You only honeymoon once, so why not make it a jaw-dropping trip you’ll remember forever?
Who doesn’t love a date with their Kindle and a sunbed, cocktails with their other half and coming home with tan lines and a bottle of Duty Free perfume? The good news is you have the rest of your life to holiday with your hubby! Why not opt for a more daring honeymoon where you’ll come back full of stories of life-changing experiences. Party animals should hit Mardi Gras once before all that dancing will put your back out, and a city break-trip to the zoo is no match for seeing scenes from The Lion King IRL. There’s even a way to grant your wish of floating about space, even if you can’t afford a seat on the eye-wateringly expensive tourist space travel missions.
See the Northern Lights
You won’t find a better spot to check out the stunning Northern Lights than the Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort in northern Finland. Lie under the stars in a glass-roofed igloo, before heading out to hunt for Santa on a reindeer safari. The best time to see the Aurora Borealis is between late September and early April, with October/November and February/March considered the optimum times.
NEED TO KNOW Prices start at €129 per person per night. Finnair flies to Ivalo from Edinburgh (via Helsinki) from £400.
Head out on safari
On an African animal-spotting trip, one aim is to tick off the Big Five: elephant, lion, buffalo, leopard and rhino. Kruger National Park in South Africa is one of the continent’s largest animal reserves, and home to the whole gang, so enlist the help of tour operator Acacia Africa who’ll take care of the planning, leaving you free to practise your rendition of Circle of Life.
NEED TO KNOW A seven-day Kruger, Swazi & Beach tour costs from £325pp and includes camping, meals and a tour leader/driver. British Airways flies from the UK to Johannesburg.
Party like a superstar DJ in Ibiza
Your white dress might be packed away, but heading to the White Isle to have it large will certainly give you something to look forward to. Swap dodgy three-star resorts for the plush Hard Rock Hotel in Playa d’en Bossa, which is right next to clubs Ushuaïa and Space.
NEED TO KNOW The standard rooms are among the finest on the island, but for a truly memorable trip, treat yourselves to a night in the rooftop Rock Star Suite, which will set you back €7000 per night.
Hit Route 66 and travel across America
The open road stretching out in front of you and a to do list that includes some of America’s finest sights and historic cities. Sound good? If so, a zip along America’s iconic Route 66 should be right up your street. Virgin Holidays offer a package that departs from Chicago, with pit stops in St Louis, Oklahoma City, Albuquerque, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
NEED TO KNOW Prices start from £749pp for a 16-night tour on a room-only basis.
Blend your own wine in Argentina
It’s always a struggle to keep a bottle of vino without drinking it, but set yourself the challenge of preserving your very own blend created on honeymoon at Argentina’s Grace Cafayate. The luxury resort also offers picnics in the vineyard and culinary masterclasses, but making up your own bottle of malbec is an oenophile’s dream come true. *Hic!*
NEED TO KNOW Room prices start at around £140 per night, while the Wine Blending experience is around £60pp.
Use Cuba’s nostalgic beauty to travel back in time
Time is running out to experience Cuba in all its retro glory. A ban on American trade and travel means the streets are packed with 1950s cars and the beautiful, colourful architecture complements the classic motors perfectly. Relations with the US are improving, however, so best get in there quick before the influx of developers and tourists ruins the Old World charm.
NEED TO KNOW A Taste of Cuba is an 11-night tour available from Exsus, starting from £2405 each, including flights and transfers.
Head to the depths like a mermaid
The future is set to bring underwater hotels, but if you can’t wait, the Per Aquum Niyama, in the mega-romantic Maldives, is the next best thing. You’ll stay in one of the resort’s beautiful villas, but the jewel in the crown is Subsix, the underwater restaurant and bar. We bet Ariel didn’t get invited to champagne brunches, but you will be!
NEED TO KNOW Kuoni has a 10-night trip to Per Aquum Niyama from £4000pp, including breakfast, transfers and flights from Glasgow.
Dance until dawn at Mardi Gras
New Orleans is famed for its rowdy party scene, but never more so than in the two weeks preceding Shrove Tuesday, when Mardi Gras takes place. Catch the lively parades, seek out the freebie beaded necklaces thrown from floats and sink a few Hurricanes (a lethal cocktail of rum and fruit juices).
NEED TO KNOW Thomson can provide flights from Edinburgh and accommodation from around £1400pp in February 2017.
Get off the grid with tribes in Ecuador
Explore the breathtaking scenery and observe the traditional indigenous tribes living along the Ecuadorian and Peruvian border on one of Gondwana Eco Tours’ packages. Thrill-seekers can take up the option to bungee jump, but we’d be much more interested in spying cute howler monkeys and toucans in their natural habitat.
NEED TO KNOW Accommodation, meals, tours, transportation and an English-speaking Ecuadorian guide cost around $2270pp for 10 nights.
Head into space!
Can’t afford a ticket on the upcoming Virgin Galactic flights? The £250,000 price tag has certainly put us off! Back on Planet Earth, MIR Travel has an ‘Inside the Russian Space Programme’ tour. Based outside Moscow, it puts you through cosmonaut training, lets you experience zero gravity and try on a space suit, before sending you on a flight to Kazakhstan to catch the launch of the Soyuz rocket on its journey to the Space Station. Out of this world!
NEED TO KNOW MIR Travel’s trip costs around £10,000pp and includes accommodation, tours, meals and transport. Flights to Moscow are extra.