According to Brides, the average length of a honeymoon is 7 days to 2 weeks. However, the actual time each couple spends on their honeymoon depends on a variety of factors…
Where Do You Want to Travel?
The first factor is the location you and your new spouse have picked for your honeymoon. For example, if your heart is set on India, you will likely need 2 weeks at the least to even scratch the surface of what this vibrant country has to offer.
However, if your dream destination is Cabo San Lucas, you will likely feel relaxed, rejuvenated, and fully satisfied with your experience after a week.
For couples traveling to a country or a large region, we also recommend adding fewer stops to your honeymoon itinerary. This way, you can enjoy each place, fully unpack your suitcase, and have time simply to enjoy your honeymoon period (and honeymoon feelings).
For example, if you are traveling to Thailand and have 10 days in the country, we recommend spending 2 days in Bangkok, 4 days in Ko Samui, and 4 days in Chiang Mai. Even this itinerary is a little crammed for us because you have to fly to each place.
How Long Will It Take You to Get to Your Honeymoon Destination?
Don’t forget to factor in travel time and jetlag!
For example, if you’re flying to Bali, Indonesia, from the West Coast of the USA, it will take you a day or day and a half of travel to get to your honeymoon resort. This includes travel to the airport, flights, layovers, and the taxi ride when you arrive at the international airport in Bali (some parts of the island are 3 hours from the airport).
Recently, I’ve heard several horror stories out of the US about couples being delayed for days in the airport while trying to leave for their international honeymoons. In the past, travel delays didn’t need to be factored in as much, but they’re a harsh reality in the US right now.
Make sure you book directly through the airline, buy travel insurance (or book with a credit card that covers you in the event of delays or trip cancelation).
What Is Your Budget?
For couples with a big honeymoon budget, the sky is truly the limit. However, if you are on a budget, you can either spend less per day and stay longer or spend more per day and stay for fewer days. You can also pick a destination that is cheaper overall, but don’t forget to factor in airfare.
Here is our biggest tip for planning an affordable honeymoon trip: go to a less popular destination. Less popular usually means less expensive.
For example, Santorini is gorgeous, but it’s becoming a prohibitively expensive destination for newlywed couples. We recommend taking Santorini off your honeymoon list and instead choosing Naxos.
Will You Take Your Honeymoon Right After the Wedding?
Thankfully, departing for the honeymoon right after the wedding isn’t a practiced tradition anymore.
Even if everything goes according to plan and there isn’t even the tiniest mishap on your wedding day, you both will be absolutely exhausted by the end. In addition, many couples turn their weddings into weekend-long events that give old friends a chance to catch up and new friends the chance to get to know each other.
Recently, I attended a weekend wedding in Washington state, where the couple took a mini-moon the weekend after in Cannon Beach. This gave them the chance to fully enjoy their honeymoon phase while not feeling the stress of leaving for a big trip right after a big wedding. It’s such a good idea!
How Many Days Off Work Do You Have?
Oh how we hate this technical question, but it really matters for planning your honeymoon. It’s such a pity that vacation time in the US is so much shorter than in many other countries, but you can work with even a small amount of time.
If your honeymoon is super limited, one of the best things you can do is plan a romantic getaway near your home. In this case, it’s best to pick a specific resort, retreat, or Airbnb you like over a destination to explore. This allows you to start your married life with uninterrupted special time together.
My husband and I flew back to my hometown in California to get married and then honeymooned at a Costanoa, a glamping resort along the Northern California resort. We didn’t have to fly anywhere, and the entire experience was stress-free.
City escapes and road trips also make great mini-honeymoons. However, make sure you check the local event calendar before you go in case there’s a marathon, a huge concert, or something else that will temporarily change the character (and the room rates) of the place you plan to visit.
Can You Work Remotely for Part of Your Honeymoon?
I recently met a couple who took 10 paid days off and then were able to work remotely for 1 week during their honeymoon. They went to Costa Rica and explored during their paid time off and then rented a gorgeous Airbnb during their work-from-home period.
They could enjoy each other’s company throughout the day and then watch a stunning sunset from their balcony every evening. While this particular example might not work for everyone, it’s worth looking into whether you can work remotely in order to extend your honeymoon stage.
During What Time of Year Will You Take Your Honeymoon?
The time of year you plan to visit your destination of choice matters.
When I was in my early 20s, I visited Cappadocia, Turkey (a magical honeymoon destination) in order to watch hundreds of hot air balloons take to the skies during sunrise. However, I visited in December (low season with few tourists taking balloon rides) during a time of political instability. Needless to say, I only saw one hot air balloon, which goes to show how important it is to research what your dream vacation destination is like during your period of travel.
Also, if you are traveling to a tropical country during rainy season or the transitional period going into dry season, make sure you book extra time. That way, if your beach day gets rained out or the waterfall is too dangerous to swim in, you can just go the next day.
Rainy season and the “shoulder season” (the time between rainy season and dry season) are great times to visit tropical countries if you are on a budget. This is because the room rates are much lower and the resorts have few guests.
We also recommend planning for flight delays and wait lists for activities in popular destinations if you are traveling during the winter holidays.
In addition, we recommend checking the calendar to see if there are any local holidays that will impact your perfect vacation. For example, most businesses and restaurants close for a week during Tet (the New Year) in Vietnam. In comparison, the airport in Chiang Mai, Thailand, often closes during Loy Krathong (the lantern festival) due to the number of fire lanterns drifting onto the runway.
How Far in Advance Have You Booked Your Honeymoon?
We usually recommend booking your flights and hotels at least 8 months in advance. If you have your eye on a particular honeymoon villa/suite or are traveling during Christmas time or high season, we recommend booking a full year in advance.
Booking your honeymoon far in advance also allows you to start saving earlier so you have a larger honeymoon budget.
Where Should I Go on a 7-Day Honeymoon?
For couples traveling from the US who are planning a one-week honeymoon getaway, we recommend the following locations:
- Big Sur, California
- Sedona, Arizona
- Cumberland Island, Georgia
- Charleston, South Carolina
- Napa Valley, California
- Moab, Utah
- Aspen, Colorado
- Door County, Wisconsin
- The Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee or North Carolina
- Montreal, Canada
- Tulum, Mexico
- Playa del Carmen, Mexico
- Riviera Maya, Mexico
- Saint Lucia
Where Should I Go on a 10-Day Honeymoon?
If your honeymoon plans include at least 10 days of adventures (or pure relaxation), these destinations are a good fit.
- A roundtrip along the Oregon and Northern California coasts
- Alaska, USA
- Tuscany, Italy
- The Amalfi Coast, Italy
- Dubrovnik, Croatia
- Santorini, Greece
- Ireland and Scotland
- Seoul and Jeju Island, South Korea
- Provence, France
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Costa Rica (pick 3 places)
- Loire Valley, France
Where Should I Go on a 2-Week Honeymoon?
This is at the longer end of the average honeymoon spectrum, but if you can arrange 2 weeks off work, this is the ideal amount of time for a full-blown honeymoon. Here are a few of our favorite honeymoon spots:
- Thailand (pick 3 or 4 places)
- Northern Thailand and Northern Vietnam
- Tanzania and Kenya (make sure you see the Great Migration)
- South Africa (head to the Cape Winelands and go on safari)
- A mini-tour of Italy (pick 3 cities)
- Southern France
- Bora Bora, French Polynesia
- Queensland and Auckland, New Zealand
- Maldives (you can also add a stop in Dubai)
- Bali and Lombok, Indonesia
- Japan (pick 3 or 4 places)
- Turkey (pick 3 or 4 places)