Where to Honeymoon in September, October or November?

It used to be, that the summer months were the most popular, but lately, couples are choosing more and more to get married during the fall months.

With September being peak hurricane season, many ask where should we honeymoon in September or October? Is it safe to travel to the Caribbean during hurricane season? What do we have to expect from hurrican season? And, are there any alternatives?

sandals emerald bay, exuma, bahamas

Of course, choosing a destination has a lot to do with the time a couple has available as well as their budget. It also has something to do with what they ultimately want to experience.

Some couples aren’t worried about hurricanes and don’t mind a daily afternoon rain shower. That is mostly what you should expect during hurricane season. However, every now and then a hurricane forms and eventually takes one path or another.

Nowadays, hurricane tracking is fairly reliable and a hurricane’s path is predicted days before it actually happens. This can be both, great if indeed the hurrican takes a certain path and the chosen destination is affected, upsetting if you change your plans, only to find that the hurricane takes a different path or has weakened.

hurrican-tracking

The most important thing to have in this situation is solid travel insurance. If you have a “cancellation for covered reasons” policy, chances are that you are only covered if the hurricane hits. Meaning, that if the hurricane is supposed to hit tomorrow, but you are traveling today, you have no option to cancel because “fear of a hurricane” is usually not covered.  If you want to have the flexibility to decide not to go because you are worried a hurricane might affect your honeymoon, you need a so called “cancel for any reason” travel protection plan.

But, which Caribbean island to pick during hurricane season? If you want an all-inclusive experience, go with Jamaica, the Negril side to be precise. The island’s Blue Mountains offer a natural, protective barrier to the other side of the island. They also catch most of the rainfall. If an all-inclusive honeymoon isn’t on top of your list, pick one of the ABC Islands (Aruba, Curacao or Bonaire). These are usually out of the hurricane belt and less prone to stormy action.

jamaica-087

Whichever destination you choose in the Caribbean, or along the Pacific Coast, there never is a guarantee though. Weather patterns have been changing and are no longer as predictable as they once were.

For those who want to stay away from hurricanes altogether I suggest a trip to Europe. Fall in Europe is the best, and depending on where you go, you can still enjoy a beach vacation.

Here are some of my top choices:

IRELAND

doolough ireland aavexplorations

Great for nature lovers, couples on a tighter budget, couples afraid of long flights, and couples worried about language barriers.

How long does it take to get there? A quick 6- 7  hour flight from the East Coast will take you there.

ITALY

Venice004

Perfect for romantics, history buffs, art lovers, music lovers, food lovers… need I say more, the country screams amore and passion. Fall is less crowded, the weather mild, prices lower.

How long does it take to get there? Expect a little over 8 hours from the East Coast

GREECE

34879528

For a laid back, sunny, island hopping experience. Sipping ouzo, nibbling on olives, watching a donkey go by. The perfect setting for a romantic, relaxing honeymoon. However, keep in mind that once October hits, many hotels, shops and even ferries shut down

How long does it take to get there? Expect a little over 10 hours from the East Coast

PORTUGAL

wisteria_douro_river_valley

Douro River – image courtesy of Viking River Cruises

For a romantic river cruise along the Duoro River where vineyards abound and harvest season is in full swing. Lisbon is also one of the most stunning cities in Europe!

How long does it take to get there? Expect a little over 6 hours from the East Coast

PARIS, LONDON & AMSTERDAM

subway station, metro , louvre rivoli, paris

For a three city power pack cultural experience. Each unique, each worth a visit. Super easy to connect via high-speed trains. Track Royals in London and have High Tea at Kensington Palace, stroll book stalls along the Seine in Paris and enjoy dinner atop the Eiffel Tower, and ride a bike in Amsterdam and check out the Anne Frank museum.

How long does it take to get there? Expect between 6 – 7 hours from the East Coast, depending on which city you fly in and fly out of.

stefanie pichonnat aavtravel

 

Written by STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the owner of  AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm, specialized in creating and customizing honeymoons. You can contact her at stefanie@aavromance.com

 

 

When is the best time to visit Ireland?

Dreaming of standing on the cliffs, seeing vast, luscious shades of green expanding over many miles, feeling the wind from the Atlantic blow through your hair, and experiencing such beauty that you thought only existed in a fairy tale? According to World of Wanderlust, a reputable travel blog, Ireland ranked number two out of 15 destinations in the world to travel to in 2015–and for many good reasons!

cliffs of moher ireland aavtravelLike every other destination, Ireland also experiences a high season, low season and shoulder seasons. But one thing that doesn’t change is the weather. One of Ireland’s most famous sayings goes: “if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.” It couldn’t be more true, due to the fact that the weather is so unpredictable and you can experience all four seasons in one day. Ireland is on the same latitude of Washington, USA and the weather is very comparable to Seattle, especially with the amount of rainfall. But don’t let the weather be a reason to not visit this beautiful, enchanting island, because it will be an experience like no other.

Celtic Monastery Ireland aavtravelHigh Season
Generally starting the last two weeks of June because the days are long (6 a.m. sunrises and 10 p.m. sunsets–doesn’t that sound great?!) and lasts until August. You can expect the costs of airfares, hotels and car rentals to be sky high because this is the major time for tourists to flock to Ireland. Crowds will be very intense at the major attractions, such as Giants Causeway (pictured below) or, for example, the Cliffs of Moher get up to one million visitors a year! If you’re planning a trip during peak tourist season, make sure to book way in advance, because every B & B, guest house or hotel will be reserved. Destinations like Dublin, Killarney, Galway and Cork are only some of the few major stops along the way for tourists!

giant's causeway antrim northern ireland aavexplorationsThe weather during the summer, like mentioned earlier can be unpredictable. July and August are the warmest months, but they’re not scorching hot. The Irish consider anything over 20 degree Celsius (68 degrees Fahrenheit) to be ‘roasting.’ You can expect to have nice sunny days with rain showers sporadically. It can also be chilly any time of the year in Ireland, so when you pack, think layers! That way, if you get warm you can take a layer off, or vice versa.

Christ Church Ireland aavtravelLow Season
November to March is considered the low season, where tourist traffic is at its lowest, and airfares and hotels are at their cheapest. But, the wind will really blow, some of the rural sites will be closed (or have winter hours), and a good amount of B & B’s will also be closed. Keep in mind there are holidays that will affect attraction closures, such as: Christmas (Dec. 25), St. Stephen Day/Boxing Day (Dec. 26), New Years Day (Jan. 1)  and St. Patrick’s Day (March 17).

Belfast Christmas in Ireland aavtravelThe downside to visiting in the winter is the days are shorter and the weather ranges from cool to cold. Strong winds will blow from the Atlantic, and gales are common. The Irish consider anything below 1 degree Celsius (34 degrees Fahrenheit) to be freezing during the winter months. Wintertime to most means snow, but not in Ireland. Though they do get snow in the northern region it rarely sticks, and the island mostly gets frost.  But there is an upside to visiting during the winter! Not only will you get great deals to save on the overall cost of your trip, but major attractions won’t be crowded with tourists, so you can take your time. Just make sure to pack comfortable shoes, a warm jacket, layers of clothes and an umbrella!Dublin Ireland aavtravel

Shoulder Seasons
April-May and September-October are considered Ireland’s shoulder seasons mostly because they’re not in the high or low seasons. The weather isn’t winter-like, or summer-like, but rather mild. The springtime is a great time to go because students are still in school, and family travel isn’t as prominent, plus you get to see everything in bloom! During the fall you’ll see the colors change, and students are back in school.

Connemara Ireland aavtravel The shoulder seasons are a great time visit especially if you want to escape the crowds from the summer, but don’t want to experience the winter time in Ireland. This way, you’ll have a more relaxed atmosphere, without all the hustle and bustle to worry about.

doolough ireland aavexplorationsOverall, whether you plan to visit during the high, low or shoulder season, your experience will be one in a lifetime. Ireland is a unique destination, it’s a place where you can have tropical climates in the south west and see lots of exotic plants and flowers, but you can also expect to see rare flora and fauna in the north where you won’t see anywhere else in Ireland. There’s a reason why Ireland is called the Emerald Isle, why not experience the rolling hills, greenery, and natural beauty first hand?

stephanie jellett aavtravel

Written by STEPHANIE JELLETT
Stephanie Jellett is interning as a travel writer and social media manager at AAV Travel. You can contact her at stephanieljellett@gmail.com

 

in conjunction with AAV Travel’s Ireland Expert
stefanie pichonnat aavtravel

STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the Ireland Specialist at AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating and customizing personalized travel itineraries. Having personally traveled to Ireland she can help you create a wonderful experience. You can contact her at stefanie@aav-travel.com

Cork, Ireland — A Place for Lovers

Situated in the south west of Ireland, Cork is rich with luscious farmlands and rivers. The River Lee flows through two main channels in the city, so you’ll find yourself crossing bridges to get around. Though Cork isn’t a popular honeymoon getaway like Dublin (the capital of Ireland) or Galway, which rests on the Atlantic Ocean and has golden sand beaches, Cork is a true treasure trove for couples in love.

cork ireland aavexplorations

Arriving in Cork you’ll have the option to stay at various modern hotels, cozy up at a charming bed and breakfast, or romance at a historic place, such as the Bantry House pictured below. Either way—you’ll be welcomed with smiling faces anywhere you go. The best way to experience the city is by foot—imagine walking hand-in-hand down the cobblestone walkway through the old city, over the channel, taking in everything it has to offer.

bantry house ireland aavexplorationsCork turns into a different city when the sun sets. The air is filled with laughter coming from comedy clubs, friends tell jokes over a couple of beers in an old Irish bar, and beat of the DJ music can be heard down the street. Experience a wide array of nightclubs with music that ranges from modern popular music to live local music.

If you want to get out of the bustling city for a day, Kinsale is located 15 miles outside of Cork. Originally a medieval fishing village, Kinsale is located on the coast and is one of the most historic towns on the south west coast of Ireland. The picturesque village is full of beautiful buildings, complete with intimate pubs and restaurants. Listen to Irish songs in a pub while enjoying a pint of Guinness. Go horseback riding through the country side. Kinsale is the ideal place to relax and escape the hustle and bustle.

sheep road ireland aavexplorations

Ireland is a very romantic destination full of history and laid back charm. It is a place where you can feel very close to nature. Cork is but one of the many places to be explored and makes for a great stop.

Ireland as well as Northern Ireland are easy to explore on your own. The most challenging part is how to create an itinerary that optimizes the time you have available. If you would like some expert help feel free to contact us at info@aav-travel.com.

 stephanie jellett aavtravel

Written by STEPHANIE JELLETT
Stephanie Jellett is interning as a travel writer and social media manager at AAV Travel. You can contact her at stephanie.jellett@maine.edu

 

in conjunction with AAV Travel’s Ireland Expert
stefanie pichonnat aavtravel

STEFANIE PICHONNAT
Stefanie Pichonnat is the Ireland Specialist at AAV Travel, a boutique travel firm specialized in creating and customizing personalized travel itineraries. You can contact her at stefanie@aav-travel.com