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Archive for the ‘Honeymoon’ Category

I’m getting married. And the wedding is less than a month away.

All the major stuff has been booked. The church, reception, deejay, florist, photographer, limo, and the honeymoon have all been set long ago. Now we just need to finalize some major details. What type of organ music should be played, the arrangement of the ceremonial program, how am I getting to the church, how are we getting to the honeymoon? The little things.

It’s going to be pleasantly strange to see my family and hers together, under one roof, celebrating our nuptials. But I look forward to it. We hope to throw a kick-ass party. And afterwards, we’ll relax on a nice Mexican beach sipping cocktails and basking in some tropical sunshine.

Lookin’ forward to it.

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A quick search on the web reveals many sites that are dedicated to long-term, ’round the world travel. Now most of us aren’t planning a massive sojourn such as this, but the article inspired me to start calculating the costs of the next trip I’m planning: the summer Italian honeymoon.

Unless you’re Bill Gates, cost will always be a factor in planning your trip. So, after you’ve decided on a destination and duration, I recommend taking an inventory of your anticipated expenses. Open up your favorite word processor or spreadsheet program and make a list of all the places at which you want to stay, the sites you wish to see, and the food and drink you wish to consume. Tally up your costs, airfare, and any pre-trip purchases (books, gear, and rail-passes) and voila–you’ve established your preliminary budget.

Either this exercise will relieve you of your monetary worries or open your eyes to cut costs. I recommend listing not one but multiple places of accommodation so you can easily compare prices. If your anticipated spending exceeds your funds, perhaps cutting back on expensive dinners or downgrading to a cheaper B&B will suffice.

As for me, I’m trying to cram a two-week Italian honeymoon with a decent budget without a) overnighting in airports or seedy street alleys and b) not busting the bank. My wife-to-be and I want to at least experience Italy’s big three destinations: Rome, Florence, and Venice. I’d especially like to encounter the ruins at Pompeii and the Roman Coliseum. My fiance is an art history buff so she’ll appreciate the art galleries in Florence. And I’m sure we’ll both embrace Venice as we romantically glide through the city’s narrow canals. Indeed, budget planning is in order.

Or, one can simplify the process by enrolling in those tour packages. Though I think half the fun is in planning the trip on our own terms.

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Melissa and I are getting married next summer and the conventional entry into lifelong matrimonial bliss usually involves two things: the wedding and the honeymoon. While Melissa’s emotions have been downright giddy in planning the fine details of her dream wedding, I have been delegated the task of packaging our ideal honeymoon sojourn.

What to do? Where to go? These were the first two questions we asked ourselves. Now I tend to think big whenever I embark on a task so we ruled out local destinations. We also considered some domestic locations but given that Melissa has rarely ventured outside the country and I haven’t been to Europe since my semester abroad in college, both of us decided to look internationally.

The one exception to our rule of excluding domestic places was Hawaii. Two of my friends spent their honeymoons in the fiftieth state and both had a blast. One couple loved Hawaii so much he packed up his bags and moved there permanently!

Hawaii does have its charm (or so I’ve heard; I have never been there) and it constantly ranks as a top destination for honeymoons. The beaches look breathtaking, the water glimmer a clean turquoise. Still, we were looking for something a little less tropical and a little more adventurous.

Maybe England? The British isles as a honeymoon destination, you ask? Melissa is quite fond of medieval English history—she is a fan of Phillipa Gregory’s historical fiction—so it became an option. As for me, I already lived in England during a college semester abroad. So I was looking for something a little different.

We considered other destinations—China, Greece, Australia, France to name a few—but we finally found a place: Italy. Neither of us has visited the Mediterranean, Melissa’s quite knowledgeable about the Italian Renaissance and I admire ancient Roman history. Traveling to the many different cities in Italy and struggling to speak the local language will give us the sense of adventure I crave. Everyone who has been there tells us the food is to die for, and yes the summer weather will be hot but we think manageable. The museums are filled with world-renowned artwork, the historical heritage is ubiquitous, and the romantic, eye-opening views of the Mediterranean make Italy our perfect choice for our honeymoon spot.

Some people have asked if we’re going with one of those group tour guides. I’m trying to avoid it if I can—they seem too packaged and inauthentic. Instead I think I’ll plan a general itinerary but nothing too rigid so we can be flexible when we want to be. We want to experience Italy on our own terms.

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