|by Jamie Beckman||Beaches, Islands, Pop Culture and Travel, Romance, Fiji, Bora Bora, Tahiti, New Zealand, Honolulu||0|
Guys, I have a confession to make: My wedding is in three months, and my fiancé and I haven't planned our honeymoon.
I know, I know. I'm a travel editor. I'm in the business of lovey-dovey, Instagram-worthy destinations. I wrote 10 Most Romantic Islands in the World. I wrote Honeymoon Paradise for Less, for crying out loud. And now I'm telling you that when it comes to my own ultimate romantic vacation, I've got nada.
OK, not exactly "nada." There are five destinations that my fiancé and I have been kicking around, but both of us have been too busy to research nitty-gritty specifics for our trip (oh, the irony). We want a beach vacation—the fewer people on aforementioned beach the better. He wants an overwater bungalow. (That's negotiable.) I want a remote destination where Wi-Fi isn't a guarantee, because the last thing I want to be doing with my new husband is crafting witty Facebook posts for my high-school friends. My deepest vacation fantasy is re-enacting that oddly prescient Corona commercial from a few years ago: throwing my phone into the ocean, never to answer it again.
So I need your help. I want your best memories, your horror stories, and your heartfelt recommendations to guide me. Our wedding is in October, and we'll be flying out of California, most likely LAX. My fiancé and I like chic properties at reasonable prices, beautiful beaches, and free-flowing drinks—and I want to learn how to surf. From a romance, value, activity, and style perspective, out of these five destinations, where should we go?
Pros: So many islands to choose from! Three hundred thirty-three, to be exact (not all of them inhabited). I dig the idea of having a picnic on a private beach, and the far-flung factor is there in spades. Cast Away was filmed here: That's the very definition of "getting away from it all."
Cons: The flight is almost 11 hours—not a short trip. And there are only a handful of overwater bungalows, which doesn't bother me, but my fiancé might take issue.
2. Bora Bora
Pros: Bora Bora is honeymoon central. Even Morello in Orange Is the New Black deeply understood the significance of "Bora Bora Bora." And as prevalance of overwater bungalows goes, Bora Bora has many, a fact my fiancé loves.
Cons: Bora Bora isn't exactly cheap. And because we've waited so long, we might have priced ourselves out of any stellar deals.
Pros: A lover of Paul Gaugin's art, I've always fantasized about the island of Tahiiti as an exotic destination (even though the his portrayal of the place didn't exactly mirror his experience). Birdwatching, gardenias, beaches... What more do you need?
Cons: Is the island of Tahiti too populated? Maybe we should consider going to Moorea instead, or elsewhere in French Polynesia, rather than hang out on the island proper.
4. Fiji + New Zealand
Pros: New Zealand is right there! Might as well hop over if we've gone all the way to Fiji, right?
Cons: This plan might be ambitious if what we really desire is relaxtion. The worst thing to do to yourself as a traveler is force yourself to do something that, deep down, you don't really want to do.
5. Honolulu, Hawaii
Pros: My fiancé and I are huge, unapologetic Mad Men fans, and ever since I wrote Mad Men Travel Destinations, I've been obsessed with the Royal Hawaiian, a.k.a. the "Pink Palace," the hotel Don and Megan Draper stayed at on their honeymoon. I hear it's just as fabulous as it was in the Drapers' heyday. Plus, the flights to Hawaii are cheaper than any other destination on our list.
Cons: Even though neither of us has been to Hawaii, staying in the U.S. isn't as exotic as either of us had envisioned. Plus, crowded beaches might be a concern.
Did you have a romantic experience on one of these islands that you'd recommend? Or am I totally missing an option I should be considering? I wanna hear from you! Vote in the poll below, and talk to me in the comments. But Lord knows I need to hear your advice fast...before time runs out.