We just got back from our honeymoon last week, but it already seems like a lifetime ago! We were in 85-degree tropical temperatures one day and came back to winter cold and the holidays in DC the next. Our honeymoon in Cartagena, Colombia in South America was fabulous. It was relaxing, but there was plenty to keep us busy. There was amazing food and drink, it was everything we wanted it to be. So, how did we decide on Colombia?
The short story is, I wanted somewhere easy to get to, that we could do in 5-ish days because I didn’t want to totally miss the holidays back in the US, and we wanted somewhere warm. But, I’m going to walk you through each question we looked at in choosing Colombia for our honeymoon and all the factors that you should consider in choosing yours. I’ll definitely have more posts coming on what to pack, a travel guide, and more, but let’s dive into choosing a honeymoon destination first!
HOW TO CHOOSE YOUR HONEYMOON DESTINATION
I’m going to start off by saying there’s so much pressure to choose your honeymoon destination. It’s this one trip that is expected to be magical and perfect, but, in all honesty, you’re exhausted, tired of planning because you just planned a wedding, and, this probably isn’t the only vacation you and your new husband will ever take. So, it doesn’t need to be all the romantic things packed into one trip.
However, you want it to be a wonderful experience! You’ll 100% need the time to reconnect, relax, and recharge after your busy wedding weekend, so you want the honeymoon to live up to all your expectations. Walking through these 4 questions will help you narrow down what you’re both looking for and focus your honeymoon destination search.
ONE: WHAT KIND OF HONEYMOON DO YOU WANT?
First, think about the kind of honeymoon you’ve been dreaming of. Is it something active and new for both of you? Do you literally want to sit on a beach with a drink in our hand for a week? In your dreams, are you strolling down charming and ancient streets? Are you relaxing in the country? If you’re someone who likes to stay on the go, than a city is certainly a better choice than a lazy beach town. Maybe you’re a super active couple and tackling a new adventure seems fitting.
We know that we are 100% NOT resort people, so that was out of the question. We wanted good food and we wanted to discover things to do on our own. Warm weather was how I’d always envisioned a honeymoon (plus, besides for our trip to Costa Rica, it seems all our international trips have been chilly!). Time to relax was a must, but we also wanted the option of getting out and exploring. I wanted something a bit more exotic than the Caribbean and a city seemed more appropriate than a beach town, so everything added up to Cartagena.
TWO: WHAT’S THE WEATHER FORECAST?
Think about both the destination and the time of year when considering where you’re going. For winter weddings like us, Europe is probably out of the question, unless you’re okay with bundling up or you’re looking to explore the Christmas markets (we actually considered this for a hot second, but it didn’t feel “honeymoon” enough to me – it’s on our list though!). We wanted warm weather for our honeymoon, so we needed to look south – far south.
THREE: HOW LONG DO YOU HAVE?
Think about when you’re going and how much time you have. It was important to me to go on our honeymoon right after the wedding (well, 3 days after, which I’d highly recommend so you have time to unpack and pack!), so that affected our timeline due to the holidays.
A big factor for us was choosing a honeymoon that we could do in 5-ish days and still feel like we were fully experiencing the destination. If we’d had two weeks, or when we do have two weeks at some point, I’d love to go to Asia or Africa, but it wasn’t realistic at this point (particularly after paying for a wedding!). Europe is easy to do in a week, but, beyond the weather in December, we’ve been there together twice in the past year and half. I wanted something different. So, South America made the most sense!
Also, consider travel time. Cartagena was super easy to get to for us. It was a 2 hour flight to FLL, then a 2.5 hour flight from FLL to CTG. There was no time zone change (who knew the west coast of South America lines up with the east coast of the United States?!). We were able to schedule our travel in the morning on the first day and the late afternoon on the last day so that we still had plenty of time on those days to get out and enjoy the city.
FOUR: WHAT KIND OF TRAVELERS ARE YOU?
Similarly to what kind of honeymoon do you want, what kind of travelers are you? If you want everything done for you and don’t want to bother with researching, or maybe you don’t feel comfortable planning a big trip, then an all-inclusive resort could be the right option. But, if you enjoy the challenge of researching and planning, then go bold!
Do you both need a lot of downtime? Or do you like going straight from breakfast to exploring to cocktails to dinner? Are you the type to research extensively ahead of time or do you leave room to make decisions on the fly? Nail down you – and your partner’s – traveling style ahead of time so there are no surprises. Hopefully you two have traveled together before, but, if you haven’t, this is the time to make sure you’re on the same travel page!
And, with considering the kind of honeymoon you want, how long you have, the weather, and your traveling style, you should be well on your way to choosing a honeymoon destination.