For brides looking to create an “all about us” honeymoon experience, a wealth of options abound in the Caribbean, which boasts a number of destinations well equipped to cater to the romantic notions of newlywed vacationers.“Most of the brides I work with want all-inclusive resorts, beaches, spa treatments and great food,” said Caryn Angus, owner of CA-Travel in Mansfield. “The Caribbean offers all of these, and the warm waters of the Atlantic, plus great scuba. It’s a very popular choice.”Couples dreaming of a honeymoon in a tropical paradise are advised to begin planning at least eight months ahead---and to start saving their coins. Much of the cost of a Caribbean vacation will likely be absorbed in air travel fees, which continue to show little signs of dropping: Airlines raised fares a whopping 16 times in 2011 and 2012, according to a January USA Today travel report, and they also collected millions in baggage-handling fees.“For a five-night honeymoon in the Caribbean at a nice resort, you’re looking at $3,800 on up,” said Angus. “Some of the flights we’ve done are $900 a person.“If you’ve got airline miles, they can help a lot,” she said. “Or, if budget is tight, you might consider choosing a resort in Mexico, since it’s less expensive to fly there.”One way that Angus saves her customers money is by booking early. “We get better flights and good rooms that way,” she said. “Then, if the resort later runs a promotion where the price for that package drops, we can go back and get you the better price, or maybe upgrade your room.”Besides budget and logistical matters, Angus recommends that brides also spend some time thinking about what types of experiences they want to enjoy on their beach honeymoon, which will in turn help them know which island they would like to visit.“Do you want to lay on the beach the whole time, or go zip lining or do touristy things?” she asked. “My job is to help ask those questions, and make sure that their trip is perfect. I want them to not have to worry about anything when it’s time to leave.”
St. Martin-St. Maarten
This dual-governed island offers a sampling of French and Dutch cultures, multi-week carnivals, plenty of open-air restaurants and a spicier atmosphere than its more tranquil Caribbean counterparts.
Turks and Caicos
If scenery’s your thing, you just might love this tiny chain of islands known for dazzling blue waters, gorgeous coral, stark-white beaches and a slow-paced vibe.
The Caymans offer bustling all-inclusive resorts and lesser travelled diving destinations, plus hiking on the 200-year-old Mastic Trail for a look at the island’s beautiful swamps and woodlands.
St. Kitts and Nevis
If you’re looking for rock star treatment, you might try this favorite celebrity playground, which boasts golfing, four-star restaurants and breathtaking views.