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Honeymoon Finances With Your Fiancé: Top Budgeting Tips

by | Honeymoon Essentials, Honeymoons

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anika Reynolds
0
COMMENTS

Resort style

When organising your honeymoon, discussing budget breakdowns with your love might not exactly sound romantic, but it’s definitely recommended to ensure smooth planning and no nasty financial surprises. From initial honeymoon dreaming to destination dining, here are our top fiscal tips for planning the perfect romantic getaway.

Pre-planning

Start a savings plan: Ideally, this will be done early on, so that you have the maximum time to plan and save for your romantic getaway. Be sure to properly research your dream destinations, talk about your budget expectations and agree on your budget with your partner before you start booking.

Consider surprise costs: Don’t forget to include extras like travel insurance and day-to-day transport when drawing up your budget. Even little things like buying bottled water several times a day can really add up!

Create a honeymoon fund: If you and your partner already have a love-nest, maybe a traditional registry isn’t for you. Instead you could consider a honeymoon fund, where guests can contribute to your dream honeymoon, by gifting money or specific activities like a sunset sail or cocktails!

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Flights

Taking several long haul flights, flying on popular dates or to destinations with limited available carriers can be expensive, so if you have your heart set on a faraway locale, be sure to research the flights first.

If island-hopping or visiting several destinations is on the agenda, also consider the price of internal flights, as taking a few short flights during your adventure can quickly add up. Plus, keep an eye out for flash flight sales and travel expo offers, try opting for mid-week flights, or choose to jet off during shoulder or off-peak seasons.

Food

Depending on your honeymoon destination, your daily food expenses could be vastly different to what you might spend dining out when at home, due to economic, locational and seasonal factors.

Of course, if your honeymoon dining wish list includes Michelin-star meals, poolside cocktails, luxe resort buffets or celebrity chef restaurants, it’s even more important to factor these expenses in when considering your overall budget.

Paris treats2

Tipping and taxes: In many popular honeymoon destinations, including the United States and parts of Europe, extra costs are part of everyday wining and dining. So, it’s important to remember to budget for unfavourable exchange rates, tipping for each drink or meal, taxes or service charges. This is also important to remember while perusing the menu once on-location since the price quoted might be without these extra costs. So that ‘$25’ main might be a little pricier than you first thought!

Fine dining: Is a luxurious epicurean experience on your honeymoon agenda? Many upscale eateries offer set menus at lunchtime for a more easily digestible price than evening dining. So, why not save those pennies and enjoy daytime fine dining instead! Plus, don’t forget to let them know you’re on your honeymoon – hello complementary champagne!

Resort rates: If you’re dreaming of a remote hideaway, such as a secluded island resort, it’s a good idea to check out the accommodation restaurant menus before you book. In particularly isolated locations, such as a small skiing village, luxe safari park or tropical island, there may not be many, or any, restaurants or cafes nearby so you may have to dine entirely at your accommodation, which can be particularly pricey. For example, even a simple sandwich could be exorbitant once you factor in resort charges and extra costs.

Hawaii markets1

Mix it up: Eating on the go and combining simple snacks with gourmet experiences is a great spend-savvy option for honeymooners. If an indulgent buffet breakfast is already included, you can probably stock up at breakfast and forgo a super lavish lunch. Plus, simple meals and snack stops can be some of the best parts of travelling. You and your love could peruse a local market, stop by cute food trucks or take fresh ingredients to a scenic spot – a DIY honeymoon picnic perhaps?

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Accommodation

Got your eye on some Instagram worthy accommodation, with a hefty price tag? Having a budget in place doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a little luxury! Simply opt to shorten your stay, or compromise during your trip. For example, splurge on a few highlight hotels to enjoy for a few days, before moving on to a cute guesthouse or unique Airbnb residence for the next part of the trip and so on.

Beverly Hills Hotel

Sometimes a package or travel expo offer can provide a competitive price, as can contacting the hotel directly. And, if it’s part of a hotel chain, why not sign up for their rewards program? You might be upgraded, receive complementary spa vouchers or earn points towards a special anniversary trip!

Austrian village

Shopping

A little sartorial spending may take your fancy, but again consider taxes and exchange rates when shopping overseas. For major brands, it’s likely you can get the same item at home, and it might not end up being cheaper once you factor the extra costs in. Consider saving your shopping for sentimental, or unusual purchases that will remind you of your honeymoon, such as a special piece of jewellery or homewares that you will treasure for a lifetime.

All images by Anika Reynolds

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such practical advice – knowing what to plan ahead for certainly helps to avoid those nasty financial surprises. 

About Anika: I’m a freelance writer with a love of weddings and creatively styled events. I have a penchant for pretty stationery and perfectly put together cheese plates, and a never-ending sense of wanderlust!

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The Polka Dot Travel Lounge – Erin From Travel With Bender

by | Destinations, Honeymoons, Polka Dot Travel Lounge

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bec Lawrence
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COMMENTS

Travel Lounge Erin

Today we are sitting back and taking some advice from one of the most well regarded family travel blogs – Travel with Bender. Erin has been travelling with her husband and two kids for the last four years non-stop. If that’s not enough the family have travelled to more than 65 countries, run a blog and several social media accounts as well as help other families plan their own holidays.  Their Instagram account is enough to make you want to pack your bags and say “adios” to the typical nine to five and take on the world. Erin has given us some tips on the perfect romantic getaway; come along with us and see what she had to say.

What is your favourite region?

Choosing a favourite region is hard. We have loved most places we have visited from South East Asia to Europe to North America. I have been to Bali ten times though so I guess that would be a favourite.

Top resort recommendation

I just visited Grand Velas in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico which was incredible. It’s an all-inclusive hotel on the beach, but the food is not your typical all-inclusive. It’s a gastronomic dream with fine dining Italian, Mexican, French and a few more casual options.

I also fell for Villa San Michele in Florence, Italy – it’s a honeymooner’s dream hotel. Can’t go wrong when the sun beds by the pool capture complete views of Florence.

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If you are looking closer to home you can’t go past Samabe in Bali. It sits on a cliff and offers picturesque views of the water for photos and your enjoyment. Plus your butler drives you around on a golf cart!

samabe_1

Suggestions for great honeymoon activities

KODAK Action Cam

Seawalking on the bottom of the ocean is a great adventure option for something in Bali. Apres in Banff, Canada is a romantic way to finish a day of skiing, plus you can then have a soak in a hot tub out in the middle of the snow at a place like Hidden Ridge Resort

Hidden Ridge Resort

hot air balloon over Cappadocia at sunrise is delightfully romantic and concludes with a champagne toast on landing.

cappadocia

But if you are like me you may prefer to spend most of the time at your hotel. So spend your money on that. Get a resort which includes some great free activities, like kayaking, walks on the beach and  perhaps even a special dinner right on the beach with gentle waves lapping your feet.

The ideal location for a proposal

For me nothing can take away from the beach. My husband had the opportunity to propose in Paris at the Eiffel Tower. A simple walk on a white sand beach with transparent blue water and I am in heaven.

You can do that close at home in Langkawi, Malaysia or Bali or go further a field and head to the warm waters of the Caribbean. Consider taking a Caribbean cruise and planning the proposal on any number of incredible beaches in the middle of the ocean.

Best kept secret honeymoon location

Many people flock to the Greek islands for a honeymoon. I would consider this a great option, but skip Santorini and head to a smaller, more romantic island. Smaller islands like Sifnos and Kythnos have less tourists, but have the same gorgeous white and blue buildings, same great food and same sparkling waters. Grab a sweet B&B for an authentic Greek experience.

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Alternatively ever thought of Belize? They have the world’s second largest barrier reef right after our own and the main mode of transport around the island is golf cart. Try a stay at Xanadu Island Resort and take a bicycle ride down the beach or go snorkelling with sharks.

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All images via Erin from Travel With Bender

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: A stunning villa in Florence and hot air ballooning in Turkey sound amazing – I’m booking my air tickets now!

Honeymoons A-Z: Langkawi

by | Honeymoons, Honeymoons A-Z, Location Asia

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Samantha Chua
0
COMMENTS

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Image via The Andaman, Langkawi

Off the coast of Kedah, Malaysia is Langkawi, a cluster of 99 islands offering azure water, mangroves rich in flora and fauna, ultra-cheap duty-free shopping and fascinating legends. Langkawi has a lingering legend woven into its history: the tragic story of a beautiful young lady named Mahsuri who was caught in a tale of love, jealousy and a curse that was placed upon the island by her for seven generations. Today, the seventh generation of Langkawi’s inhabitants has long come and gone and the island has developed into a popular tourist destination. The tropical island is one of the best experiences of idyllic rural Malaysia, with traditional villages and a laid-back vibe for honeymooners.

5 Places to Stay:

1. The Andaman, Langkawi
Tucked away inbetween the ancient rainforest and the tranquil Datai Bay is The Andaman. The 178 rooms are the definition of luxury – Malay-inspired architecture, furnishings and fixtures, private balconies offering views of the jungle or ocean, a bathroom with a large tub and glass-enclosed rainforest shower.

Photo-lobby-Andaman

Image via The Andaman, Langkawi

2. The Datai, Langkawi
Honeymooners looking to get away from the touristy spots of Langkawi will be delighted in The Datai, Langkawi. Reachable via a long winding road, this sprawling five-star luxury hotel is tucked away 20 kilometres west of Kuah. The iconic Langkawi hotel offers a total of 124 secluded villas set on paths leading down to a private beach. Each room is decorated in polished dark wood floors and heavy Balinese-style furniture. The Datai offers a ‘Romance’ package for honeymooners who can enjoy a relaxing massage at the on-site Datai Spa followed by a romantic dinner.

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Image via The Datai, Langkawi

3. Berjaya Langkawi Resort
Despite being one of the region’s most luxurious hotels, Berjaya Langkawi Resort exudes a friendly and casual vibe. Spread across 70 hectares, the property is made up of 370 contemporary chalets set over-the-water or tucked away within the lush jungle. Most units offer direct, picture postcard views of the Andaman Sea or lush rainforest.

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Images via Berjaya Langkawi Resort

4. Casa del Mar
A slice of the Mediterranean in tropical Langkawi, Casa del Mar is the perfect romantic retreat for couples who would still like to experience all the action on the busy Pantai Cenang strip. The 34-room resort is an oasis for couples to indulge in personalised yet unobtrusive service. Visit the La Sal Restaurant to enjoy a satisfying Mediterranean cuisine, seafood BBQ and Asian samplers. Sit inside the restaurant with interiors recreated to the splendour of a Spanish winery, or dine al fresco at the beachside while watching the sunset.

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Image via Casa del Mar

5. Meritus Pelangi Langkawi
Spanning across 35 acres and offering 51 exclusive single and double-story timber chalets on stilts, Meritus Pelangi Beach Resort Langkawi is designed to resemble a traditional Malay village. Each chalet has an open-air veranda and sloping roof with exposed roof tiles and trusses for a luxurious experience. The interior is richly decorated with natural textile carpet panels and flower motifs. Enjoy a cocktail on the private beach or dine in the resort’s vibrant eateries; there is no need to venture out of this tropical paradise.

Beachfront-View

Image via Meritus Pelangi Langkawi

5 Places to Visit:

1. Tanjung Rhu Beach
Tanjung Rhu is undoubtedly one of Langkawi’s best shorelines. The waters are clear as crystal and the sand is powder-fine. The area is absolutely secluded and is beautifully silent and peaceful. Take in the view of magnificent limestone crags and enjoy the gorgeously breathtaking scenery.

2. Telaga Tujuh Waterfall
Known as the “Seven Wells” in English, Telaga Tujuh is located around 45 kilometres away from Kuah Town. The beautifully crafted geological formation is a natural wonder. The waterfalls derived their name from the plunging waters that cascade down into a series of seven pools. Legend has it that the water of these pools have healing powers.

3. Langkawi Sky Bridge
Definitely not one for those afraid of heights, the Langkawi Sky Bridge offers an unforgettable experience and breathtaking views of lush mountains and the turquoise Andaman sea. The curved suspension bridge made of steel hangs at an altitude of about 700 metres from sea level and is supported by a single pylon in the middle.

sky-bridge-side

Image via Langkawi Info

4. Langkawi Cable Car
Enjoy stunning views of the Langkawi 700 metres above sea level from the Langkawi Cable Car. Soak up the beautiful views of Mountain Machinchang and enjoy the breathtaking views of the hillside flora, waterfalls and the occasional glimpses of the wildlife and birds.

cable-car

Image via Langkawi Info

5. Laman Padi Langkawi – Rice Garden & Museum
For those searching for a truly laid-back island vibe, Laman Padi Langkawi (Langkawi Rice Garden and Museum) is the perfect place to spend the afternoon. The viewing gallery offers breathtaking views of a lush, multi-tiered rooftop rice garden. Visitors can even try their hands at rice farming.

5 Things to Do:

1. Sunset Dinner Cruise
There’s no better way to spend an evening on a tropical island than a sunset dinner cruise. Explore the surrounding Langkawi islands as you watch the sky turn different hues of orange and purple, while you sip a drink on the open-air deck of a yacht. Naam Cruise Langkawi offers private and shared sunset dinner cruises, perfect for a romantic evening.

NAAM_sunset_dinner_cruise_langkawi

Image via NAAM

2. Massage and Spa
Indulge in a traditional Malay massage or Indian ayurvedic treatments at one of the many massage and spa centres on the island. For a truly relaxing experience, Ishan Spa, located in a hillside forest offers authentic Malaysian spa massages and treatments. Set in lush greenery, enjoy wonderful views of the rainforest through the glass panes as you experience your massage.

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Image via Ishan Spa

3. Mangrove Tour in Kilim Geopark
Spread over an area of 100 square kilometres, Kilim Nature Park features a beautiful mix of well-protected green mangrove forests. Enjoy the spectacular views of unique limestone rock formations emerging from the floor of the mangrove swamp and seabed.

4. Jet Ski Island Tour
For lovers of water sport, explore the island of Dayang Bunting (Pregnant Maiden) on a jet ski. Zip through the clear turquoise water towards the second largest island within the Langkawi archipelago as you feel the cool sea breeze brushing your face. Legend claims that the fresh water lake on the island bestows fertility. Explore the many attractions on the island or take a dip in the lake.

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Image via Mega Water Sports

5. Relax in Air Hangat Village – Natural Salt Water Jacuzzi
Although the hot and humid climate in Langkawi may not make for the perfect weather for a dip in the hot springs, Air Hangat Village is still worth a visit for its rare natural salt water hot springs. Enjoy a relaxing reflexology massage or stroll by the shops selling souvenirs and various trinkets.

 

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Ms Chinoiserie Says: Such a beautiful tropical paradise; the azure water and pristine beaches make it a must visit on any honeymoon list!

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