When Justin and I decided to get married, we were in agreement that we only wanted to have a city hall wedding so we could use our cash for a killer honeymoon. Despite the commentary from our families (more mine than his) and friends (again, more mine than his) requesting that we at least have a small reception, we are still sticking to our guns in regards that we are going to get the JOP treatment, not have a reception and just flutter off to the great unknown for a few weeks.
So, then, what’s the problem?
Well there are a few:
- Timing: Justin’s upper echelons management have decreed that no one can take vacation or personal time after June 18th due to some shenanigans that may be occurring. Since we also do not know where we will be living or if I’ll have a job after that time date, planning a later honeymoon is not feasible for us. Since I’ll be done with school AND my job as of May 7, we figured we might as well use that time to do this. So, we can only go after May 7 and be back no later than June 17th. Which leads into…
- Cost: We have a pretty healthy honeymoon budget, but, as we can only go in May/early June, this is also the beginning of the tourist season in most locations we’re interested in. Flight costs are also jacked up as evidence of my search this past weekend (using Kayak, Travelocity, Expedia and Priceline as well as airline website). Justin is 6’6″ and I’m nearly 6′ – we thought, “Hey! We’ll fly first class! It’s our honeymoon!” Yeah — that thought process was totally rejected after searching at aforementioned sites and discovering that we can get coach seats for about $1K USD each but to go first class? Cost skyrockets to (on average) $5K USD per person. In some cases, some airlines were charging taxes that were nearly half the cost of the coach ticket (Air Canada quoted me a price of $1K USD for coach ticket AND THEN another $500 USD for “taxes/fuel surcharge” on top of the price). Calling around to airlines to get better deals using our miles and cash combo also produced similar results (and in some cases, more expensive than web offerings on said airlines website). Even buying coach seats that are upgradeable to better class is also impossible as you still need to use miles AND pay another $2-3K on top of the initial seat cost. Buying miles an option but most airlines cap the number of miles and we’re short enough on the mileage that is not feasible. Thus our goal to get 2 first class tickets for under $4K USD combined? Not happening, apparently.
- Location: Justin and I have wanderlust — we want to go everywhere and see everything. So one would think that we would have a list of places, ranked in importance. In a way we do, but we decided when it came to our honeymoon, we’d go somewhere were neither of us have been before. Great in theory, but in practice one of us (okay, me) is rattling off what places I REALLY HAVE TO SEE AGAIN. Scotland for the beer, food and beauty. Rome for the culture, food and Caravaggio obsession. England to get my Anglophile on. Brussels? I have friends there. Amsterdam? They know how to treat tall people! But what about Moscow or Prague or Paris or Venice? New Zealand? Australia? We can’t freaking decide!
So internets, I implore you: Where can we go for our honeymoon that we can wander around overdosing ourselves in art, museums, food and drink. and seeing wondrous things. Where our coach tickets combined cost is not the same as the GDP of a small country and that we can find a decent hotel near the heart it all or near a metro/public transport option? Stipulation: Cannot be in North/South America.