Some couples are content honeymooning nearby (and more power to them!), but you’re looking for an escape. And you’re ready and willing to travel afar to reach an exotic locale. If you have your sights set on a far-flung honeymoon destination like the Caribbean, Bora Bora, or Lombok, Indonesia, you are probably weighing the pros and cons of such an extensive trip.
“In theory, you only have one honeymoon, so you want to make it as special as possible,” says Will Hatton, travel expert and owner of hoteljules.com. “On future vacations, you can muck in with other couples. But for now, the honeymoon is just about you two. So why not enjoy the time together in an idyllic place?”
Of course, you can’t just snap your fingers and land on an island across the sea. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of honeymooning far away.
It takes about 20 hours to fly to the Maldives from New York—if you can book a direct flight. With transfers, it can take 28 hours or more. And that doesn’t include transfer time when you land if you need to hop on a small jumper plane or boat to reach your resort.
You’ll need to factor in travel time to the number of days you plan to spend at your destination. For couples with limited vacation time or who want to do their honeymoon in one week or less, a far-flung destination may not be the best option. (Of course, you may gain a day back flying home, so you can consider that a rest day when you return to get over the jet lag.)
Endure the long flight and you will be rewarded. There’s a reason you fly halfway around the world—once you arrive, you’ll be in paradise. You can easily book a resort where you and your love will stay in a private overwater bungalow or even on your own private island.
If you are looking for privacy and exclusivity, it’s worth it to travel afar where you can find plenty of space and time to be alone together, says Lauren Grech, CEO and co-founder of LLG Events & LLG Agency in New York City.
You’re in paradise and your honeymoon is going to be two weeks or more, so you want to bring your large suitcase packed with all your favorite beachwear. Take care, though, if you are taking a seaplane to get to your resort. They may have strict weight restrictions and can charge you a pretty penny for extra pounds of luggage.
“One of the biggest cons of honeymooning in a remote island destination is seaplane transfers to get between islands or atolls,” Grech says. “This means you have to pack light, even though you're probably traveling for a longer time. Or, you have to pay for the extra luggage charges since these seaplanes are a lot smaller.”
The Maldives is a country that’s 99% water, and Bora Bora is surrounded by a protected coral reef in French Polynesia. Visit either, and the food, local culture, and marine life are guaranteed to be incredible, Grech says.
“In the Maldives, you can have the best curry-infused food you'll ever taste and in Bora Bora, you can eat a buffet of freshly-caught fish with a palm leaf,” she says. “And in the Maldives, you can swim with sea turtles and boat alongside dolphins and whales; whereas in Bora Bora, you can snorkel with stingrays, and black-tipped reef sharks and lemon sharks. Look forward to untouched, underwater experiences like you've never seen before."
The flight and oversea transfers are extra long, so you’d expect them to be pricey. Once you get to your hotel, you may be surprised how expensive some of the incidentals like drinks can cost.
“You expect it to be expensive, but on some islands be prepared for the high expense of alcohol,” Grech says. “You'll want to celebrate and enjoy a bottle of wine at dinner or drinks by the pool, so budget this in. The prices are more over the top than you'd think."
Luckily, you can register for a honeymoon cash fund to help you afford everything you need for the honeymoon of your dreams. Alternatively, you can honeymoon in a faraway destination where the daily costs for hotels, food, and drinks are still relatively affordable. It all just begins with some research.