How To Get More For Your Money
Of all the holidays you’ll ever take, your honeymoon is probably the most anticipated and ambitious. Whether in a luxurious or adventurous sense, honeymooning newlyweds are all hoping for that once-in-a-lifetime experience.
But the grand scale of plans doesn’t necessarily have to correlate with price. Even the most in-demand or far-flung destinations have certain dates when you’ll get more for your money, without having to sacrifice good weather or other important factors.
To help newlyweds plan the perfect trip, Booking.com created a guide to the best honeymoon destinations and the best times to go.
To come up with these recommendations, Booking.com data specialists first looked at the average price per night of 4* and 5* accommodation[i] in some of the world’s most popular honeymoon destinations. Then, to determine which destinations to recommend for which season, they looked at the yearly overview of pricing fluctuations to find the best weeks to stay in each place.
These were not always the absolute cheapest week of the year (as otherwise travellers might find themselves in the midst of the monsoon!) but still had attractive pricing and temperatures compared to other seasons and destinations. And factors like the city’s local events and holidays were also accounted for, as this can often affect an accommodation’s rates.
So here is your definitive guide to help you plan your honeymoon, with two options per season. One off-the-beaten-path or active choice and one for those looking for something more classic or luxurious. Enjoy!
December – February
Adventurous – Kyoto
For honeymooners seeking something unconventional, Kyoto promises to deliver. Alongside its dreamy tea houses, gardens and Buddhist temples, it’s also a city of sleek modernity (hopping on the bullet train is a real treat) with a phenomenal choice of Michelin-starred restaurants. Though it may be biting cold at this time of year, if you’re willing to wrap up warm, the peaceful shrines empty of crowds and – if you’re lucky – coated with snow are blissfully romantic. And Japanese soul food Nabe (hot pot) is perfect for warming up. Around Christmas is also known as a time for romance in Japan, with Christmas Eve traditionally the most important night of the year in terms of impressing your lover.
Last year, the final week of January was ¥19926 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 53% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year at ¥42696.
Classic – Paris
Snuggle up in a cosy Parisian café, wander the frosty Jardin des Tuileries before stopping off at The Louvre or eyeing up the glittering festive window displays at Galeries Lafayette. The city of love is a magical honeymoon destination, with elegant architecture lining leafy boulevards and the illuminated Champs-Elysees perfect for a romantic nighttime stroll. It’s easy to see why Paris is an old-time honeymoon favourite, with its combination of art and history, fine dining and its splendid cityscape.
Last year, the final week of February was €171 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 45% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year at €308 in June.
March – May
Adventurous – Kauai
The oldest of the Hawaiian Islands, Kauai is a surreal tropical utopia. Hike through its lush green rainforest, through canyons and valleys and come across cascades and dramatic mountain peaks. The island’s pristine white sandy beaches offer fantastic surf, while kayaking, sailing and snorkeling are also popular here. But a honeymoon in Kauai doesn’t have to be jam-packed with activity, its appeal also lies in its seclusion – its natural beauty and quiet mean you’ll feel like you’ve gone completely off the beaten track even when staying in a smart hotel.
Prices decreased towards the end of May last year, with the third week of May USD408 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 36% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year at USD637.
Classic - Saint Barthelemy
The sophistication and stunning natural surroundings of St Barts make it a classic honeymoon go-to. Expect aquamarine seas, divine beaches and glamourous accommodation. The island has a distinctly St Tropez feel, meaning gourmet food and lots of glitz. Aside from shopping and people-watching, you could easily while away your holiday exploring and snorkeling off the island’s 22 beaches, each one embodying a particular laid-back St Barts vibe.
Last year, the penultimate week of April was €515 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 64% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year at €1439 in the lead up to Christmas.
June – August
Adventurous - Hamilton Island
Hamilton Island, right in the middle of Australia’s Whitsunday archipelago, is so picture-perfect it’s like a cliché. A desert island fantasy, dark green tropical forests rise up from the softest of white sand and the colour of the water is almost blindingly blue. Sailing around the region is a popular, and arguably the best, way to experience it. But you can also relax in one of Hamilton Island’s gorgeous resorts, interspersed with outings to various natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef.
Last year, the second week of August was AUD391 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 27% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year at AUD538.
Classic – Sonoma
For a classic honeymoon spent indulging in fine wines and haute cuisine while enjoying California’s sunny climes, head to Sonoma. It’s less expensive and more laid-back than Napa but still offering world-class wineries, boutique hotels and striking scenery. Also less crowded than Napa, Sonoma is perfect for peaceful, romantic retreats if you want to feel like you have the valley to yourselves. And the months of June to August offer summer weather while being cheaper than the subsequent harvest season.
Last year, the third week of June was USD324 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 42% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year in October at USD558.
September – November
Adventurous – Udaipur
Udaipur is often said to be India’s most romantic city, perhaps the world’s. Right at its heart lies the glassy blue surface of Lake Pichola, a man-made lake that lends the city an ethereal and peaceful presence. Perched right in the middle is the Lake Palace and on one side, City Palace; both grand and beguiling structures. Take a romantic boat trip across the lake and admire the beamingly bright saris of the women washing clothes on the ghats. Then enjoy a rooftop dinner with a backdrop of glittering lights reflected on the water. With the monsoon season coming to a close by mid-September and the winter beginning, this is prime time to visit before the tourist season really hits its peak in December. Udaipur winter entails pleasant, dry sunny days, ideal for exploring the city.
Last year, the second week of September was INR7185 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 59% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year at INR17498.
Classic – Santorini
The glorious contrast of Santorini’s whitewashed houses with the dazzling blue of the Aegean Sea is one of Greece’s most iconic and breath-taking sights. Enjoy golden Mediterranean sunsets and romantic dinners of fabulous Greek food in tranquility if you visit after the tourist rush of summer. The weather is still sublime but the beaches relatively empty so your honeymoon will feel all the more special.
Last year, the final week of October was €278 on average for 4* and 5* accommodations, 63% cheaper than the most expensive week of the year at €744.
[i] Pricing data was measured over the period of June 2015 to June 2016. 4* and 5* accommodations were chosen as a standardized way of comparing different types of accommodation across varying cities, and as a way to be indicative of overall pricing trends in accommodations of all levels. Prices shown are the average daily rate (ADR) as reported on Booking.com for the time period specified. Weeks were defined as Monday to Sunday per calendar month.