You’ve made it official–and now it’s time to unwind. Whether you’re the type of couple that wants to explore a once-in-a-lifetime destination, experience otherworldly food and architecture or simply veg out on one of the world’s most beautiful beaches, we’ve got you covered.
Wedding planning, while exciting, can be a major source of stress–and your honeymoon is likely going to be your first real chance to enjoy some quality time with your spouse.
The trip should be relaxing, first and foremost, and suit your wants, needs and style as a couple. With that said, incorporating all of your favorite things into one trip can overwhelm, or take away from your time spent simply enjoying one another’s company.
When planning, consider your bucket list (a honeymoon is the ultimate excuse to invest in a trip you’d otherwise never splurge on), your getaway goals (lounging poolside? A spa? Hiking? Indulging in local cuisine after all those months on a wedding diet?) and the best times to visit your dream destinations.
Keep in mind that while off-season travel can save you money, it can also be unpredictable. Decide whether you’re the type of couple who can handle making the most out of your plans being derailed; the last thing you’d ever want is to spend the majority of your trip in inclement weather, or discover that most of a location’s must-visits are only open in high season.
We’ve considered the world’s most romantic, untapped, exciting and visually stunning destinations when crafting this list, and have teamed up with industry experts to give you all the reasons you’ll need to visit, and where and when to plan your stay.
Here, the 18 ultimate honeymoons to have on your short list for 2018.
The cerulean waves of Oahu may sound old-fashioned for a honeymoon destination, but the most populous and diverse of the Hawaiian islands will blow your hula skirt stereotypes out of the water. Instead of the crowds that throng Honolulu, opt for a lower-key beachside town like Kailua.
Settle into that “island living” mindset by spending your days visiting the less-touristy leeward side of the island where you can catamaran and snorkel with wild dolphins, hike the awe-inspiring views of the Ka’ena Point Trail or sample some of the finest raw fish on the planet courtesy of tiny strip-mall poke shops (yes, really) and brilliantly unexpected fusions from the island’s bustling food truck scene.
Wondering where to stay? The Surfjack has all the makings of a cool, downtown, off-the-beaten boutique property–but it’s right in the heart of the action in Waikiki.
You and your soon-to-be not the lounging on the beach types? Why not go to the (almost) end of the Earth instead. Nestled along the southern coast of Chile, a trip to the Aysen region is like visiting another world.
This vast, sparsely populated frontier is home to massive glaciers, cascading waterfalls, jagged cliffs, and snowy mountains that would inspire even the least photographically inclined to break out their cameras.
This is one trip tailor-made for disconnecting from the rest of the world–and connecting with each other.
If the image that springs to mind when you think of Ireland is rolling green hills, sheer craggy cliffs, and looming stone castles… well, you’re not wrong. But all of those things are just a part of Ireland’s appeal.
Of course you can stay the night in a converted castle or quite literally stumble across a centuries-old building or monument around any turn, but you’d be remiss to skip out on taking in a play on Dublin’s storied theater scene, listening to some cutting edge music in one of Belfast’s clubs, or ignoring the colorful political murals of Derry.
Think of a honeymoon in Ireland as a perfect opportunity to cover that “something old, something new” part of the tradition.
If you’re looking to spend the night in a castle fit for a modern day royal, visit Ashford Castle, or book a room at the newly refurbished Adare Manor.
Considered by some to be one of the last truly “wild” places in southern Africa, Zambia boasts mesmerizing wilderness alive with one of the most diverse animal populations in the world.
For those looking to experience a part of the world that remains largely untouched by outsiders, where lions lounge in the shade of trees and elephants wander freely, Zambia is an unbeatable adventure and home to some of the most luxurious safari lodges on offer.
Whether you and your beloved are looking to explore tastebud tempting New Nordic cuisine, climb some millennia-old glaciers, or soak away your troubles in skin-soothing natural hot springs, Iceland has everything you need.
Smaller than the state of Kentucky, Iceland’s size makes it easy to move between must-see sights like the famed mineral-rich waters of the Blue Lagoon or the glittering glaciers of Vatnajökull National Park or touring the museum scene of Reykjavik.
Iceland also happens to be one of the most accessible places on Earth to catch a regular display of the Northern Lights. Book a tour to the northern tip of the island and let nature put on her nightly light show just for the two of you.
While there is some debate about the true inspiration for Bali Hai, the fantasy paradise from James A. Michener’s Tales of the South Pacific, this small Pacific isle has long held a reputation for its otherworldly beauty.
With turquoise lagoons, lush coral reefs, and overwater bungalows taken directly from your cold wintery daydreams, Bora Bora is an ideal choice for couples who are looking to live the dream. Hike the extinct volcano at the center of the island, snorkel through the technicolor coral gardens that ring the landmass, or just lounge in the lap of luxury at one of the numerous five-star hotels that dot this must-visit tropical escape.