Celebrate your love like the stars do, without spending millions.
by Jessica Pollack
From private islands to once-in-a-lifetime experiences, the stars know how to honeymoon in style. And although replicating their itinerary would be out of the question for most people, there’s no reason you can’t build a more affordable escape inspired by your favorite A-list couple.
For beach lovers
If a sunny oasis sounds like the perfect way to bask in that newlywed bliss, consider celebrity favorite Seychelles, home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The Clooneys and the Cambridges spent a small fortune at Seychelles’ uber-exclusive North Island resort, but that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. Mahé, the largest island, is absolutely stunning, with 3,000-foot mountains and tons of gorgeous beaches. You’ll also get to soak up some local culture in Victoria, the capital and largest city of the Seychelles.
Meanwhile, Gabrielle Union and Dwyane Wade headed to the Indian Ocean’s other island escape, the Maldives. Look for a resort with overwater bungalows, like the stunning Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.
For something a little closer to home, Sofia Vergara and Joe Manganiello lived it up at the five-star Como Parrot Cay resort in Turks and Caicos. Grab a cliffside room at Rock House, one of Providenciales’ most unique hotels. You’ll feel like you’re in Capri!
For city explorers
Paris may be the city of love, but the rich and famous seem to flock to Italy after tying the knot. With its cliffside towns, gorgeous beaches and succulent seafood, the Amalfi Coast oozes Old Hollywood glamor, which drew Justin and Hailey Bieber, Heidi Klum and Reese Witherspoon. Consider visiting in September, during shoulder season when tourism starts to dip but conditions are still lovely.
After their wedding in Lake Como (where JLo and Ben Affleck recently honeymooned), Chrissy Teigen and John Legend found some romance in Portofino, a luxe harbor town on the Ligurian coast. Remember that you can always stay in less popular coastal towns (like Ravello or Santa Margherita Ligure) and do day trips to spots like Capri, Positano and Portofino.
Opting to avoid crowds, Gwyneth Paltrow and hubby Brad Falchuk took in the rolling green hills and stunning sunsets in Umbria, Tuscany’s less-touristy neighbor. And for culture with a capital C, Amy Schumer was in full tourist mode while exploring Milan, Venice and Rome, big cities where you can often grab passes that cover public transport and entry to some of the local sights.
For adventure seekers
Newly minted spouses bonded by their love of adventure can look to Mandy Moore’s Chilean getaway for inspiration. The This Is Us star hiked her way through the South American country, from the glaciers in Patagonia to the world’s driest spot, the Atacama Desert. Stunning Explora lodges across the country marry all-inclusive experiences (hiking, horseback riding and more) with local conservation education.
If you’re dreaming of a safari, you’ll find plenty of ideas on Idris Elba’s and Emmy Rossum’s social feeds, where they shared their respective African honeymoons. Elba stayed at two spectacular eco-lodges in Tanzania’s Serengeti National Park, but there are plenty more affordable options in Tanzania, Kenya and South Africa, where Hilary Duff saw the “big five” at the more affordable Kruger National Park. Rossum trekked with mountain gorillas in Rwanda, where she also photographed zebras, cheetahs and gazelles. If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly way to hang with gorillas, Uganda offers cheaper permits with a mix of mid-range and luxury accommodations.