The Honeymooners

Mr. Mongoose and I have a serious case of wanderlust. As I mentioned in my intro post, we LOVE to travel. We travel mostly for pleasure, but Mr. M also travels a ton for work. So when deciding on a honeymoon location, we narrowed down the numerous options by asking ourselves a few simple questions. What area of the world have we never been to? Which countries are in our top five of places we’d love to visit? Where else can you hug a koala or go on a Lord of the Rings tour? The answer to each question was without a doubt, Australia & New Zealand.

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I’ve reluctantly accepted the fact that you can’t ride a kangaroo. / Image via Down Under Views

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My favorite New Zealanders Brett, Jemaine, and Murray (from Flight of the Conchords) / Image via HBO

We made the decision on these countries last summer and were even more encouraged when in my research I came across Down Under Endeavours, a Chicago-based travel agency with expertise in the South Pacific area. Now, I’ve never used a travel agency to plan vacations and have always planned every trip myself; however, because we’re traveling so far and we both know absolutely nothing about either country, I figured it was time we relinquish vacation-planning duties to the experts. And I’m so glad we did!

The company specializes in highly customized travel itineraries, which were right up our alley. With all the intense wedding planning going on, Mr. M thankfully took the lead on planning the honeymoon and has been working closely with our travel specialist to put everything together. He told her the things we enjoy (beach, adventure, nature, and LOTS of wine & food because, seriously, Australia and New Zealand produce some of the best wines in the world), and she came back with recommended locations that best fit our interests.

Some of our itinerary stops include adventurous locations like the Great Barrier Reef, the Daintree Rainforest, and the Glow Worm Caves. A few of the activities we have planned include scuba diving (for the first time, yikes) at the Reef, bike tours, wine tours, a boat tour of Milford Sound (like Mrs. Wallaby!), seeing a performance at the Sydney Opera House, a Lord of the Rings tour, and possibly a cooking class or two. The custom itinerary designed for us includes hotels, private transportation, most activities, and some of the airfare since we’re going to a number of different cities.

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Great Barrier Reef Marine Life / Image via Australia.com

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Daintree Rainforest / Image via Executive Retreats

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Glow Worm Caves / Image via Glowworm.co.nz

And the best part? Mr. M is a frequent flier on Delta and he’s racked up a TON of miles over the past few years. Because of this, we were able to exchange miles to 1) get free round-trip airfare to Sydney and 2) get upgraded to business class both ways…for free. I nearly pooped my pants when Mr. M booked this sweet deal—and he still has a ton of miles left over. (I also have a good amount of miles which we’re saving for a future trip.)

This will be one of the most epic journeys of our lifetime (and hopefully not the last)—we are going for three and a half weeks since we saved a TON of money on airfare. Since we’re having a destination wedding in May, we’ve decided to wait until September to honeymoon, giving us something fun to look forward to (other than our marriage, of course!) once all the wedding hoopla is over. September is also our dating-anniversary month, and the day we leave will be our eight-year anniversary. I am SO pumped!!!

If going on a honeymoon, will you plan it yourself or use a travel agency? Are you going right after the wedding or are you putting it off for a few weeks/months?

BLOGGER

Mrs. Mongoose

Location:
New Haven, CT
Wedding Date:
May 2013
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  1. Guest
    Dommiebatsch, Guest @ 3:13 pm

    Ooooh, As an Aussie bride YAY! I love to see honneymooners coming down under! (and yes, i’m considering heading to the states for our honneymoon). You are going to be SOOOO glad you booked business, Coach with Delta LAX to SYD is the pits, they don’t even have TVs on the back of the chairs (yes, never flying delta international again, QANTAS or Virgin all the way).
    Are you coming to Melbourne?
    If you need any Aussie advice or just want some cool not so touristy ideas just hollar! (or DM me anyway)

  2. Member
    Mrs. Mongoose 726 posts, Busy bee @ 3:36 pm

    @Dommiebatsch: Whoa that’s crazy that Delta doesn’t have TVs in coach!! I heard they renovated a bunch of international flights so hopefully they’ve changed that. And yes we’re spending 3 days in Melbourne so I may definitely need some restaurant recos :)

  3. Member
    dommiebatsch 48 posts, Newbee @ 4:58 pm

    ooooh, we have some awesome restaurants! Can DEFINATLEY recommend MoVida (or MoVida next door) for some yummy alleyway tapas :) You cant book so getting there early is the best bet!

    Another fun one is Donnovan’s a seafood restuarnt on the beach in St Kilda. and LaCammera in southbank has a lovely view of the river and yummy italian!

  4. Member
    Mrs. Sword 1023 posts, Bumble bee @ 6:16 pm

    Australia was our dream before we looked at pricing! Mr. Sword lived in Melbourne for a year and he wants to show me Down Under so badly! I’ll have to wait a bit longer! How do you both have 3.5 weeks off from work?!?! Jealous!

  5. Member
    Mrs. Mongoose 726 posts, Busy bee @ 8:08 am

    @dommiebatsch: Awesome, thank you so much for the recos! @Miss Sword: Haha Mr. M geta a good amount of vacation days each year and I’ve just been saving up mine.

  6. Member
    stephk527 987 posts, Busy bee @ 10:56 am

    Three and a half weeks?! That’s SO awesome! I think it’s great how you and Mr. Mongoose approached the planning by asking yourselves the questions. Although I wouldn’t say Australia/NZ is ‘alternative’, per se, it’s not a typical beachy resort type honeymoon (like ours! hehe) either. Like you said, definitely adventurous. . .which means I can’t wait to read about it!

  7. Member
    Mrs. Mongoose 726 posts, Busy bee @ 11:23 am

    @StephK527: I normally gravitate towards beachy vacations (nothing makes me happier than sipping a pina colada and listening to the waves crashing). So even I was surprised at how much more this trip is leaning towards the adventurous side, however I can’t imagine two better places to get my adventure on!

  8. Member
    ChicagoDreamer 509 posts, Busy bee @ 4:11 pm

    This should be amazing for you both! I’ve always wanted to head that way—hopefully soon enough.

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