An Unconvential Honeymoon Destination: Road Trip Out West
Our honeymoon was the best trip I’ve ever taken, but for reasons you might not expect. We didn’t go to an all-inclusive resort, or even somewhere tropical. Instead, we went on an unbelievably spontaneous road trip; spontaneous to the point that even the ‘road trip’ part was unplanned. It turned into the most action-packed, fun-filled 8 days of my life!
A Delayed Start
We initially hadn’t planned to take a honeymoon within the first 6 months of getting married; little money, no time. We were moving to a different state, juggling two mortgages, and I was starting graduate school. However, David’s sister had been raving about Lake Tahoe (where she worked), and when reasonably priced tickets to Reno popped up, we bought them. An 8-day trip squeezed in between finishing a research fellowship and starting another in a different state (almost to the day), and a month after our actual wedding.
Spontaneity at Its Best
The summer had been so busy (July 3rd wedding date), that we never made plans beyond the first two days of the trip (and honestly, David’s sister made those for us!). She booked a hotel for the first two nights, and as a result of her work, several significantly discounted activities. Afterwards, we bought the Lonely Planet California and Yosemite, Sequoia, and Kings Canyon National Parks guide books, downloaded the Priceline iPhone app (our first time using Priceline!), and got in the car. We stuck to the following:
- 3-Hour Rule: We decided not to drive more than 3 hours in a given day. This was mostly done in the evenings. That way, we capitalized on daytime exploration, didn’t exhaust ourselves with driving, and could focus on the conversation.
- Book Hotel Mid-day: We figured out that if we bid on a hotel on Priceline around 4 or 5 o’clock for the same night, the rates were significantly lower. We stayed in several 4-star hotels for less than $100! We even stayed in downtown San Francisco for a shockingly cheap price.
- I’ve Always Wanted to Do That! : Typically, after we finished the days’ activities, we would decide where to go next by looking through the guidebooks and finding someplace we had never been or something we had never done that was within a 3-hour drive. We would then get on Priceline, book a hotel in that area, and drive there in the evening. The process was an adventure in itself!
What we did in 8-days on our honeymoon:
- Flew to/from Pittsburgh and Reno
- Kayaked on Lake Tahoe
- Wakeboard/Water ski on Lake Tahoe
- Parasailed at Lake Tahoe
- Dinner cruise on Tahoe Queen at Emerald Bay
- Hiked Half Dome at Yosemite National Park
- Explored San Francisco
- Visited/took pictures at umpteen scenic vistas
- Biked 35 miles through the Dry Creek Valley in Sonoma
- Visited 3 wineries for wine tasting
- Skydived in Lodi (cheap rates for skydiving! $100 for tandem jump)
- Hiked around Vikingsholm at Lake Tahoe
When have you allowed yourself to be spontaneous? Where did you go on your honeymoon? Comment below!