This post is from another travel blogger who had a destination wedding in Bali then started a 6 month backpacking trip with her new husband, choosing to honeymoon in the Maldives. I know a lot of people would love to do something like this so I asked her to share a little bit about how she chose to do this, what she packed, and where she stayed. So, here’s Kim to share her story on how to honeymoon while backpacking.
Let’s start with a quick introduction of how we got to where we are today. This crazy adventure started back in 2008. I, Kim from Tennessee, went to Australia, for a 3-month working holiday. Soon afterwards, I met Rob. Fast and furious style, we fell in love and decided to tie the knot that year.
Residing in Australia until 2015, we decided 2016 was our year. We’d explore the world before moving back to the States to be closer to my family. We had 12-months up our sleeves and decided to extensively travel Asia. Not only is the region more budget friendly, but we also felt it’s a great area to travel whilst we’re still relatively young. We find it takes a bit more patience and some compromises. We’d start in Hawaii (a bit out of the way, but we had to get Rob’s visa for the USA sorted). From there, the plan was to head to the Philippines and continue through Southeast Asia for 6-months. Then, we’d head west to India and Nepal, before making a loop back through Malaysia and Indonesia. And finally a brief stint back to Australia. Woo hoo! Exciting times ahead!
How to honeymoon while backpacking
Knowing we’d be visiting Sri Lanka and India, Rob and I were debating on whether to visit the Maldives. Of course, it’s beautiful, but it was quite a bit more expensive than the rest of the places we were budgeting for. But then, we had a lightbulb moment. Aha! We’d not only visit the Maldives, but we’d go there for our honeymoon! And since it would be half way through our trip, what better time to celebrate.
Sure, maybe it sounds cliche, but how can you go wrong with a honeymoon in the Maldives? After living out of a backpack for the last 6-months, it was time for a bit of luxury. I mean, check out my original
I AM NOT THE SAME HAVING SEEN THE MOON ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WORLD. -MARY ANNE RADMACHER
We looked at visiting a local island; after all, we love travelling like a local. The accommodation looked brilliant and the reviews were fantastic. And this is exactly how we would have travelled had it not been our delayed honeymoon.
Long story short, we never had a proper getaway after our wedding. Rob was working on a big project and was unable to have any time off. Don’t get me wrong; we had a beautiful, intimate wedding in Bali, Indonesia. Lucky for us, Rob was working there at the time, so it just made sense. With only 4-guests (Rob’s family), there was absolutely no stress. We were just able to make a lifetime commitment to each other in a wonderful, relaxed environment! As for my family, they definitely would have made the trip from the States if I wanted them to. But as I’m so practical, I told them not to worry, and we’d come to visit in a few months and have a wedding party Stateside. That was also the first time they met my new husband, but hey, that’s a different story…
The next day after the wedding we were off to Jakarta. And for anyone that’s been, you know it’s not exactly the type of place for a honeymoon. In fact, much to our surprise, our room had two single beds nailed down to the floor on opposite sides of the room. Sweet!
In reality, I’m super practical so I was never fussed about a honeymoon. Though my dad gave Rob advice that I’d say that now, but in 20 years, I’d be complaining. So we thought it best to rectify the situation.
And of course, there was no better time than now! Like anyone, I wanted our honeymoon to be special. Though after wearing the same underwear for 6-months, it was time to treat myself to a few new things. I had to keep in mind I’d be carrying them in my backpack for the following 4-months post our honeymoon. So, I had to ensure they were both light and small enough to fit in my bag too.
Packing for a honeymoon while backpacking
So, here’s what I ended up splurging on:
- Bikini Top– ($29) I†started our trip with two. One was reversible so it was a two-for-one deal, except the base colour was white (oops, silly me). So, after 6-months with it, it was time for a new top. In Sri Lanka at the time, I waited until we hit the southern beaches to find something spectacular. Much to my surprise, the beaches weren’t like back home, and I couldn’t find swim options with ease. So, when we got back to Colombo, it was on. I went to two malls and was lucky enough to find one shop with swimsuits. And even luckier to find an . And they even sold separates, which was great as my black bottoms would match back to everything. I tried on every single top in the shop (no exaggeration). And I finally decided I needed some sparkly leopard print in my life.And as tacky as that sounds, it really does look amazing on if I say so myself, haha.
- Dress– ($22.50) Score! I picked up this one on sale at in China. At the time I bought it we hadn’t yet decided if we were going to go the guesthouse or the resort route. So I bought something versatile that could be worn in either a conservative or modern setting. And we all know, black is a girl’s best friend. This dress is no exception, with the off the shoulder cut with embroidery detail, flows sleeves, and baby doll fit. The photo just does not do it justice!
- Eyeliner– ($9) I only packed minimal makeup for my year long trip. I can’t leave the house without mascara. And between my
NARS Multiple and lipgloss, I’m pretty much set for any occasion. But, for my honeymoon I wanted to add a different dimension, and I knew the eyes were the way to go. I opted for a green gel colour, and it was great to see my eyes pop again!
- Hat– ($4) There was no way I was wearing my dorky purple Kathmandu safari hat on my honeymoon. And my knockoff Adidas visor wasn’t going to make the cut either. So, I had to invest. In the fort area of Galle, Sri Lanka, I found the perfect straw hat at a rock bottom price, so I was set!
- Necklace– ($8.50) For those of you that don’t know me, I’m a dog lover through and through. Whilst travelling these 12-months, our two dogs are waiting for us to return home to Australia. Then, we’ll make the big move to the States. In Sri Lanka, they have a shop called . The store’s mission is to save Sri Lanka’s street dogs. I was in love! So I bought a necklace to accessorise and saved a dog at the same time! OMG – it was the best!
- Sandals– ($1.50) For a girl that went from over 100 pairs of shoes (not joking) down to three, a new pair of shoes was a must. Luckily I found a great pair of jelly type sandals with a bit of bling on clearance. Gosh, I love a good bargain!
- Sarong– ($3.50) When the lady at Unawatuna Beach approached me, I was sold! The hard part was just in deciding which one. I finally decided the blue would match the colour of the crystal blue waters in the Maldives, and was stoked with my decision.
- Shellac Pedicure– ($10.50) You can only imagine how bad my feet needed this after 6-months on the road. Hiking, camping, beaching enough said! This was one of the best splurges on my list. My only regret is not doing it sooner ;)
- Sunglasses– ($1.50) There is a wonderful store in China called . This shop is like a trendy accessories dollar store. Seriously, everything is on point (from creative home necessities to cute Panda eye masks) but costs you hardly anything. I fell in love with my $1.50 sunglasses and have never looked back.
GRAND TOTAL = $90
Oh, in case you’re wondering, I did look for some nice panties or lingerie. But, I didn’t like what I found or it was very expensive, so I skipped it. After all, Rob wouldn’t be seeing it on me for long anyways *bow-chica-wow-wow* Haha, sorry – I know, I know, TMI!
Where to stay in Maldives for a honeymoon
When we landed in the Maldives, I felt like a “Bond girl” as we walked from the runway to speedboat. And the next 7-nights at were pure heaven. Well, there were a few hiccups.
It rained most the time and Rob lost his wedding ring (for real – how’s the irony!) But hey, those imperfections are what makes it perfect, right.
And I’m sure it would have been just as wonderful without my new gifts to myself. But it was nice to go shopping and get pampered, so what better excuse to do it than for my long awaited honeymoon!
For anyone on the road, looking to celebrate that special commitment you’ve made to your partner – CONGRATS! The Maldives really is a wonderful place to do it! was perfect, as it was reasonably priced ($2,300 for 7-nights the speed-boat transfers for $330) and absolutely beautiful! So, for less than $350/night we had a deluxe room with breakfast, lunch and dinner, all-inclusive drinks & snorkelling gear.
Rob also spoiled me with the most expensive massage I’ve ever had ($120 of pure bliss) and we went diving with sharks ($350). The entire experience was unforgettable!
Do you have a backpacker honeymoon story to tell? I’d love to hear it!
Kim is a freelance writer and the Co-Founder of . Simply Journeyled is a travel blog that encourages people to take a LEAP! An adult gap year, career break, sabbatical – call it what you will. Despite her klutzy nature, she believes life is all about balance. Being the recipient of so much generosity to date, Kim wants to pay it forward, by offering her top travel tips and advice to everyone interested keen on travelling. You can connect on , ,, and .
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