(Closed) Advice on how to plan a honeymoon to a city you have never been to?

posted 6 years ago in Honeymoons
Post # 3
Bee
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

Ohh I love to plan trips! There are a lot of ways to research – and honestly #1, I’d start by writing a post on Weddingbee titled something like “San Francisco honeymoon – romantic ideas and tips?” or something like that – there’s a lotttt of bees who live in the Bay Area!

#2, choosing a hotel in the right neighborhood is the trickiest but most important thing. I’ve planned a lot of trips in the past where I didn’t know anyone who lived there, so I couldn’t ask for advice – I relied on photos and reviews online, and tried to get an idea of what the different neighborhoods are. Have you been to New York City? Or another big city in the U.S. that I can compare to San Fran for you? Darling Husband and I prefer artsy, not-too-touristy neighborhoods, so when we go to NYC we stay in Greenwich Village or on the Upper West Side. We find areas that have cute little whole-in-the-wall restaurants and parks or good views to be the most romantic. And then we try to pick small offbeat or boutique hotels to get a unique experience (since when we go on road trips we usually stay at Hampton Inn or Motel 6 – not too romantic!!) Once I choose a neighborhood, I read reviews of different hotels on TripAdvisor and Expedia, and I usually book through Expedia (tends to be the cheapest!).

#3, you’ll want to figure out some activities – everyone travels differently, but we tend to plan out our trips pretty well in advance so we don’t feel like we missed out on anything. My favorite things to do in San Francisco are to walk along the Embarcadero, visit the Ghirardelli’s Factory (I LOVE chocolate), go to the Japanese Garden, and go to the Alamo Square Park (right where the show Full House was filmed – you’ll recognize it if you Google it!).

Here, here, here, here, and here are some other boards on Weddingbee with lots of great tips. Good luck!

Post # 4
Bee
1835 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2012 - Oak Tree Manor

Also, I usually make a spreadsheet in Excel with a tab for airfare, a tab for different hotel options, a tab for rental cars/public transportation costs, a tab for entertainment, and a tab for restaurant ideas. I type in an estimated cost, and add them all up, see if it fits my budget, and work backwards, taking out the hotels and activities that I’m not as crazy about or are just too expensive to justify. If you’d like I can send you our honeymoon spreadsheet from New Zealand and Australia as an example, it might give you something to start with!

Post # 6
Member
9916 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

Just pretend it’s like normal travel…

Post # 7
Member
9549 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

tripadvisor.com is your friend. And look at the “other” lodging options. We’ve rented apartments through there that have been some of the best lodging we’ve ever found.

Post # 8
Member
11747 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

Groupon!!!

Post # 9
Member
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2014

@JenGirl:  Agreed.  Another vote for checking out TripAdvisor.  There are also forums that you can search on/ask questions and have locals or people who go to the area often give you ideas of romantic, cheap things to do!

Post # 10
Member
1021 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I’ve also been using the TripAdvisor forums to plan my honeymoon. There are most likely dozens of threads discussing budget friendly hotels, restaurants, etc. Or you could start your own thread and get a lot of helpful feedback. I swear some people hang out on those boards like it’s their job. 

Post # 11
Member
8041 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2013

@JenGirl:  +1

I would do some research and figure out what sorts of things are on your “must do” list. I don’t know much about San Fran but for example, when I went to Paris I knew I wanted to see the Eiffel Tower (duh) and the Louvre.

I wouldn’t schedule yourself too much, though. Some of the best experiences I’ve had have involved exploring strange cities… either by foot or car… just having a relaxed time exploring with no particular destination. It’s pretty romantic doing that when you’re with the person you love 🙂

Also, buy a guidebook. Yeah we’re in the internet age, but it’s nice to have a hard copy guide you can refer to. We still do this! Having a handy little pocket map is also useful. My SO is English and we still take a pocket guide/map/tube map when we go to London!

Post # 12
Member
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Others have given great advice, but I thought I’d chime in:

http://en.wikivoyage.org/wiki/San_francisco – Wikivoyage is a great resource as well. I use it for any time I’m going somewhere new along with tripadvisor.

Post # 16
Member
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Well, hopefully every trip you take is to a city you’ve not been to before! We don’t repeaat vacation spots – too much to see!

I live just outside San Fran, and I think the best thing to do is to rent an apartment instead of a hotel. It’s way cheaper, and then you can make your own breakfast/pack a lunch etc and save money! AirBnB.com is a great website to check out for that.

You’ll probably want to rent a car for at least part of your trip – public transit gets really spotty in the western part of the city – it can take FOREVER to get places in the Presidio, Golden Gate Park, etc if you have to make multiple connections. Places in Marin County (Muir Woods, Point Reyes National Seashore, Sausilito, etc) will require a car as well. You can do a guided wine tasting tour in Napa or Sonoma that picks up in the city (no need for one of you to be a designated driver, yay!) but honestly it’s more fun to drive and pick the vineyards you want to go to, stop for scenery, etc.

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