Bride-to-be Blogger Carly: Our Honeymoon is Booked!

Bride-to-be Blogger Carly: Our Honeymoon is Booked!

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After months of looking for our perfect honeymoon destination, one sort of fell into our laps the other nigh—and two days later, we have booked our trip!

Sean and I love the beach, so it’s been no question that we wanted to go somewhere warm and tropical. But those criteria only narrow the list so much. We also knew we didn’t want to spend a full day (or more) traveling each way, which eliminated places like Hawaii and Fiji from our list.  So, we were able to narrow potential destinations to the Caribbean and Mexico.

Sean’s parents had offered us their time-share to cut down on costs, and we’d totally planned to take them up on that. But, the challenge was finding an opening! Sean and I are getting married the weekend before the 4th of July, which is apparently a big week to travel. (I thought everyone just went down the Shore!) So availability in the time-share has been very limited, and, unless we wanted to bump our honeymoon to a later date, pickin’s were slim.

After months of viewing these limited options online, I started to feel frustrated. While we really wanted to head out on our honeymoon the Monday following our wedding, we started to think we’d need to push it to later in the summer. But, neither one of us was too excited about that plan. So, we were feeling sort of stuck when a family friend suggested we check out Apple Vacations to see if we could find a comparably priced package to what we’d be paying for both the flight and hotel stay at the time share. So while cooking dinner on Monday night, I began to browse for vacation packages for that first week in July, but none of the “deals” were blowing me away. Then Sean grabbed the iPad and started his own research through Living Social. I belong to Living Social, Groupon, Gilt, and many more of these super-deal-sites that send me hundreds (at least it feels like hundreds) of emails each day that I typically end up deleting. But Sean had faith that he might find us a cool package, so I left him to it. He emailed a few deals from Living Social to me and put the iPad away for dinner.

The next day, I saw then emails Sean had sent the night before. Curious, I clicked on one for Exuma Palms Hotel in the Bahamas. I didn’t know much about the Bahamas, so I started Googling. First, the hotel’s website. Now, I’ll tell you the truth, the hotel rooms struck me as average—nothing fancy or four-star. But there was something so charming about this little getaway that I continued my research. Reviews on Trip Advisor told me that the place was recently bought out by a couple who have been renovating and revamping the place over the last year or so. While other vacationers don’t deny that the rooms aren’t breathtaking, they also let you know it’s not what’s in the room that should captivate you but the view from your private balcony. Exuma Palms is located on a private beach with an amazing view of the ocean from each room. Additionally, there is one restaurant on site, which is supposed to be incredibly delicious.  So, while my initial reaction to this place was so-so, the more reviews I read, the more I fell in love.

What Sean and I value on a vacation is opportunities to both relax and explore. I could sit on a beach all day, every day, but Sean gets antsy and needs activities. The island of Great Exuma seems to offer many opportunities for both. According to the many websites I scoured about this island, there are tons of amazing white-sand beaches to relax on (aside from the one at our hotel), as well as snorkeling, boating, eating, exploring and even swimming with wild pigs (I kid you not … look it up!)

Don’t tell my boss, but I spent a crazy amount of time researching and falling in love with Great Exuma island. I called the hotel to find out about the Living Social deal from their perspective, and ended up speaking with the owner/chef. He was really great and let me know that they’d help us in every way to have the best experience possible—and it was completely genuine!

After crunching some numbers, we realized that with this Living Social deal, we’d essentially be paying the same amount that we would have with the time-share. With that realization I pulled out the credit card that’d been burning a hole in my pocket since my Googling began that morning, and purchased the deal! Sean and I are SO excited about our decision and can’t wait to get there and swim with those pigs! (I’m serious and promise pictures when we return!) {Ed Note: We will hold her to that.}

How did you and your groom ultimately decide where to go on your honeymoon?

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