Broke-Ass Tag: Honeymoon

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11/2

Sunset on our Florida Keys Honeymoon

Katie here, back from our grand Florida Keys adventure!

While there are a lot of pros and cons either way, I am *so* glad that we decided to take our honeymoon right after the wedding. We had a day to say goodbye to friends and family, and then jetted off on Monday morning. I highly recommend that gap day, if your travel plans allow for it. We also came back on Saturday, so we had that Sunday as a gap day as well.

We flew into Ft. Lauderdale and picked up our car for the week — a fancy Camaro convertible! We would later find out that this marked us very clearly as tourists, but we didn’t care. The car was too cool!  A Camaro to Cruise Around the Florida Keys
The week was full of snorkeling and sunshine, and all the amazing animals of the Keys.

Andy Snorkeling in the Florida Keys

A Florida Keys Snorkeling Discovery
We saw these right off our very own dock!  A Florida Keys Snorkeling Discovery
A Florida Keys Snorkeling Discovery

A Florida Keys Snorkeling Discovery
Our adventure in paradise was lovely, but we apparently couldn’t go home without a story to tell.   Every Good Honeymoon Deserves a Good Story
Yep. He’s not lying. We shut the boat we borrowed from my husband’s uncle off to float along with some dolphins. One got within 10 feet of the boat! It was amazing, and I was near tears.

Shortly thereafter, disaster struck. The boat stopped running and we couldn’t get it to start back up! Andrew knew he had to stay calm so I wouldn’t panic, and he did a really good job. We were without phones (dumb) or radio (dumber, but we didn’t realize that the antenna had been cut off the one in the boat. We just assumed it worked!), but fortunately we were able to flag the coast guard down, and they towed us to shore.

Theater of the Sea Honeymoon Adventure

We ended our trip with a leisurely drive back out to Ft. Lauderdale, and flew home the next day. Now, we’re working on getting back into the rhythm of life with no wedding to plan.

Back to RealityWe love vacation, and we loved our wedding, but it feels good to be home and back to normal!

Did you have any memorable adventures on your honeymoon? Where did you go? Share in the comments below!

  • 9/3

    Since my last post was about things I’m glad I did before the wedding, today’s will be about what I did after that I’m pretty happy about: Going on my awesome honeymoon immediately following the wedding. Honeymooners are divided into two firm camps, it seems. Many couples I know decided to take a few more weeks or months to rebuild their savings before heading off on a grand adventure (or simply couldn’t get enough time off work). Other couples vehemently told us GO RIGHT AWAY, enjoy the newly-wedded bliss and relax after such a huge event!

    Nick and I are both of German descent, so we initially thought we’d join the former group and plan an early fall trip to Germany. Since the idea of going straight back to work 36 hours after one of the most momentous occasions of my life sounded like the worst thing ever, I thought maybe we’d also take two or three days that first week and rent a cabin in Big Sur, only a few hours north of Los Angeles. But by the time I finished crunching numbers and doing some scouting, I realized that if we don’t have time and money for Germany now, we likely won’t have it only a couple of months later. Plus Big Sur in June in pretty darn expensive, on its own. Life also tends to get in the way, so I realized that I really wanted to do something special before anything could throw a wrench in our plans. As if to tell me to follow my gut, I was bombarded left and right with stories from friends and even strangers about how they wished they hadn’t waited so long after the wedding to go away together. At what point would it cease to be a honeymoon, and become just a trip together? So we changed our focus and decided on the Pacific Northwest, specifically Seattle and British Columbia, immediately after the wedding (we’re mountain people, as opposed to beach people). Besides choosing an unusual honeymoon destination (so no crazy markups), here are a few things we did that saved us time, money, and stress, that are hopefully applicable to everyone’s idea of a good time!

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    At the base of a glacier in Whistler, B.C., right before we saw a bear!

    1) First of all, don’t forget to take care of the marriage license before you leave! I thought we had 90 days to get it mailed in, but it turns out we had 10. I only found this out on the 11th day, and scrambled to get it to the county clerk. Before you go, make sure your minister or parents or bridesmaid or someone can get it sent in while you’re away.

    2) We waited until Monday morning to leave. Since our wedding was on Saturday, that gave us Sunday to say good-bye to family and friends, do laundry and pack. The week before the wedding was waaaay too crazy to have time to do any of those things, plus flights were a little cheaper on a weekday.

    3) Made reservations far ahead of time (for the first leg). This turned out to be pretty crucial. I made a car rental reservation back in February, just in case, thinking I could cancel it and get a better deal once we got to our destination. Thank goodness I did, though, because it turned out to be an insanely busy weekend in Seattle (Seattle Pride!) and the only cars available without a reservation were the super-luxury rentals. We were also able to get an amazing deal on our splurge hotel because we booked so far in advance — the day after I booked it (also in February), the same room had already gone up $75 a night and kept climbing for the next few months. It was nice to know that we for sure had a place to go after a long day of traveling.

    4) Did NOT make reservations for the rest. We weren’t sure how long we’d want to spend in each city we planned on visiting, so we decided to leave the middle few days up to chance. We scoured last-minute deal sites and ended up staying in one-bedroom suites with full kitchens in each location, for far less than the cost of a regular room had we booked in advance. We did end up having to stay a little further out of town in Seattle, but it worked out well because we were able to get out of the craziness of the city and get a solid night’s sleep in a local suburb.

    5) Told anyone and everyone that we were on our honeymoon. Obviously don’t do this expecting to get freebies and upgrades, but it was fun getting the good wishes from those we told. And it didn’t hurt that our splurge hotel upgraded us from the most basic queen room to the $800 a night, harbor view suite, along with a special delivery of chocolate-covered strawberries.

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    Hello, free upgrade! The view from our suite at the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C.

    6) Called credit card companies ahead of time to find out about foreign transaction fees, and to let them know we’d be spending money in unusual places. I can’t think of anything worse than having my account frozen on my honeymoon while they verified it wasn’t fraud. We also got tips from one company on how to avoid the foreign transaction fees in Canada.

    7) Opened up a joint back account before the wedding, so that we could cash checks that were written to us both immediately after. Thanks to the generosity of our family and friends, we were able to pay for a lot of things in cash and not have to worry about those fees in the first place!

    8) Called our cellphone company to find out about foreign calls and data. While most smart phones are world phones, it turns out you have to buy an extra data and messaging package to use them if you leave the States. I think Verizon was $10 for 10 gigs of data, so we bought one for each of our phones so we could at least Facebook message each other in case of an emergency. We used the free WiFi in our hotels and in coffee shops to plan our activities, but it was also nice to have an excuse to turn our phones off the rest of the time and focus on each other.

    9) Signed up for local Groupon alerts for the cities on our itinerary. For example, we found an awesome deal on kayaks for two that was valid the weekend we’d be in Seattle. That saved us a huge amount of money and was one of the most memorable things we did. And though we didn’t buy them, there were tons of great massage deals, too! We missed a deal for the Vancouver Aquarium by a day, so sign up as far in advance as you can, and don’t forget their local deals section while you’re actually in town.

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    Post-kayak, pre-oyster binge in Seattle, WA.

    10) Researched package deals. I got a screaming deal on ferry passes and a one-night hotel stay in Vancouver Island, and if we’d had more time, the Seattle City Pass would have allowed us to see five of the bigger tourist attractions for the price of four. Our splurge hotel, the Fairmont Empress in Victoria, B.C., had a tea and gardens package that gave us one night’s stay plus their world-famous afternoon tea and two tickets to the historic Butchart Gardens for about $100 less than if we’d booked them separately. Poke into every single corner of the web for deals, and especially read traveler’s forums! Many attractions also give discounts for purchasing tickets online in advance.

    11) Took advantage of happy hours for many of our meals. So much amazing Canadian beer! So many $1 oysters at Pike Place Market! And this allowed us to not feel too guilty splurging on the large-size smoked duck poutine, for example, and allowed us to really go all out at our last meal. We also ate a lot of snacks from the local supermarkets, which allowed us to try some unusual things without breaking the bank at restaurants during meal time.

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    Duck poutine at the Heron Rock Bistro in Victoria, B.C.

    Basically, a tl;dr summary: No matter where you go or for how long, do your research so you’re prepared, but leave some room for spontaneity, and save on the little things so you can splurge on a few big ones! Happy honeymooning!

    Elissa Stooker
  • 8/7

    Credit: Rome4U Since the beginning of the current honeymoon tradition (FYI, it started around the turn of the century), this delicious city has been a popular choice among couples. And it’s no surprise, seeing Rome is chalk full of romance, beauty, and memorable spots. If you want to make the most of your trip and be a true, romantic, Casanova type, here are a few…

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    6/24

    There is an enemy lurking, waiting to put a damper on your wedding plans. His name is X, as in, "Oh, great, there's a big ol' X on this vendor's calendar where our wedding date is supposed to be." It happens. You have money in hand, ready to book that rental or service, only to find out that vendor you Yelped or WeddingWired or knew…

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    6/15

    While the pressure is certainly on in terms of that middle countdown, I've been choosing to focus on that last one this week. The honeymoon has been the topic of much spirited discussion in my household. We've discussed the possibility of doing a mini-moon somewhere close by, and then going on a longer vacation in January. This was my fiance's plan, and I was doing…

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    5/22

    Memorial Day Weekend is kind of the unofficial ushering in of summer. Barbecues, parades, graduation ... the warm months have arrived! And if you're anything like me, that means getting thee to a body of water as frequently as possible to beat the heat (or hangover ... I swear it's the best cure). Obviously, then, that means upping your swimsuit game -- especially if you're…

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    12/17

    The honeymoon has been The One thing my fiancé and I have both been looking forward to, and the most stressful thing to figure out, #AtTheSameDamnTime. I may get excited over finding cute designs for our invitations, but he doesn’t give a damn. What he does give a damn about is our honeymoon, and making sure it is epic.  Throughout wedding planning we’ve been very decisive,…

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    10/24

    Hiya, Broke-Asses! Our wonderful partner Bliss Honeymoons is back, and this time they're easing your worries about how to pay for your honeymoon. If, like many couples, you and your love have shacked up together before your nuptials and just can't fathom how another toaster or blender will fit into your living situation, then take a deep breath and check out how easy and awesome…

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