One of the most exciting parts of planning a wedding is deciding on a honeymoon destination. While fun, choosing where you want to celebrate can also be overwhelming. There are 195 countries in the world, after all! And when it comes down to it, you and your spouse might have different ideas of what a ‘dream honeymoon’ entails. One partner may want relaxation, while the other is looking to fill the days with activities and adventures. The good news is that couples don’t have to choose! More and more newlyweds are opting to design a custom honeymoon that creates a mix of relaxation, luxury, adventure, and fun.
Kristin Halford, owner of Ticket to Roam Travel Planning, is an expert at customizing honeymoons that incorporate relaxation and adventure for couples. She shared with us her top honeymoon destinations for couples to consider that check all the boxes:
1. Costa Rica
Costa Rica has many pros as a honeymoon destination. The small Central American country is only a short flight from the United States, has miles of world-renowned beaches, and enough adventure to keep even the most seasoned explorers busy. Many honeymooners choose to stay at relaxing & luxurious resorts while participating in activities like surfing, ziplining, waterfall hikes, volcano treks, and more! Nature resorts like Nayara Springs offer unique opportunities for couples to immerse themselves into the jungles at an eco-retreat inside one of the world’s Blue Zones, which are geographic regions where people live the longest and are the healthiest. In total, there are five Blue Zones around the world, with Costa Rica being one.
Accommodation recommendation: Nayara Springs
This small-but-mighty central European country is perfect for a relaxing and adventurous honeymoon all year long! There is world-class skiing, ultra-luxury lodges and resorts, castles & vineyards, and stunning mountain scenery everywhere you look. Many couples take advantage of the opportunity abroad to explore other scenic countries and regions, such as the Dolomites in Italy or the coastlines of Spain. No matter the itinerary, a honeymoon in Switzerland will surely be a winner!
Accommodation recommendation: Villa Principe Leopoldo
3. St. Lucia
St. Lucia is the perfect option for couples torn between a classic Caribbean honeymoon and something a little more adventurous. The tiny island nation is home to some of the most dramatic tropical mountains and lush sandy beaches. One of the significant benefits is that everything you need is within a small radius, which means more relaxing and exploring from the moment you land! Spend the day away from the resort on excursions that include ATVing, waterfall hiking, snorkeling, and more.
Accommodation recommendation: Sugar Beach Resort
4. New Zealand
Everything about New Zealand screams “epic honeymoon,” and all who visit say it is worth the long flight across the Atlantic! Many couples who choose New Zealand for their honeymoon destination prefer a more extended trip (10-14 days) to ensure they have enough time to travel, explore, and relax.
New Zealand is the adventure capital of the world, and it’s easy to see why. Couples can go as big or small on adventures as they please, from whale watching tours to bungee jumps. Besides adventure, New Zealand is also known for lake & oceanside retreats, a great wine region, and wellness spas. For couples looking to add in some tropical relaxation on the New Zealand honeymoon, Fiji is the perfect option to add on at either the beginning or end of the trip.
Accommodation recommendation: MataKauri
Thailand and many other countries in Southeast Asia have skyrocketed to the top of honeymoon lists in recent decades. The region offers numerous four- and five-star resorts, rich culture and cuisine, and rare wildlife. Steps away from luxury resorts are stunning ocean coves, thick jungles, elephant sanctuaries, and other activities that ensure there is no such thing as a dull day in Thailand!
If you plan to visit an elephant sanctuary, ensure it does not advertise the option to ride elephants. Instead, have your travel planner look into options that allow you to interact with rescued wildlife ethically and safely.
Accommodation recommendation: Four Seasons Tented Camp
6. African Safari
Honeymoons don’t get much more adventurous than this! This is a top destination for couples because it is easy to integrate adventure and relaxation. Many safari camps and lodges offer luxury accommodation, spas, and restaurants, while the adventure begins the moment you step outside your door. Here, you are surrounded by nature in one of the most unique ecosystems in the world. Spend the day spotting cheetahs, elephants, and giraffes, then come back to your lodge at night to enjoy a local cuisine paired with wine by a fire.
Accommodation recommendation: Sabi Sand
Argentina is home to some of the world’s most stunning national parks, renowned resorts, and unique cruising experiences. Entre Cielos is one of many companies that offer luxury lodging and cruising around Patagonia, including the Mendoza wine region. The area offers some of the world’s best trekking, sightseeing, and fjords when looking to get outside and explore. Many also opt to travel inland to Iguazu Falls, the most extensive waterfall system in the world.
Accommodation recommendation: Entre Cielos
Planning a honeymoon while planning a wedding is a lot of work, which is why Kristin recommends using a travel planner to iron out all the details. Couples can express their interests and allow their planner to book all the flights, transfers, accommodations, and excursions. That way after your wedding you aren’t stressed about the honeymoon. You simply grab your tickets and get ready for an adventure of a lifetime with your new husband/wife!