Planning a Once in a Lifetime Experience: Your Honeymoon

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Photo Credit: nattu

Honeymoons are something most people dream of their whole lives. So when the day finally comes, you want it to be spectacular. Without skipping a beat, your first step is ensuring your bank account is ready to take the financial plunge when booking that perfect destination. Investing in a market linked GIC is a great option for those who want to save money while also benefiting from stocks, all while staying safe in case anything were to drastically change on wall street. So start planning, and remember, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity – so make it count.

Destination
While it may seem obvious that the first step to planning a honeymoon is choosing the destination, it is not always an easy task. You and your spouse will need to have an honest discussion about what it is that you both hope to experience on this first vacation as a newly married couple. Be sure to consider the time of year during which you will be traveling. Whether you want to stay at a beach resort in Hawaii or in a cozy lodge with a fireplace in Alaska, you will want to choose a destination that suits both of your tastes. Making this joint decision will bring you and your spouse closer together.

Budget
Again, one of the most important things to consider on your honeymoon is your budget. This vacation should be a time of fun and relaxation, and it will be much easier to enjoy your time if you know exactly how much you have to spend. Unexpected travel costs can be quite stressful, so plan ahead; research activities in your destination area that meet your budget and plan accordingly. If you have a credit card that earns frequent flier miles or has other perks, this could be a great opportunity to start racking up rewards.

Activities
After countless hours of planning your wedding, you will indeed have to spend a few more planning what to do on your honeymoon. You’ve arrived at your destination: what next? Ask your spouse what he/she would like to do. If his/her ideas don’t mesh with your interests, find a way to compromise. There are bound to be countless activities in your destination area that will be exciting for both of you; be sure to keep an open mind. In the midst of planning your adventures, don’t forget to schedule some downtime, as well. While having scheduled activities can be a good way to maximize your vacation time, you will need time to unwind and relax. After all, a honeymoon is a time to get away and have alone time with your spouse before entering the world of married life. This is a great opportunity to start things off right!

Brazil: A Perfect Honeymoon Destination

Destination beaches, beautiful backyards, grand halls, stunning churches, music to get everyone shaking, food and drinks to fuel everything. This may be the plans for the wedding but it can also be the plans for your honeymoon adventure. Start thinking about some jungle exploring as well and you are getting closer to starting your happily ever after in Brazil.

Stunning Brazil

Photo Credit: bongo vongo

Brazil offers some tantalizing options regardless of when you plan your wedding. Summer northern wedding, it is the cool season in the south and the beaches will be quieter if you want romantic seclusion while the north will be for sun seekers. Winter in the north and the beaches of Rio will be buzzing with excitement especially at Carnival time.

Brazil Carnival

Photo Credit: Luiz Fernando / Sonia Maria

Your adventurous sides will have you wanting to explore this big country after a few day of beach time. Brazil’s biggest airline, TAM, has you covered as you head off to explore the Amazon by canoe or tour at Iquazu Falls. Maybe there is a need for more adrenaline and kiteboarding and dune buggies in the north around Natal. Getting closer to the earth with hiking and mountain biking in the jungle mesas near Salvador is going to drive your adventurous honeymoon.

Brazil Iquazu Falls

Photo Credit: monocletophat123

You won’t be far from trying a culture of blended food traditions either. A blessing of seafood on the coasts, tropical fruits and the ever present coconuts, the use of cassava and yucca means you will experience tasty surprises down every little alley. Influenced by European, African and a wide breath of Indigenous cultures there is everything from delicious little sandwiches with a serious twist to decadent desserts.

Dessert Brazil

Photo Credit: Rod Senna

The beer will be ice cold. No self respecting Brazilian will drink it any other way. If beer isn’t for you then let yourself be tempted by the local spirit, Cachaça, usual found in the form of the national drink, the Caipirinha. Be warned. This is serious alcohol, while easy to drink, it is also easy to drink too many.

Caipirinha Brazil

Photo Credit: jonrawlinson

The Best Casinos To Visit When Travelling Asia

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Photo Credit: Sachman75

One thing you are guaranteed if you choose to travel through Asia is great casino – whether you stop off in Singapore, Macau, South Korea or Kuala Lumpur.

Marina Bay Sands Resort

This is one of just two casinos to be found in Singapore, and it is the one to choose if you want to combine casino with a romantic break – because the views to be found from the SkyPark terrace are breathtaking. You and your partner will also enjoy the amazing infinity pool, as well as the designer label shops and restaurants.

Galaxy Macau

One of the thirty casinos that has led Macau to be named the ‘Monte Carlo of the Orient,’ the Galaxy Macau stands out even in such exalted company, by virtue of the private beach and five swimming pools it provides visitors with. This is before they even hit the gaming rooms where, like so many other Asian casinos, the typical games you will find in casinos in the West are mixed with Eastern ones like Fan-Tan.

Paradise Casino Walker Hill

This is South Korea’s biggest casino, and offers the widest choice of games of any of those found in the country. This is an important factor given the competition posed by ipad casino sites. One of the quirks of the Paradise Casino Walker Hill is that you will not find any actual South Koreans playing the slot machines, baccarat, blackjack or roulette there, as they are forbidden to do so. They are only allowed to use one of the casinos in the country, making this one a tourist spot.

Genting Highlands

Kuala Lumpur is probably the place that the least number of people think of when it comes to Asian casino, but the Genting Highlands – the only (legal) one to be found there, is well worth a visit. You need a cable car to get to it, as it is on top of a hill, but once there you will find inummerable restaurants, hotels and casino games – as well as a giant theme park – making the place to play at in Malaysia.

How To Wind Down On Your Honeymoon

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After the months of stress leading up to your wedding day, your honeymoon can be a great excuse to get away from it all and relax with your new husband or wife. Whether you’re going on a beach getaway, a skier’s vacation or a hiking trip, your honeymoon should be the perfect blend of exciting, energetic activities and one on one down time.

All that excitement can certainly take its toll on a pair of newlyweds, and goodness knows you’ll need your energy! If you want to cool off a little, here are a few ways that you and your new spouse can relax.

Relight that fire!

Whether you’re in a hotel room, cabin or your own villa, you and your partner can really enjoy each other’s company without having to resort to modern technology. Throw away the DVDs and open the wine, don your bath robes and light that fire – you’ll soon begin to appreciate the beauty of one of Earth’s natural elements and enjoy each other’s company even better without having to spend huge amounts of money. Just make sure you don’t drink too much of the aforementioned wine before you light the fire – you don’t want your honeymoon to be memorable in that way!

Play a board game

Resorting to board games doesn’t always have to be a result of bad weather – in fact, they can be a great source of fun and can let you and your partner indulge your competitive sides. You don’t have to stick to the traditional either – if you and your hubby or wife aren’t too fussed about Monopoly, why not make things more interesting with a game of
Twister? With nobody around to spin the spinner but the two of you, there are guaranteed few laughs.

Have a little alone time

A honeymoon should set the tone for the rest of your marriage – enjoying the best of each other’s company, but also knowing when to make the most of your own alone time. If you want a little space from each other, that’s nothing to feel bad about. Relax, put your feet up, and look to other ways of keeping yourself entertained – for example, having some time out with your tablet or smartphone. The internet is awash with fun gaming websites
or social media pages, so you can whittle away those quieter hours sharing your memories before you return to reality.
Of course, if you are going to play a little competitively and need a little help, you can always get your partner involved. Consider making things a little interesting with bingo.com, where the two of you can test you skills and even make a little money in the process – it’s not often couples can come back from their honeymoon with more money than they left with!

Island Adventures and History

Your honeymoon adventure can span the historic as well as the modern. The cradle of civilization with a good dose of beach activities will kick off your happily ever after by stimulating both your minds and bodies. There are few places that will whisk you back in time like a honeymoon in Greece. Layers of ancient civilizations, stunning islands, sparkling oceans and food that will have wishing the honeymoon never ends.

Historic Greece

Photo Credit: archer10 (Dennis)

As a short hop from the rest of Europe, your post wedding getaway to Greece will be easy to arrange and difficult not to find romance as well as adventure. Nature beauty and variety is found on the Aegean islands. Explore the ruins on Delos or Rhodes. Enjoy the night life on Mykonos. Fall in love yet again with the stunning scenery of Santorini. Add the adventurous element by including Greek island hopping on a sailboat in your honeymoon plans.

Sailing Greece

Photo Credit: easysailing

When you have had your fill of exploring history, Greek beaches will entice you for some quality relaxation. White sand, black sand or red sand. All are available for match either your taste or swimsuits. Sun and clear waters will ensure your beach time is enjoyable. Backdropped by cliffs and perfectly white washed villas suggest nothing more than leaning back and letting the days float by.

Seaside Greece

Photo Credit: Titanas

Your day time adventures will need some fuel and the food of Greece will fit that bill nicely. Whether you are tempted by stuffed squids and grilled octopus, fresh salads and local cheeses or meats grilled to perfection, there will be something to keep you going. Easy to grab quick snacks like gyros are prefect to keep you going on your day adventures. The adventures are only part of your Greek honeymoon because romance is a necessity as well and romantic dining will easily set the mood.

Romantic Greece

Photo Credit: Andrew_D_Hurley

Hotel Ushuaia: Hear The Beat

Norway by Kayak Honeymoon Adventure

Your wedding is planned to happen as the northern hemisphere thaws and exploring rugged coastlines to start your happily ever after is appealing. One of the best ways to get up close and personal with the ocean and shore in from a kayak. Kayaking Norway fjords is a jaw dropping, humbling experience in the scale of both ocean and mountains. A stunning adventure for your honeymoon.

Norway Fjord

Photo Credit: Mashthetics

Norway has over 50,000 km of coastline. This is due mostly to the dips and folds of the fjords that penetrate from the ocean deep into the coast. There is no way to explore this entire coast in one season and I suspect that once you start paddling in these waters you will be back for more. The coast stretches from a relatively balmy 58 degrees latitude to well past the Arctic circle topping out above the 70th latitude. The coastal waters are under the influence of the Gulf Stream and are kept “warm” relative to expectations for the high latitude.

Norway Kayaking

Photo Credit: chuddlesworth

Your route can depend entirely on how rugged or remote you would like to journey. Many of the outer and northern areas are studded with parks and wilderness preserves. Due to the lack of accessibility, these areas also lack permanent settlements. If you are interested in something more pampered there are large number of areas featuring cozy cabins and vacation resorts to take care of food and accommodations. Having reservations is a good idea because these coastal areas are very popular for tourist from the rest of Europe who may not be arriving by kayak like you.

Norway Kayak Couple

Photo Credit: photo.andersson.es

Getting off the water for some hiking can be just as spectacular. Climbing the some of the towering peaks that embrace and define the fjords will reward you with stunning vistas. Typically, hikes will take you several hundred to a thousand metres about sea level and can be comfortably accomplished in half a day. You may want to linger longer and soak in the views, they can be breathtaking.

Norway Fjord View

Photo Credit: kanelstrand

How to Spend a Romantic Weekend in Paris

It’s Paris, what’s not romantic about it? A French pastry in one hand and your lovers hand in the other, wander around the city by foot and admire its grand architecture, or pass a whole afternoon outside a café such as St Germain’s great literacy café de Flores, just staring into your lovers eyes….

If Paris is beautiful by day, it’s magical by night. Escape the tourist crowds, and explore some of Paris’ great and romantic tourist attractions in the late afternoon, evening or even night. Getting to Paris may also be easier than you think – iDBUS London to Paris line is affordable and the prices don’t go up as you get closer to your departure date. So if you fancy travelling to Paris grab yourself a map and try my suggested route below:

Start your night ramble at the Musée de Louvre (the largest museum in the world, I’ll have you know), which is open as late as 9:45pm on both Wednesdays and Friday. You will find the infamous Mona de Lisa here, and make sure you take a look at Napoleon III’s apartment to get an idea of what the Louvre interior looked like when it was a royal palace.

Make your way on to the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel, a smaller version of its famous sister the Arc de Triomphe. This Arc is situated close to the Tuileries Garden, a well maintained and formal French garden, which is particularly pretty at sunset if you do decide to set off on the walk in the late afternoon.

Moving on, perhaps once the sun has gone down, walk onto the Place de la Concorde, the Egyptian Obelisk believed to be more than 3,000 years old. Towering into the sky it is simply stunning, particularly as it is lit up at night-time.

Next is the Champs-Elysees, one of the most famous avenues in the world, measuring 70 metres wide and running 1910 metres long. Soak up the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Paris here, and look into the distance at the Arc de Triomphe, which is where you are walking to next. This grand and gigantic Arc (also lit up at night) is the result of Napoleon’s ambition to make the capital of the empire he had acquired, the most beautiful in the world! I think he may have succeeded.

Talking of beauty, your final stop is to be the one and only Eiffel Tower, possibly the most renowned romantic building on earth. There is no heart wrenching love story behind this structure, unlike the Taj Mahal for example, yet aesthetically it is a delight, and there is most certainly something alluring about it.

After some hand holding and gazing out across the city lights of Paris, your journey might have worked up a bit of an appetite. For a truly amorous evening, and to continue gazing at the Parisian city landscape, you might want to feast at the top of the Eiffel Tower in the restaurant ‘Le Jule Verne’. This is not somewhere you can just drop by and hope to get a table; you will need to book weeks in advance. I’m not going to lie, it is very pricey (she’s worth it though!), but the views are incomparable compared to any other restaurant you will visit in Paris, and the food is divine. You will be presented with a tasting menu (meat or fish) made up of 5/6 different dishes.

For something a little kinder to your bank balance, that offers traditional French food, including mouth-watering sea food platters, and a truly authentic 19th century atmosphere, head to Brasserie Flo. Here the staff are friendly, the portions decent, and everything is delicious, sautéed tender rump, gratin dauphinois and green pepper sauce….yummmm.

The next day round off your romantic getaway with a chocolate massage at the four seasons George V hotel (yes, real chocolate), and a cheese and red wine picnic along the river Seine. If you are in the mood to splurge, go all out and try a cheese and wine tasting course. This is one trip that you won’t forget in a while!

 

Honeymoon in Peru: Romance, Luxury, and Culture

Looking for a different honeymoon spot? Something heavy on romance, luxury, and culture? How about Peru?
I know most people wouldn’t think that hiking the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu would be good for a honeymoon but I’m here to tell you differently. Trekking over the Andean Mountains is the perfect way to start your life together. The air is crisp and clear, the views of the Andean Plateau are absolutely stunning, and the deep history beneath your feet is awe inspiring. Taking in the view of the ancient lost city from the Sun Gate on the dawn of the final morning is something that must be shared in order to be fully appreciated. Hike down to Machu Picchu and discover the wonders of the architecture before taking the train back to Cusco.
Now is the time for luxury and Lima is the perfect place to find it. Boutique hotels abound in the Miraflores District of the city; carriage rides around Plaza Mayor and romantic dinners at world class restaurants make Lima a perfect honeymoon destination. There is even a ‘love park’ on the waterfront of the city;  El Parque del Amor is the perfect spot for a sunset stroll.
Arequipa is another great city to visit. Watched over by the volcano El Misti, this city boasts great colonial architecture and an evolved food scene that has helped catapult Peruvian cuisine onto the world stage. It’s a smaller, more intimate city than Lima; better for wandering about and discovering its nooks and crannies. The Santa Catalina Monastery is here also. This stunning complex is worth spending an afternoon. (Hint: pick up a guide at the entrance to learn about the deep cultural and religious history of this site.)
A perfect honeymoon would finish with some beach time. Northern Peru has some of the best beaches in the world. Mánorca is a great option – perfect for surfing and great for relaxing – a great way to cap off a great honeymoon.

Looking to learn more about Peru? Check out this video by Marca Peru and discover all the secrets that Peru has to offer.

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Costa Rica Adventure Honeymoon

The two of you are looking to pack as many adventures as possible into your adventure honeymoon. Hiking, jungle trekking, surfing and river rafting all sound appealing. You are in luck because your Costa Rica adventure honeymoon will pack all of these into a nice neat bundle. Snuggled in between Panama and Nicaragua with easy access from North America, Costa Rica offers many adventures and two coasts.

Costa Rica Adventure

Photo Credit: Matthias Prinke

Starting at the ocean, you are here for the surf. Both coasts offer many breaks to you for a ride. Good information on local conditions is available on line if you are experienced and packing your own board. Looking for lessons and a board rental then the number of shops are too numerous to mention. Pick a beach with surf and go for a stroll when you get there to survey the businesses first hand. Looking for a quick frolic in the waves, then pick up a couple of boogie boards feel the exhaustion while you sip beers on the beach afterwards.

Costa Rica Surfing

Photo Credit: Bodhi Surf School

Sticking with the water theme but moving inland and up. Let gravity feed your adrenaline with some white water rafting. With several rivers flowing down from the mountains, you can spend your entire vacation rafting down a different river section every day.

Costa Rica River Rafting

Photo Credit: David Berkowitz

Heading into the jungle and hiking up volcanos is next on the adventure. Jungle tours are plentiful in Costa Rica. The question to ask yourselves is what do you want to see. Leading the way in eco-tourism, the ability to immerse in natural ecosystems is preserved for future generations. Hunting for wildlife photos can be your goal. Making your way to stunning waterfalls and a perfect picnic spot may be your preference. Thinking something tougher, ascending a volcano for the views or challenge is right up your alley. Look towards Arenal Volcano National Park as a potential destination.

Costa Rica Arenal Volcano

Photo Credit: EVRT Studio