Planning a Valentine's Day Trip

Valentine's Day falls on a weekend this year, which makes it the perfect time to take a short trip! I have always loved Valentine's Day (even when I was single), because I am so thankful for the love of travel, friends and new experiences. I won't be taking a trip this year, but if I were here is where I would go. 1. Take a road trip- I think road trips are so romantic! Plus they require a lot less planning than a full on vacation. One of our favorite places to take a road trip is to the Texas Hill Country. When I lived in Atlanta I loved renting a cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains. Just hop in your car and drive!

2. Take a mini-moon- If you have a little more time on your hand, plan a fun weekend getaway to somewhere romantic. We just returned home from Charleston, which I found to be very romantic with the quaint streets and restaurants. If you have a little more time on your hands you can always visit two of my favorite romantic hot spots: Punta Mita Mexico or Turks and Caicos.

3. Take a trip with friends- One of my new year's resolutions was to take more trips with friends and this weekend is a great time to do it! If you are single (or even if you aren't), there are a million trips you could do over Valentine's Day. Some of my favorite trips I took with friends last year are Philadelphia and Breckenridge.

Are you going anywhere over Valentine's Day this year??

Finding the Balance when Planning Honeymoon Travel

When we first started planning our honeymoon, I had big plans for what I wanted to do! Obviously I love to travel and explore, but I also wanted to make sure we left plenty of time for resting and relaxation. My best two tips for finding the balance when planning your honeymoon are: Don't over plan, but don't under plan.

Don't Over Plan:

After your wedding, you are going to be TIRED. Add up months of stress, planning and making decisions, with an all night dance party, followed by a long flight across the world. YOU WILL BE TIRED. Don't over plan and wear yourself out. Plan a day for rest when you arrive and an additional time for relaxation. I know there are some people who like to have every second planed and some people who know they just want to sit in a beach chair and never move. I respect both of those people and urge the first type to take a break. On our honeymoon to Australia we spent a few days in Hamilton Island, which was the perfect place for relaxation. We also took the first night we arrived to rest so we wouldn't over do it.

Don't Under Plan: 

I know I just said not to over plan, but you also don't want to UNDER plan. You are, after all, on a trip of a lifetime with your significant other. You should do a few things! For me, I planned a few activities and made a few dinner reservations. I wasn't going to go all the way to Australia and not spend some time in the Great Barrier Reef! It's also important to me that we don't get stuck eating at a diner each night. With a few activities planned and some great dinners on the horizon, we had a bunch of things to look forward to on our honeymoon!

Planning your honeymoon can be tricky, but if you plan just the right amount of time, you are sure to have the perfect trip!

How to pick a honeymoon destination

When Adam and I got engaged three years ago, I was most excited to plan our honeymoon (that shouldn't surprise you!). But, all of the wedding planning and constant decision making had me sort of exhausted from making anymore decisions. I used some pretty strict criteria to decide where we should go to limit planning and decision making. Here are the three main things I thought about: 1. You should go far! I knew that this was one of the few times when I could get two full weeks off work without anyone questioning the length of my trip. We also live really close to Mexico and the Caribbean, so I wanted to make sure went somewhere that wasn't just an hour or two plane flight away.

2. Go somewhere that is relatively easy to plan. This was really, really important to me. I was DYING to go to Africa, but I knew that I couldn't organize the trip, meals, packing, shots, etc in the amount of time I had to plan everything. We picked Australia because it was a) english speaking b) required no special visas, packing or shots and c) had a direct flight from Texas.

3. Pick somewhere with a mix of relaxation, culture and adventure. This is really a personal preference, but I didn't want to spend an entire two weeks on the beach. I did want to relax, enjoy city life and also do a few adventurous activities. There are a bunch of great destinations that offer all of these and I highly recommend mixing it up a little.

Based on that criteria I had narrowed it down to Australia and Hawaii. We ended up picking Australia because we had both been to Hawaii. It was absolutely amazing and the perfect honeymoon spot (I'll write more later about our time in Sydney, Hamilton Island and Brisbane).

What are your favorite honeymoon destinations? What criteria did you use to pick a spot?