International hospitality from Iceland to Bosnia
Caribbean low budget: Christ Church, Barbados
At the eastern tip of the Caribbean islands, Barbados, also known as “Little England”, is renowned for its surf-worthy waves. The swells may exhaust beginners, but at least they are consistent (which helps when you are just starting out). The "Soup Bowl", where waves are much bigger, is also famous among the pros. July to November is considered the “rainy season” in Barbados, but it is much less likely to be a hurricane target than many other Caribbean islands. During a week-long stay, honeymooners may want to stay a few nights at a hotel on the high-end west coast of the island, such as the Sugar Cane Club , where the pristine beaches are better-shielded from the wind.
Asia-Pacific high budget: Maldives
While scientists say the Maldives are in danger of being swallowed by rising water levels, it will probably still be a great many years before it happens. That being said, if you want to use that danger as an excuse for choosing it for your honeymoon, we will not tell. After all, exploring this area in the Indian Ocean could make for some serious bragging rights: manta rays, whale sharks and hammerheads, anyone? When to go depends on what underwater life you are hoping to see (whale sharks frequent Baa Atoll in July and August, for example). But spend at least 10 days there to increase your sighting odds — if money is not an object, of course. For accommodations, the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island is over-the-top, but you will be living a honeymoon fantasy, especially when dining under water in the hotel’s Ithaa restaurant.
Asia Pacific low budget: Cairns, Australia
If snorkelling or diving the Great Barrier Reef tops your honeymoon to-do list, make it more doable by using Cairns on Australia’s mainland as a home base. Day trips leave seven days a week, and some catamarans can reach the outer reef in as quickly as an hour. Sexy honeymoon resorts like Lizard Island can be cost-prohibitive, but in Cairns, accommodations like the Aquarius are more budget-friendly (albeit more basic). The seasons in Australia are reversed, which would seem to work out well if you are getting married during the North American or European winter. But the “rainy season” (read: poor underwater visibility) hits hardest January through March. Coastal Australia is a large region and far from almost everywhere, so it is best experienced over the course of two full weeks.