Making the Most Out of Layovers: Part 1

I really hate layovers.  To me, they’re almost always a waste of time and just another chance of a delayed/missed/canceled flight while the airline loses my luggage.  That’s why earlier this year, my husband and I made the conscious decision to always pay extra to fly direct whenever we possibly can.

However, flying direct to many popular honeymoon destinations is just not feasible, even for those who live near big hubs like Los Angeles or New York.  So if you need to have a layover or two, why not try to make the most of it à la Anthony Bourdain?

Los Angeles

You may find yourself stuck at LAX en route to Hawaii, Australia/New Zealand, Asia, or Tahiti/Fiji.  Depending on how much time you have, you will probably want to rent a car since the city is so spread out.

I totally agree with Tony that your very first stop should be In-N-Out Burger – there’s one right by the airport.  (The burgers aren’t huge – you’ll still look awesome in your bikini, I promise.)  After that, the world is your oyster.  If it’s your first time in LA, you may want to drive over to do some shopping in Beverly Hills or The Grove.  If you’re looking to just take it easy, maybe drive over to Malibu or Santa Monica.

Beware of LA traffic though, and make sure you give yourself plenty of time to get back to the airport before your next flight.

Miami

Miami is the gateway to the Caribbean and South America.  The infamous beaches are just 30 minutes away, and you can easily get there via the super shuttle or a taxi.

South Beach is a pretty amazing place to people watch and get some excellent seafood.  But if you don’t want to venture out of the airport, there’s a pretty decent Cuban restaurant that you should check out in Terminal D.

London

London is a great city for a layover because there’s so much to see and do, and Heathrow will connect you to many airports throughout Europe and Africa.  Unless you’ve got tons of money to spare, take the Tube into town because taxis are incredibly expensive.  In fact, everything you do is going to be pricey, so just be aware of that.  If you’re going to be in London for < 24 hours, just buy a one-day travel card.  But if you’re going to be in town for longer than that, buy yourself an Oyster card.

Crunched on time?  Just go to a pub.  Which pub, you ask?   Any pub will do.  Really.  Beers will be at least $8 each, but they will be delicious and worth it.  Order some fish and chips as well.

Have plenty of time?  There are so many great (and free!) museums in London, my favorite being The British Museum.  You’ll also want to take obligatory photos near Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace.

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Real Honeymoon: Maldives, Sri Lanka & Dubai

My friends Natalie and Josh are the first to kick off the “Real Honeymoons” series on Peonies to Palm Trees.  Read all about their incredible honeymoon below:

When and where did you honeymoon?

In September 2010, we went to the Maldives, Dubai, and Sri Lanka.

How long was your trip?

We kicked it off with 8 nights in the Maldives, then 2 nights in Sri Lanka, and 12 hours in Dubai. Plus 34ish hours on planes and another 10ish in airports ;)

Private pool at Conrad Maldives Rangali Island

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

Shortly after we got engaged, my then-fiancé and I went to Paris for a long weekend. (Damn, we sound like serious jetsetters. I promise, post-baby, this has changed.) I bought a French bridal magazine in the airport and saw an ad for the Maldives. That was it, that was what I wanted to do. We looked into some other island destinations that would have been considered unique for Americans but totally normal for Europeans (Seychelles, Mauritius), but ultimately the Maldives spoke to us. Being the sort of couple whose interests span beyond sand & sea, and knowing that we were going to trek 17 hours to get to this part of the world, we decided to make the most of it. Throw in a long layover in dubai where J’s college friend could give us a full-day tour? And a few days in Sri Lanka since the civil war had just ended and it would be…. different? Sure! Sounds perfect.

The best part about our honeymoon was…

The Maldives. That place is just unreal. Each resort is its own island, as is the airport. You land in the main city, Male, and then take a seaplane or boat to your hotel/island. We did it up — half the time in an overwater hut where you are practically IN the ocean, and half the time in a private beach villa with a personal plunge pool just for us and direct access to the most gorgeous beach on the planet. Breakfast buffets, lazy pool days, an underwater restaurant, jetski adventures, and a sunset cruise were just some of the highlights. I’m proud to say we started a bit of a Maldives trend in our worlds, with now 4-5 couples having gone there for their honeymoons since as well!

Jetskiing in the Maldives

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