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How to Decide If You Should Honeymoon Stateside or Abroad

We help you make the big decision.

Contributing Writer
blue wedding getaway car
Photography by: Erich McVey

Your honeymoon is one of the most exciting trips of your life, but planning it can be somewhat stressful. You want to commemorate such a momentous occasion with an equally memorable escape, which is why choosing where to go can be tricky. For some couples, the decision whether to plan a stateside vacation or to go abroad is the toughest. To understand the advantages and disadvantages of each type of honeymoon, we spoke to some seasoned travel experts. Here, some helpful pointers to keep in mind before you book that Hawaiian excursion or well-deserved Euro trip.

 

Related: The Best U.S. Cities for a Romantic Urban Honeymoon

 

Consider cultural differences and travel advisories before booking a far-flung honeymoon.

New destinations, tastes, and once-in-a-lifetime experiences are definitely some of the many perks associated with traveling abroad for your honeymoon, but adventure journalist Kinga Philipps says it's important to consider State Department safety advisories and to read up on necessary inoculations before finalizing your trip. Language barriers and cultural differences are also important to think about—if you're not comfortable navigating in a country where you don't speak the language, you may want to reconsider it as a honeymoon destination.

 

Remember that staying stateside can have major advantages.

A honeymoon in your home country may sound less exciting than a trip to a far-flung locale, but there are some advantages to keep in mind. Unlike the hassles that come with traveling abroad, Phillips explains that staying stateside means you won't have to deal with the added stress of acquiring international paperwork or medical requirements. Plus, you also have the added comfort of working with your own currency, language, and policies, making this an attractive trip option for any couple that's looking to give their passports a rest.

 

Decide whether or not you want to use a travel planning service.

"The best way to make the most of any vacation is by doing the best research, booking plenty of time in advance, and by using a travel planning service," says Alexandra Spergel, owner of The Nomad's Direction, a company that specializes in creating customized travel itineraries. Although it's certainly possible to book your own honeymoon in a city abroad, the help of a professional can make smoothing out the logistics significantly easier, especially when you're already busy planning your wedding day. "Even for those who enjoy or have experience planning their own vacations, no one has tons of free time while planning a wedding and maintaining a full-time job," Spergel adds.

 

Keep in mind that some far-flung honeymoon trips may actually save you money.

It sounds counterintuitive, but a vacation abroad might be less expensive than a honeymoon close to home. "Luxury trips abroad will often be less expensive than what you might pay in the United States," Phillips explains. "For example, you might be able to rent a villa in Bali with your own private chef for less than what you would pay at a three-star resort in Hawaii." This isn't always the case, though, so if budget is your top priority, it's best to price out options both near and far to see what works best for you.

 

Think about how much time can you spend on your honeymoon.

If you and your new spouse have lots of vacation time to spare, take advantage of it and head off to a far-flung location. You can explore a new area (or destination hop and check out a few new places) and really get to know the culture. But if you have a very short window of time in which to take your honeymoon, it may be worth planning a vacation that's closer to your home. You'll get to maximize the amount of time in your destination and can really focus on relaxation. 

 

And decide when you want to travel.

If you are traveling on a tighter budget and know you want to go someplace that's often on the pricier side, Spergel suggests considering planning your honeymoon for just after the area's busy season. During the shoulder season you're still likely to experience good weather but you won't be bombarded with other tourists. Even better, hotel prices usually decrease up to 30 percent. Can only travel immediately after the wedding? Consider the costs during that time of year in a few different places and decide what works for your budget.