Your honeymoon is the perfect opportunity to travel. It's a great excuse to splurge on one (or more!) of your bucket list destinations and experience a new place for the first time as Mr. and Mrs. So often do I see couples opting for the standard Mexican beach vacation and I can see why. It's a reasonable price, most options are all-inclusive, and it's a great way to kick back after a year of stressful wedding planning. Though it's a great option, I wanted to explore some other options for every kind of couple out there, that could compare with the standard Cancun post-nuptial getaway. I did a little research and on average a week long Cancun honeymoon will run you about $4,500 together. Broken down, that's about $450 a night for accommodations that include food and drink, around $600 each person for roundtrip flights, and I tacked on an extra $150 for various other expenses like shopping and excursions. Here's how my alternative options compare:
For the couple that loves to be outdoors and to adventure, I recommend Iceland. Because wedding season and their light season line up, it's a perfect getaway for exploring around the clock (seriously, when I was there I barely slept).
There are plenty of cool places to stay in Iceland, but for an adventurous trip with the flexibility to see the most of the country you can, opt for a camper. When I was there at every major national park, I saw so many campers parked. Turns out, that's the way to do Iceland. Though one company seems to have a monopoly on the rentals due to their clever branding and user friendliness, I discovered another company that has better pricing. From Northbound you can rent a Dacia Duster Camper that sleeps two complete with a mattress, pillows, bedding, sleeping bags, storage, camping chairs, a camping table, cutlery and dinnerware, a gas stove, pots and pans, an aux port, usb connection, bluetooth, a radio and a CD player for around $1,100 for the week. Compare that with a nightly all inclusive resort and that's less than half the nightly price. Of course, that adds food and drink as an expense.
For this kind of trip, I would recommend doing a $100 grocery shop at the beginning of the trip and stocking up on a cooler along with your essentials for an active trip: granola bars, peanut butter, bread, hamburgers, etc. You and your new spouse will have a ton of fun cooking and enjoying the great outdoors.
There are endless things to see in Iceland and this Dacia Duster Camper can go on F-roads which other vehicles are warned to avoid, which means you can experience the most secluded and unique parts of the Icelandic highlands. Some of my favorite spots to visit were: Mount Esja just outside of Reykjavik for stunning hiking and views, Jökulsárlón which is the glacier lagoon on the opposite side of the country, Gamla Laugin which is a secret hot spring in Fludir, Iceland, and Seljalandsfoss, one of Iceland's most majestic waterfalls. Most of these natural wonders are free to see, but I would budget about $300 for excursions, like if you want to take a boat ride in the Glacier Lagoon or a dip in the hot springs. I would also budget $100 for one or two really nice meals! With airfare, I'd estimate this trip costing about $2,600 for both you and your spouse!
If you and your honey are craving some culture on your honeymoon, opt for the surprisingly affordable Prague, Czech Republic. We're often scared away from vacation in Europe because it sounds expensive, but round trip airfare to Prague is only about $500 each person. Accommodations are even cheaper. Save some money and gain comfort by staying in an AirBnB private home. Apartments seem to go for between $30 and $100 a night. I found this amazing steal that's right near town center for only $30 a night. This apartment includes wifi, a fully equip kitchen, and TV. There is an additional $22 cleaning cost, but the reservation is 100% refundable if you need to cancel within 24 hours.
There is a ton to do in Prague, most notably the archaic architecture. Be sure to check out Wenceslas Square, Old Town Square, Tyn Church, and Palace Kinský. Step inside Palac Kinský to view paintings and drawings a part of their National Collection and head over to The National Museum for more stunning artwork. There are also an abundance of gardens to see in Prague such as the Wallenstein Palace Garden, Franciscan Garden, and more. I'd budget about $200 for attractions because some museums and historic sites may require a fee.
I would do a little grocery shop at the top of the week, so you could retreat to your accommodation for a few meals throughout the week and get some rest from all of the walking. Expect to spend about $75. Other than that, I would budget $500 since Prague is definitely the kind of place you'd want to indulge in the food, wine, and beer. After all, food is a huge part of culture! Even while majorly splurging on food, this trip will only set you back about $2,007.
Still want to bum it on the beach for a week, but wanting to go somewhere unique? Cuba is a great alternative to Mexico! Flights are only about $200 round trip each and accommodations are quite inexpensive as well! Though there are plenty of resorts to stay at, those who have traveled to Cuba recommend staying in a casita. Their casitas range from $25 to $35 a night and most serve you an authentic Cuban breakfast in the morning. Between accommodations and authentic Cuban food every day, you can expect to spend around $40 a day per person.
Don't miss Havana when you visit Cuba as it is thought to be the heart and soul of the country. In Havana, be sure to visit the San Jose Market, the National Capitol Building, and The Cathedral Havana. You can't miss Trinidad either. Their Playa Ancon is one of the loveliest beaches in the country and the city boasts a nightclub in a cave called Disco Ayala. I would budget an extra $300 for local travel and excursions setting the total cost for this honeymoon alternative at only around $950.
Want a different kind of honeymoon but drowning in wedding planning? I planned it for you! If you try one, tell me how it goes @anie_delgado