Feb 2, 2011 1:34:52 AM
Lonely Planet’s honeymoon helpdesk
Getting married? Great news! Congratulations from everyone at Lonely Planet. We love a bit of romance. After all, our story has a love affair at its heart.
Trouble is, getting hitched is the easy bit. The real nerve-wracking part of getting married is what comes after – the honeymoon. Maybe he likes beaches while she wants to hike. Or dearly beloved refuses to join you in canoeing the rocky archipelago of Palau, insisting a no-expense spared blowout in Dubai is everything their heart desires.
Those experiencing prenuptial tramuas of this kind should not despair. UK travel editor Tom Hall has some suggestions to get you on the road to happy honeymooning.
I want… a honeymoon to remember, but I’m on a shoestring
First things first, remember you don’t need your own private island to have a honeymoon to remember. All you need is Significant Other and some memorable times. The answer’s simple: you, your beloved, the banks of the Seine and a picnic of bread, cheese and wine. That’s if you escape the confines of a pretty, good value boutique bolt-hole like the Hotel Beaumarchais the north-western 11th arrondissement on the Right Bank of the city, with rooms from US$111 per night.
I want…ridiculous luxury
It’s easy to spend money quicker than your embarrassing Uncle gets up to dance the Hokey-Kokey, but if you’re really going for it then may we suggest that you try starting your trip with a pair of tickets on a Singapore Airlines flight, flying not just in First Class but in your own private cabin. One leg on the floor at all times, mind: Singapore Airlines won’t tolerate nookie at 35,000 feet. Get off the plane when it reaches London and check in to the Lanesborough. You get your own butler and are next door to the Queen. All this might clean out your savings but it’ll be one hell of a trip. Price on application, as they say.
Funnily enough, I wanted adventure on my honeymoon. I wanted to go somewhere different and I liked the idea of going somewhere I probably wouldn’t otherwise go to. My new wife and I travelled first to Paris, from where we flew to Madagascar. This island isn’t the beach paradise that sends lovebirds to neighbouring Indian Ocean destinations like Mauritius and the Seychelles but it is far bigger and is one of the world’s most unusual and diverse places. You can spot whales, track lemurs the size of small children swinging through the jungle, canoe down rivers and trek through spectacular national parks. Need to convince your better half there are pampering opportunities? Have a look at Anjajavy where you can canoodle in a lemur-filled paradise.
Italy. Need I say more? Whether you opt for a Grand Tour in the style of the travellers of years gone by, or try for a more modern take on nostalgia by touring the Campania countryside in a vintage Alfa Romeo, Europe’s big old boot is a classy honeymoon choice. For best effect, take three weeks. Start in Venice, then take a room with a view in Florence. Rome needs a week, not just for you to perfect your Lady and the Tramp impersonation, then Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Thousands of years of history, literature and art – that should give you something to talk to each other about when you’re ancient, feeble and your children has disappeared off around the world.
I want…to party
Brazil. There’s no party like a Brazilian party, whether you choose a beach-based bop in Rio de Janeiro, checking out the scene in the seaside villages of the north-east or diving head-first into the endless bar and club scene in Sao Paolo. Along the way you can try snorkelling down crystal-clear rivers or explore virgin rainforest. Still not convinced? Brazil can be visited year-round, so there’s no honeymoon planning anguish at all.
I want…to learn something
Thailand is pretty awesome as a honeymoon destination, with the timeless mix of fabulous food, friendly faces and affordable high-end accommodation. And if your friends weren’t jealous when you walked down the aisle looking fantastic, they will be when they see the snaps of you sipping pink gins in an infinity pool. Try for a two or three centre trip, hitting an island or two and then trying a cookery course in Chiang Mai, the cultural heart of northern Thailand.
Find a place to fall in love with in The Travel Book