The World’s 10 Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations

The World’s 10 Most Romantic Honeymoon Destinations

Getting married, although an exciting time, is also exhausting. From the cake, to the guest list, to the constant planning, and everything in between, it’s a pretty good thing (and a must) that most people take a vacation after tying the knot. The honeymoon after the madness of the wedding is there to give you a break after the best day of your life, and you can use the happy occasion as a reason to see the world!

Without further ado, read on for what we think are the 10 most romantic honeymoon destinations in the world: beautiful, exotic, exciting and relaxing places to get away  together following the big day. 

Bali, Indonesia

Featuring forested volcanic mountains, stepped rice paddies, stunning beaches, and coral reefs, Bali is home to some of the world’s most incredible natural wonders. A trip here is a feast for the eyes and the senses, and it’s a popular honeymoon destination for a reason.

Aside from the beaches, the island is host to amazing temples, as well as yoga and meditation retreats. The Pura Luhur Uluwatu temple rises 200 feet above the ocean on a rocky cliff, and it’s one of the world’s most beautiful places to take in a sunset. The nightly kecak dancers are incredible. If you want more of an earthly experience, the southern beachside city of Kuta has a more urban scene with bars and dancing to help you cut loose after all your wedding planning.

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Bali Indonesia

Orkney, Scotland

With its ancient structures and stunning cliff views, Orkney is the perfect destination for couples who like being outside and experiencing history. Located on an archipelago on Scotland’s northeastern coast, Orkney’s Neolithic sites, green islands, and sandstone cliffs are one of a kind.

The Neolithic sites at Orkney are totally unique! More than 5,000 years old, the sites include Skara Brae, a preserved village and a model house, and Maeshowe, a burial tomb with 12th-century Viking carvings. Or take a day trip and see the Neolithic Ring of Brogdar, which is as unsettling as it is cool.

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Orkney Scotland - cliffs

Cape Town, South Africa

If you don’t want to compromise, Cape Town offers a slice of everything in one of the world’s most gorgeous settings. Beaches, nightlife, and incredible natural wonders, Cape Town has it all. The Cape of Good Hope and Cape Agulhas at the very southernmost tip of the African continent are truly a sight to see, and a visit to Boulder Beach will get you up close and personal with the cutest warm-weather penguins.

Cape Town’s neighboring Table Mountain is accessible by slowly rotating cable cars, giving you a view of the whole city, and the flourishing downtown scene offers some of the world’s best cuisine.

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider Cape Town South Africa

Vancouver Island, Canada

If you prefer to stay in North America, Vancouver Island is perfect for any couple who loves getting outdoors in the fresh air. From walking on the Pacific Coast beaches, to biking through pristine forestland, Vancouver Island’s mild climate makes outdoor pursuits genuinely pleasant almost year round. Plus, you can take a boat to the hot springs in nearby Maquinna Marine Provincial Park and soak in the hot water. For a less adventurous outing, Vancouver Island also has a thriving arts scene and lots of good food.

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Vancouver Island

Corfu, Greece

Corfu, a Greek island on the Ionian Sea, is home to the stunning Greek scenery that you see on postcards without the expense of cities like Santorini. Though you still get your selection of resorts and luxury, Corfu is laid back and less expensive.

Ruled by the Venetians, French, and British before it was reunited with Greece, Corfu’s colourful political history gives the town a charming variety of architecture. French arcades and British palaces are very striking against the bright blue ocean, and you’ll get picture-perfect views at every turn.

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Corfu Greece

Bora Bora, French Polynesia

With its crystal clear waters, beautiful mountains, and sandy islets, Bora Bora is a honeymoon hot spot for a reason.

Craving adventure? Scuba dive with colourful fish, or charter a helicopter to see the stunning views from the air. Rent a bungalow suspended on stilts above the turquoise lagoon and get a massage in the sun. Tour a black pearl farm and taste fresh vanilla beans.

Beachy, beautiful, and luxurious, Bora Bora is one of those unforgettable places that will be your computer background for years to come.  

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Bora Bora

Udaipur, India

A town of white stone palaces on interconnected artificial lakes, Udaipur has been delighting visitors since its founding in 1559. Famous for its lavish palaces, Udaipur looks like a fairytale city. Don’t miss the City Palace’s monumental construct of eleven palaces, residences, courtyards, and gardens, all ornamented with one of a kind peacock mosaics.

We suggest staying in the Jag Mandir, a luxury hotel and spa located in a 17th century palace in the middle of a river. Also, don’t miss Jagdish Temple’s incredible terraced architecture; people have been worshipping there since 1651!

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Udaipir India palaces

Kyoto, Japan

Japan’s former capital is now a slower, less stressed-out destination than Tokyo. Located on Honshu Island, Kyoto is a place where the ancient history of Japan lives on! Experience hundreds of classical Buddhist temples and shrines, as well as gardens, traditional wooden houses, and imperial palaces.

The spring cherry blossoms are world famous for their beauty, and the Gion district’s teahouses and the Shirakawa canal are amazing for entertainment. You can even meet a real geisha!

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Kyoto Japan cherry blossoms

Anywhere in Iceland

New advertising campaigns and government programs have increased the popularity of Iceland as a tourist destination, and it’s still a pristine place to experience some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery.

From moon-like rock landscapes, to the Blue Lagoon hot springs, Iceland is the trip of a lifetime! We recommend Snaefellsjökull National Park (say that ten times fast!) for its incredible hidden waterfall. To make the occasion slightly more romantic, get an in-water couple’s massage in the Blue Lagoon. Don’t miss out on Reykjavik, Iceland’s colourful capital, which has a thriving arts scene.

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Reykjavik Iceland

Loire Valley, France

As the home of some of France’s best vineyards and country castles, the Loire region is a feast for the senses and one of the most romantic places on earth. You can tour the Loire region on a wooden boat, stopping to sample some of the best wine in the world.

The central part of the Loire region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, so definitely take time to tour some of France’s most famous châteaux and historical locations. The region has been inhabited since the Middle Paleolithic Period, which means history is everywhere!

Romantic Honeymoon Destinations 10 Options to Consider - Loire Valley France

We hope you enjoyed this list, and we at the Loftus Guides wish you a great honeymoon!

When You Should Hire a Travel Agent (And When You Shouldn’t!)

When You Should Hire a Travel Agent (And When You Shouldn’t!)

In today’s era of online research and comparison shopping, travel agents may seem like a relic from the days of PanAm flights and smoking in the office. But that’s very much not the case! Modern travel agents are still a terrific resource for travelers, and their added cost is often worth it. Except when it isn’t.

Here’s our take on the pros and cons of hiring a travel agent.

Pro: Travel agents can save you time

From our experience, one of the biggest benefits is that working with a professional takes a lot of the hassle out of the process. The average flight shopper spends about five hours hunting for flights. Working with a travel agent can cut that down significantly.

Pro: Travel agents have insider knowledge

Because agents work with sophisticated systems and have a network of connections at different destinations, they can get you tons of perks, last minute add-ons, and upgrades. A good travel agent brings more than just their technical skills to the table, they bring mutually beneficial relationships that sometimes end up saving you money.

When You Should Hire a Travel Agent

Con: You can probably do it cheaper yourself

Look, we’re not going to say that you should hire a travel agent all the time. Modern flight comparison tools have made buying flights faster and cheaper than ever before, and with a little time and patience, you can get your flight and travel details booked without an agent. We wouldn’t suggest booking any direct flights or routine, domestic flights through a travel agent, for example, unless…

When You Should Hire a Travel Agent

Pro: Travel agents can simplify planning travel for large groups

If you’re booking flights and hotels for a group of people, travel agents can save you a boatload of time and effort. Planning flights for more than two or three people is like herding cats in a hurricane, and a travel agent will do it for you. And probably do it better.

Con: You need to be sure you’re working with a good agent

Novice agents, part-time agents, and lazy agents won’t give you the expertise and peace of mind that a seasoned one will, so if you’re prepared to spend some money working with a pro, don’t cheap out or go with an agent who doesn’t come well-recommended.

Pro: Peace of mind

When the unthinkable happens (cancelled flight, natural disaster, airline strike), who would you rather be talking to: a travel agent you know and trust or an airline representative halfway across the planet? From travel insurance to insider connections, travel agents will take care of any trip crises that you might end up facing. For a lot of people, that security is well worth working with a professional.

When You Should Hire a Travel Agent

The bottom line:

Travel agents can save you time, stress, and sometimes even money. They bring an expertise to the table that can open doors and make your trip more fun and less risky, but you’ll need to be sure you’re working with a legitimate agent, and be prepared to pay them for their expertise and time.

Aqua Wonders: The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

Aqua Wonders: The Most Beautiful Waterfalls in the World

Ah, there’s nothing quite like the breathtaking beauty of waterfalls. These magical displays of rushing water synergize the best parts of hydrology, geology, and gravity to form one awe-inspiring sight. Read on to learn about the most beautiful waterfalls in the world– from North and South America to the African continent. 

Niagara Falls

Let’s start with one of the world’s most famous waterfalls of all time. Located between the border of the United States and Canada, Niagara Falls is two waterfalls with an island between them. On the Canadian side, the water drops an amazing 173 feet (53 metres) before it hits the river below. It’s an absolutely breathtaking sight.

For more on Niagara Falls, make sure to visit our sister site: Secrets of Niagara!

Water Wonders: The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

Angel Falls/ Kerepakupai Meru

The tallest waterfall in the world is Angel’s Falls in Canaima National Park in beautiful Venezuela. The water crashes down for a staggering 3,212 feet (979 meters) over the edge of Auyán-Tepuí mountain. The water drops so far that it atomizes into the air and then recollects down the face of the mountain before it even reaches the bottom.

Water Wonders: The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

Victoria Falls/ Mosi-oa-Tunya

This waterfall, located between Zimbabwe and Zambia, is classified as the world’s largest waterfall because of its impressive height (180 meters) and width (1,708 meters). The water moves across a flat basalt plateau and tumbles down into a sheer crevice. The Tonga name for the falls means “Smoke that Thunders.”

Water Wonders: The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

Iguazu Falls

The Iguazu Falls is located along the Iguazu River on the border of the Argentine province of Misiones and the Brazilian state of Paraná. It is classified as the largest waterfall system in the world, featuring over 275 different cascades. Though it’s not a tall waterfall, it makes up for it in terms of sheer scope.  

Water Wonders: The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

Kaieteur Falls

Located in Guyana, these falls are famous for their beauty and remoteness. Surrounded by wilderness on all sides, there are fewer tourists due to the lack of infrastructure to support them. You can experience Kaieteur in comparative solitude, just be prepared for a journey to get there.

Water Wonders: The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

Gullfoss (Golden Falls) in Iceland

For those who prefer their waterfalls in a more northern clime, Gullfoss is a magnificent falls located in the southwest of Iceland. Though it’s not as high or wide as other falls we’ve mentioned, it’s still incredible to see because the crevice the water falls into makes it seem that the river disappears into an abyss.

Water Wonders: The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

Yosemite Falls

The highest waterfall in the United States, Yosemite Falls drops 2,435 feet and is located in the Sierra Nevada region of California. Fed by melting mountain snow, the amount of water going over the edge depends on the time of year and snow conditions, but it’s truly a breathtaking sight year-round.

Water Wonders: The World’s Most Beautiful Waterfalls

Travel Preferences: Which Vacation Styles Are Your Favorites?

Travel Preferences: Which Vacation Styles Are Your Favorites?

Here at the Loftus Guides, we don’t like to generalize. From our experience, one size rarely fits all. Really, one size doesn’t even fit most. Everyone’s different, and whether we’re talking about your choice of dinner or your vacation destination, you shouldn’t put yourself in a box. And the same goes for travel preferences: everyone has their very own. This is the beauty of travel – to expand your horizons and experience a trip that you will remember for a lifetime.  

Choose a travel style that suits your preferences, passions and habits, and you’ll find your experience to be more relaxed, personal, and experiential. Here are some different travel styles you should consider! Which one suits you the best?

Small Group Travel

For some, touring around the world on a guided tour is the ideal way to travel. With built in structure and a whole new set of like-minded fellow travellers to get to know, small group tours are intimate but still highly social.

Great for: People who enjoy structure but aren’t afraid to make new friends!

Outdoor Travel

If you love getting lost in the majesty of nature (but hopefully not on the trail), you may be an environment-oriented traveller! This type of touring will take you to some of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights and remind you of your place in the ecosystem of our planet. These trips range from the rustic hiking tours across mountains and plains, to more easygoing trips that bring you to more easily accessible destinations.

Great for: People who love nature and own decent hiking boots.

outdoor travel

Thrill Hunter

If you love a good adventure, you may be among those who choose to approach their vacations as experimentation in the extraordinary. Why have an ordinary vacation when you can have a once in a lifetime experience? Sky diving, cliff jumping, zip lining, you name it, travelling for adventure is a surefire way to make memories you’ll never forget.

Great for: People who will try anything once and have an open mind!

cliff diving

City Stays

Urban environments are home to some of the best food, the coolest art, and the most diverse culture. You can have access to a huge range of activities without having to move hotels all the time. Galleries one day, flea markets the next; city touring is a great way to get an energetic sampling of everything.  

Great for: People who have a good grasp of public transport, a love of culture, and a thick skin.

Faith Based Exploration

For the modern pilgrim, visiting sites of religious importance can be an experience that touches every part of their life. Touring temples, churches, and religious historical sites can bring your faith to life and make your spirituality even richer and more personal.

Great for: People whwant to experience a religion with every sense they have!

faith-based travel

Volunteer-based

If you have a civic-minded heart, travelling to a destination and supporting a local community with sustainable volunteer work can combine a love of people with a love of seeing the world! Trips that focus on community development and assisting underserved communities can change you forever.

Great for: People who aren’t afraid to put their back into helping others.

Share with us which type (or types) or traveller you are!

Top 7 Ways to Avoid Crowds and Lines While Traveling to Europe

Top 7 Ways to Avoid Crowds and Lines While Traveling to Europe

Europe is one of our favorite destinations. What’s not to love? Good food, great wine, rich in culture, and…long lines. C’est la vie, unfortunately. But just because there tend to be dense crowds competing for entrance to popular tourist attractions, this doesn’t necessarily mean you have to wait in them.

For those of you who love culture but don’t want to wait around, there are a few steps you can take to reduce the amount of time you spend in line. In some cases, you can even eliminate the wait altogether! Here are 7 key ways to avoid crowds and long lines when traveling to Europe. 

 

1. Get up early…

Getting up and out between 6 and 9 am is ideal for sightseeing. Earlier times mean less wait and more experience with actual locals, giving you a calmer impression of the city or location you’re visiting. There will also likely be less kids around, which can sometimes be a disruptive element in places like museums or art galleries.   

Get Up Early

 

2. …and stay out late

Check to see if any of your destination’s attractions have a late night option! There’s typically a night of the week where museums are open later than average, allowing you to experience an attraction with less of a crowd.

 

3. This is especially true for very popular destinations

Avoid bus tour groups. Big name destinations get crowded with tour groups, so getting to a site right as it opens (or even a little before) can mean the difference between waiting for five minutes and waiting an hour, or more.

 

4. Use those self-service kiosks whenever possible

We’re always surprised by how few people seem to take advantage of the self-serve ticket kiosks. This is likely due to the fact that it’s a fairly new addition to most venues and they are often located in strange, out-of-the way places, however you can usually reduce your wait time by using a self-serve system. It pays to do a little research ahead of time as to whether or not your destination has one of these helpful digital ticket dispensers.

 

 

5. Skip the front door

This is another example of a little research coming in handy. If you’re going to a tourist destination, see if there’s a side entrance that can save you some time. The Louvre is a great example. While that famous glass pyramid is pretty, there’s actually a side entrance called the Portes des Lions which is far quicker than the main one.

 

6. Ignore elevators…and take the stairs instead!

Elevators can reduce some leg work, but taking the stairs instead of waiting for elevators, shuttles, or trams can actually be much faster. The line for the elevator to the top of the Eiffel Tour is famously long, but if you take the stairs you’ll reach the top much quicker, even if slightly more out of breath.

Taking the stairs

 

7. Book a skip-the-line tour

If you’re experiencing a city with a tour guide, they can often do the leg work for you. Small group tours that work with specific locations move much quicker due to the guide’s advance planning, plus you can skip the lines and have an expert there to tell you all about it. This is much preferable to standing around waiting to buy a ticket.