Opinion Crispy’s 18/19 Honeymoon Planning

Crispy013

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I’ve been given the task of planning my partner and I’s honeymoon, and I’m looking for some cool ideas, places, activities, etc that I can somehow jam into a cohesive trip.

Due to my partner being a teacher, we’re really stuck with the Christmas holidays to make anything decent time wise out of the trip. So we’re looking at leaving just after Christmas this year (say 26th) and then return before school comes back near Aus day. Will give us roughly 4/5-ish weeks. Timing wise, the logical major Northern Hemisphere destinations will all be right in the middle of winter - this is actually good, because we’re both keen to get some snowboarding in on the trip. But, my partner is also hoping for some relaxation on a beach somewhere, so this starts to make things difficult.

Having said the above re: timing and wanting to make the most of the honeymoon by travelling overseas, it sort of left us with 2 options...do we go East to North America, or West to Europe?

The only ‘non negotiable’ really for the trip was to have a week in Japan to visit one of our favourite lodges in Hakuba. So I’m mindful of fitting this in...which I guess would be best right at the end to hit Japan in the sweet spot of late Jan.

My initial investigations led me heavily into the Europe sphere...Switzerland, Norway (Lapland), Iceland, Paris, etc, etc. But, soon the $$$ started to weigh on my mind. I guess you could swing South East Asia on the way to tick the relaxing beach aspect for a week...maybe the Maldives :rolleyes:.

But more recently I’ve really liked the look of Mexico. Not so much Cancún, but further south to Tulum, Maya Riviera, etc. So, this got me thinking of a NA trip of sorts. Currently, this is my preferred itinerary:

Sydney to LA or San Fran or Vegas
3 nights
LA/San Fran/Vegas to Mexico (Cancún/Tulum)
7 nights
Mexico to New York City
5 nights
NYC to Vancouver or Calgary (drive powder highway to see Banff/Lake Louise/etc)
Say 7 nights
Vancouver to Tokyo (Hakuba)
7 nights
Tokyo to Sydney

At this stage it’s purely drawing board stuff, but I’m keen to hear others thoughts on the above or other cool suggestions that would be cool as a honeymoon. :love:
 

skichic

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On the way home. We really enjoyed our quick Fiji stopover, and it allowed us to retime ourselves which helped with jet lag. Fiji also has very cheap luggage storage at the airport for ski bags. Fiji airway planes though are pretty sucky for the overnighter.
 
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Froff Life

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Congrats to you and your partner Crispy!

I'm another vote for Europe, great culture, amazing skiing and a potential stop over in Thailand for the beach fix. Are you 100% set on the Japan week?
 
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Crispy013

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Congrats to you and your partner Crispy!

I'm another vote for Europe, great culture, amazing skiing and a potential stop over in Thailand for the beach fix. Are you 100% set on the Japan week?
Cheers. Yeah I'm somewhat leaning towards Europe now. Just playing around with skyscanner to see how flights would work and rough $$. Japan is not an absolute must do...just a nice to have at the end considering we both enjoy it so much.

Europe wise I'm fairly green about. Have done travelling the summer, but nothing winter wise. Also have no idea about regions and associated mountains. But Zermatt does look very nice and romantic. Just trying to figure out a rough plan - i.e where to fly in and out of. At this stage, maybe land Milan and travelling north into Switzerland and fly out Zurich...maybe even Paris. Still too many variables.

Any recommendations for skiing in Europe?
 

gareth_oau

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If you are travelling around Chistmas, what about a few days in Leavenworth in USA?
 

Apresski

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Depending on how much you have to spend New Year is exy in European ski resorts. You could consider skiing in Hakuba at the start of the trip, then fly to Geneva and get the train up to Zermatt. Train to Milan then Florence then Venice, fly out of Venice. Maybe a stopover in somewhere hot on the way home.

www.skyscanner.com.au
Cheapest $3563 Melbourne to Tokyo
Tokyo to Geneva, Venice to Bangkok, Bangkok to Melbourne.
You would have to add a side trip to a beach out of Bangkok.
 

Froff Life

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Cheers. Yeah I'm somewhat leaning towards Europe now. Just playing around with skyscanner to see how flights would work and rough $$. Japan is not an absolute must do...just a nice to have at the end considering we both enjoy it so much.

Europe wise I'm fairly green about. Have done travelling the summer, but nothing winter wise. Also have no idea about regions and associated mountains. But Zermatt does look very nice and romantic. Just trying to figure out a rough plan - i.e where to fly in and out of. At this stage, maybe land Milan and travelling north into Switzerland and fly out Zurich...maybe even Paris. Still too many variables.

Any recommendations for skiing in Europe?
I've skied Zermatt and it was great, but so damn expensive! The Arlberg region (including St Anton, Lech, Zurrs) in Austria is huge and not too far from Zurich airport, could be another option. Or staying in Innsbruck city and skiing the resorts around the valley.
 

Crispy013

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Depending on how much you have to spend New Year is exy in European ski resorts. You could consider skiing in Hakuba at the start of the trip, then fly to Geneva and get the train up to Zermatt. Train to Milan then Florence then Venice, fly out of Venice. Maybe a stopover in somewhere hot on the way home.

www.skyscanner.com.au
Cheapest $3563 Melbourne to Tokyo
Tokyo to Geneva, Venice to Bangkok, Bangkok to Melbourne.
You would have to add a side trip to a beach out of Bangkok.
Yeah I'm trying to broadly structure it to avoid having Christmas/NY in a ski resort. Plus I'm guessing some ski resorts might not be so snow sure at this time.
So rough plan for the Europe option was:
Sydney to Maldives/Seychelle/some other romantic island (1 week: 26th Dec - 2/3 Jan)
Maldives/Seychelles to Milan/Geneva/Zurich (2 weeks: 3 Jan - 17th Jan)
Milan/Geneva/Zurich to Tokyo (1 week: 17th Jan - 25th Jan)
Tokyo to Sydney.
 
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Apresski

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Yeah I'm trying to broadly structure it to avoid having Christmas/NY in a ski resort. Plus I'm guessing some ski resorts might not be so snow sure at this time.
So rough plan for the Europe option was:
Sydney to Maldives/Seychelle/some other romantic island (1 week: 26th Dec - 2/3 Jan)
Maldives/Seychelles to Milan/Geneva/Zurich (2 weeks: 3 Jan - 17th Jan)
Milan/Geneva/Zurich to Tokyo (1 week: 17th Jan - 25th Jan)
Tokyo to Sydney.
Sounds like a plan
 

absentskier

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Yeah I'm trying to broadly structure it to avoid having Christmas/NY in a ski resort. Plus I'm guessing some ski resorts might not be so snow sure at this time.
So rough plan for the Europe option was:
Sydney to Maldives/Seychelle/some other romantic island (1 week: 26th Dec - 2/3 Jan)
Maldives/Seychelles to Milan/Geneva/Zurich (2 weeks: 3 Jan - 17th Jan)
Milan/Geneva/Zurich to Tokyo (1 week: 17th Jan - 25th Jan)
Tokyo to Sydney.
Tough life ;)
 
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Zimbooo

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Would a Round the World ticket be an option...?
This..............Around the World ticket will be considerably better $$$ value than piecing together locations and using different airlines.
Finnair offer a good one (oneworld codesharing). Ie You can fly into one destination and out of another in each continent.
Australia / LA / NYC / Europe (e.g. into Paris, then out of another city further east such as Venice etc) / Tokyo / Australia for about $2k. If you wanted to add in a warm destination at the end you could for example add a flight from Tokyo to Thailand and fly home from Thailand.
 
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Ozgirl

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Yep at that time of year RTW will be your best option price wise.

5 years ago I had a free bed in Schladming, or whistler...

departing on the 20th Dec to the US (always have to stay a night or two in SF) was$2900, to Frankfurt was $3200.

RTW was $2400, so i did that instead. a week at both and a side trip to a a couple of other friends in Europe and my SF friend. 3 weeks 2 weeks skiing and visiting with 4 friends. WINNING
 
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Ozgirl

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Something like...

Aust/pacific island (cook or similar) or mexico/ from there to NYC then Milan/Geneva/Zurich then tokyo/home
 

Zimbooo

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RTW tickets appear exxy from some of my dummy bookings...like $4-5k pp. Hmm, might be the time of year.
This is one area where online booking sites don't work well (in regard to getting the best price). If you enter your stops into a search, the engine will collect one way ticket prices between the destinations and tally it up.......super expensive. You really need to talk to a RTW specialist IMO. There are specific RTW fares which are significantly cheaper.
Have a look at / talk to someone at:
https://www.roundabouttravel.com.au
http://www.statravel.com.au/round_the_world.htm

Edit: Funny enough, I just found this article which explains things well.
http://www.traveller.com.au/how-to-book-roundtheworld-airline-tickets-are-they-worth-buying-got8bf
 

Ozgirl

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This is one area where online booking sites don't work well (in regard to getting the best price). If you enter your stops into a search, the engine will collect one way ticket prices between the destinations and tally it up.......super expensive. You really need to talk to a RTW specialist IMO. There are specific RTW fares which are significantly cheaper.
Have a look at / talk to someone at:
https://www.roundabouttravel.com.au
http://www.statravel.com.au/round_the_world.htm

Edit: Funny enough, I just found this article which explains things well.
http://www.traveller.com.au/how-to-book-roundtheworld-airline-tickets-are-they-worth-buying-got8bf
That article explains it spot on!

Where is that 'do I need a ravel agent thread' lol
 

Vermillion

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We had our honeymoon in Bora Bora, and there is an Air France flight a day that goes straight up the guts to the US (I think it was LAX). Tahiti is a bitch to get to, and it's the kind of thing you'd do as a one-off for something like a honeymoon. My wife is also a teacher, so we had similar restrictions as you (although we went in April school hols and took some extra time at the end). For 4-5 weeks I'd suggest something like 7 nights in Bora Bora/Mangareva/Moorea/Raiatea, you'll need to do at least 1 night either side in Papeete, then take that Air France flight up to the USA/Nth America and continue your trip from there. IMO Hawaii and Fiji are for any time, Tahiti is for a special occasion.
 
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Crispy013

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Going to look down the RTW option I think. Interesting reading regarding the variability in prices if you do it yourself. Might just be the case that I get a travel agent involved for this one.
 
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Inclder

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IMO Europe is for Winter or Summer - not both. I.e. if you are going in winter, forget going to the beach or Greek Islands...

We did 5-6 weeks in USA / Mexico for our Honeymoon. Our itinerary went something like:

LA: 4 nights
Tulum: 9 nights
New York: 8 Nights
San Fran: 2 nights
Vegas: 3 nights
Jackson Hole: 1 night
Grand Targhee: 7 nights
Jackson Hole 2 nights.

If I were doing the same trip again with hindsight, i'd make the following changes:

2-3 less nights in Tulum
2-3 more nights in San Fran
 
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sly_karma

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Mid Pacific stops... think about Tahiti, romantic is what they do. Fiji is more interesting than Hawaii, far less Americanised, and cheaper as well. SF is a wonderful city stay for a couple, it's that rarest of north American cities: walkable. The Bay area has tons of things to do and there are world class wineries only am hour away.

LA is the most likely entry city for you, and not to be discounted. The famous theme parks draw millions of visitors a year for a reason: they are entertaining. The coast highway between LA and SF is a gorgeous drive, best taken north to south so that you are always on the ocean side of the road.

For a honeymoon you really should swing into Canada and head to the Rockies for a night or two at the Chateau Lake Louise. Historic hotel in an amazing mountain setting. And then of course access to all the wealth of skiing in the rockies/East Kootenays region.

For Mexico, I'm not a Cancun fan, too artificial and expensive. The entire Riviera Maya area is built up with resort after resort after resort, but the Mayan ruins offer a great historic aspect. The Pacific coast is super accessible from LA or DFW and main centres have their clusters of resorts but more low key options abound on the fringes. Old town Mazatlan is beautiful and less touristy than Cabo or PV or Acapulco. It's also well situated for the amazing Copper Canyon. I'd say the train trip through the canyon is a must do, the train itself is a bit of a trip back in time and the canyon is incredible, bigger deeper and longer than the one the Americans tout so much.

A different aspect of Mexico is the historic cities of the central plateau: Guadalajara, Morelia, Queretaro, Leon, Guanajuato. They are studded with 400 year old buildings and you'd swear you were in Europe (except prices a tenth of Europe). My personal favourite is the monarch butterfly sanctuary high in the mountains between Morelia and Mexico city. Incredible.

Mexico is safe for tourists despite the media focus on drug wars and petty crime. It has a fantastic mix of beaches, mountains, arts, history and culture. And the food is constantly inventive, never boring. With the money you save there with the low price structure you can put toward a few night somewhere amazing but expensive, like Lake Louise or NYC.
 

benchives

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The time of the year is your Achilles heel

You want to be going two weeks later and ski first then go to a beach, not the other way around
 

Crispy013

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Okay latest on the HM developments having just booked flights on Cathay Pacific.
Now, I did ALOT of mix matching dates/locations/etc and the following agreed broadly with our budget and expectations for the trip.

SYD - HK
1 day in Honkers exploring the city
HK - Phillipines
1 week in Boracay to tick off the beach component
Philippines - HK - Milan
Check out Milan centro en route to Lake Como (Bellagio or Varenna) for 3 days
Como - Tirano - Chur - Zurich on the Bernina Express
Check out Zurich, before heading to Lucerne for 3 days (maybe up to Engelberg for a cheeky ski)
Lucerne to Lausaunne
Then Lausaunne to Geneva to La Plagne
1 week skiing in french alps (Paradiski - La Plagne, Les Arcs, etc)
Back via Paris for a couple days
CDG - HK - SYD

3 weeks all up...ticking beach, European alps, and big cities, all with a touch of romance.

Cathay Pacific was miles in front RE: flight prices. Locked in Europe return flights @ $1375 pp over Christmas which was hard to turn down.
 

Froff Life

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Great price Crispy, especially that time of year. Will you hire gear to avoid lugging it around the airports?
 

Crispy013

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Great price Crispy, especially that time of year. Will you hire gear to avoid lugging it around the airports?
Still to be decided. I really want to bring gear but know lugging it round for 75% of the trip when we don’t need it will be troublesome. Might research luggage forwarding services like Japan, but I don’t have high hopes.
 

Legs Akimbo

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Still to be decided. I really want to bring gear but know lugging it round for 75% of the trip when we don’t need it will be troublesome. Might research luggage forwarding services like Japan, but I don’t have high hopes.
Take boots, not skis. You will hate the skis very quickly if you take them for the whole trip. The good news is that, if you decide to send them, you will have a few months. Slow=cheap. The trick is finding a place to send them to. Or buy over there. You will only have to deal with them for a couple of days in Paris, and TGVs know all about skis.
 

Zimbooo

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Okay latest on the HM developments having just booked flights on Cathay Pacific.
Now, I did ALOT of mix matching dates/locations/etc and the following agreed broadly with our budget and expectations for the trip.

SYD - HK
1 day in Honkers exploring the city
HK - Phillipines
1 week in Boracay to tick off the beach component
Philippines - HK - Milan
Check out Milan centro en route to Lake Como (Bellagio or Varenna) for 3 days
Como - Tirano - Chur - Zurich on the Bernina Express
Check out Zurich, before heading to Lucerne for 3 days (maybe up to Engelberg for a cheeky ski)
Lucerne to Lausaunne
Then Lausaunne to Geneva to La Plagne
1 week skiing in french alps (Paradiski - La Plagne, Les Arcs, etc)
Back via Paris for a couple days
CDG - HK - SYD

3 weeks all up...ticking beach, European alps, and big cities, all with a touch of romance.

Cathay Pacific was miles in front RE: flight prices. Locked in Europe return flights @ $1375 pp over Christmas which was hard to turn down.
Have you thought about train from Como to St Moritz, then Glacier express from St Moritz to Zermatt?
I personally would skip Zurich / Lucerne to do this.
 

Zimbooo

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Zermatt is amazingly beautiful. Crazy expensive though.
Doesn't have to be. ;)
This place is great........https://www.antika.ch/en/hotel-antika/rooms
Relatives in Zurich booked this for us (for best value...was about $200 per night with breakfast included for 2 people).
Of course food / drinks / skiing is more expensive in Switzerland but for a handfull of nights of your life........and on honeymoon? Must do IMO.
 

Zimbooo

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You could purchase a Eurail Select Pass which would cover all your travels within Italy, Switzerland and France. For example: 3 countries, 5 days train travel within 2 months (Italy, Switzerland, France) = A$425pp. Select Pass now fully includes Glacier Express route (from 2017). Seats need to be reserved in advance for the glacier express, and a reservation fee of (23CHF) is also charged.
P.S. Glacier express takes 8 hours.
 
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