Planning a Honeymoon in Hawaii

You’ve been daydreaming about your wedding for as long as you can remember and the time has finally come to make those dreams a reality. The planning stages of a wedding can be almost as romantic as the wedding itself if they’re done correctly. Done poorly, the planning can lead to exactly the kind of stress and worry that you don’t want plaguing your future marriage. Although the execution of the wedding itself is going to be a big part of the planning, time should be taken to making sure that the honeymoon is also planned out to perfection.

You’ve already chosen the romantic destination of your dreams: Hawaii. Now you just need to make sure that planning out the details adds to the excitement of the experience instead of detracting from it. There are three keys to planning an exquisitely romantic honeymoon in Hawaii. The first is to give yourself plenty of time to explore the choices that are available to you for this event. The second is to break the planning up into set a theme for the honeymoon that will make it a real treat. And the third is to make the planning process an exercise in intimacy with your spouse-to-be.

Step One: Give yourself time to plan.

There are going to be a significant number of choices that you’re going to need to make over the course of planning your honeymoon in Hawaii. Many people leave this part of the wedding planning until the end. The result is that they usually go to the most common honeymoon locations in the state and miss out on a lot of the magic that they could have experienced if they’d done a little bit more planning in the early stages. If you don’t have the time to plan for the honeymoon to take place immediately after the wedding, give yourself a little bit of post-wedding time to create the honeymoon of your fantasies.

Step Two: Select a theme for the Hawaiian honeymoon.

This part will take some time initially but will make it significantly easier to make choices about the entire honeymoon. You’ll narrow down your options for everything from accommodations to activities by selecting a theme to follow in advance. This will give you the chance to look more closely at off-the-beaten path options and to create a honeymoon that really says something about who you are as a couple. There are many different themes that you can choose from to narrow down your selections.

Here are some common themes for the Hawaiian honeymoon along with some of the attractions, activities and accommodations that suit each theme:

Adventure – Some couples really bond best when adrenaline is a key facet of their lives. An adventure vacation in Hawaii includes the best of both water and land with activities such as rock climbing and scuba diving.

Suggestions for this type of Hawaiian honeymoon include:

  • Helicopter tours are a great way to see the natural beauty of Hawaii while getting a boost to your excitement level.
  • Go on a Zipline Adventure where you ride zipline through the lush forests of Hawaii into places that not many travelers get to see. Combine this with activities like kayaking and hiking to create a truly adventurous experience.
  • Stay at Arnott’s Lodge. This is a favorite place of hostellers so it’s not normally a honeymoon destination but pitch a tent in their backyard camping area and you’ll find the romance under the stars.
  • Try ethnic cuisine at hole-in-the-wall restaurants.

Relaxation – Many couples want to spend their Hawaiian vacation indulging in the opportunity to just relax together. Walks on the beach, room service at a luxurious hotel and spa treatments would be things that you’d enjoy on this type of Hawaiian honeymoon.

Suggestions for this type of honeymoon include:

  • Stay at a resort. The Grand Wailea and The Ritz-Carlton Kapalua are two good choices. However, anywhere that offers in-room massages and a honeymoon suite is suitable.
  • Book more than one treatment at a salon and spa. If you’re going to do relaxation right, you need real indulgence. Book a couples’ massage in the room for one night. Do individual body treatments on a different day.
  • Keep the schedule simple. Choose only a few sights that interest so you have ample do-nothing time.
  • Eat small meals several times a day. It’s nice to linger over food with a lover so eat light in order to be able to spend a lot of time in different restaurants.

Play tourists – There are couples who really love the kitschy tourism that some of Hawaii holds. The major attractions, the trendiest hotels and restaurants and the most favored beaches would be on an itinerary for this type of honeymoon.

Suggestions for this type of honeymoon include:

  • Get a guide book to do your planning; it’ll tell you everything there is to know.
  • Head to Oahu, the most popular of the islands.
  • Stay at a name brand hotel that you’ll recognize when you hear it. Book the honeymoon suite to get the upgraded experience while still playing tourist.
  • Go with a tour guide to the major attractions including whale watching, snorkeling, volcano hikes and a luau.

Off-the-beaten path – At the other end of the spectrum is the couple that likes to be known for doing things and going places that are favored by locals. Learning about this type of honeymoon takes a lot more work but pays off in the end with a true taste of the real Hawaii.

Suggestions for this type of honeymoon include:

  • Start corresponding with some of the locals who live there in order to get some insider tips. Use sites like Craigslist and Yelp to ask locals where to go.
  • Choose one of the lesser-traveled islands like Lanai in order to get a less touristy vacation.
  • Stay somewhere nice but less popular. Skip The Ritz and go for a place like Ho’oilo House.
  • Book time just to wander. You’ll discover places that you want to spend your time.

Island focus – There are several Hawaiian Islands to choose from and many honeymooners hop back and forth in order to experience it all. This theme is the anti-thesis to that in which the couple explores only one island in-depth, making it their own special place that they might wish to return to again and again.

Suggestions for this type of honeymoon include:

  • Lanai and Kauai are the two islands that are the quietest and most romantic. Lanai is considered more private but Kauai is the more tropical of the two so either might be the right choice.
  • Explore the beaches first. Each island has very different beaches so spending time at the ones on your island will really give you a sense of the area.
  • Find a small bed-and-breakfast to stay it in order to experience the intimacy of this type of trip.
  • Ask locals about the best places on the island to eat.
  • Look for free activities in local classifieds, online advertisements and libraries. This will really give you a sense of the island’s individual charm.

Jetsetters – Your honeymoon is a time to really treat yourselves. No one in Hawaii knows that you’re not part of the jet setting crowd so why not spend the money to act like you are? Five star hotels, restaurants requiring reservations and shopping at the hottest boutiques are the best ways a couple can spend this kind of honeymoon. Don’t forget the limousine!

Suggestions for this type of honeymoon include:

  • Stay at the Fairmont Kea Lani Villas. This location is set on twenty two acres and has its own private beach area to enjoy. People will know that you paid a nice price to get in here. Pineapple Hill Estates is another good place to stay.
  • Dine at places that have five stars. The Waterfront Restaurant, Spago, La Mer and Chef Mavro are all places that you’ll want to spend your time.
  • Get clothes before you go. The designer duds you’ll want to show off can’t be bought in Hawaii.

Step Three: Make the planning intimate.

As you can see, selecting your theme is going to take some time and discussion with your partner. Determining which locations and activities within that theme are right for your honeymoon is going to take even more time. Reduce the stress of planning by making the planning itself part of the fun. Schedule a weekly date with your spouse-to-be to work out the details. Do something a little bit Hawaiian during each of these dates to set the mood and create an aura of intimacy around your honeymoon planning. A little luau in your backyard, a Hawaiian-inspired massage at a local spa and a little pineapple shared in bed can go a long way towards making the planning as memorable as the honeymoon itself.

Creative Commons License Photo credit: mandolin davis