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Which honeymoon woud you go on?

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zoebartlett

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My friend is having a hard time deciding on whether to go to Hawaii, Italy, or Ireland on her honeymoon. Neither my friend nor her fiancee is interested in laying around all week at an all-inclusive resort. They want a relaxing time with a mix of hanging out by the beach/pool (if they choose Hawaii) and seeing the sights. My friend said that they''d love to combine their love of nature, people, culture, and history. These places are all so different and they are having thre hardest time narrowing it down. Any advice I could pass along?

Are their specific places and/or sights you''d recommend? Thanks!
 

Kismet

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For me it would depend on when they are planning on going. We went to Italy and had a terrific time. We had two weeks at the end of May/beginning of June. We spent 5 nights in Rome, 4 in Florence, 2 in Gardone Riviera (a resort town on the sw side of Lake Garda) and 3 in Venice. For a one week trip I''d just pick one or two cities rather than trying to cram everything in.
 

ImpatientOne

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For me, it would depend on how long they will be gone. I would love to go to Ireland or Italy, but not for my honeymoon. Personally, we were more interested in spending time alone, just the two of us. I have teenagers at home, so alone time is not as common as I'd like
We wanted some sightseeing, but didn't want to be on the go all the time, so Hawaii was perfect for us.
 

neatfreak

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ITALY! But then again I am biased because I lived there for awhile. The pace is slow, you can have really long romantic meals, and there is enough culture to keep you busy too. But it's perfectly acceptable to just lounge around most of the day too. LOVE IT!

ETA: The Amalfi coast is AMAZING and romantic. I love Lake Como and the alps too, so depending on the time of year that is fantastic. As for the cities, I prefer the more offbeat ones. I lived in Torino (where the Olympics just were) and it's an incredible city with fewer tourists than others. Siena is also a really romantic place to honeymoon and it's quieter than nearby Florence.

The Amalfi coast is just stunning and would be a good compromise between hawaii and europe during the right time of year!
 

zoebartlett

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Well, like me, my friend is a teacher, so they''re limited to certain times of the year. Summer is when they''d like to go because they could take a longer time off. I think they were thinking of going away for a week or 10 days but having a few days off after returning to get settled before my friend''s husband would have to go back to work.
 

Aloros

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I''d go with Italy, especially if they''re interested in culture and history. I''ve been to Italy twice, been to Hawaii once, but the closest I''ve been to Ireland is Scotland.

Rome was my favorite city in Italy. The small, cobbled streets, with the christmas lights strung overhead...oh so romantic. It''s great for window-shopping (so many designers!), sight-seeing, great food (if you know where to look, you can get some fantastic food for a low price), and when you''re tired you can sit on a corner, people-watch, and grab some gelato. Florence is also nice - the art just blows you away! I was moved to tears by Michelangelo''s "Prisoners", a series of unfinished sculptures set up next to The David.

Hawaii was fun - great for snorkeling/diving, good food, beautiful scenery, gorgeous beaches, perfect weather.

I''d still say Italy.
 

anchor31

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Your friends sound a lot like us in terms of trips preferences! If we had the budget, we''d be going to Italy. We''ll probably be going to Mexico or Hawaii instead since we''re saving up for a house and have to pay for half of the wedding ourselves.
 

neatfreak

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Date: 4/16/2007 3:50:54 PM
Author: zoebartlett
Well, like me, my friend is a teacher, so they''re limited to certain times of the year. Summer is when they''d like to go because they could take a longer time off. I think they were thinking of going away for a week or 10 days but having a few days off after returning to get settled before my friend''s husband would have to go back to work.
Summer is great, but busy, in Italy. The more offbeat places of course will be less busy. Unless they are going to the seashore, DO NOT let them go in August. Almost everything closes because all the Italians are at their summer houses by the shore. Any other month is great.
 

poptart

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Well, I''ll be the odd one out and say Ireland if they are going in the summer. Given the chance between the three, I would choose Ireland first because of the history. Then Italy, and lastly Hawaii. Maybe they should read up on the history of all three places and see which one they are most interested in. I have been reading up on Celtic history since I was about 13, so I would pick Ireland in a heartbeat!! Whatever they pick it will be lovely, since those are some gorgeous places.

*M*
 

sumbride

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I''d thought about Italy, but I realized that I''m probably going to be completely exhausted after the wedding and will want to just chill by the pool, so we chose the Carribean (closer than Hawaii for us). I felt like I would be shortchanging Italy if I wasn''t up to the sightseeing.

Ireland is amazingly wonderful, but it''s a very social place and everywhere they go, they will meet people. If that''s what they want on their honeymoon, it will be great, but there''s not that much privacy in the B&B''s.
 

dtnyc

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What time of year would they be traveling?

If summer, I would avoid Europe, so crowded w/ tourists- tough to get a real feel for the big cities because the tourists would outnumber the locals. Also the weather in Italy can be fiercely hot in the summer - I was in Italy in June and it was above 100 degrees F in Rome- not the kind of weather you want for exploring a city on foot.
If they are considering late spring or early fall then I would go for Italy/Ireland.

There is a lot to do in Hawaii and I believe the climate is the same year round. I have never been.
 

musey

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It really does depend on what (specifically) they want out of a honeymoon (among the other obvious factors--season, length, etc.). If they close their eyes and picture themselves walking around... what are they wearing? What kinds of things do they want to see/do?

I went to Hawaii for the first time this winter, and it was my favorite vacation EVER. There really is something for everyone there (shopping, sightseeing, hiking, swimming, sunbathing). I loved it and can''t wait to go back. However, all my other vacations have been to Florida, Colorado and the northeast US (Egypt once, in high school) so I don''t have a lot of personal experience to draw from...

FI and I are pretty settled on Greece and/or Italy for our honeymoon. I wasn''t interested in running around in a swimsuit sunning myself (I am what nicer people call "porcelain," what not-so-nice people call "pasty"
with no hope of ever getting a tan!). I really wanted to go somewhere that had history and culture like nothing I''d ever experienced, and FI is already quite partial to Italy from his past travels. We are also considering New Zealand, as neither of us have been there.


Anyway, bottom line is, they just need to sit down and (without particular locations in mind) figure out what it is they picture themselves doing. Then figure out what places fit the bill... instead of coming up with three choices and deciding what they like about each place--because of course each place has its own draw!
 

zoebartlett

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Everyone has such great points. I'll let me friend know all your thoughts. Is Hawaii unbearably hot in July?

My friends have been to Ireland before but they'd like to go to the places and areas of the country that they didn't see the first time around. I've been to Ireland as well, and you're right Summer, there's not a lot of privacy in B&Bs. We were amazed at how friendly everyone was on our trip. We met a guy at a pub in Dublin one night. This guy introduced us to all of his friends and we had a great time. He ended up giving us his business card and said that if we needed anything "absoltely anything!" we should give him a ring. I think he even offered us a place to stay if we needed one.

The Amalfi Coast sounds amazing!

I know it depends on what they want to do, but how do these places rank, in terms of prices and expenses (they live in New England)? I'm curious about that one.


ETA: Musey, my sister and her husband went to NZ for three weeks for their honeymoon. It was amazing from the pictures and the things she wrote about. I know they'd recommend going there in a heartbeat. I like your idea about imagining what they're wearing, etc. Imagery really works! Maybe I'll try that for myself.
 

regalada

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We did Hawaii four years ago and that vacation still ranks as our most romantic one so far. We were there in August and it was hot but not unbearable.

I agree that summer is not the best time to go to Italy. I was in Rome and Florence in late August two years ago and it was so hot my jeans were sticking to my legs. It was almost unbearable if it weren''t for all the gelato we ate :). The crowds were still in full swing in late August, and I remember thinking if that was the end of summer I would not want to be there in the peak of the tourist season.

We honeymooned in Venice, but in November, when the crowds were gone and the city was peaceful and cool.
 

Ann

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Hawaii in the summer is totally doable.
They do have air conditioning
and the winds cool things off.
If they are exploring/hiking in the mtns., it''s even cooler up there.

I agree Italy in the summer, with the heat and crowds, I''d wait.
 

Gypsy

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It would depend on the time of year for me too. As well as where my $$ would be most valuable. Europe has gotten expensive with the exchange rates and all... so they might get more bang for buck in Hawaii. Although there are AWESOME apartment/condo rentals available in Venice for a great rate if you know where to book them through.

Hawaii or Italy.

I'd pick Greece. *ducks*
 

zoebartlett

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Gypsy, family friends of mine went to Greece on their honeymoon and loved it.

Random thought on a way to keep costs down for a couple -- I would think that for couples already living togther and not needing items typically found on registries, registering for your honeymoon might be a way to go. I don''t know much about it but it seems like a good idea. What your everyone''s on that? Is it weird to essentially ask others to help pay for your honeymoon?
 

So_happy

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We wanted to lay around and eat, drink, and be married so we chose an all-inclusive in Aruba. We''ve been to Aruba once for several hours during a port stop on a cruise ship and it was fantastic and since we''ve already done the major sight-seeing there is to do we can concentrate on relaxing and catching some rays if we want to. If we had picked any one of the 3 destinations your friends are considering, we would (as is our style when going to a new place) run around like mad trying to fit in everything we want to do lol. It is certainly fun for us when we are able to do that but we really wanted to have a different feel on our HM.

And, especially for Ireland and Italy........those destinations would deserve nothing less than break-neck sightseeing lol. I would loooooove to go to either, though, next year.

Just my take on it.
 

Pandora II

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Italy - go to Lake Como for a week. Beautiful villas to visit and stay in, romantic scenery and if you need to shop Milan is only 30 minutes on the train.

If they have 2 weeks go to Venice for a week and Como for a week. Or spend 2 weeks in Tuscany around Siena or Montepulciano.

Doing Rome/Florence/Venice in 2 weeks would be total knackering in my mind.
 

zoebartlett

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WOW! I just looked up Lake Como in Italy and it''s amazing! Hmmm, maybe I''ll have to rethink OUR plans and talk to my boyfriend. Then again, the Amalfi Coast and Hawaii are beautiful too. Seriously, I''ll need to have a chat with him later.


My friend and I have been e-mailing back and forth throughout the day and she and her fiancee have actually ruled out Ireland. They ultimately wanted to go somewhere they''ve never been before. Thanks so much for your help! So now it''s between Italy and Hawaii.

Some have said that Italy might be too hot and/or busy in the summer. Does this apply to the Amalfi Coast and the Lake Como areas also, or just the metropolitan areas?
 

E B

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Ireland or Italy. Depending on the time of year, I''d probably choose Italy over Ireland. But it''d be a close call.
 

Gypsy

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Date: 4/16/2007 5:29:50 PM
Author: zoebartlett
Gypsy, family friends of mine went to Greece on their honeymoon and loved it.


Random thought on a way to keep costs down for a couple -- I would think that for couples already living togther and not needing items typically found on registries, registering for your honeymoon might be a way to go. I don''t know much about it but it seems like a good idea. What your everyone''s on that? Is it weird to essentially ask others to help pay for your honeymoon?

My uncle was married for the first time 3 years ago and that''s where they went for theirs and it was fabulous. History, culture, food and THE BEACHES, the islands... sailing. It''s got it all.

I''ve been to Italy and Hawaii though. Hawaii made me sad. It looked... stripped. Like it was ailing. I don''t know how else to describe it. We were on Oahu. Italy was LOVELY... but back then prices were so good, that it was also really cost effective.
 

firebirdgold

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I''d say it''d depend on the season, their location, and the level of stress they''re under.

It''s alot easier to get to Hawaii from the west and southwest than the east coast. Italy is easier from the east coast. I would never ever go to Italy any later in the Summer than mid June. I''d say the best window of time for Italy is late April - June, and Sept - mid November. September and May are probably the best. I''d never in a million years go to anywhere in Europe in August. Not only is it hot, but a large numbers of eurpoeans take their vacations then so it''s seriously overcrowded and not everything is open.
Hawaii on the other hand has perfect weather the whole year. (sure it''s a little rainier in the winter but the temperature is still nice).

Hawaii is lower stress and more relaxed than Italy. You can spend the whole time in flip-flops, shorts, and an aloha shirt! Italy requires better clothes, and is busy and bustling.


We loved our post-wedding vacation* in Hawaii on the Big Island. There''s plenty to explore like volcanos and historical sites, but we most enjoyed snorkeling together. But we got married in early-March, the most unpleasant time of year at home, so I was really ready for some sun and warm temperatures (and no wind). My DH was unbelievably stressed so a very low-key vacation that was exotic yet fairly easy to get to was perfect for him. And the style of vacation with most things located near the hotel and no-demands on our time... was, uh, well suited to our favorite honeymoon activity if you see what I mean.

Oh, and the big island was beautiful and not stripped or anything. Although the fields of black lava were a bit disconcerting when we landed.


Oh, and Ireland just doesn''t say honeymoon to me even though I''m part Irish.
 

zoebartlett

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Date: 4/17/2007 11:02:20 AM
Author: IndieJones
I''d say it''d depend on the season, their location, and the level of stress they''re under.

It''s alot easier to get to Hawaii from the west and southwest than the east coast. Italy is easier from the east coast. I would never ever go to Italy any later in the Summer than mid June. I''d say the best window of time for Italy is late April - June, and Sept - mid November. September and May are probably the best. I''d never in a million years go to anywhere in Europe in August. Not only is it hot, but a large numbers of eurpoeans take their vacations then so it''s seriously overcrowded and not everything is open.
Hawaii on the other hand has perfect weather the whole year. (sure it''s a little rainier in the winter but the temperature is still nice).

Hawaii is lower stress and more relaxed than Italy. You can spend the whole time in flip-flops, shorts, and an aloha shirt! Italy requires better clothes, and is busy and bustling.


We loved our post-wedding vacation* in Hawaii on the Big Island. There''s plenty to explore like volcanos and historical sites, but we most enjoyed snorkeling together. But we got married in early-March, the most unpleasant time of year at home, so I was really ready for some sun and warm temperatures (and no wind). My DH was unbelievably stressed so a very low-key vacation that was exotic yet fairly easy to get to was perfect for him. And the style of vacation with most things located near the hotel and no-demands on our time... was, uh, well suited to our favorite honeymoon activity if you see what I mean.

Oh, and the big island was beautiful and not stripped or anything. Although the fields of black lava were a bit disconcerting when we landed.


Oh, and Ireland just doesn''t say honeymoon to me even though I''m part Irish.
Well these ideas for Hawaii and Lake Como, Italy are really making me think again about our own plans. It''s fun helping my friends do the research. What islands would you recommend going to? They all have some great things to offer.
 

So_happy

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I wanted to chime in again and say that Western Europe in the middle of summer (July/August) is still fantastic. You just go with the appropriate kinds of clothing and it is lovely!!!! But then again, I don''t mind crowds too much...and there were those.......and I love warm place......and it was that.......but I didn''t notice a soul or the heat when I was looking up at the Eiffel Tower and the Glockenspiel (sp?), walking through Anne Frank''s house, having a gondola ride in Venice, and feeling mesmerized when the prior Pope blessed his crowd (including me) in Rome.


Nothin but love for Europe



Oh......and there is always Barcelona................
 

musey

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Date: 4/17/2007 11:33:14 AM
Author: zoebartlett
What islands would you recommend going to? They all have some great things to offer.
I just visited Hawaii for the first time in December. I''ve now been to all of the islands except Molokai and Lanai (which I''ve learned are beautiful and the most unpopulated/undeveloped) and The Big Island (going there in June!). I''ve spent the past month planning a vacation for FI, my parents and I for this June, so I''ve learned a lot about all the islands.

Oahu is home to most "locals" (if you meet someone from Hawaii, they''re likely from Oahu) and the most popular for vacationing, probably because it''s the most developed and easiest to fly into. It has great shopping, hotels, restaurants, etc. but beaches are crowded, hiking is limited and snorkeling isn''t at it''s best (because of the crowds). ...I much prefer the north shore to Honolulu, but it''s usually more expensive to stay there.

Kauai is much less populated but still has a couple of concentrations of hotels and restaurants. Great snorkeling and hiking, and the views are to-die-for (many tropically set movies were filmed there).

Maui is sort of the happy medium between Kauai and Oahu. It''s more developed than Kauai, but not nearly as much as the urban centers of Oahu. The highlight (I think) is the "road to Hana," a 2+ hour drive (6 or more if you make all the stops!) with beautiful waterfalls, hiking spots, lookouts, etc. along the way. It''s a CAN''T-MISS in my opinion!!

I''ve spent so much of my free time researching for this vacation that I feel like I could write you a handbook... hopefully the stuff above wasn''t TMI. I was going to write about the Big Island too, but I''ve only researched all about it (not been there--yet.) so I''ll let Indie tell you about that one
 

zoebartlett

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Thanks Musey! Any info. you could give would be great and not too much. It''s hard going through guidebooks and looking at travel sites online because you don''t really get the chance to talk with people who have been to these places. This is a much more interactive way, and I appreciate everyone''s suggestions. I''m forwarding the thread to my friends and I''m jotting down ideas for my own sake too.

Thanks again!
 

So_happy

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You can always go on to tripadvisor.com and join specific forums dealing with your particular locations of interest :)
 
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