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Today’s Guest Blogger is the lovely Emma Gibbs from The Honeymoon Project Emma has been kind enough to write me a great post about unconventional and alternative Honeymoon ideas, she has a whole host of experience so is the go to person for all your honeymoon questions and needs.
Honeymoons with a difference
Sometimes it can feel a little hard to come up with an original honeymoon idea – often it seems that every other person has lazed on a beach in the Maldives for two weeks, or spent their days watching lions in Kruger Park. But, if you’re looking for something a little bit different, then you’re really spoilt for choice – these days, finances are your only limit, and anything is possible for a honeymoon. Here’s a few of my favourite ideas for slightly more unconventional honeymoons:
USA by train
The classic way to see the USA is, of course, by car – and it’s hard to beat that feeling of driving along the open road. But, for a more leisurely exploration, and without the worry about renting a car, driving long (and sometimes boring) distances and making sure you’re always on the right side of the road, try taking the train. It’s a great way to sit back, relax and watch the scenery change as you traverse this impressive country, and there’s a wonderful, old-fashioned romance in train travel (especially if you opt for a sleeper) that’s hard not to fall for. My choice would be to take the train from New York to New Orleans, perhaps stopping en-route in Washington DC and Atlanta, and then, after a few days of food, drink and music in heady New Orleans, head west to Los Angeles for a bit of California sunshine.
Southeast Asia is full of perfect honeymoon destinations, but if you’re looking for something a little bit different to Thailand’s beautiful (but touristy) islands, then I really recommend considering Laos. Significantly less developed and more laid back that its neighbour, Laos combines staggering scenery, friendly people and an old-fashioned style, creating an utterly beguiling place to visit. My choice would be to start in lovely Luang Prabang before heading up the Nam Ou river to Nong Khiaw, in a beautiful position the river – stay in a riverside bungalow and you’ll find it hard to do much more than soak up the views. From here, you could head across to Luang Namtha for a spot of trekking in the jungle, further up the Nam Ou if you’re after a bit more adventure, or head back towards Luang Prabang to stay at the gorgeous riverside Lao Spirit Resort (http://www.lao-spirit.com/), where you can experience life as a mahout at the nearby elephant sanctuary. Laos is quite expensive to get to (you can’t fly there direct), but prices in country are still incredibly cheap, and there’s an ever-growing range of luxurious accommodation available, often at bargain prices.
Glamping in the UK
Glamping, or luxury camping, has really taken off here in the last few years – no longer do you need to worry about spending a week in a soggy field, looking like a drowned rat and trekking through the wind and rain to get to the loos. If you want to stay in country for your honeymoon, then glamping offers a more personal, eco-friendly and unique experience than your average hotel, plus you get the benefit of feeling closer to nature. My picks would be the gorgeous French gipsy caravans at Roulotte Retreat (http://www.roulotteretreat.com/) in the Scottish Borders, the quirkily modern and utterly private Ekopod (http://www.canopyandstars.co.uk/our-places/ekopod) in Cornwall, or the charmingly old-fashioned yurt at Yarlington (http://www.canopyandstars.co.uk/our-places/yarlington-house/yarlington-yurt) in Somerset. Expect comfy beds, wood-burning stoves, heaps of character, and a completely magical “I can’t believe we’re in the UK” experience.
Round the world
If you’ve got time (and money) on your side, then you may well be considering a longer trip. An increasing number of couples are choosing to jack their jobs in and celebrate their first six or twelve months of marriage by travelling extensively. With time to spare, you could travel by train to China, head down through southeast Asia, then on to Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific islands before heading over the the Americas. The choices are pretty limitless. You’d need a seriously large budget to do it all in upmarket hotels, but in much of the world you can stay in lovely, locally run places for less than a tenner, and then save a bit of cash for the odd night or two of all out luxury.
Africa is crammed full of wildlife-spotting opportunities, but for somewhere a bit more off-the-beaten track, it’s hard to beat the beautiful island of Madagascar. Because of the island’s position, much of its wildlife is unique in the world – ranging from aye-ayes and lemurs to jumping rats and mongoose – and as tourism is still developing now is a great time to be heading over there. On top of this you’ve got blissful white sand beaches to laze on, crystal clear waters perfect for diving, and archipelagos for island-hopping. Few travel agents offer trips here, so it’s worth going with a company that really knows its stuff – Rainbow Tours (http://rainbowtours.co.uk) are excellent.
Tango in Buenos Aires
Sultry and seductive, Buenos Aires is in many ways a perfect honeymoon destination – and tango an intrinsic part of the city’s allure. First, spend a few days brushing up on your dancing skills with a few lessons; then, head for a milonga – either to watch the dancers or, if you’re feeling brave enough, join in yourselves. In between all that passion, revive yourselves with the city’s amazing food and the country’s gorgeous wines. When you’re ready to cool off, head up to the stunning Iguazu Falls, to Mendoza for wine tasting among the mountains, or right down south to the amazing wilds of Patagonia.
The Honeymoon Projectis the dedicated guide to all things honeymoon – whether you’re looking for a two-week beachside trip with nothing more strenuous that ordering another glass of champagne, ideas for getting off the beaten track, or help finding that perfect romantic hideaway.
Regularly updated, The Honeymoon Project covers a wide range of ideas and information about making the most of your trip – from the best destinations for wildlife watching and luxury hotels on a budget to essential packing tips and whether first class is worth the splurge. The site has been established so that readers can play an active role, allowing them to draw on the author’s experience to help them book the trip of their dreams.
The Honeymoon Project is written by Emma Gibbs, a travel writer and editor for Rough Guides, the UK’s best-known series of guidebooks for independent travellers Having recently planned her own honeymoon – a four week road trip around South Africa – Emma set up The Honeymoon Project to help other couples plan their trips by drawing on her extensive travel knowledge.