you are going to need a fourwheeldrive.

Step 7

Decide what you want to do, fill in the details. You know the cities and you know your route. This is the time to find museums, galleries, theme parks, theatres, parks, landmarks, anything you like. Make a planning for what you want to do in each city. Check out the best restaurants and find what the specialties of the country are.

Step 8

If you know what you want to do in each city, you can decide how much time you want to spend everywhere and make a thorough time planning. You can also decide to wing it, just have a list of things you’ll want to do and a couple of days in each city, and decide what you’re going to do when if you’re there.

Step 9

Find hotels and B&Bs and other accomodations you want to stay in, and book them, unless you are winging it, of course, as per the previous step. I’m always a fan of booking.com, as you can book now and only pay the hotels when you get there, so you don’t have to spend all your money at once.

Step 10

Buy tickets to museums and other places you want to visit, for faster entrance and sometimes it’s cheaper too. For a lot of countries, buying your tickets beforehand is mandatory because of covid.

Step 11

Check what else you’re gonna need. Do you need vaccinations? A covid passport or health app? If you want to go diving, do you need a diving license? If you’re gonna drive, now is also the time to see what the rules are, and what to look out for.

Step 12

Last one! Get insurance. You don’t want your trip to be cancelled and leaving you penniless.

So that’s it. Your 12 step list to your perfect journey.

The search for the perfect honeymoon (part 2)

In an earlier post I told you about our wedding plans and the first search for our honeymoon. When asked the question: if you had a million euros to spend on your wedding, what would you spend it on, my answer came quickly: a trip around the world for a honeymoon. Of course, we don’t have that kind of money so it’s not an option, but it did put things into perspective. The honeymoon will be an important part of our wedding. I am not surprised. Traveling the world has always been my dream and what better excuse to fly to the other side of the world than to celebrate our love?

We did a lot of searching for the perfect location. I bought Lonely Planet’s Honeymoon Handbook which came in very handy, as we had absolutely no idea of where we’d wanted to go, only places we didn’t want to. But I read the entire book, jotted down the places that sounded most interesting and then gave the book to my fiancé, so he could read it too. He just looked at my list and narrowed it down to three locations:

  • New Zealand
  • The Galapagos Islands
  • Australia

Firstly, we decided we wanted to go to New Zealand. We hadn’t made the decision official but every time we thought about it, New Zealand seemed perfect. I have already done a thorough search of authors from the area and books that are set there as well.

But then a colleague of mine told me that if we wanted to go in may, it would be autumn in New Zealand. And when we googled what the weather would be like, we saw that it would be a meager 10 degrees celcius. Yikes. I want to spend time on the beach, swimming, enjoying the sun and with this weather, that was just not gonna happen.

So, we crossed out New Zealand and then there were two. We googled for a bit but it wasn’t a hard decision. One just sounds way more appealing.

We’re going to Australia!

Now the actual planning can finally begin. We will go for about three weeks so we really have to cut down what we wanna see. I already asked the question on my Instagram what I should definitely see, and got some amazing responses, such as Whitsunday Islands and the Red Center. It all looks so dreamy! I am currently going through my own books to see what the best spots for Australia are. I’ve made an excel sheet of all the areas and now I’m jotting down the amazing sights we wanna see. Hopefully, one or two areas will stand out and we can make our choice. For now, the Whitsunday Islands took my breath away, so I’m thinking starting there, in Queensland, see the great barrier reef, renting a camper to drive along the coast, visit the Koala Hospital from which I adopted a koala bear last year with the heavy forest fires and then drive towards Sydney, learn to surf at Bondi Beach and see the sunrise and the Opera House.

I cannot wait!

The Search for the perfect honeymoon

For those of you who don’t follow me on instagram (you should!), or who just missed it: I have some big news:

I AM GETTING MARRIED! ♥

Remember our weekend away to Twente where we slept under the stars that were covered by clouds? Boyfriend had planned to propose to me there. Unfortunately, because of the clouds, it wasn’t as romantic as he’d hoped, so instead he did it when we were home. It was the cutest thing and the ring is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. It’s gonna be tough to find a matching wedding band that I love just as much 😀

Anyways, butterflies aside for a moment, we’re currently really busy planning our wedding. We have more than a year, but because of covid, three wedding seasons (who knew there was such a thing as a wedding season?) are to be squeezed into one: the summer of 2022. So some things have to be booked fast. Or at least, that is what I tell myself and everyone around me, but I’m actually just really excited by all of it that I can’t stop planning 🙂

We have a date, a location, some photographers that we like and we are talking to a band that we really love. There is so much more to do and one of those things is of course: The Honeymoon! What wanderluster would I be if i didn’t start early with thinking/dreaming/planning about our honeymoon?

And that’s the thing. I have no idea where I wanna go, and Boyfriend Fiancé doesn’t have any plans either. What we want is a combination of culture and nature, which is what we always want, and I would really love to spend some time on a beach. Also, we don’t want to have a location that is too cliché, so at least it won’t be:

  • Paris. Been there, done that and this is waaaaay too cliché
  • Bali. I’d love to go there someday, boyfriend’s already been, but I’m pretty sure at least 95% of the couples celebrates their honeymoon here.
  • Hawaii. Same story as Bali.
  • Taking a cruise. Maybe fun for some day, but not really for a honeymoon

I’m thinking maybe New Zealand or Canada. or Australia. I have the feeling that this should be a special place where you wouldn’t go very soon, or at least some place you haven’t been before. I always love Italy and Greece also seems amazing, but I think I wanna do something special. Or at least be able to check off some items of my bucketlist.

The search continues! I’ll keep you posted 🙂

Where would your ultimate honeymoon take place?