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Meet Rob and Kari, a couple who have been together since 2003 and married since 2009. What makes them a little bit different, is that after realising they were living to work rather than working to live, they quit their jobs and have been travelling the world together full time since 2012. They’ve worked and volunteered along the way but also run a travel blog in hopes of inspiring more people to get out there and explore what this big, wide world has to offer. Rob and Kari have shared their best tips in travel, make sure you read along to get the scoop!

What is your favourite region?

It’s very hard to pick a favourite. Asking a traveller their favourite region is like asking a parent who their favourite child is. Southeast Asia is stunning, affordable, and offers a little something for everyone. New Zealand is the perfect place to get your adrenaline pumping with gorgeous surrounds. If we were to pick an absolute favourite though, we might just have to pick the Pacific Coast of the United States. We’ve road tripped from the Canadian border to the Mexican border a number of times and are always blown away by the beauty, wildlife, beer, wine, food, and endless amounts of fun.

Top resort recommendation?
We might be a little biased because this is where we spent our honeymoon, but the Grand Isla Navidad Resort in Barra De Navidad near Manzanillo, Mexico is spectacular. The restaurants are all delicious, the rooms are spacious, the pool is perfect, the amenities are awesome, and the hotel staff is top notch. At the tip of a long peninsula, it offers the feeling of total seclusion, but a short boat ride will get you to town and keep you from getting cabin fever. The hotel staff even packed a lunch in a cooler for us and drove us to a beach they knew we’d have all to ourselves. If it’s miles of white sand beaches you want, then it’s Gran Isla Navidad Resort you should visit.

Suggestions for great honeymoon activities?

Relaxation might just be the best thing for both of you after all the hard work and planning, but you can always plan a little adventure on top of that. You’ve just taken on a whole new role as a husband or wife, why not try an activity neither of you have ever tried before. What’s more romantic than experiencing something for the first time together? Whether it’s snorkelling or scuba diving, zip lining or skydiving, kayaking or rafting, etc. you’re bound to have some laughs, some “wows”, and maybe even some trust building to back up those vows.

The ideal location for a proposal

This one is hard because we truly believe a proposal should be meaningful to the couple. If you’re active and love being outdoors together, the peak of a mountain can’t be topped. If you’re foodies who love city life, an awesome meal followed by a walk to the best view of the city sounds perfect. Our hot tip…propose in a place that you can continue to go back to for the rest of your lives so you can always be reminded of the love and joy you felt in that perfect-for-you moment.

Best kept secret honeymoon location

When thinking romantic getaway, Africa probably isn’t at the top of your list, but it should be. South Africa is the perfect Honeymoon location. No matter what your goals of the honeymoon is, South Africa has you covered. Some of the best restaurants in the world make their homes right in Cape Town. Just a couple hours away is one of the prettiest wine regions on the planet in Stellenbosch. And, the wines are spectacular! Be dazzled on Safari…don’t worry Safari does not mean roughing it. South Africa has countless luxury safari lodges that will blow you away. You just took the plunge, South Africa can keep that theme running and show you a side of your beloved you may have never seen before – the terrified side. Hop in a cage and plunge into the ocean with great white sharks and/or take a leap of faith with the world’s highest commercial bridge bungee jump. Let’s not forget how important quality time and relaxation are when on honeymoon. With 2,500 kilometres of coastline, South Africa has no shortage of gorgeous nature to offer the perfect backdrop for just that. And we know you just spent a ton of money on your wedding, so you’ll love to find out that South Africa is shockingly affordable. It may take a little bit of travel time to get there, but isn’t getting away from it all exactly what you want for your honeymoon?

All images via Rob and Kari from Travelin’ Stiles

Ms Zigzag says: These two are on a never-ending honeymoon. What an adventure! 

About Bec Lawrence: I’m a journalist with a passion for all things travel. On weekends you’ll find me with a camera in my hand, at the markets or on the top of a mountain after a hike.

Polka Dot Honeymoons Directory Mid Banner

November is a tricky month for a honeymoon in paradise. With winter settling in across the UK and Europe, newlyweds need look beyond Paris and London for a romantic getaway. Luckily, there are still plenty of paradise on earth this time of the year where there are no crowds and hotel rates won’t break your budget.

1. Marrakech, Morocco

Morocco is wonderful in November and you can expect 22C temperatures and an average of seven hours of daily sunshine.

Where to Stay

Treat yourself to a honeymoon at La Mamounia in Marrakech. The regal hotel is set in lavish royal gardens, styled with Moorish opulence, The hotel counts Winston Churchill and other luminaries a guest. Book a room according to your preferred view: Koutoubia Mosque, the gardens or the Atlas Mountains. For a more feminine feel, the Baldaquin Suite comes with a decadent but cosy sitting area and a balcony with garden views.

Image via La Mamounia

What to Do

There are few more pleasurable ways to spend time in Marrakech than wandering around the seemingly endless maze of markets in the Medina. Every section in the bazaar has its own specialty: carpets and textiles, woollen hats, spices, kaftans and blankets. Tired after a day of shopping? Head to one of Marrakech’s seriously indulgent hammams and spas for a thorough scrub down.

2. Cairo, Egypt

Weather in Egypt this time of the year is excellent with moderate temperatures and eight hours of sunshine, giving you plenty of time to get out and about.

Where to Stay

The upscale Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah has more than 400 contemporary rooms with views of the Nile. The hotel also has it own riverfront promenade and a deck that houses an open-air bar floating on the water. The heated outdoor pool is right on the water and guests an seek refuge from the scorching sun in one of the lovely surrounding cabanas.

Image via Sofitel Cairo El Gezirah

What to Do

Start the day with a visit to the world famous Pyramids in Cairo on the back of a camel, followed by a luxury Nile cruise. The Egyptian Museum located in downtown Cairo is not to be missed. Embark on an adventure through time Inside the great domed, pinkish building, housing glittering treasures of Tutankhamun and other great pharaohs lie alongside mummies, jewellery and other grave goods of those whose names are lost to history.

3. Khao Lak, Thailand

Although Southeast Asia is a bit wet this time of the year (avoid the Gulf coast of Thailand and Malaysia), Khao Lak is an emerging holidaymakers darling offering seven hours of sunshine and minimal rain this time of the year.

Where to Stay

The Sarojin is the place to be a for a completely indulgent honeymoon. Only 56 rooms set in a 10 acres of tropical beachfront, it’s a dreamy honeymoon location. The guest residences come with white linen, stone floors and wood accents. The rooms are housed in individual two-storey buildings and outside each residence is a private sundeck and sala.

Image via Audley Travel

What to Do

Once you have enough of the sunshine and lapping waves (who would?), The Sarojin also offers plenty of unique experience, including Shipwrecked – where you are taken through an enchanting mangrove forest aboard the resort’s luxury boat and enjoy a private dinner on a perfect, pristine sand isle while watching the sun set. The experience comes complete with your personal butler and a traditional Thai long tail boat to ferry you back to the resort.

Image via The Sarojin

4. Siam Reap, Cambodia

November is the start of the Cambodia’s dry season and perfect to explore the Angkor ruins. No visitor to Cambodia should miss out on the spectacular Angkor Temples, especially if you are planning on a Southeast Asia getaway. However, there are many other sights in Cambodia that will cater to your adventurous spirit.

Where to Stay

Get the royal treatment at Amansara, the former guest residence of King Sihanouk. The chic hotel offers airy, open-plan rooms opening onto private courtyards and water features. For the aspiring yogis, the hotel also hosts sunrise sessions on the Roof Terrace.

Image via Amansara

What to Do

The Angkor Temples are every bit as wonderful as you’ve heard. However, it’s important to allow enough time to see enough of the highlights in the vicinity of Angkor Wat. The sheer scale of the temples and the intricate detail carvings within are utterly mesmerising. Book a guide to take you on a sunset or sunrise tour – this spectacular view is not something you would want to miss.

Image via Honeymoon Backpackers

5. Costa Rica

November in Costa Rica is a treat with temperatures hovering around the twenties and six hours of sun daily – perfect sightseeing weather.

Where to Stay

Set in 500-acre of tropical forest with a river winding through the grounds, El Silencio Lodge and Spa offers a trip back to nature. Take in the panaramic views from and outdoor hot tub and feast on natural, organic food. All rooms have dramatic views courtesy of the floor-to-ceiling windows, as well as a hot tub on each deck.

Image via El Silencio Lodge and Spa

What to Do

The 2,000 acre Hacienda Pozo Azul is an ace park and working ranch in the tropical rain forest. For the adventurous couple, try white-water rafting on the Sarapiqui River, or sail over the trees and river on a canopy biplane. Otherwise, explore the nearby Sarchi town renowned for its art and crafts.

Ms Zigzag says: With wedding season in full-swing in November in Australia, many couples are heading off on their honeymoons this month. We hope you find a touch of paradise on your travels. Enjoy! 

 

Craving some fresh air with your loved one? Need a break from the city life? Surprise them with a short trip to the southern English coast, just a quick hour and a half drive from London. It’s the perfect place sure to please all nature lovers (beach and forest alike!)

Morning stroll on the Beach

Start the morning at Hengistbury Head by taking the ferry from the Mudeford quay. On your stroll you will find quintessential beach huts, beautiful scenery and an oasis of tranquility. Be sure to take a moment to watch the yachts on the harbor, the families crabbing and the waves rolling in gently from the sea. No matter the weather, it’s charm is sure to win you over.

Once you’ve worked up an appetite head over to The Pig in the New Forest for lunch.

Lunch at The Pig

The Pig or “country house restaurant with rooms” as they like to call themselves, is exactly what you would imagine if you closed your eyes and pictured an English country escape. It is a 30 bedroom country house that perfectly mixes luxury and homely charm. A gentle stroll around the premises will likely lead to many surprises such as the smoke house, kitchen garden, greenhouse, paddocks and wild flower orchards – truly exemplifying the definition of “farm to table”. For those seeking to immerse themselves a bit further, the house is surrounded by the New Forest. A fantastic place to wander after a meal!

Tip: Plan to arrive a half hour before your reservation (recommended!) and enjoy a cocktail by the fire before your table is ready. This is a great way to relax and take it all in before going into the kitchen garden for your meal. The Pig is particularly well designed and the decor is sophisticated and welcoming. Everything is in the detail, and the details are impeccable.

Once your table is ready, head into the restaurant which has a stunning greenhouse-conservatory feel. The menu changes often and all meals are freshly prepared only using ingredients the forager finds or the kitchen gardener deems to be in perfect condition. In line with the hotel name, the menu is “perfectly porcine” including items such as piggy bits. The ever changing menu is also “vegetarian-friendly” offering sections such as “forest bits” and “picked this morning”. The Pig truly is a food-lover’s paradise with top notch and friendly service.

Afternoon walk in the New Forest

After your meal, take your love by the hand and adventure into the New Forest (fun fact for history buffs: it was declared a royal hunting ground by King William). On your stroll you will likely see wild ponies, cows and sheep grazing among other wild animals. It is the perfect place to take in the fresh air and enjoy the afternoon away from the city chaos.

Dinner at Lime Wood

After the stroll through the New Forest, head on over to Lime Wood, The Pig’s sister restaurant. The hotel has a history dating back to the 13th century where it began its life as a hunting lodge. It is now a chic hotel with top-notch design, luxury spa and mouth-watering restaurants.

Start off at the charming and cozy Courtyard hotel bar – a great place to socialize before dinner. The bartenders are very friendly and the space manages to be beautiful yet unpretentious. The cocktails are delicious and their wine list is extensive (and sure to impress any wine connoisseurs you may be with!).

For dinner, head on over to Hartnett Holder & Co, a stylish restaurant one door down that focuses on Italian locally sourced dishes. While a bit fancier than the hotel bar, the restaurant manages to keep a very down to earth feel, which is often unexpected when the restaurant is run by world renown chefs (Angela Hartnett and Luke Holder). Many of their dishes are easily shared so be sure to choose a selection with your partner to get the most out of the experience. Don’t be afraid to take the sommelier up on some wine pairing suggestions – you will not regret it!

Similar to The Pig, every bite tastes incredibly fresh (per the menu warning label “Please be aware that all game dishes may contain shot”). The flavors are exquisite and truly a unique experience!  Once you’ve had some dessert, or “pudding”, finish off the evening with a nightcap by the fire in the library to end your wonderful day in the country.

In just 24 hours, you may feel relaxed enough to go back to tackle the hustle and bustle of the city…

Words and images by Hana Benkirane.

Ms Zigzag says: 24 hours of quaint, English countryside bliss! I’m looking forward to reading more romantic travel stories from our shiny, new writer at the Polka Dot Bride blog, Hana Benkirane. 

About Hana Benkirane: Hana is a citizen of the world, holder of three passports and a modern nomad. She has moved to a different country every three years of her life and was bitten by the travel bug at a very early age.