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Katie is an Idaho native and the creator of the blog, The Traveling Spud. After working in marketing in San Francisco for 6 years, Katie quit her job, packed her bags, and went on a trip around the world. Katie has now been traveling for over a year and has been to 38 countries on 5 continents. She is addicted to outdoor adventures, photography and inspiring others to get out of their comfort zones and cross experiences off of their bucket lists. She’s currently in Portugal and is heading to Iran and Singapore next! If you weren’t already feeling wanderlust kicking in, wait until you read her travel recommendations.

What is your favourite region?

This is a tough call, but my favourite region has got to be Asia. I love how different the cultures are in each country and the kindness of most people I’ve met in that part of the world. Not to mention the outdoor adventures! I could have spent a year just traveling on this continent.

Top resort recommendation?

I’d pick the Sheraton Maui Resort & Spa.  Maui is by far my favourite island in Hawaii and even after traveling all over the world and the USA, I still think Hawaii is one of the most beautiful places on earth. The special part of the Sheraton Maui Resort is that the location is nearby Ka’anapali Beach, which happens to be my favourite beach in Maui.

The resort is near a lot of great water activities and located right on the beach close to the famous Black Rock. It’s also connected to the walking path that goes along the beach to the different resorts and restaurants. The rooms aren’t as fancy as somewhere like the Ritz Carlton, but the price is right for a VERY memorable and beautiful experience in Maui.

Suggestions for great honeymoon activities

I think the best honeymoon activities are outdoors! One activity I recommend is going to the vineyards in Bordeaux, France for wine tasting! Bordeaux is an extremely beautiful and romantic city and a great place to laze around and enjoy France. For wine tasting, I recommend going to taste right outside of the city of Bordeaux in Saint-Emilion or Medoc.

Secondly, I’d recommend going scuba diving or getting diving certified in the Gili Islands of Indonesia. Located only a boat ride away from Bali, these islands are a snorkeler, diver and paddler paradise. Gili Air and Gili Meno were my favourite islands for chilling out and enjoying the plethora of water and beach activities!

The ideal location for a proposal

I’m a mountain girl, so atop mountains are my favourite types of proposals! The most ideal would have to be atop the cliffs of Meteora in Greece. The hike up isn’t very hard, so you’ll still look good for any photos you take after or during the proposal! 😃The views are stunning and sunset and sunrise from the top are both incredible. You’ll find plenty of spots at the top where you can be alone and enjoy a romantic moment for your proposal.

Best kept secret honeymoon location

I’ve lived in California for 6 years and always wonder why more people don’t take their honeymoons there! It’s often overlooked for honeymoons, but it’s a state with more romantic spots than just about any other one! I recommend renting a fun convertible and drive down the coast from San Francisco to San Diego. Take your time visiting the beautiful lookouts of the Pacific Coast Highway, go wine tasting in Napa Valley, stay at the Ritz Carlton Half Moon Bay or enjoy cozy bed and breakfasts along the way! By the time you get to San Diego, book into a nice resort hotel to end your trip at the sunny beach!

All images via Katie from The Traveling Spud

Ms Zigzag says: Wow! It takes someone with a true commitment for discovery and adventure to travel continuously for over a year! I’m glad we were able to track Katie down for her first-hand travel wisdom.

About Katie from The Traveling Spud: I’m Katie, a native Idahoan, who quit her corporate job in San Francisco for a year of solo travel.  I just hit my 1-year of travel and finally feel like a solo travel expert! Now, I’m here to share that it’s easy to travel solo as a female, easy to make friends and easy to plan and budget in order to travel more!

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Image courtesy of the Rottnest Island Authority. 

Turquoise bays, secret coves, craggy limestone cliffs and quintessentially Western Australian flora and fauna – Rottnest Island is a castaway’s dream, just a brief ferry ride or flight from Perth. Despite its proximity to the mainland, once you have set foot on this laid-back isle, you’ll immediately switch to island time.

Boasting Aegean-style beaches minus the long-haul journey to the Mediterranean, Rottnest Island (or Rotto as the locals call it) is an ideal place to unwind for a few days of post-wedding bliss. So, why not ditch the complicated itinerary and stay local to maximise your time on the sand!

Once you’ve arrived – what next? Rottnest is all about laid-back living and soaking up the sunshine, so naturally most of the best activities are outside:

Hire a bike

One of the top ways to explore the island is to hire a bike from Thomson Bay, grab a map, and set off on a self-guided tour. Depending on your sense of adventure and cycling skills, opt to take a leisurely cruise from the main settlement towards Parakeet Bay and back, or set off on a longer journey around the island (to circle the whole island is approximately 22 kms). Depending on the route you choose to take, you may pass salt lakes, lighthouses, natural bushland and a bevy of gorgeous bays.

Hit the sand (and sea!)

Naturally, the island’s spectacular snorkelling, swimming and surfing spots are all major draw cards and it’s simple to see why. From vast expanses of pristine sand, to intimate coves, intriguing rock pools, sheltered reefs and seriously good surf breaks, Rottnest Island is a true water lover’s paradise. If you’d prefer to stay near the main settlements, head to tourist favourite the Basin for swimming and snorkelling (arrive early to beat the crowds) or venture to the eastern end of Longreach bay for a delightful swimming spot. Further afield, Parakeet Bay, Little Salmon Bay and Parker Point offer great swimming and snorkelling – weather and water conditions permitting.

Image courtesy of the Rottnest Island Authority

Take a tour

From scuba and sky diving, to segway tours and scenic flights, Rottnest Island offers a whole host of activities and mini tours – perfect for honeymooners! Spanning ancient indigenous culture to wartime events and seafaring tales, there are an array of tours which uncover many of the secrets and stories of Rottnest Island’s rich history.

See the sunset

Embrace relaxed romance with a sunset picnic on one of Rottnest’s many delightful beaches and enjoy watching the fading rays with the sand between your toes! Stock up on picnic treats at the Rottnest General Store and the Rottnest Island Bakery and then secure a scenic spot to farewell the day.

Image courtesy of the Rottnest Island Authority.

Enjoy dinner and a movie

Opt for an old-school honeymoon date night and do dinner and a movie – island style! After picnicking or dining at one of Rotto’s several restaurants (try Hotel Rottnest for quality gastro pub food) wander over to the Rottnest Island Picture Hall – the island’s charming old weatherboard cinema. Expect sand on the floorboards, striped canvas sling back chairs and perhaps even the odd quokka moseying its way in to see what’s screening.

Stay

If self-catering is your style, book one of the villas available in various bays including Longreach Bay, Thomson Bay and Geordie Bay. These contemporary yet relatively low-key apartments are perfect for chilled out couples seeking ample space and dreamy sea views. Alternatively, treat yourselves to one of the two luxe villas (pictured below) renovated on lifestyle reality program Rottnest Reno.

For a more upmarket retreat, check-in to Hotel Rottnest, located in the heart of the main settlement. Opt for a Bayside room and enjoy relaxing in your own private courtyard while gazing out at Thomson Bay and the mainland beyond – bliss.

Images courtesy of the Rottnest Island Authority. 

Ms Zigzag says: After all of the intense wedding planning and build up of excitement for the big day, a couple of days (or maybe two weeks, please!) chilling out on Rottnest Island after the wedding sounds like the ideal place to unwind. 

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!

 

Image by Autumn Studio via Unsplash

As the weather turns and the days get colder in the northern hemisphere, it is time to head south where the weather is getting warmer.

1. Bali, Indonesia
There’s never a bad time to visit Bali. The Australian favourite holiday destination is the backdrop to many family holidays, hens or bucks trips and destination weddings. Why not add honeymoon to the list too?

Where to Stay
Belmond Jimbaran Puri is nestled in a sweeping crescent of pale golden sand called . Here the nightlife is quieter with few local bars and traditional fish restaurants where you dine by lantern light. The service at the luxury hotel is friendly and welcoming; the design a nod to local traditions. Teak loungers at the infinity-edge pool area beckons enticingly and a pool side bar service means you don’t have to move far for a cocktail. The Deluxe Pool Villas are private spaces with a sunken private pool in a walled garden courtyard and oversize day beds are perfect for romantic interludes.

Image via Belmond Jimbaran Puri

What to Do
Admire the magnificent sunset at Tanah Lot, one of Bali’s most important landmarks. An ancient Hindi shrine perched on top of an outcrop amidst constantly crashing waves. Be prepared to be blown away by the lush green acres of Tegallalang Rice Terraces. Located in Ubud, the rice terraces offer scenic outlook that spreads down before you and away to the rice paddies on the slopes across the valley. There are numerous art kiosks and cafes near the ledge for the keen shoppers.

Image via Bali Indo Tour

2. Terengganu, Malaysia
While most people know Kuala Lumpur as the capital of Malaysia with its skyscrapers, Terengganu on the east coast of Malaysia is a tranquil coastal town offering pristine beaches, glittering mosques, breathtaking sunsets and moreish street food. It’s only an hour’s flight away from Kuala Lumpur.

Where to Stay
Peace and solitude nicely sums up Tanjong Jara Resort, located on the unspoilt East Coast of the Malay Peninsula. Fronted by sparkling emerald waters and shaded by soaring palms, this beautiful resort encapsulated everything you anticipate a beautiful Malay resort to be. Bumbung and Serambi Rooms on the ground or first floor are beautifully appointed with cool linens and warm local wood.

Image via Tanjong Jara Resort

What to Do
Marvel at the Crystal Mosque, a stunning architecture made of steel and glass, which gives the mosque its crystal-like appearance. The unique structure adopts a contemporary style injected with Moorish and Gothic elements. The large crystal chandelier, which forms the main prayer hall’s centerpiece is a sight to behold. Try your skill at mussel picking and squid fishing at Mangkuk Village, where the water is warm and shallow.

Image via Flickr

3. Mozambique
June to October is dry season in Mozambique, with often perfect tropical weather and almost no rain. The enigmatic African country is well off most travellers’ maps, but it has so much to offer for those who venture there.

Where to Stay
Azura Benguerra is Mozambique’s first boutique eco retreat and established Mozambique as a serious contender in the market of luxury vacations. Nestled on the idyllic shorefront of little known Benguerra Island, Azura’s 18 stunning villas are reached via an exhilarating 15 minute scenic helicopter flight from Vilanculos. Each villa is a private sanctuary designed with utmost seclusion in mind. The stunning Infinity Beach Villas come with 5 metre swimming pools for ultimate privacy.

Image via Azura Benguerra

What to Do
Step back in time at the tiny Ilha de Mocambique (Mozambique Island), near Nampula in the north. The former Portuguese colony is a fascinating place, dotted with 17th and 18th century buildings and mosque, many of them from the colonial period. If you’re staying at Azura Benguerra, explore the rich marine life including the elusive dugong in the region.

Image via Azura Benguerra

4. Northern Territory, Australia
October is nice time to visit the Red Centre. Although the rainy season starts to build up around this time, it is still generally a pleasant time to visit with few visitors.

Where to Stay
Surrounded by the rugged wilderness, Longitude 131º is the only place in the world where you can admire the inimitable postcard vista of Uluru (Ayer’s Rock) without lifting your head from the pillow. The luxury cabins are draped in flowing white fabric. Each tent is furnished with bespoke furnitures: Organic-linen-draped Bailie bed facing panoramic views of Uluru, floor-to-ceiling windows and each tent showcases indigenous artwork.

Image via Longitude 131º 

What to Do
A trip to Northern Territory is not complete without a visit to Uluru, Australia’s most recognisable natural icon and culturally significant for the indigenous Anangu people. Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park expands across more than 327,414 acres of Australia’s desert outback and is home to two iconic rock formations, Uluru and Kata Tjuta. Don’t miss the spectacular sunset and sunrise, with the colours at both sites becoming more vibrant and even changing.

Image via Longitude 131º 

5. Hong Kong
October to December is the best time to visit Hong Kong for a honeymoon. The autumn season offers comfortable temperatures and reasonable room rates. Also, it is not a peak season. So, you can enjoy your honeymoon without a large crowd surrounding you.

Where to Stay
Boutique hotel, Tuve sits discreetly behind Causeway Bay in Hong Kong, wrapped in galvanised steel and white marble. Each room looks like an edgy warehouse space shrunk to cosy proportions. The Premier rooms are a generous 30 square metres. Set on the higher floors, they’re less likely to be troubled by the crowd and traffic noise below.

Image via Tuve

What to Do
In between taking in the glorious Hong Kong skyline and shopping up a storm, the magnificent Man Mo Temple is worth  the hike. One of Hong Kong’s oldest temples and a declared monument, Man Mo Temple is dedicated to the gods of literature and gods of war. The temple is constantly enveloped in atmospheric smoky air Lending the temple its beguiling air are rows of large earth-coloured spirals suspended from the roof, like strange fungi in an upside-down garden. These are incense coils burned as offerings by worshippers.

Image via StrippedPixel

Ms Zigzag says: You won’t be stuck for ideas on where to honeymoon in October. Samantha has given us the low-down on a great range of options. A paradise to suit every couple!