If you’re recently engaged and you’re anything like me, you’re probably ready for a little break from all the actually wedding planning right now and ready to dream about/plan your post-wedding escape to somewhere amazing. Whether your looking for a soft sand and umbrella drink type of vacation or an adventurous romp through a foreign land, Ann Petronio, Founder of Annie’s Escapes has all the information you need to get started with those honeymoon plans. See our Q&A with her below, and contact her to get planning your dream trip today!
SNEW: What are some things couples should consider when planning their honeymoon?
Ann: Key things to take into account are the time of year (some destinations have distinct seasonality, and you don’t want to go at the wrong time), your personalities (do you crave excitement, stimulation and nightlife…or quiet relaxation), and the amount of time/money you’re willing to invest in the trip. I’m finding that many couples are delaying their honeymoons until months after the wedding because it allows them to visit a dream destination at a better time of year, save up a little more money, or to take more time out of work.
SNEW: What are some of the most popular honeymoon destinations for 2015?
Ann: Europe in general (and Italy in particular) continues to be my #1 honeymoon destination, and I expect that to continue for 2015 because of the weakening Euro. Second place would go to the Caribbean, for its gorgeous beaches and romantic adults-only all-inclusives. And third in line would be Hawaii, because of its mix of romance, adventure, relaxation, and history.
Photo Credit: A street in Ravello, Italy via Irene Turner
SNEW: Where would you recommend for couples on a budget?
Ann: There are lots of creative things you can do on a budget, since the honeymoon is really just about spending time together. I’ve had clients do a road trip through New England, with time spent in the White Mountains and at the coast in Maine. Off-season, you can find great bargains at luxurious properties on Cape Cod or the Islands, and you’ll have the shops and restaurants to yourselves. There are also some very affordable cruises out of New York during the summer/fall, so you can save on airfare and just drive down to the port and hop on a ship.
SNEW: Where is a good place for couples who don’t want to travel too far or only have a limited amount of time?
Ann: You can get a European feel – without the long flight – in Montreal. It’s a reasonable drive from New England, and feels worlds away. For an island escape, hop on a two-hour direct flight from Boston to Bermuda and you’ll be on the beach in no time.
SNEW: Anywhere “under the radar” that you’ suggest people check out?
Ann: Yes! Right now there are great bargains to be had in Portugal. It’s got all the culture, food and wine that you’d find in Italy, with better beaches, and lower prices. For adventurous couples, you can’t beat Iceland. It’s one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been and, depending on the time of year, you can see the Northern Lights, go whale watching, and experience geysers, hot springs, black sand beaches, glaciers and waterfalls. There’s surprisingly good food, and the nightlife/bar scene in Reykjavik is crazy. Plus, it’s only a five hour flight from Boston.
Photo Credit: Reykjavik, Icleand via Beer & Beans
SNEW: Best place for a relaxing beach honeymoon?
Ann: We are very fortunate to have the Caribbean right in our “backyard”, and each of the islands has its own flavor, so it’s easy to find one that would appeal to you. For long stretches of white sand beach, you can’t beat Negril (Jamaica), Grand Cayman, and Turks and Caicos, but I also love the rougher surf in Barbados or the volcanic sand in St. Lucia.
SNEW: Best adventurous or exotic destination?
Ann: Top on my bucket list would be New Zealand! It combines gorgeous scenery, beaches, adrenaline-fueled adventure (bungee jumping and hang-gliding anyone?) and a world-class food/wine scene. Closer to home, I love Costa Rica, with its rainforests, volcanoes, waterfalls and black sand beaches. Sitting on your balcony sipping Costa Rican coffee, listening to the tree frogs, and spotting monkeys and sloths in the branches around you — heaven.
Photo Credit: Lake Pukaki, New Zealand via Home Sweet World