Photo Essay: California, USA


California must have a magnetic force field around it as it keeps pulling us back for more. Each time we visit we see new places and faces (as well as some of the already seen things) and love it all! Click here to check out a collection of photos and tips from our multiple visits to the Golden State!

The Lost Art of Honeymooning – Part 3

This is the final piece of our 3-part discussion on The Lost Art of Honeymooning. So far, we’ve  talked about how to decrease your wedding budget (and therefore increase your honeymoon budget) and how to honeymoon on a limited time and money budget. This final post offers information on how to capitalize on wedding gifts and travel deals.

  1. Create a HONEYMOON REGISTRY – Michael and I merged two households into one when we got married. We had everything one married couple needs to start their home together, and then some! So instead of registering for towels, sheets and china, we registered for airfare, snorkeling trips and taxi rides to the airport. Yep, that’s right! Most of our honeymoon was paid for by our wedding guests! We created a honeymoon registry. We have a great friend who also happens to build websites for living who helped us ours (simply put, we told him what and how much, he linked it to Pay Pal and badda-bing-badda-boom!). If this is not option for, have no fear. There are plenty of companies that will help you out (for a small fee, of course). But that fee is worth it! A quick internet search of “Honeymoon Registry” will produce tons of results. Do your research and go with the company you like the most!
  2. Use the CASH GIFTS for the honeymoon – Many people these days give cash as a wedding gift. Why don’t you budget some (or all) of this money for a piece of your honeymoon. For example, you can use this money for souvenirs or all of your alcoholic drink purchases. This way, you’ve limited yourself to a specific amount for whatever category you choose, and it is not money that is in your expected, monthly budget.

Here are some other general planning tips that can save you some green!

  1. Check out the DEALS – Use websites like Groupon and Luxury Link and Snique Away to find hotel “sales” and discounted rates for everything from restaurants, hotels and even spa treatments in the place(s) you are visiting!
  2. OFF SEASON – pick a destination, based on your wedding date, which is not in peak season. Everything will be cheaper. For example, we got married in August. Peak season for Belize ends in May. Yes, we ran the risk or rainy, wet, even stormy conditions. However, our weather was great and our hotel and food tabs were cheaper! Sometimes a calculated risk pays off really well!
  3. Choose WISELY – Pick a destination based on the nearest airport to you. Research frequent flights and cheap routes. As mentioned in other posts, Virgin America flies from Fort Lauderdale’s airport to LA and San Fran for cheap! South Floridians should consider Napa Valley or San Diego for their honeymoon. Also, if you’re in a “hub city” for a major airline, (ahem! Atlanta, Houston, Denver, Detroit, Miami, New York etc.) use that airline and their cheap(er) prices.

I hope, hope, HOPE that you’ve been inspired you take that honeymoon. Travel is for learning about the world and each other. Therefore, getting away right after your wedding is the perfect time to learn something new about your new spouse and make memories that will last a lifetime! Mark Twain once said:

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

Will you really be talking about your wedding cake’s frosting in twenty years? I doubt it. Will you relive a wine tasting, sunset dinner, whale watching or early morning hike in twenty years … without a doubt!Don’t skip your honeymoon. Don’t skip this opportunity to learn, love and live!

Take that leap of faith and book the flight! Don't skip out on a trip to explore the world, yourself and your new spouse!

The Lost Art of Honeymooning – Part 2

Last week I posted Part 1 of this three part series of posts on The Lost Art of Honeymooning. Here is Part 2.

It is my observation that many newly married couples do not honeymoon after their nuptials. I find this perplexing – not wrong, just puzzling! I’ve asked around and most of the couples who do not travel blame time and money. To that I say, “duh!” That is almost always the reason for not traveling – for anyone and any trip. So, this three part series is meant to educate, inspire and urge you – the single, engaged and even married (better late than never) – to take a honeymoon.

A honeymoon does not have to be your dream trip, you just need to go. Here are some cheap(er) ideas for an unforgettable honeymoon below:

  1. Road Trip – Use a map to plan out a route to places near your home that you’ve never been and then research the cities and sights. Depending on the amount of time you have, plan to spend at least a few nights in each place. Imagine the money you’ll save on airfare!
  2. Be one with Nature – Go camping! Camping at a state park can start for as little as $10/night. I’ve never stayed in a hotel that was that inexpensive. There is something very romantic about a campfire, listening to nature and being alone with your new spouse.
  3. “Grow” Together – The World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms or WWOOF is an organization of farms and volunteers around the world. The organization links those who want to help, with those who need the help. In exchange for your time and energy, you receive free room and board. Curious about this option? Check out their website for more detailed info.
  4. House Sitting – (*Note: We’ve never used any of these companies/services. This is not an endorsement. I am not claiming the legitimacy, efficacy or quality of any of these sites or services.)Who wouldn’t free accommodations? Yep, that’s right; there are people who will let you stay in their home for free while they’re gone. Here are some sites that will help you get started: Trusted House Sitters, Luxury House Sitting, and Suitcase Stories.
  5. Beg and Borrow- Do you know anyone (even a friend or a friend) who owns a vacation home or second home? If so, ask to use the property. The hope here is that the home can be used at a drastically discounted price because you know the owner and they (hopefully) trust you.

Tim Cahill once said “A journey is measured by friends, rather than miles.” This wisdom applies perfectly to your honeymoon. If you can afford a faraway destination, by all means go! But, the number of miles you fly or drive is certainly NOT important. Stay close to home or go far, but just go! A honeymoon is about exploring, learning and investigating – both your destination and your new best friend – your spouse.


Take an unforgettable road trip to connect with your new spouse!

DO YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT OUR TRIPS OR BLOG? Leave a comment or email me at, I’d love to help!

Follow me on Facebook and Pinterest!          

All photos are copyrighted by Diane Williams and Wife with Baggage, 2013.