Forget about Hawaii, Bora Bora, and the Bahamas. Trade in those cliché tropical paradises for a honeymoon you and your partner will remember for the rest of your lives.
Winter brides and grooms should plan to adjourn to the Great White North after their nuptials for fun-filled days on the slopes and cozy nights by the fire. The mountain resorts at Whistler-Blackcomb and Banff are simply magical blanketed under fresh, white snow, and the sense of wilderness that comes with such rugged surroundings will help you feel as sequestered as the most remote beach in Tahiti. If you don’t already know how to ski or snowboard, that’s even more reason to go. Learning a new skill together is a great way to bond as you enter a new phase of your relationship.
It may feel sacrilegious to fly over some of the most famous honeymoon destinations in the world only to land in a place as ordinary as Brisbane. But this fairly large Australian city, about 900 kilometers north of Sydney, is full of incredibly friendly locals and plenty of activity for traveling couples. You can still get your Pacific Ocean fix in nearby Gold Coast, the most popular vacation spot for Aussies on holiday, while in the city proper you’ll find vibrant arts and culture and boutique bars galore.
Starting married life on a budget? Make your way to Vietnam where smart travelers can get by on as little as $25 per person per day. Ho Chi Minh City, formerly known as Saigon, and capital city Hanoi are the best known vacation spots, but coastal town Nha Trang is home to postcard-perfect beach views that will put more expensive South Pacific resorts to shame. A relaxing soak in the mud bath at the nearby hot springs, a cosmopolitan night on the town, and an invigorating dive from one of the offshore islands will all get you and your honey in the perfect newlywed frame of mind.
This Hungarian capital is one of the most underrated cities in all of Europe. From the neo-Gothic Parliament to the fairytale-like Fisherman’s Bastion near Buda Castle, romantic sights and attractions abound. And at only $50 per person per day, it’s easy to keep from breaking the bank. Don’t miss a spa day at the expansive Szechenyi Baths – while central to daily life in Budapest, spending a couple hours in a thermal pool is a surefire way to unwind and get ready for the long road ahead.
The Middle East may not seem the most tranquil place to start married life, but this ancient site in the safe and stable country of Jordan is well worth overcoming your preconceptions. Channel your inner Bedouin on a camel trek from Wadi Rum, or join a night tour of the famous archaeological site. Seeing its iconic red, rock-cut architecture illuminated by candlelight is a romantic scene straight out of the movies – literally. Both Lawrence of Arabia and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade were shot in the area.
A Latin American city like Buenos Aires may have the fiery reputation to match the passion of young love, but if you’d like a more isolated honeymoon experience, head for the hills. This rustic province of western Argentina boasts excellent mountain views, with hiking that can live up to the advertising, and more than 1,500 wineries. Rent a couple of bicycles and challenge your new spouse to a race along the Caminos del Vino, where you’ll have ample opportunity to take a break and sample the region’s famous Malbecs.