Is There Such a Thing as Too Many Flights on a Honeymoon?

What’s the greatest amount of flights that you’d be willing to take on your honeymoon?  Some people love the idea of a multi-moon with several destinations, while others would just prefer to take off and land as few times as possible.  The more flights you take, the more often you risk flight delays, lost luggage, and other travel frustrations, but, of course, the plus side is that you also get to see more cool places, too.

So, is it possible to take too many flights on a honeymoon?  My friend Ben certainly doesn’t think so, but as with most things that are honeymoon-related, it all just boils down to personal preferences.  Ben and his fiancée Yoninah have been planning their honeymoon for nearly a year now, and in honor of their upcoming wedding on Sunday I want to share a sneak peak of the incredible (and ambitious!) trip that they are about to go on.

It may be a bit difficult to see on the map below, but if you click on it you’ll be able to view the details of their TWELVE-FLIGHT ITINERARY!  Yep, we’re talking twelve flights, five foreign countries, and one seriously badass honeymoon.

Ben has promised to write a Real Honeymoon post about their trip once they get back (right, Ben?), so hopefully there will be more details to come.  Mazel tov in advance, and happy travels!

Advertisements

Real Honeymoon: Italy

Like some of their closest friends, Shira and Marc decided to honeymoon in Italy earlier this year.  Read all about their incredibly romantic Italian honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We went on our Honeymoon to Italy on May 20, 2013.   We started our honeymoon in Positano (with day trips to Capri and Ravello), then went to Rome, Tuscany, Florence, and Venice.

Positano Honeymoon

Beautiful Positano

How long was your trip?

15 days (May 20-June 5).

Roman Coliseum

Striking a pose at the Roman Colosseum

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We both agreed that Italy would be the most romantic place we could go for our honeymoon.  Plus, as an art history major, I have been dying to go to Italy my whole life and my parents also went for their honeymoon.  Marc had already been to Rome so we decided to spend more time in Positano, Tuscany, and Florence.

Tuscany

Not too shabby of a view from Castello Banfi in Montalcino

The best part about our honeymoon was…

Definitely the food and wine.  Every meal (and snack) was amazing — it was so fun to try new things.

Italian Food

A gorgeous meal at Le Sirenuse in Positano

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

The weather.  Apparently this was the first May in 200 years that felt like winter.  It probably rained every other day at some point.  Normally Italy is supposed to be hot in May, but this year it wasn’t.

How much planning did you do in advance?

Not much planning — 10 hours.  We hired a travel agent that was recommended by a friend and were able to focus on planning the wedding while they planned the honeymoon.

Italian Honeymoon

A romantic meal at Ristorante La Giostra in Florence

Continue reading

Our Next Big Trip: Brazil 2014?

In 2009, it was backpacking around South America for 2 1/2 months.

In 2011, it was visiting my sisters in Denmark and Spain.

In 2012, it was our honeymoon in Asia.

In 2013, it was our friends’ wedding in Ireland.

But as of right now, it’s the first time in awhile* that Aaron and I haven’t planned our “next big trip,” and it’s starting to freak me us out!

One of the ideas that we’ve been kicking around (yes, pun intended) is going back to Brazil for the 2014 FIFA World Cup.  Aaron and I spent a little over a month in Brazil in 2009 and covered nearly everywhere that we had wanted to go: Manaus in the Amazon, the hammock boat trip to Belém, Jericoacoara, Natal, Maceió, Salvador, Rio, Búzios, and finally Foz do Iguaçu.

Brazil 2009

Brazil 2009

However, we didn’t have the greatest weather while we were in Rio, so we knew that we’d have to go back some day.  And really, what better time is there to visit Brazil, the country that absolutely worships soccer, than while it hosts the World Cup?

Okay, okay, yes, there are plenty of better times to visit Brazil, we know.  We are aware that the price of everything there will surge.  We know that the host cities are going to be extremely crowded.  We’ve read about (and experienced**) street crime and other potential dangers.  The first round of matches will take place in June, when it will be winter down in the Southern Hemisphere.

But despite all of the negatives, we still can’t help but be intrigued!  I used to play soccer growing up and was lucky enough to go to a World Cup game in 1994 at nearby Stanford, but Aaron has turned into quite the soccer fan himself recently and I think that he’s even more enthusiastic about the possibility of going to a World Cup match in Brazil than I am!

So by no means are we going to go through with this idea for sure, but I did just want to mention that starting today you can register online to apply for tickets.  And if you want more information about the ticketing process, check out this page.

Continue reading

Real Honeymoon: Hawaii

When people submit their honeymoons to the blog, I almost exclusively hear things from the brides’ perspective.  So when Steph asked her husband Matthew to chime in on the honeymoon advice as well, I was pretty excited.  (Don’t be shy, guys!  You can send me your honeymoons, too!)  It sounded like Matthew did a lot of the planning for their hawaiian honeymoon, so I’m really glad that he was able to share his enthusiasm about their trip as well.  Read all about their honeymoon on the big island of Hawaii below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

Steph: The Big Island in Hawaii.

Matthew: Hawaii:  The “Big Island” [May/June 2012]

Hawaii honeymoon

How long was your trip?

10 days.

Hawaii honeymoon

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

S: We knew we wanted something tropical, and we really wrestled with how far away we wanted to travel.  We definitely wanted to relax, experience something new, and really treat ourselves, but we knew that the amount of time we could take off would be limited.  Knowing that we were taking time off before the wedding, we settled on traveling to somewhere closer to California but still exotic.  We threw around Mexico, but I (Stephanie) has a bad history of food poisoning and the like when traveling there, so we ruled it out.  Growing up in North Carolina, Matthew had never been to Hawaii because of the distance, and I (Stephanie) had only ever been to Maui, so we landed on the islands.  Matthew really spearheaded and executed all the planning, the accommodations, the research — you name it, Matthew was on top of it!

The best part about our honeymoon was…

S: sitting down to a late dinner at Hualalai, enjoying incredible food and wine but most of all recounting all our favorite parts from the wedding weekend and all our future plans ahead.

M: Going on dates with the love of my life for 9 straight nights :)

Hawaii honeymoon

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

S: how long we were there!  I could have done at least 2 more days.

M:  Completely agree with Steph!  When your co-workers have their heads down on their own projects, especially during the summer, what’s one week versus two?  (Or three?).  You only get one honeymoon, so fight for your time off!  People understand.  As long as it’s within your budget, take advantage of this once in a lifetime trip and take a few more days off :)

IMG_0245

Continue reading

Quick Tip #11: Consider Booking Honeymoon Airfare Through Orbitz

I almost always check the costs of the same flights over and over before purchasing them.  I’ve actually been doing that a lot lately because I have a bunch of small trips coming up this Fall.  (Side note: since when are flights from SF to Phoenix over $300???  I remember those flights being around $200, tops, just a few years ago!)

Although prices may fluctuate a bit over time (and even throughout the week), I try not to worry about it too much when I book my flights through Orbitz because of their “Price Assurance” program.  If someone else buys the same exact flights as I do for a cheaper fare, Orbitz will automatically issue me credits for 110% of the difference.  (They used to just send you a check for the difference, but now you just get credit towards future Orbitz purchases.  Still not too shabby.)

So if you’re on the fence about whether to book your honeymoon flights, and you’re taking a pretty popular route*, book confidently with Orbitz knowing that if someone else books the same itinerary through Orbitz as well but for a cheaper price, you’ll still get something out of it.

_____________________

* This “Price Assurance” deal has a higher probability of actually benefiting you if you’re booking a popular route (e.g. SFO to HNL) rather than a random multi-destination itinerary because there’s a greater chance that other people are also searching for the same flights.

Peonies to Palm Trees is now on Twitter!

Everyone is talking about how Prince recently joined Twitter, but did you guys notice that your favorite honeymoon blog just created a Twitter account as well?

Definitely not the Twitter logo... Ha.

Definitely not the Twitter logo… Ha.

That’s right, you can now follow me at @PTPT_honeymoons or by clicking the Twitter link in the sidebar of the blog.

Happy tweeting!

Oh, and you can follow Prince at @3rdeyegirl — my husband already is.

Real Honeymoon: France & Monaco

Valley Girl Jesse Draper and her husband Brian recently jetted off to Europe for a fabulous honeymoon in southern France and Monaco.  Read all about their luxurious trip and check out their cute photos below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We honeymooned in June in the South of France. We actually started in Monaco and made our way through Provence and ended up in Nice. More specifically, we rented a car at the airport, went to Monte Carlo, Monaco, then to Aix-en-Provence, followed by Arles from where we did a day trip to Avignon and Les Beaux and we ended in Nice with a day trip in Cannes.

monaco honeymoon

How long was your trip?

A luxurious two whole weeks!

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

I speak French and he had never been to France. He actually chose the destination. Since I was planning most of the wedding, his job was to plan the honeymoon, so I actually didn’t know much other than where we were headed when we took off to Europe which was very relaxing for me, everything was a bit of a surprise.

Honeymoon in France

The best part about our honeymoon was…

I would have to say the luxury of time. It isn’t often you get time alone, in a foreign country nonetheless, to spend with your significant other (without technology or social interruptions). Typically when I have the opportunity to travel internationally I am trying to fit in as much as possible in a little amount of time. For example, I have 10 monuments marked in my travel book that I need to see in one day so I am running around. We spent quite a few days in each city, so we were really able to take everything in with a more natural feel. We wandered around the streets of Aix-en-Provence aimlessly and drove around the countryside looking for wineries, not sure where we were going to end up. It was so much fun! It was the perfect balance of relaxation and exploration. So the best part was the free time we had to spend together, that, and the chocolate, cheese, and wine that we consumed along the way, of course.

Honeymoon in France

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

I really had such a great time, there’s not much to change. We decided we could do without Arles, the hotel options aren’t great there and it’s more of a historical town that you could hit on a day trip. Also, I wouldn’t change this because I had a lot of fun, he may say differently, but we went on a hike in Arles and got lost in the middle of the forest by this Van Gogh bridge and  probably walked 5 more miles than we planned, so that might have been nice to know ahead of time, but had we known, then it wouldn’t have been such a fun adventure!

Hiking in Arles

How much planning did you do in advance?

He did a lot of research and had general ideas of where we were headed, but all he booked in advance were the hotels and flights. We had a few days in each city which was plenty of time to relax and get to know the places easily and TripAdvisor is a lifesaver and we really based most of our meals off of what was recommended on their app.

Honeymoon in France

Continue reading

Have Your Honeymoon Featured on Peonies to Palm Trees!

Have you, or someone you know, gone on an awesome honeymoon recently?  Has it been a lifelong dream of yours to be featured on a honeymoon blog?

It has?!  Well, today is your lucky day.  Follow this link to get published on Peonies to Palm Trees: Submit Your Real Honeymoon

honeymoon blog

Why share your honeymoon online?

1) The blog post will provide you with a URL that you can easily share with your friends and family.

2) The Real Honeymoon posts on this blog are incredibly helpful to other couples deciding where to go on their own honeymoons.

3) It’s fun to reminisce : )

A huuuge thank you to everyone who has contributed to the blog already!  You guys rock!

Honeymoon Planning Checklist: When To Do What

This week’s real honeymooners planned most of their trip just two weeks before they flew to Italy.   That’s right.  Two weeks before they flew to Italy.  If planning a honeymoon at the last minute makes you feel like you’re about to have a panic attack, you’re certainly not alone.  While I don’t like to think of myself as an obsessive-compulsive planner, I do like to make the most out of my trips, and I certainly wanted to make sure that a trip as important as my honeymoon was well thought out.

tick tock

Every honeymoon requires different types and amounts of planning, but Real Simple published a generic Honeymoon Planning Checklist that’s a good place to start.   Check out that link for their full details, but below is an annotated version of their tips with my (hopefully brilliant insightful) commentary in blue:

Eight Months to One Year Before:

Six Months Before:

  • Do any of the above if you haven’t already [but don’t freak out if you still haven’t made any major decisions!  Six months is still a lot of time to plan a honeymoon, I promise.]
  • Schedule transportation (e.g. purchase any necessary train or ferry tickets, reserve a rental car, arrange for a driver to take you between airports and hotels, etc.) [If you go through a travel agent, ask him/her to make these arrangements for you.  If you decide to book them yourself though, making these plans six months before your honeymoon might be a bit too OCD, but whatever.]
  • Make important dinner reservations.  [I do agree with this suggestion.  If your whole Parisian honeymoon must revolve around meals at Joël Robuchon or Le Jules Verne, so be it!  Book your tables ASAP.]
  • Get or renew your passport.  [YESSSSSSSS]
  • Apply for visas or any other necessary travel documentation.  [YESSSSSSSS]
  • Get travel insurance.  [I haven’t written on this topic yet, but yes, you should get travel insurance.]
  • Get any necessary vaccinations.

Three Months Before:

  • Okay, now’s the time for you to really make sure you have made decisions on the destination(s), booked your airfare and hotels, and made sure that your passport is up to date.
  • Plan your activities.  [Planning activities three months in advance sounds WAY too excessive to me.  Most of the real honeymooners on this blog preferred to relax and play things by ear throughout their trips, so don’t sweat if you don’t have activities planned before you go, let alone three months in advance.]
  • Make basic packing lists and figure out what major items (like luggage) you still need to buy.  [You can add these items to your gift registries, too, in the hopes that they will be purchased for you before the honeymoon.]

Continue reading

Real Honeymoon: Southern Italy

While Italy has been the most popular honeymoon destination on this blog so far, Alex and Brandy’s trip is unique because they planned most of it only two weeks before they went!  And from what Brandy sent me, it sounds like they did a more than excellent job with the last minute arrangements.  Read all about their gorgeous Southern Italy honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

We spent our honeymoon in beautiful Italy, spending time in Rome, Positano (on the Amalfi Coast), and Sicily. Our wedding was on April 27th, 2013- and we left for our “luna di miele”  (as the Italians call it) about 2 weeks after the big day.

amalfi coast

How long was your trip?

We spent 10 days in Italy, though we should’ve spent much longer!

positano

How did you decide on your honeymoon destination(s)?

We narrowed it down the same way we usually narrow down all of our travels: food and drink. It had to be a place where our stomach would be happy, and then from there, we wanted to find a place that could offer both an urban landscape and some beautiful beaches. Southern Italy seemed to be the best bet on all accounts!

pizza in napoli

The best part about our honeymoon was…

It’s so hard to choose! The drive along the Amalfi Coast and our views from our hotel in Positano were amazing. Though at the time, Alex definitely wouldn’t have agreed that the Amalfi Coast drive was fun (we rented a car and he was the appointed driver). Afterwards, he did admit it was exhilarating. The views were spectacular! Same goes for our views in Positano – the bluest waters and gorgeous cliffs, plus lemons as big as your head! Sicily was also amazing, with wonderful seafood and cannolis, plus amazing white-sand beaches. Hello heaven!

huge positano lemons

If I knew then what I know now, I’d change…

We’d have spent more time in Sicily. There were so many towns to see, and we really didn’t get to explore Palermo as much as we wanted to. There’s such a vibrant energy to the region.

Continue reading