Romantic Hideaways

We all want the perfect start to our happily-ever-after story. Ankita Mamgain shares some ideas on how to make the most of your well-deserved honeymoon.

If you ask me what the best part about my wedding was, I’d say it was the honeymoon. Finally after months of running around, meticulous planning, the exhausting ceremony, loud relatives and constant smiling for the camera, came this ultimate reward. Luckily, my fiancé was just as excited about the holiday as myself and we got the trip planning out of the way well before we got started on the wedding, which in retrospect I think was a brilliant idea.

Budget is obviously the starting point; once you agree upon a figure or even a bracket, set your priorities, as to what’s more important; the location, hotels, activities, shopping or is it “all of the above”. Although this will be your first holiday together as ‘Mr & Mrs’, drop the pressure you’ve built around making it ‘perfect’. Remember to just relax and savour each moment for no matter where you are with your partner, it’ll be the best time ever!

More for Less

Don’t let financial woes get in the way of your dream honeymoon. Those who are on a tight budget and want to get the most out of their buck need not despair. There’s a plethora of options for you; however intensive research and timely reservations are your best allies in this situation. You can choose a destination that’s not so far from the Kingdom or has frequent flights, such as Oman, Morrocco, India, Southeast Asian countries or even European countries like Greece, Cyprus or Turkey, so you save money on the flight tickets. Read up lots of travel blogs in order to find the most cost-efficient way to stay in a particular location. You can find excellent home-stays and sometimes big hotel chains may be running enticing offers for newly-weds. Talk to the locals to get a more realistic picture in terms of places to visit and costs of sight-seeing, instead of going to guides and travel agents who charge a lot more. Instead of having all three meals at a fancy restaurant, maybe grab something from a takeaway or the supermarket during the day when you are out and about and treat yourselves to a nice dinner at a restaurant. Maybe, just by some judicious planning, you can visit an exotic locale that’s considered expensive and that you’ve always wanted to see.

Mid-range Mavericks

Yes you’ve kept aside a sizeable portion of your savings for the holiday, but beware of going overboard. People tend to add a few extra days or take frequent updates whenever offered just because, at the beginning, the sum of money makes you believe you can live in the French Riviera for a month.

Choose a beautiful location that will give you high-end, moderate and budget staying and dining options. This way while sticking to your strict itinerary, you can allow yourself a few days to splurge and if you realise the cash reserve is dwindling, you can switch to budget mode.

Europe’s a great choice with its vibrant cities, culture and stunning architecture. Being only a few hours’ flight away from the Kingdom, the continent makes travelling easy and always affordable for mid-range honeymooners. If you seek a tropical haven, resorts in the Maldives and Seychelles, contrary to popular notions, can come in under budget if booked in time.

The Big Splurge

If your pocket runs deep, the sky’s the limit for you; so try to make it really special. Travel agents will offer cookie-cutter getaways – a luxury cruise or stay in a lavish spa resort, but we suggest you should get a little more creative than that. Look for exotic, unknown nooks that promise privacy and serenity. Be it a private island experience in the Caribbean or a reclusive ski resort in the Alps, the word is bespoke, so remember to personalise the experience.

There are many companies that specialise in luxury travel which can customise the holiday to your liking, from providing yacht charters to organising surprises for your spouse.

Trade in a few indulgences for extra time if you can, for instance maybe four more days in the junior suite instead of just two in your luxurious villa.

Luxury travel is all about extras, so check with your hotel about the services it offers, perhaps book a sensual couple’s massage followed by a glass of sparkling. Don’t make it all about luxury; keep an element of adventure or excitement. Maybe you can choose to go for a safari in Kenya or scuba diving on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

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