August 2015 Honeymoon Trip Ideas

Oct 13th, 2014, 09:24 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Oct 2014
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August 2015 Honeymoon Trip Ideas

Hello,

I have heard that the FODORs forums really help when it comes to trip planning, I am very compulsive when it comes to trip planning (planning out individual hours for our vacations) however, for our honeymoon I am overwhelmed with places to go. Below are some thoughts for what we are looking for and I am hoping this forum will lead me in a good direction for places to focus on!

1. Our wedding is August 1st, 2015. Our honeymoon will be August 2nd to August 12th, we may cut it a couple days shorter depending on cost and location. But it will 100% be at least 7 days long.

2. We will most likely fly out of Dulles (IAD), however; if Regan (WAS) or Baltimore (BWI) is significantly cheaper we would be willing to change to those airports. Obviously we will need a connection somewhere, most likely.

3. Our trips are always move, move, move! So for our honeymoon we would really like like something in one place that we wouldn't have to leave, so definitely All Inclusive (AI). We would like the resort to have a lot of restaurants and bars to choose from.

4. Our goal would be to stay in one location at one resort for the entire duration. I am interested in many islands, however; the forum would only let me select 5. I would be interested in , Anguilla, Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Curacao, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Jamaica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Kitts, St. Maaten/St. Martin, St. Vincent, Turks & Caicos, and U.S. Virgin Islands.

5. Up until research last night, we were SET on doing an AI in the Caribbean, however; June to November Hurricanes have me worried. I know over 10 couples who have traveled July and August in the Caribbean without any rain problems, but were they just lucky? Obviously we would get travel insurance, however; I really hope our honeymoon would not have to be cancelled for a storm . Which is why I am asking for thoughts/suggestions.

I have also seen complaints about bugs, humidity and heat. How much worse is the humidity and heat and bugs compared to DC in August? I feel that with the water/beach and going to the Caribbean for the sun and heat is the purpose of going? Also bugs, how bad are they lol?!

6. We would like something with a beach, and relaxation. However, we are not use to that, therefore; would like options such as, hiking, zip lining, scuba diving, spas, skiing/wake boarding, boating, snorkeling, ATV tours (on the beach? don't know if that is even an option anywhere), etc.

7. 100% something with EXTREMELY CLEAR WATER, something where you can see your feet when walking in it! Beautiful views/scenery! And a SAFE area! Finally, we would like something Couples or Adults only, however; if there is something amazing with Family that would be ok. Our first hope would be Couples or Adults though.

8. 100% we do not want to go to Mexico, Middle East, Maldives, U.S. (we have been everywhere and want something different), Africa, Aruba, Russia, Ukraine, Croatia, Turkey, Istanbul, Eastern Europe.

9. So our budget is flexible however, I would like a walkout beachfront room (or something of the same level), AI, Flights Included for hopefully $6K maybe $7K tops. The less expensive the better!

I hope I provided enough information! I look forward to everyone's responses and suggestions. Thank you in advance!!
WVUAlum_2012 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 11:13 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 5,623
I'll try to address some of your questions/concerns:

1) Early August is a great time for a Caribbean honeymoon - it's Low Season so there won't be many crowds but most restaurants, resorts and tour operators will still be in full operation and, the biggest plus of all - hotel/resort room rates will be at the lowest of the year.

2) You should be able to fly non-stop to several different islands (usually the larger ones) from Dulles. To reach smaller islands you'll need one or more connecting flights via Miami and/or one of the bigger Caribbean islands (or a ferry ride from one of the larger islands. I'm guessing you won't see much of a difference in airfares to any given destination from the three airports in your area. Generally speaking non-stop flights to the larger islands will be significantly less than airfares to islands requiring connecting flights.

3) You'll find the largest concentration of All Inclusives on Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and to a lesser extent Antigua so you might want to start your research there. Some of the islands on your list like Anguilla, the Caymans, Turks & Caicos are among the more expensive destinations in the Caribbean. Your travel dollar will go a lot further on the Dominican Republic, Antigua and Jamaica.

4) Your list of islands is way to extensive for anyone to give you guidance. You should try to narrow your choice down to 2 or 3 otherwise you'll be permanently perplexed. Start your basic research by using the "Destinations"drop down menu and select "Caribbean". Read the summaries of the different islands and choose 2 or 3 that most interest you and concentrate your search there. Save the other islands for future trips.

5) Yes, the official Atlantic/Caribbean Hurricane Season runs from June 1 through November 30 but the peak time for storms is between the end of August and the end of October. the odds of a hurricane occurring in early August are small and even if there was a storm brewing in early August the odds of it striking any given island during the week or so you are visiting is even rarer. You can research the frequency of hurricanes for any give island at www.stormcarib.com - use the Climatology link then select "Hits & Misses". Click on the island you wish to research and you'll find a chart listing the dates of every hurricane to affect that island since 1850. Study the data and you'll see how few hurricanes actually hit any given island.

6) Mountainous islands will have zip lining and lots of hiking. Flatter islands will generally have better scuba diving and snorkeling. You'll find spas, boating, water skiing, and ATV tours on every island (most islands DO NOT allow motorized vehicles on their beaches).

7) The Caribbean is know for having clear waters so you can find that on most islands. That said, the flatter limestone coral based islands will have whiter/lighter sand than the more mountainous islands and that will affect to water "color" when viewing it from a distance. The darker the sand, the darker blue the water will look.

8) No need to look at Mexico if you don't want to go there but they offer some of the best bargains in All inclusive Resorts.

9) A $6K to $7K budget for a week in August is very doable.

Good luck in your search.
RoamsAround is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 11:41 AM
  #4  
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Thank you very much! I will look over the next couple days and try to limit my Island search to two or three I really appreciate your advice, especially about the hurricane information (I was really nervous).
WVUAlum_2012 is offline  
Oct 13th, 2014, 02:22 PM
  #5  
 
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Bermuda is a great choice for a honeymoon, but it is expensive and I believe there is only one AI hotel. AI is really not necessary. The beaches are stunning and it is a really pretty island. Apart from DR, your list of islands is very good with quite a range. Martinique is a department of France and this seems to be a problem for some, presumably because of language and difficulty of getting there from the US. It does not have AI apart from maybe a Club Med if there is one, again it is not necessary. It has alot to offer, beauty, good food, plenty of activities. Curacao does not have the typical Caribbean landscape as it is dry and arid, it does have some great beaches and scuba diving. St Lucia has several AI hotels for all budgets, eg Rendezvous and has other hotels that although not AI do offer an AI option eg Anse Chastanet, TiKaye and others. The south of St Lucia has dark sand but very clear dark blue water and the north has lighter sand beaches.
Odin is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 10:16 AM
  #6  
KVR
 
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I am quite familiar with AI resorts, especially in Mexico, so I will try to address that issue for you.

First, August is prime hurricane season. Since no one can predict bad weather or a hurricane, then it's always best that if you choose to go at that time of year to go with an open mind and don't be too disappointed if you run into a tropical storm or hurricane. We have traveled many times during August/September to Mexico and the Caribbean and finally just gave up. We spent too much time in front of the TV watching the weather channel to see if our trip was going to be canceled, delays in airports and having to deal with the aftermath of a storm or hurricane at the destination we chose. It's quite disappointing just for a regular yearly trip. For a honeymoon, it would be worse. Get the hurricane trip insurance that you can cancel for ANY reason, not just if your flight is canceled or your hotel closes. It costs a little more, but it's so worth it. We have used this insurance once before and while other people were scrambling and getting canceled, we were able to change destinations with no problems.

Since you stated you really want an adults/couples only AI be aware that not all destinations even offer that option. The best destinations for this is Mexico, Jamaica and the Dominican Republic with Antigua and St. Lucia coming in behind as they are going to be more expensive and a little more difficult to get to. Putting in extremely clear water and some of the tings on your to do list and your choice is narrowed down even further.

With regards to the Islands that you listed you were interested in:

Anguilla - no AI's

Antigua - probably your best choice. Several AI's. I don't really care for the Sandal's brand after going to 2 of them. Galley Bay gets the most recommendations. Jumby Bay if it meets your budget, Coco Bay, and The Verandah to name a few.

Bahamas - I been to Sandals in Nassua. Didn't think it was worth the money. The RIU and Breezes brand on Paradise Island are low budget, family friendly resorts and I would not recommend. I don't believe any of the out Island have AI resorts.

Barbados - Have not been to Barbados because the AI resort options are about 2 - 3 times more expensive than Mexico, Jamaica and DR and are no where near as lux. There is a new Sandals there. They only have a handful of AI's and most are family oriented.

Turks & Caicos, Martinique, Bermuda, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands - No AI resorts. Except Grand Cayman has the Reef resort, which is out in the middle of nowhere, which is why it's AI and you'll need a car to get anywhere. However, the clearest water you will find next to Anguilla and Turks and Caicos. T & C has Beaches and Club Med. Definitely, not honeymoon resorts and nothing to do there except water related activities.

Curacao - Have been to Curacao. We did not do AI there because the options were so lacking. There is a former Breezes, no called Sunset. Not a honeymoon resort. Marriot and Hilton, again not a honeymoon option. It was very difficulty getting there. We had to fly to Aruba and then take a puddle jumper to Curacao.

Dominican Republic - Haven't been in many years. Most people do not like it. It's a AI haven because going off the resort is not recommended unless on a guided tour. The are many complaints about food issues. If your sole goal is to stay on the resort, eat, drink and be entertained by it, then it's a good choice.

Grenada - There is a brand new Sandals.

Jamaica - Have been to Jamaica twice; Negril and Ocho Rios. It was not one of our favorite destinations. Again, if you decide to leave the resort, you need a driver or use the resort's tour company. The Couples resorts are recommended. We stayed at the Jewell Dunn River resort in Ocho Rios and it's our 2nd favorite next to the Royal Playa del Carmen in Mexico. The resort used to be a Sandals, but it was better priced, better food and better service than the 2 Sandals we've been to. The Iberostars and Secrets resorts are very good AI brands and can be found in Montego Bay.

St. Lucia - Stayed at the Sandals Grande. Not impressed with the resort, but loved the Island. There are definitely better AI options there. St. Lucia is the type of destination that needs to be explored. If your goal is to sit on a resort, than wait until your next trip when you are ready to explore. You will not find clear water and white sandy beaches here.

St. Kitts, St. Maarten/St. Martin, St. Vincent - No too familiar with these Islands. St. Martin has lots of complaints of petty crime against tourists. Never made our 'to go' list. St. Kitts and St. Vincent are just too difficult to get to.

US Virgin Islands - St. Thomas - only a handful of AI resorts. The Marriott get the most recommendations. None are going to be honeymoon oriented. We didn't care for the US Virgin Islands and won't go back. St. John doesn't have AI resorts and St. Croix has one that is family oriented.

We get questions like this on a daily basis and it always amazes me that everything the OP is looking for is found in the very destination they do not want to go to: Mexico. It has it all and is priced right.

Here is a list of AI resorts in the Caribbean. Maybe it will help with your research and help you narrow it down:

http://www.caribbeanallinclusive.com...ve_resorts.cfm

Good Luck and Congrats!
KVR is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 10:29 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 244
The comments on hurricanes can me very misleading. The Caribbean islands cover a very wide area and yes, hurricanes occasionally pass through but I can assure you that planning around hurricanes is an exercise in futility. The weather is gorgeous year round with rainy periods sometimes but hurricanes are hit and really miss when it comes to planning a specific time. June and July mostly see them develop in the western areas, far from the eastern Caribbean. In August and September they generally form in the Atlantic and move westwards or northwest often skirting the islands. Of course, occasionally one will hit.

Believe me, don't seriously worry about it and plan your vacation.
rogandgee is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 10:45 AM
  #8  
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Thank you KVR for your detailed response! It really helped me A LOT!

Rongandgee - Thank you for your comment as well!
WVUAlum_2012 is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 12:11 PM
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I agree with rogandee - KVR's comments about hurricanes is misleading. For what it is worth, I have a home on a Caribbean Island so I speak from experience.

To put things in perspective, we had a Tropical Storm pass over us yesterday - that was the first storm to affect us this year and the first Tropical Storm or Hurricane to come close to the island since 2009. Also, in the last 163 years there have only been 16 hurricanes or tropical storms that struck our island during the month of August and only 4 of those occurred during the first 2 weeks of the month. So I stand by my comments tat the odds of a hurricane/tropical storm affecting any given island in August are relatively small.
RoamsAround is offline  
Oct 14th, 2014, 03:02 PM
  #10  
KVR
 
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Though I agree with RoamsAround comment regarding hurricanes to a certain extent, I do not agree that my comments are "misleading". People who actually get to live in the Caribbean don't tend to think storms and hurricanes are all that compared to the people, like me, who only get to vacation every so often. It's a major disappointment when you have planned all year for the perfect vacation and it's ruined by the weather because you picked the wrong week to go. My comments are based on my personal experience and unfortunately, we have been on the bad end of luck when it came to weather and our choice of destinations at the time. Just wanting you to be more aware so you can make an informed decision. I know if it was my honeymoon I was planning I would be more diligent than just an annual vacation. Again, we do not travel to the Caribbean or Mexico during that time frame anymore based on our on experience. We were married in a July and if I knew then what I know now, we would have been married the 3 week of May. Something to think about.
KVR is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 04:40 AM
  #11  
WWK
 
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Turks and Caicos does have some AI options. BEACHES is one of them. But I am pretty sure other resorts/hotels offer it, too.
WWK is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 09:09 AM
  #12  
KVR
 
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I did mention in my post that Turks and Caicos has 2 AI resorts: Beaches and Club Med. Neither are honeymoon resorts. The Venetian and Coral Gardens resorts used to offer an AI plan, but they no longer do so. Also, that destination would not fit the OP's activity want list.
KVR is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 11:51 AM
  #13  
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I think I took a complete turn! I am leaning towards Sandals LaSource in Grenada. I like the scuba diving they have to offer there, the underwater statue park, Bianca C, etc. All of the scuba diving is included which is nice.

I narrowed my decision to St. Lucia and Grenada and from what I found seems like Grenada has clearer water, better beaches and a little bit more safe for tourists.

Let me know if I am making a horrible decision!
WVUAlum_2012 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2014, 12:32 PM
  #14  
KVR
 
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Have not been to Grenada because it is too difficult to get there. Again, I am not a Sandals fan. However, not all Sandals are created equal. I do feel there are better less expensive options than what Sandals provides. I also did not like the unequal treatment for Sandals return guests vs. new patrons vs. room category purchase.

Based on personal experience I would go with a different resort. As for destinations, I don't think you could go wrong with either.

Here's a Sandals forum if your interested run by a Sandals preferred TA that I know personally and have booked my 2 Sandals trips with. Most of the people on that forum though have changed their Sandals loyalty to Mexico for obvious reasons: price, better service, food, more lux, better inclusions, etc.

http://www.tropictravelonline.com/ub...ubbthreads.php

If you have the time and money there are some destinations that you can do day trips with to other Islands. If you go with St. Lucia you can day trip to Martinique and St. Vincent. If you stay on Barbados you can go to St. Lucia, Grenada and St. Vincent.

If your interested try these links:

http://stluciareps.com/tours/type/tr...ouring-islands

http://www.chantours.com/
KVR is offline  
Oct 18th, 2014, 02:47 PM
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If you do consider the Dominican Republic I would suggest that you look at the Bayahibe area. That is on the south coast and it is more protected from bad weather than for example Punta Cana or Puerto Plata. Here you also have the best diving/snorkeling in the country, and the water is beautiful since it is the Caribbean sea and not the Atlantic ocean as in Punta Cana. You also have many other water sport options like Stand Up Paddle boarding, Seabob, Flyboard etc. And also other excursions like to Saona Island for example.

A popular AI resort for honeymoons are Dreams La Romana resort, and there are also several AI in Dominicus that are just outside Bayahibe.
MB2014 is offline  
Oct 18th, 2014, 04:01 PM
  #16  
 
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FYI Grenada and st Lucia aren't really scuba destinations--

St Lucia doesn't have overly turquoise water (although gorgeous scenery)

Grenada has a couple of turquoise water beaches, but still not overall turquoise like other islands

Are you stuck on ai? Why not consider Palm Island in SVG. Gorgeous scenery, snorkel at Tobago Cays.

Or forget ai as St John's Virgin Islands sounds exactly what you're looking for

After all it's your honeymoon!
blamona is offline  
Oct 20th, 2014, 06:56 AM
  #17  
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Blamona thank you for your comment.

Yes, we are sold on the AI; particularly Sandals. With everything right at the resort and Scuba included, water sports included, etc it just seems like the best deal for us right now.

MB2014: I was considering some of the Dominican Republic until I looked at the State Department website and I became very concerned with DR. But I do agree with what you said. I just want to make sure we are at a safe location.
WVUAlum_2012 is offline  
Oct 22nd, 2014, 06:25 PM
  #18  
 
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I really think that you would feel safe in Bayahibe. It is a small fishing village and the area is very quiet. I live in the village myself, and even if I am a woman living alone, and move around the village at any time, day or night, I have never felt unsafe.

I know that it is different in other parts of the country, but I wouldn't worry about safety here. Not with the normal precautions, of course. But that applies for the whole world!
MB2014 is offline  
Feb 24th, 2015, 10:35 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
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Hi, I am in the same situation as you were. Did you happen to choose where you are going on your honeymoon? We are debating St. Lucia Sandals or Hawaii. We know we will get a lot more for our money in St. Lucia but Hawaii is Hawaii and I don't really know if St. Lucia can compete. We are looking mostly to sit on the beach, drink cocktails and relax but are also up for some adventures. Would love to know which destination you went with. Thanks!
sschneck22 is offline  
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