For teachers, support staff and all those going on honeymoon during the school holidays, all it takes is a little canny planning to help you stay within budget, avoid the crowds and enjoy a honeymoon that’s perfect for you. Our Destination Specialists share their top tips to ensure that, whenever you travel, your honeymoon in Asia gets a gold star.
To do list: 1) Book honeymoon, 2) Propose. Well, maybe not in that order, but you get the idea!
Though it’s pretty-much universal to secure wedding venues and all the trimmings a long time in advance, it’s not uncommon for honeymoon bookings to be left until the last minute. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but costs can rise and choices become limited the nearer you get to going away, especially when those dates fall within school holidays.
Ed’s top tip for making sure you get the most from your peak-time honeymoon is to book as early as possible, ideally 10-12 months in advance. If you’re going away during the summer, book the September before as there are often airline sales on during this period. Getting your initial itinerary in place well in advance too means you can relax in the knowledge that your honeymoon is shaping up perfectly while you focus on fine-tuning your celebrations.
Even within fixed school holidays, there are advantages to being flexible about exactly when you travel. If you are set on a summer honeymoon, booking for the end of the school holidays rather than the beginning can be a bonus. The last couple of weeks of August are often a good time to travel to Asia, as you’ll miss the initial flurry of visitors from the UK but still catch the best of high season in full flow.
Are you planning a spring wedding, or happy to delay your honeymoon until then? Visiting Asia during the Easter holidays means you can you enjoy the best weather across much of the region without jostling with sky-high visitor numbers.
Christmas travel can be expensive, so if you’re having a festive wedding you could consider travelling the following Easter or summer to get more from your honeymoon budget.
To make sure your honeymoon scores top marks, going to the right destination at the right time of year is key. Summer island-hopping in Indonesia can take you anywhere from the uber-luxury options in Bali and Java to the slower-paced seclusion of Lombok and the Gillis, so you can mix and match your honeymoon exactly to your wishes and enjoy tropical sun throughout the country. Borneo is a top choice for active couples craving a bit of trekking and wildlife watching, with the option of some beach time too, while Vietnam (an enduring honeymoon superstar) has ideal weather for chilling out on the beaches around Nha Trang, Hue and Hoi An during the summer.
Have your heart set on Sri Lanka? The north-east offers a romantic blend of fragrant spices and paradise sands that shimmer in the dry heat between May and September, offering ideal honeymoon seclusion in this lesser-visited part of the country.
If you want to add something extra special into the mix, it doesn’t get much more evocative than an Eastern and Oriental Express train journey through the spectacular Malaysian countryside, with the full sleeper-cabin and cocktail-dining treatment. Connecting with the locals is a great way to see your destination in a new light, and our friends on the ground love making a fuss over newly-married couples! Perhaps go for ultimate spa indulgence with an atmospheric underground retreat for two at the Banjaran geothermal resort? Or why not stay on an exclusive Indonesian island, where you can truly relax, recharge and reconnect - just the two of you?
It’s hard to get further away from it all than out on the water in a private boat. Set sail on a sampan houseboat in the Mekong Delta, take a wildlife-watching riverboat through Kalimantan or cruise through Myanmar’s Mergui Archipelago in Myanmar.
During school holidays, many resorts will, naturally, be full of families enjoying time together. Lovely as this is, it might not strike the right note for honeymoon-style romantic solitude! If you fancy a calm, more adult-centric vibe, there are a number of options.
Adult-only resorts can be a good choice as the emphasis will always be on creating the right atmosphere for newlyweds. The Shore at Katathani in Phuket and the Spa Village Resort Tembok in Bali are both centred around giving couples dedicated and quality time together, and Kayumanis in the forested Ubud hills is the ultimate honeymoon retreat.
If you’re pushing the boat out (excuse the pun!), chartering a private yacht, like the Alexa in the Komodo National Park, gives you ultimate privacy, flexibility and a crew to take the strain while you enjoy the luxury.