Planning the wedding is a big enough job. But add the stress of putting together a never-to-be-forgotten honeymoon, and it's enough to put even the most organized couple over the top.
Choosing a destination is the top priority. It sometimes helps to see what's popular, either to be part of the trends, or to avoid the obvious. Each year, Modern Bride magazine comes out with a top 10 honeymoon list based on their survey of thousands of travel agents. For 2008, here's the list, with our budget-friendly ideas:
1. Italy gets top spot for the second year running. It's romantic, but expensive. One way to save a few bucks is to book a package. Companies such as Go-today.com offer fairly cheap independent travel packages ($2,278 per couple recently for a winter trip to Rome, Florence & Venice).
2. Hawaii was bumped from the top spot by Italy in 2007. Bed-and-breakfast inns are usually less expensive than hotels: Take a look at Global Adventure Travel.
3. Tahiti comes in at #3 for the third year running. January-March is the low season. Packages are often cheaper than independent travel. Try Air Tahiti for deals.
4. Mexico, which is always in the top 10, is a good budget choice, especially if you stick to the Cancun and Riviera Maya areas. Tour companies such as Vacation Express and Apple Vacations offer decent package deals. USA 3000 often has cheap airfare.
5. Greece shot up the #10 to #5 spot. It's a bit less expensive than many other countries in Europe. Cruising may save even more money. Many of the big lines offer cruise itineraries: Try Fyly Yachting or Viking Yacht Cruises for something different.
6. Costa Rica, down from the #4 spot, offers lots of luxury lodges, but it can be done inexpensively. Stay at smaller, family-run hotels, visit the rainforest instead of the beaches, and, if you don't mind a little rain, travel May-November. Info: Costa Rica Tourism.
7. Bali makes the top 10 list for the first time. The Jimbaran Bay area is a top spot, with all the usual luxury resorts, but it also offers some cheaper hotels: Look at Hotel Puri Bambu.
9. France got knocked down from the #6 spot. But it gets high marks for food, night life and culture. Late fall travel offers a good value. Rent an apartment instead of a staying at a hotel: Try Rentals in Paris.
10. Turks & Caicos gets the last spot. It is chock-a-block with pricey resorts, but you can get deals. Get a list from Wheretostay.com, and then go to the individual resort Web sites for Web-only offers.
By Carol Sottili |
September 12, 2008; 7:00 AM ET
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