Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Best Honeymoon Destinations for February 2012

The thing about getting married early in the calendar is that couples often find themselves hitting the airport right in mid-season.  This can mean high costs or tremendous discounts, which is why the best honeymoon destinations for February 2012 provide such a wide range of places to go.  The biggest question mark isn’t if you will end up in a great location, but whether you are in the mood to relax under abundant sunshine or see the sights of a bustling metropolis.  As you’ll see below, you and your spouse are spoiled for choice either way.

Warm-weather Hotspots
Many couples opt for tropical locales when they start their new life together and, thankfully, there are choices in all range of budgets to fit your needs.  Though this time of year is often the height of tourist season for most locations, you are still very likely to find plenty of choices available.  Here are the ideal spots for your first getaway as husband and wife:

St. Lucia
The Caribbean is filled with the rocky remains of hundreds of volcanoes, which leaves honeymooners with plentiful options for lush landscapes built on the fertile soils that result.  On this island, perhaps more than all the rest, you will be treated to the stark contrast of jagged green mountains poking from the beautiful waters below.  The soft sands and turquoise lagoons are picturesque on their own, but when you put the stunning mountains covered with tropical rainforests alongside them, it’s almost too much to bear.  Just as good for nature lovers as it is for beach bums, you two will find it an ideal place make memories to last a lifetime.

Thanks to a well-developed tourism industry, you will be able to enjoy all the island has to offer for relatively inexpensive prices (though it doesn’t have the duty-free shopping of its competitors).  The wide number of all-inclusive resorts and a few sizable cities make it a favorite for travelers of all ages, but honeymooners often get special treatment – couples’ massages, private dinners and a free bottle of champagne among them.  You will find there are dozens of available activities on the water and in the villages, as delightful beaches give you plenty to do when the sun is up and the vibrant nightlife takes over after it goes down.

There are a lot of details to pull together when you’re planning a honeymoon – dates, flights, hotels, and activities mix in your brain to form a confusing soup of information.  Making sure you have the right balance between tremendous attractions and affordability can be difficult, but Hawaii is a great choice just for that reason.  There are dozens of stunning sights and numerous five-star resorts <em>per island</em>.  When your plane lands at the beginning of your trip to the United States’ Jewel of the Pacific, your head will spin thanks to all Mother Nature has to offer.

There are few places on the planet that can boast the combination of tropical sunshine and breathtaking beaches that Fiji can, which is why honeymooning couples flock here every year.  The South Pacific is one of the most amazing locations in all the world – you will not believe your eyes when you first glimpse the clear blue waters of its tranquil lagoons and the powdery soft sands bunching up between your toes.  You and your spouse will immediately feel like you’ve stepped into Paradise, leaving you to do nothing but enjoy the separation from the troubles of your busy life and reconnect as you begin your new life together.

Situated in two rows off the southwestern coast of India, you should only schedule your honeymoon in Maldives if you wish to celebrate your wedding on one of the most idyllic beach paradises you will find anywhere in the world.  A collection of almost 1,200 coral islands, most of which are uninhabited, they are organized by the government as 26 atolls.  Defined by turquoise waters lapping against super-soft white sands, this picturesque gem in the Indian Ocean will enchant you every moment you are away.  Start your marriage off on the right foot by traveling here – you won’t regret it!

Off-season Wonders
For many European and North American cities, February is the slowest month of the year for tourism.  The period between Christmas and the spring thaw leaves many places relatively empty, as residents escape for sunny vacations of their own.  What does this mean for newlyweds planning their honeymoon?  Some of the world’s best destinations – with all of their plentiful attractions – can be visited for significantly less than any other time of the year.  Hotels are competing for guests, as are theaters and museums, so you might save as much as 50 percent in some cases!

Every year, the City of Light is one of the most popular tourist spots on the planet.  The vast number of cultural attractions and exquisite food draw visitors from all over the world.  With so much to see and do, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, which is why it helps to have a serene place to go at the end of the day.  No matter which arrondissement you choose to stay in (there are 19 districts in the French capital), you will find the perfect blend of access to major attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre and separation from the flood of travelers.  When it comes to romance, many would say there is no better destination anywhere in the world.

Of all the cities in Europe, you could argue Venice is on equal footing with Paris as the best place for lovers.  Whether it’s the gondola rides, the winding streets or the bright colors and intrigue surrounding Carnivale, it’s little wonder honeymoons are scheduled here all the time.  A simple ride down the canals or stroll along the sidewalk will have you in awe of the spectacular architecture and Old World feel.  It is no surprise Shakespeare chose to write about the merchants of this fair city – they made sure their wealth turned it into one of the most marvelous places on the planet.

New York
The lure of the Big Apple, with its skyscraping monuments to human ambition and stylish designer shops, is difficult for many to resist.  The sheer number of options available to fill up a vacation make New York City an ideal location for your honeymoon no matter what time of year you get married.  From the Financial District to the Upper West Side, you will find excellent restaurants, charming galleries, and fascinating architecture around every corner.   And, thanks to lower numbers of tickets being sold, chances are very good you’ll be able to land a fantastic seat at one of the many Broadway shows available in Times Square.

The Eternal City, center of the Roman Empire and the world’s most influential church, is the prime attraction for most tourists making their way to Italy.  The capital has benefited from massive wealth over the centuries, allowing numerous buildings to be constructed with ambitious designs and tight timelines.  Thanks to a particular bit of genius, structures like the Colosseum and Forum Romanum still stand amongst dozens of attractions today.  Each has its own unique charm and stunning elegance, which makes it all the more difficult to pick just a handful to see!

Filled with a mixture of classic buildings and modern architecture, it’s well worth it to take a stroll down the street and soak in the contrasts of the British capital.  You will, of course, want to schedule a visit to Buckingham Palace and the Tower of London, but there are a multitude of magnificent museums to choose from.  If you are in the mood for different piece of the cultural pie, grab tickets for a play or musical in the West End before taking a sunset cruise down the Thames River.  And, if that’s not enough, you can window shop the designer stores of Oxford Street or peruse the goods at Harrods when your inner shopaholic could use a fix.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Amazing Holiday Destinations for February 2012

Planning a vacation early in the year to recuperate from holiday stress and the rush to get everything at work back up to speed afterwards? Thankfully, there are some amazing holiday destinations for February 2012 to plan for. And, depending on how much time you have, that can mean everything from a week on the beach to ten days hiking in nature. No matter what you are in the mood for, options abound, so here are some ideas to get you started:

It might seem like an odd time to hit Paris, London, or Rome, but it is actually the perfect time of year to do so – if you can handle some chilly weather and carrying an umbrella, that is. After the excitement of the festive period and before spring blossoms, tourists generally avoid everything but the mountains, which means you can find serious bargains in the cities.

New Zealand
Have some time to pass? Want a break from the stresses of everyday life? Head to the home of <em>The Lord of the Rings</em> and take on a backpacking adventure of your own. You’ll arrive near the end of the country’s warmest months, when everything is still bright green before succumbing to lower autumn temperatures, making it an ideal time to take in some of the planet’s most beautiful landscapes.

Costa Rica
To be fair, there’s hardly a bad time to visit this Central American nation with Caribbean and Pacific shores, but this is the height of the dry season. You’ll be able to hike through the cloud forests and hear the sounds of the tropical jungle with hardly a raindrop to be found. And, after all that walking, you’ll be able to stretch out on some of the finest sands the region has to offer – or hit the waves if relaxation isn’t your thing.