Vacation Novices

Here’s the honest truth: Justin and I are vacation novices.

On October 18th, we will have been together for 3 years time. In those 3 years, we have never taken a vacation together. Go ahead: take a minute to let that all sink in. In our time together, we have made a few trips out of town; lastΒ  year we went to my friend’s wedding in DC/visited family in Boston, and then in April we attended another friend’s wedding in Arizona. We did take a 3 day weekend over in Orlando recently on the spur of the moment, but does that really count? Orlando is pretty much local for us. Anyway, we have never taken a vacation that was planned just for the two of us; we have always had commitments/events to attend/family to be with.

Until now.

I’ve waited and waited for this trip. When we were planning our wedding in 2009/early 2010, we had booked a honeymoon to take directly after our wedding. However, Justin started a new job a few months before our nuptials and was unable to take vacation time so soon after being hired. So: we cancelled our honeymoon. On our wedding night, we stayed at the lovely Sandpearl hotel on Clearwater beach, but the next evening we were back at our apartment because Justin had to go back to work the following morning.

Some time passed. We talked about planning our “honeymoon,” albeit very belated. It was nice knowing we had some flexibility with planning, since we weren’t trying to leave on a trip directly after a wedding. Spring of 2011 was too early (plus we had my friend’s wedding we had to budget for). Summer 2011 – hurricane season. We didn’t want to risk taking a trip and being rained on the entire time. So we settled on Fall 2011. We considered booking the original location we had selected, but after a bit of research we changed our minds. We booked our trip to Capella Ixtapa, and I could not be more excited.

***images via Capella Ixtapa***

I’m also a bit nervous. Since we haven’t been on a real, “adult” vacation before, I have no idea what to expect (and that can be a good thing). But, it also raises a lot of questions in my mind. Yes, this is our “honeymoon,” but is it really? I keep calling it that, but I don’t know that the experience will be the same for us as it would have been 1.5 years earlier when we were freshly married. I mean, how far after the wedding can it actually be called a honeymoon? If you want to get technical about it…I wikipedia’d “honeymoon,” and it says the time period is about a month after the wedding. In our case, the excitement of being a newlywed is pretty much over for us (that isn’t to say that I’m not excited to be married to Justin, because I totally am. Every day). On one hand, I’m positive that going on this trip will be a nice refresher: and call me cynical, but I just don’t see us acting like the giddy, fresh faced newlyweds we would have been in May of 2010. That is definitely fine; we will have our own experiences unique to us. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel just a little bit cheated out of the exciting honeymoon experience I could have had in 2010.

Then again, we’ve had 1.5 years to save up to have an even more luxurious trip than we would have had in 2010: hooray for upgrades! So there’s that. Give and take.

I’m not even going to get started today with the “what should I expect” questions I have, as there are many. Thankfully, many of you chimed in with some suggestions for first time couple vacationers, and I’ll be sharing them (and taking notes)!

So tell me: when and where did you take your honeymoon (if you had one)? Did you leave immediately after you wedding, or was there a delay? If you haven’t been on one: where would you like to go?


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  • So first off – yay for a vacation away for just the 2 of you! Second, despite wiki, call it your honeymoon! Hotels, airlines, waiters love seeing honeymooners and often that will get you free stuff – remember Friends?! We got upgraded to an amazing suite in Paris because we mentioned we were on our honeymoon, so roll with it and enjoy any possible perks πŸ˜‰

    To answer your other questions – we went on a honeymoon, left the day after our wedding and while our European adventure – London, Paris, Rome – was amazing, I wish we hadn’t gone immediately after the wedding. I woke up the morning after our wedding sick from stress and being overrun, I had an 8 hour international flight which was miserable and then the first 2 days in London, hubs went out exploring while I slept off my cold. Not ideal.

    I think yall will have an awesome time and after being with my now hubs for 6 years, living together 5.5 of those, any vacation together with just the 2 of you will spark the excitement that will harken those newlywed days πŸ™‚

  • It could be because my husband and I are away from each other often (thankyouverymuch military), but I truly believe you can go on a honeymoon no matter how long you’ve been married. Every vacation with him is a honeymoon in my opinion. It’s fun to be in a new place and experience new things. We do get giddy and act like newlyweds (a term we still use, by the way, even though we’re coming up to the two-year mark as well)! It keeps things fun!

    As for your questions, we did a Sandals resort immediately following our wedding in February 2010!

  • October 18th is my 3 year dating anniversary with my bf! what a fun coincidence!
    I can’t believe you’ve never been on a vacation together! not that we’ve been on too many (i think 3, one a year) but that’s crazy! It will totally make this vacation super extra special no matter what, and you can totally still call it your honeymoon!

  • You guys are going to have a blast! That location looks amazing!

    Our Mexican honeymoon was a month after the wedding because my husband had to finish up with his finals for school. We did take a couple of days right after the wedding to just get out of town.

  • We went to Whistler, B.C. for our honeymoon and went skiing. We are a very active couple, so this was the perfect vacation for us. We played hard during the day, and relaxed in the evening. It was the best vacation I have ever had.

    We left 2 days after the wedding, so it was pretty much right after. We had enough time to relax a *little* bit, and then jet set to Canada.

    I think you are definitely going on a honeymoon, and you should definitely call it that! So what if you had a little time in between. You are doing it now, and that is all that counts πŸ™‚ Live it up and have an amazing time!

  • You are totally going on a honeymoon! Enjoy it πŸ™‚
    I’m 5 months pregnant and have been married for a bit more than a year and half. I’m still waiting for that honeymoon we were going to take…
    That said, I did move to England after the wedding…
    Anyway, I’m totally calling it a honeymoon whenever we actually take that trip to Rome!

  • We postponed our honeymoon, too. We were married in August but won’t leave for our honeymoon until December for a few reasons: I was hoping to have a teaching job after the wedding, and taking a week off during the school year wasn’t going to happen. Also, my husband gets an extra week of vacation in December, so it just made sense. Like you said, we’ve been able to save money for upgrades, too!

    Enjoy your honeymoon – it looks like paradise!

  • The hubster and I took a honeymoon a few hours after our reception ended to Hawaii. The decision to take a honeymoon was last minute(2 weeks prior to the wedding) since we run our own business, but my MIL was gracious to offer to help us run our shop while we took a short vaca. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love Hawaii, but would have preferred something further/more exotic. The hubster and I got scuba certified while we were there!

  • That looks so great! We didn’t take a honeymoon because we didn’t have time really. We married in May, went right back to work then my mom passed away, we bought a house, and now I’m pregnant! Plus, we have a 2-year-old to deal with. I mean, I love her but I don’t want her on our honeymoon…
    My ideal location would be Greece, failing that we thought about a quick trip to Savannah.

  • Oh it looks so beautiful! You’re going to have so much fun. And call it a honeymoon, because that’s what it is, no matter how far after the wedding it is!

  • That looks beautiful! The idea of an “adult vacation” always seems strange to me too. It just seems so fancy!

    I am getting married this weekend (!) and we’re just taking a short three day honeymoon to Seattle (we live in Oregon) since my fiance has to be back to work by Thursday.

  • We left the day after our wedding on a cruise. If I could give brides to be a piece of advice it would be to wait at least a day between the wedding and the honeymoon departure as it was STRESSFUL getting ourselves to the port.

    You’re going to have a blast and I think it would be magical regardless if it was a week or years from the wedding day.

    • That is definitely something that we thought about afterward as well! We were so incredibly exhausted for a few days after the wedding; I’m not sure if we would have been at 100% on a vacation!

  • We took ours 10 months after the wedding! Like you, life got in the way. Work…school…financial..after the wedding just was NOT going to happen. We’d never been on a vacation that didn’t involve seeing family before either. We went to Jamaica, and it was great! We told people it was our honeymoon…and that was weird because they then got in to arguments with us about how it couldn’t be our honeymoon ’cause we’d been married too long. Well, I still believed it was. And with a little argument, I pursuaded our resort to agree also (there were perks for honeymooners, which they tried to take deny us when they found out our actual wedding date). Anyway, your resort looks amazing! I hope you have a fabulous time!!

    • There were actually a few places that we researched that require you to show your marriage certificate if you book the honeymoon package…because they have a cut off for how long you’re allowed to book it! Needless to say, we weren’t going to go to one of those places….

  • We left the day after our wedding specifically because we wanted that freshly-married honeymoon experience. I hope you have a fantastic time!!

  • We left the Monday after our Saturday wedding for our honeymoon in Cancun – It was absolutely amazing, and I’d highly recommend waiting the extra day! We spent Sunday sleeping in and having breakfast in bed in our honeymoon suite, having family and out of town guests over for brunch to see our house/open gifts, taking a long nap, and, you know, packing for our trip. It was wonderful!

    I’d definitely still call the trip your honeymoon! Like Stephanie said, it may get you some upgrades, and more imporantly, that’s what it is! I’m guessing you’ll be so excited for your first relaxing vacation that you’ll still have the giddy, fresh faced appearances – We were asked on our last trip if we were honeymooners! It’s hard to hide the excitement of a trip together!

  • I got married in early August last year and we honeymooned in late November. For me, it was still every bit as exciting as I assume it would have been if it were immediately following the wedding – we also lived together and had owned our house for 4 years before we were married, and had been dating/engaged almost 5 years before our wedding without a proper vacation. Honestly, “honeymoon” or not, I think yoi’ll have a fabulous time and be so stoked just to have your first real vacation together!!

  • The trip sounds fabulous, enjoy every moment!

    We got married in August, took a mini honeymoon to Cancun in October and took our ‘real’ honeymoon to Europe the following spring.

  • I just wanted to say have a great time! I am sure you will love it. I went immediately after the wedding and sometimes I wish we hadn’t. I was exhausted after the wedding planning and spent two days really catching up on sleep, but didn’t see everything I wanted to see because of the sleeping. We went to St. Lucia at the Sandals Resort and it was amazing. I would go back today (if I had the money and time). Again, enjoy yourself and have a great honeymoon! πŸ™‚

    • I know what you mean – wedding planning can really take it out of you! I was a zombie the day after the wedding; I’m not sure I would have been of the right mind to attempt traveling!

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