You did it. You planned an amazing proposal and that amazing girl who is way out of your league said yes. (We’re as shocked as you.) Not only did you pull this shocking accomplishment off, but you also made it through the minefield that is planning a wedding. That beautiful woman turned into a vengeful and demonic bridezilla. She was so stressed out near the end that she nearly vivisected the wedding planner for getting the wrong cake pops. But those dark days are over. Needless to say, you both are done with the stress, hustle, and bustle of planning a wedding.
Then the honeymoon rears its’ ugly head. Why turn into a nervous wreck because you feel compelled to spend a small fortune to go to Cancun or Hawaii? You just spent a king’s ransom on the rings and wedding. Then there’s getting a house together. The honeymoon should be a relatively simple, relaxing, and pleasant way to decompress from all that nuptial pressure. Never fear. Your wingman Jon is here to suggest five inexpensive, breath-taking, and indescribable international destinations for your honeymoon pleasures. There’s nothing wrong with Sandals Resorts, but if you’re a little strapped for cash, these venues are great fallbacks. As with my earlier blog posts on bachelor parties, tailor your honeymoon destination to your relationship. If she’s never camped a week in her life, a honeymoon in Banff National Park may as well be the Donner Party disaster. Likewise, if your idea of relaxing is drinking margaritas on a beach, then Florida is as good an option as Croatia. It also doesn’t require passports. There, you’ve been warned. Without further ado, I proudly presents Ring Cam’s picks for 5 budget honeymoon destinations.
1. Canadian National Parks
Granted, Canada is not the most exotic destination on this page. Nor is it the most affordable. However, there is an important caveat. Canada’s national park systems offers a plethora of awe-inspiring travel gems. This honeymoon option would only apply if you and your bae were comfortable with staying in tents and partaking in adventurous activities like hiking, backpacking, and kayaking. If you are, then Banff and Jasper in Alberta Province are well worth your time. If international travel is not a honeymoon must for you, then it’s important to remember that the U.S. of A is not devoid of natural beauty. Yellowstone, Zion, and Yosemite are just as enticing as anything in the Great White North. (Yeah, take that, Justin Trudeau. ‘Murica.)
Conversion rate: 1 Canadian Dollar equals .78 US dollars. However, the allure of the national parks is that you don’t have to spend that much to camp and hike.
Don’t Miss: Honestly, any of the national parks I mentioned will blow your mind.
2. Southeastern Europe
I’m cheating a little here. This moniker includes a number of different countries, each with their own charms and attractions. There are also very different price points. If you’re a daring couple who needs to get off the beaten path and save money, then Ukraine and Bulgaria are great bargains. If you’re alright with spending a bit more money, than Croatia and Greece are worth your time. (Fans of Game of Thrones will also recognize Dubrovnik, Croatia, as King’s Landing.) Each country has something to offer. Head to Croatia for beaches, Ukraine for bargains, and Serbia for historical attractions.
Conversion rate: 1 US dollar equals 26 Ukrainian hryvnias. Granted, Ukraine’s the cheapest country in this part of the world, but still.
Don’t Miss: Too many great choices. Dubrovnik, Santorini, Belgrade, Kiev, Mostar, and Varna are all worth seeing, but you’ll have to pick which is the best for your interests and budget.
3. Southeast Asia
Once again, I’m lumping countries together. I think you’ll forgive me once I tell just how dirt cheap traveling in these nations can be. Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia aren’t exactly typical honeymoon destinations, but that doesn’t mean these places aren’t worth a visit. Southeast Asia is also the most culturally distinct geographic region on this list. (Yes, I know. It’s shocking to think that Canada is not the cultural experience that Vietnam or Cambodia is.)
Conversion rate: 1 US Dollar equals 32 Thai bahts, but Thailand is also the priciest country in the area. If you’re looking for dirt-cheap, Vietnam is your destination.
Don’t Miss: Phuket, Thailand. Beaches, massages, and resorts make this island a great honeymoon destination. Just recognize that this picturesque island will cost more than the more secluded areas of the country and region.
As far as bargains go, Spain is much cheaper than France, Italy, or Germany. Portugal is even cheaper. Fresh seafood, gorgeous beaches, beautiful architecture, haunting fado music…. What’s not to love? Lusitania is also a hop, skip and a jump away from Gibraltar, Spain and Morocco. Gibraltar is not for the frugal and Spain and Morocco have their tourist traps, so be careful there. Still, parsimonious travelers can find appealing deals in Portugal while still having the option to visit the surrounding tourist areas.
Conversion rates: 1 US Dollar equals .85 Euros. However, that euro goes further in Portugal than others areas of the Euro-zone.
Don’t Miss: Lisbon. It’s a chaotic, bustling capital, but it’s got a weirdly charming character. There’s something in the pastel colors and winding cobblestones that I can’t quite describe, but it’s still enchanting. I don’t have any experience with Portuguese beaches, but they’re worth a shot.
5. South Africa
The Rainbow Nation is not the cheapest place in the world in absolute terms. However, in terms of value, South Africa is unforgettable. Honestly, the natural beauty of this country is astounding.
Conversion rate: 1 US Dollar equals 14 South African rands.
Don’t miss: Cape Town. I’m relatively well-traveled for being 23 years old and Cape Town is the most beautiful city I’ve ever seen. Rome, Berlin, London, and Madrid pale compared to this town. The palm trees, the geological formations, the surf, and the white Cape Dutch architecture all combine to make a exquisite city.