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The Best Anniversary Vacation Ideas Based on Your First Year of Marriage

These are the exact getaways you'll need.

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Courtesy of Mr and Mrs Smith

Want to do something other than dig into that one-year-old cake on your first anniversary? Instead of the traditional fancy dinner and gift exchange, consider booking a trip together for a weekend (or maybe even a week if you can swing it) to celebrate surviving those 365 days of marital ups and downs. Depending on where you are in your lives and your relationship, you want to choose a getaway trip that matches your financial flexibility, interests, and future. Here, destination recommendations based on how you're both feeling and what you're facing.

 

Things That Will Definitely Happen in Your First Year of Marriage

 

You were able to save more than you thought and can afford to splurge.

If you and your new spouse were handled the bill for the majority of your wedding, your honeymoon might not have been as once-in-a-lifetime as you would have hoped. But now that all of the hoopla has slowed down and you've nestled into your married life, you were able to build that savings account higher than you anticipated. With flights to Europe trending cheaper these days, consider booking an off-season trip to Greece. Though it's easy enough to hop around to the various islands—like Mykonos or Rhodes—you have to book at least one night in Oia, which is known for it's insane sunsets. Stay at Santo Maris Oia Luxury Suites & Spa, where each room has a jacuzzi and a balcony, ideal for those Instagrams you'll want to take.

 

You just had a baby.

Did your first year of marriage came with an adorable new baby? Then there's a good chance you can't imagine boarding a flight that will take you too far away from your newborn. Having a chance to disconnect from the chaos of becoming a new parent and spending time relaxing, detoxing, and sleeping will help both of you feel more connected and sane. Instead of getting out of town, book a "staycation" in your city or a neighboring one at a luxury resort that comes complete with a spa. You can both get massages, enjoy the soft sheets and pillow service, and order in room service. There are tons of options around the country, but a few to look into could be The Palms Hotel & Spa or The Carillon Miami Beach in Miami Beach, The Omni Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina, Golden Door Resort and Spa outside of San Diego, California, or the Salamander Resort & Spa in Washington, D.C.

 

You're trying to get pregnant.

Just like how you found and married the love of your life, the best things that happen usually come when you're not trying so hard. If you're trying to begin your family and it's not quite going on the timeline that you anticipated, a great way to let go of the pressure is to be on a beach somewhere with blue water and white beaches. Just make sure to avoid areas where Zika might pose a threat, as women trying to get pregnant are advised to protect themselves and their possible children. Consider heading over to California, or if Europe is calling your name, consider making a pit stop in Venice, Italy, for a bit of romance (we suggest the San Clemente Palace Kempinski Venice for a star-studded experience), and then down to the Amalfi coast to unwind.

 

You fought more than you had hoped, and you want to have some fun.

Fights happen. Every relationship expert or counselor will remind you that arguing can be healthy for your marriage, helping you both to practice the tough experience of disagreeing. If you've had a rougher year than you both anticipated, your anniversary trip needs to center around one thing (and one thing, only): Fun! For a reasonably-priced vacation, New Orleans is a good bet. With open container laws, second-lines on every street, all the jazz and rich, decadent food you can consume, and the sweet charm that comes with any American Southern town, you will both feel so far away from your problems that you relax into each other. You can book your stay at the Windsor Court Hotel or the International House Hotel, both close to the French Quarter, and make sure to book your restaurant reservations, since NOLA is definitely a town for a foodie. Of course, you'll want to eat somewhere historic—like Arnaud's or Brennan's—but don't forget about some other beauties, like Ralph's on the Park for lunch, followed by a quintessential stroll through the marshes.

 

You need to relax because you both worked so hard.

If you're early into your careers or you both have your eyes set on a promotion and raise, you might have spent more time in your office than in your bedroom this year. Instead of stressing yourselves (even more than you already are), take travel planning off of your to-do list by booking an all-inclusive to the Caribbean. If you'd like to stick to a budget, check out everywhere from Bermuda and Aruba to the Virgin Islands and Costa Rica. Or if you want to book on your own, consider a few highly-recommended destinations like Kore Tulum Retreat & Spa Resort in Tulum, Mexico, the Wyndham Grand Rio Mar Beach Resort & Spa in Puerto Rico, or the Divi Flamingo Beach Resort in Bonaire.

 

You want all of the romance, but can't afford Europe.

You may feel like any trip will feel lackluster compared to the glitz and glam of Europe. But think again! Even if you don't quite need your passport to get to Napa Valley and Sonoma in California, with it's endless vineyards and warm experience, your constant state of wino buzz will plenty of stars to your eyes. Stay at the luxurious (and gorgeous) The Meritage Resort & Spa and for a fun adventure, book a trip on the Napa Valley Wine Train. The Vista Dome package aboard the railroad will make for some pretty amazing Instas.

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