How To Have a Mini-Moon


Plus win a $500 mini-moon adventure from Airbnb!

by Maddie Eisenhart, Chief Revenue Officer

airbnb apw

HOW TO HAVE A MINI-MOON

When Michael and I got married, a honeymoon wasn’t even remotely in the cards for us. We maxed out our limited finances and our time off for the wedding itself, and made the unwise decision to go right back to work the Tuesday after we got married. It is, without a doubt, the one thing I would go back and do-over again, even if it did mean taking unpaid vacation days. We were cranky, and tired, and hadn’t had time to process the hugeness of what had just happened. But what were we going to do? It’s not like we could just magically make an extra few thousand dollars appear in our bank accounts.

Except, we were thinking about it all wrong. The modern honeymoon in all of its tropical glory is awesome if you can make it happen, but it’s also not the point. We had pressured ourselves into believing that we needed a huge lavish vacation to have a honeymoon, when what we really needed was a few days to be with each other and digest the commitment we’d just made (and maybe have sex and sleep in a little bit and not answer emails). Aka, a mini-moon.

While the name could maybe use some work, the idea behind the mini-moon is simple: you don’t have to go far to get away. Just hop over to the next town, shack up together, and enjoy some quality time with your partner in a place where you won’t be tempted to tackle your laundry pile. (Heads up: mini-moons aren’t just for newlyweds either. What I’m describing sounds exactly like what Michael and I could use at the moment.) But living near a big city (as it turns out half of APWers do) often means I get so overwhelmed with the options that I just… never pull the trigger. So today, we’ve partnered with Airbnb to bring you ideas for mini-moons that you can take in your own backyard (well, less than a few hours drive from your backyard) for less than $500. With Airbnb, you can rent entire homes and apartments, often for the same price as a hotel (or cheaper). Which means less needing to plan your trip and more sitting back and enjoying it.

Don’t live near one of the cities below? Airbnb has a ton of stylish rental options all over the world, at more price points than I know what to do with. But if we missed a big one, leave it in the comments and we’ll see if we can’t tackle a few more in the future. But for now, here are three awesome mini-moon ideas that you can do near New York, San Francisco, and LA (engaged, married, or otherwise):

From SAN FRANCISCO: Sonoma, The Other Wine Country

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THE MINI-MOON: Live out your childhood fantasies by spending a weekend in your very own tree house in Petaluma, CA.

THE ACCOMMODATIONS: This is the dream right? A multi-level tree house where you can stay up past your bedtime, and there are no adults allowed. Plus, this particular tree house has a queen bed, which means you don’t have to deal with the uncomfortable childhood reality of sleeping bags on the floor. Also, your childhood dreams didn’t have wine country just down the road, but your adult reality can.

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THINGS TO DO AND SEE: Lucky for you, somebody on our staff spends a lot of time in Sonoma, and we pried her best tips out of her. (Cough, Meg.) She recommends getting off the beaten track by driving alllll the way up to Geyserville to do a tasting at the tiny Meeker tasting room, housed in a hundred-year-old bank building. (The drive is pretty, the wine is damn good, and unpretentious as hell.) On your way back, hit up the all-the-locals-know-it’s amazing Ridge tasting room. For a little bit of really enjoyable luxe, visit the newly blinged out Francis Ford Coppola Winery, one of the few places that breaks the rule that the fancier the grounds, the worse the wine. (And if you plan far enough in advance, like, six months in advance, you can even book a Cabine at the nicest pool in Sonoma.) Also, Sonoma is known for it’s antique and vintage stores. Forget high-end furniture you can’t afford, and fill your car with records, cool old quilts, sixties cocktail shakers, and random clothing items. Most of the time, the prices are so good you can pay for things with that wadded up $20 bill in your wallet. But for the truly obscure sightseeing, may I recommend Rancho Obi Wan? I mean, I’m pretty sure nothing says honeymoon to Michael more than Star Wars memorabilia. But maybe that’s just us.

From NEW YORK CITY: The Artistic Hudson River Valley

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THE MINI-MOON: Have it both ways with a modern secluded retreat in the Hudson Valley.

THE ACCOMMODATIONS: In a city where everyone’s rushing 24/7, taking a breather becomes essential to basic sanity. However for a (super short) drive, you can have your very own creek in your backyard! Plus, get all the creature comforts people who live in not-New-York take for granted, like a wood fireplace, and the ability eat breakfast while overlooking a whole lot of nature. A note on transportation: this home is just a ten-minute cab ride from the Cold Spring Metro North station (a little more than an hour’s ride from the city!). However, for those who can drive but don’t have wheels, Zipcar or Relay Rides are excellent (and affordable) tools.

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THINGS TO DO AND SEE: Hudson Valley is really quaint (there’s barely any sirens!). So what else does a tired city-slicker need? But if you want to do more than just sleep in and look out your window, I asked Najva (our resident New Yorker) for her best tips on things to do around town. For history buffs you can basically just pick your century: for eighteenth and nineteenth century, drop by the nearby Boscobel estate; or if mid-century is more your speed, there’s always Russel Wright’s house. Or if you want to go way back, you can always visit a castle, because, why not? For modernists and art enthusiasts, Beacon is a haven. Dia: Beacon is infamous if you need a culture fix, or for more modern art that’s a little off the beaten path, I have it on good authority that Storm King is the place to go (it’s a sculptural park, so art plus nature equals win). The state park is for hiking and seeing stunning views of the Hudson River and Catskills, and generally forgetting that cities exist. Bonus: If you drive back to the city, stop by Jones Farm for apple cider donuts and all the eggs, honey, and produce a locavore could ever want. Thank us later.

From LOS ANGELES: The super Hip Joshua Tree (And Palm SPrings Too)

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MINI-MOON: Become one with the desert in Joshua Tree National Park.

THE ACCOMMODATIONS: Joshua Tree is not short on hip, affordable places to stay—from modern cabins that cost less than $100 a night to this dome house that kind of reminds me of a desert igloo. But for honeymooning, you just can’t beat a private hot tub overlooking the desert mountains.

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THINGS TO DO AND SEE: The brilliant thing about Joshua Tree is that you’ve got nature at your doorstep—hiking, biking, camping and climbing, take your pick. Not to mention, the whole place got achingly hip in the past handful of years. (I mean, check out artist Lily Stockman’s ponderings on Joshua Tree.) We asked Jamie Street of Rad + In Love (who got married in Joshua Tree before it was achingly hip) for her best insider tips on where all the cool kids are hanging out. She says you can’t go wrong with a tour of Keys Ranch (bring your camera, it’s like traveling back in time). For highbrow exploration, try the Noah Purifoy Sculpture Garden or Integration (which describes itself as “kindergarten naptime for grown ups in a sound sphere”). Lowbrow: shop for vintage western wear at Ricochet Vintage Wears, handmade ceramics at bkb ceramics, and a combination of new and old at The End. At night, hop over to Pappy & Harriet’s in Pioneertown, where there’s live music every night and everyone is welcome: “Cowboys, bikers, Marines, desert rats, two-steppers, rock climbers, tourists and kids.” Joshua Tree is also less than an hour away from Palm Springs, which means more amazing shopping: clothes, vintage furniture, don’t mind if I do. Plus, it gives you your pick of hotel pools (without, you know, having to actually stay in a hotel). The Ace Swim Club gives you all-day pool access for … and more importantly, all day boozy slushy access. And hit up the excellent restaurant scene, before heading back to your lush desert oasis… and hot tub, all for a fraction of the price, and way more cool power and living space, than any of those expensive hotels.

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This post was sponsored by Airbnb. Thanks Airbnb for helping make the APW mission possible! Head to Airbnb to find stylish, affordable mini-moon rental options near you.

Note: Travel must be booked by June 30, 2015. Actual dates of travel can be anytime after this date. Airbnb credit is open to all APW readers (not just US residents), and travel can be anywhere that Airbnb offers rentals (domestic, international, tree house, you name it).

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is APW’s Chief Revenue Officer. She’s been writing stories about boys, crushes, and relationships since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) from NYU in Entertainment and Mass Media in 2008. She now spends a significant amount of time thinking about trends on the internet and whether flower crowns will be out next year. A Maine native, Maddie currently lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband, Michael and their mastiff puppy. Current hair color: Purple(ish).

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  • anonpsu

    We did a minimoon and it was one of the best decisions surrounding our wedding! It was within a 2 hour drive of where we got married (and 2 hours the other direction from our house), and it just gave us time to decompress and relax. My husband didn’t have to use up all of his PTO for the year, and we took an awesome full honeymoon 5 months later. This gave us something else to look forward to. I actually couldn’t even imagine doing a lot of traveling the day after my wedding, it would be so overwhelming. Our honeymoon spot took us 13 hours door to door to get to (2 plane rides plus an hour and a half car ride to the resort), which would’ve just been WAY too much after our wedding.

    • crg

      We’re planning the same thing but our wedding isn’t until next summer. I’m glad to hear of someone else having such a positive experience with it! We originally wanted to do a whole European trip, but then realized we both would struggle to afford it and we would rather do so when we could enjoy the trip more fully.

    • Kayla

      We did do a full honeymoon and left the afternoon after the wedding, and I can confirm that the travel was definitely exhausting. Between pre-wedding/wedding festivities and travel, we ended up going about 4-5 days without more than a few hours of sleep at a time.

      But personally, I would do it all over again.

    • Eh

      We had an out of town wedding (it was an hour from where we lived but we didn’t own a car at the time) and we left for our honeymoon on the Sunday afternoon (after brunch with our families). For us the honeymoon travel was less stressful than making sure we had everything for the wedding (which of course we didn’t and my husband had to borrow a car to make two trips back to our apartment to pick up things we forgot). Another nice thing about our honeymoon was that we took the train to get there. So it was a different pace than the days leading up to our wedding (it was a bit weird that we slept on bunk beds for the night on the train).

    • Caroline

      I agree, I was glad we didn’t have to travel far and had a laid back honeymoon right after the wedding. We did a small, local honeymoon because it was what was in our budget. But as we drove to our rented apartment on the beach, I said to my husband I couldn’t imagine flying internationally right then, I was way too tired. I was SO glad we had opted for a smaller trip (or rather, had the choice of a smaller trip or no trip). We call that our honeymoon, and this year, we’re going on our first international travel as a 1st anniversary-ish trip (It’s not quite on our anniversary day or month, but it’s our anniversary season).

  • C

    We used Airbnb for our honeymoon. I had a budget of $600 total for airfare and just looked until I found a location we wanted to go to in that range (Puerto Rico won- we hadn’t been there before and it was cheaper than lots of places in the US) and used Airbnb for a place to stay which was way, way less expensive than a regular hotel.

  • Nell

    YES!!!!! We were thinking of doing a minimoon with an AirBnB rental anyway! I am keeping my fingers crossed!

    I feel super lucky to live in New England, because there are so many different types of mini vacations you can take. Maine: Lobsters, art, seaside. Rhode Island: Mansions, seaside. Vermont: Hippie wool co-ops, cheese, mountains. New Hampshire: Mountains, Mountains, Mountains.

    I’m a big fan of short road trip vacations that end at some cabin in a forest. Plus, being able to cook your own food for breakfast and lunch saves a TON of money on vacation (and a lot of headaches trying to find a place that serves up something you both want to eat). AirBnB for the win!

  • Vanessa

    We also used Airbnb for our honeymoon on the west coast (eating our way down the coast I should say) with stays in Portland –> San Francisco (where we stayed in a treehouse overlooking the bay!)

  • VKD_Vee

    Biggest Airbnb fan on the planet here! Just entered linking a cute lil’ apartment in Berlin. :)

  • Skilde

    The geek in me cannot read ‘mini-moon’ without thinking about the Sailor Moon anime.

  • laurasmash

    Yessss, Joshua Tree. I’m having that hipster-snob moment (FYI, I’m not remotely hip) where I don’t want everyone to know how great Joshua Tree is because then they will all go there too. I love it there. A professor of mine from grad school owns a cabin in J-Tree that she used to use as a design lab, and we all did these weird installations on her land in conjunction with High Desert Test Sites several years ago. I’m pretty sure she turned it into an airbnb more recently.

    • Lawyerette510

      “Hipster-snob moment” description made me laugh. Climbers/ outdoorsy dirtbags had lots of dirtbag-snob moments to when the hipsters started getting all pumped on JTree.

      • laurasmash

        Dirtbag-snob! Even better! We usually backcountry camp along the boy scout trail in the National Park, so I guess I’m a dirtbag too. If you are a Southern California dirtbag-snob I think we should be friends.

        • Lawyerette510

          You are definitely a dirtbag-snob! (that’s a huge compliment) and I agree if I was in SoCal we should be friends. These days I’m a dirtbag-dilettante in the bay area. Mr. Lawyerette and I were once true dirtbags (living in a van and not really working), but we now have full time jobs and a pretty apartment, but we like to dirtbag on the weekends. While I’m not in SoCal, I will be in JTree for the week of Thanksgiving and am already getting pumped even though it’s 7 months away…

          • laurasmash

            Yeah, we are weekend dirtbags too (in LA). Yay for JTree thanksgiving! We always do a big camping trip over thanksgiving, did Death Valley a couple of times and Grand Canyon last year. I’ve nearly perfected the art of campfire tofurkey dinner.

  • Lisa

    Oh, man, I love to plan vacations and travel, and now I’m getting sucked down the rabbit hole of planning ideas!!

  • Lawyerette510

    Love Airbnb and use it often for weekends away. We had a mini-moon and am so glad we did, plus doing it close to home meant we were able to go back about 6 months later for some time together!

  • A yearly mini moon (or whatever a better name for it might be!) is a MUST for us. Even if we can’t make a full weekend work, we will go away somewhere close, cheap, but different, and try to shut out the rest of the world for a teeeny amount of time.

    Our two favorite spots:
    Newport, RI
    Savannah, GA

    Totally different vibe from each, but both were fairly close (about 3 hours) and seriously relaxing.

  • Kay

    Anyone have recommendations for a location for a beach mini moon on the Gulf coast or Carolina/Georgia coasts. Minnesotans here looking for a quiet beach to relax on in early June. Any tips appreciated :)

    • Minnesota shout out! After yesterday’s reversion to winter, beaches sound great – I wish I could think of somewhere, but I know nothing about any of those places … Maine in the summer is great, though!

      • InTheBurbs

        Amen – working from home gave me a perfect view…ugg…

    • Lisa

      Maybe Tybee Island or the Outer Banks? I went to Tybee once when I was young and really liked it, and I’ve always wanted to make it to NC!

    • Sara

      I’ve heard amazing things about Outer Banks, and my family is always a fan of Hilton Head

    • It’s a tiny bit further but I can’t say enough about Amelia Island, FL. It’s south of Savannah and tiny and adorable and laidback. We got engaged there and spent our mini-moon there as well. Plus, literally everyone throws champagne at you if you mention it’s your honeymoon.

    • Nope.

      North Carolina! The Outer Banks are lovely, but depending on where you come from, it can be challenging to get there. We’ve driven a few times from DC, and it’s actually just as easy to get there now as it was when we went to college in NC. The east coast of North Carolina is beautiful and very low-key. I’ve looked in the past, and there are some lovely Airbnbs down there.

      • Sarah E

        Seconded on the Outer Banks, I’ve been there a couple times, and I know a lot of people who make that their regular vacation from PA. You can definitely find a range of quiet towns to hipper places, but nothing is over-the-top busy.

    • Rose

      We took a family vacation to Manteo, NC this last August, and really loved it. There isn’t a beach within walking distance, but it’s about a 15 minute drive over the bridget to Nag’s Head. We liked Manteo, partly because there is more of a town there than in some beach towns, which made it easier that we hadn’t planned our food perfectly and such.

    • Sarah

      Last year we did Fripp Island off the coast of South Carolina. It is simply stunning. We took a night walk on the beach and there were tiny bio-luminescent creatures in the surf. You can see the milky way at night. Like…simply gorgeous. I think there are several islands in this area (Hilton Head being the most popular).

    • Tybee is lovely, as are St. Simons and Jekyll, for Georgia coast!

      Personally we’re huge fans of Edisto Beach in South Carolina, it’s a tiny tiny island, super quiet. We’ve gone several times, and the home and condo rentals are super affordable.

      • And Tybee has PORCH SWINGS built into the sand!!!!!!!!!! SO AMAZING!

        I just realized after several comments all my happy places mentioned (Portland, ME, Savannah, GE, Neport, RI, Avon, NC) are by the ocean.

    • FancyPants

      I love the Outer Banks and will plug the tiny surf town of Ocracoke! The beaches on the Outer Banks are very quiet and there’s all manner of cabins, apartments, condos, etc to rent.

      I also love the southern NC coast near Wilmington, NC but don’t have a particular knowledge of which is quiet amongst Topsail, Wrightsville, Emerald Isle, Morehead City- but I can say the beaches and coast there is just beautiful (with an airport much more accessible than Outer Banks).

      Enjoy!

      • Ocracoke is lovely! I worked a summer at a surf shop one island up from Ocracoke – Hatteras. I haven’t been able to go back since, but that area is one of my favorite places ever. Sitting by a bonfire next to the ocean, with either a beer or a bowl of she crab soup, with sea oats rustling in the breeze is just about heaven.

        • FancyPants

          Indeed! Yesss to she crab soup!

    • I love Tybee, and when I was young we used to go to Navarre. I haven’t been there in YEARS, but Navarre was really awesome — just a tiny unincorporated town off the coast of Florida. I loved it then!

  • Kayla

    I’m not sure if it’s still a mini-moon if we have to drive 13 hours to get there, but that tree house is amaaaaazing.

  • Alison M

    Definitely planning a mini-moon, and going to use Airbnb – going straight back to work seems a little anticlimactic, but I don’t think I can plan a real honeymoon on top a wedding.

  • ItsyBit

    This is what we did! After our wedding we simply couldn’t have a big travel honeymoon and ended up renting a little house in the mountains about 2 1/2 hours away. It was the best decision ever. In addition to all the aforementioned benefits (minimal travel, privacy, relaxation, etc) the best part was, for me, the knowledge that we could go back ANY TIME. That took away all of the pressure that I would normally feel on a vacation to see and do All The Things.

  • Leah

    We did a mini-moon the weekend following our wedding – 3 days around Nelson, BC (about a 9-hour drive for us). And, it was fun, and just fine, BUT it made me SO GLAD we didn’t do our real honeymoon right after the wedding. The weekend of the mini-moon, we were tired, and a little post-wedding-bluesy. We went on a full honeymoon 5 months later, and it was AWESOME – we were still in the glow of being newly-weds, totally psyched on each other, telling everyone and anyone that we were on our HONEYMOON, and we had plenty of energy to make the most of it all. I think the mini-moon was a perfect way to get out of town for a few days to spend time with each other after the wedding chaos, without putting all the pressure of a big HONEYMOON trip onto our already-tired-and-coming-down-from-wedding-high selves. So: mini-moon all the way (though we did VRBO, not airbnb)

  • HannahESmith

    Do this! Don’t do what I did, and try to fly internationally about a day and a half after my wedding. I don’t regret going to Montreal (it’s amazing, and the perfect spot for east coasters), but I do regret doing it so close to my wedding. For people in Portland, Oregon, I would highly recommend Astoria, Hood River or Bend as minimoon destinations.

  • Sarah E

    Our plan is not so mini, but not tropical, either. We’re getting married in PA in a few weeks, and afterwards driving up to Portland, ME for about four days of eating lobster rolls and drinking beer. We definitely chose something domestic to keep costs down, and we knew we needed to drive from NE to PA for the wedding in the first place, so we’d have the car and we’d need to plan for travel time back to NE.

    Portland is an option (among others considered, like Chicago or either beach or mountains in NC) where we’ll have the flexibility to do as much (hiking! lighthouses! islands! beer tour!) or as little (aforementioned lobster and beer) as we’re in the mood for, without encountering *too much* fear of missing out. It’s a place we can more or less easily revisit, we’re only staying overnight during the week, which cuts down on lodging expense, plus we’re getting there just a bit ahead of tourist season. When we were first brainstorming, we envisioned a road trip all the way up to Acadia National Park, swinging through Canada and back. . .then we actually mapped it and realized how much more unpaid time off that would be for me.

    • jubeee

      I love ME but the drive from PA is quite far….when you have more vacation time to use, you should definitely get to Acadia….a honeymoon is just a vacation and most of us will have more than one in our lives. Have fun eating lobster and drinking beer, they have great microbreweries up there!

      • Sarah E

        We were drooling over the weekend perusing restaurant rec’s. So excited! We’ll definitely get to Acadia at a later date– my honey’s dad is a major National Park aficionado, and my grandpa was always really into them, too, and we’ve caught the bug.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Portland! It’s my hometown. You won’t be disappointed. :) THE FOOD. Also, the beaches are lovely any time of year. I’m a big fan of Scarborough beach myself. When it’s chillier, going down in a sweater and walking along the water is my favorite. And when it’s warm, it’s just a great place to chill out. But Portland is magnificent.

      • Sarah E

        Way cool! We’re really looking forward to it. We’ve found a ton of restaurant rec’s, but if you know a better place for lobster rolls/oysters/seafood in general than J’s Oyster Shack, I’d love to hear about it! J’s pops up most frequently in reviews.

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          I love Portland Lobster Company for lobster rolls. (Better for lunch as it’s a super casual place, and you don’t want to be there in the winter. I can’t remember if they even have indoor seating, but if they do it’s at a counter.) And while I haven’t personally been, everyone back home swears up and down by Eventide for oysters. It’s a more fancy dinner joint, I think. And then for breakfast, you can’t go wrong with Bintliff’s because hello Lobster Benedict (but if you want a shorter wait, BreaLu is awesome too.) And then for a truly absurd night out in the most kitschy way possible, I have to throw in Bubba’s Sulky lounge. Oh and if you’re staying on a weeknight, Liquid Riot Bottling Company has Tuesday taco nights with a movie playing over the bar (last time I was there I had a craft cocktail while watching Too Wong Fu, Thanks for Everything.)

          • Sarah E

            Thanks, Maddie!! I’ll add those to my list.

        • Ellen

          My two favorites (I live about a half hour north of Portland): Five Islands Lobster Company in Georgetown, which is a bit of a drive from Portland, but absolutely beautiful and the lobster rolls are delish- exactly what you’d think of when you think of a lobster roll in Maine, and Bite Into Maine, which is a food truck in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth. Regardless of whether or not you have a lobster roll while you’re there, you should go to Fort Williams Park- it is spectacularly beautiful, home to Portland Head Light, and one of my favorite places ever!

          • Sarah E

            Oh, I did read about Bite Into Maine. . and the Head Light is on the “must see” list. Thanks!

      • OMG Portland is AMAZING!!!!! It’s 45 minutes from my in- laws in New Hampshire, so we go for day trips sometimes when we visit!

    • crg

      Our wedding isn’t until next summer, but we already have Portalnd, ME as our top choice for all the same reasons! We were researching it just this past week and wishing we could go now, so very jealous of how soon you will be there!

  • Sarah

    For my parents and many of my friends, the so-called “minimoon” IS the honeymoon, and no shame in that. It can be a proper honeymoon without being 7+ days and without leaving the state. Why not just call it a honeymoon instead of making it sound like it’s something less?

    • Eh

      I have friends who went on a mini-moon down the west coast after their wedding (actually after their second reception) and then in the year after they were married went to NYC and London/Scotland and some other places. Then two years after they were married they went to Europe for two or three week for their honeymoon. They were telling me and my husband about all of these trips and their honeymoon plans just before our wedding (a year after their wedding). And I said “don’t you consider your west coast trip your honeymoon?” They said “No, it was more of a mini-moon”. Compared to most of our friends who had two or three day honeymoons (and didn’t go more than 4 hours away), our honeymoon was grand (any of the trips that couple took during their first year of marriage was grander than most of my friends’ honeymoons). We went to Nova Scotia for 10 days (we actually found our accommodations for our week in Halifax on Airbnb). Anyways some people have an idea of what a honeymoon is – at least for them (I told them our plans and they said that it sounds nice – for us).

    • Marie

      I feel like the concept of mini-moons is the greatest current trick of the WIC.

      ETA: As evidenced by two wedding bloggers who took trips abroad, but because they were “only” four or five days and “only” a four hour flight, they were *just* a mini-moon.

      • Lauren from NH

        Yeah it kind of smacks of the engagement ring upgrade concept. That if things aren’t grand enough or expensive enough, they are not legitimate. There is nothing wrong with getting a different or more expensive ring in the future, nor is there anything wrong with choosing to do a short trip and then a long trip later on in the spirit of your honeymoon, but the universally assumed bigger is better, not cool.

        • Nope.

          I agree! Our trip to Maryland was lovely and romantic and all of the things you’d want to have in a honeymoon. To be honest, we decided to call an upcoming international trip a year post-wedding the honeymoon so that we couldn’t talk ourselves out of spending the money on a lengthy trip. If we just wanted to take an international trip, we’d probably come up with financial and work-related reasons to postpone for a few years. But calling it a honeymoon actually forced us to get it on the books and commit to it via talking to other people. That said, I think we’ll think of our “minimoon” as our real honeymoon, and this as a lovely, exotic vacation to explore and celebrate our first year of marriage. I was averse to calling the first thing a minimoon, a) because the name is kinda silly and b) it was a perfectly legitimate honeymoon in and of itself.

      • Sarah

        It just screams unchecked privilege, you know? Not everyone can afford a flight to the other side of the country or the time off of work, and some people live their whole lives never going more than 100 miles from their home. But they still have honeymoons. It might just be a weekend at a local B&B or camping at the same local-ish campsite you’ve gone every year since you were a kid or a short roadtrip or whatever, but it’s still a honeymoon. Not a second-place stand-in for a honeymoon.

        • Marie

          YEP!

        • Maddie Eisenhart

          Here’s where I stand on things: I for sure couldn’t afford a “honeymoon” (by WIC standards) when we got married (we ended up taking a vacation a year and a half later and calling it our honeymoon, after we’d saved up some money.) Which means any content that had the word honeymoon in it would have immediately gotten ignored by me when planning a wedding, because I would have assumed it was $$$. So I think the idea of the mini-moon is more of an answer to the pressure to go on a big, lavish trip right after getting married. It’s not less than, just an alternative. And having a name for it is a helpful way of distinguishing. I, in no way, think that the mini-moon is supposed to be the thing you do before the big honeymoon, or a stand in for something better. For me, it would have been the only thing. But because I didn’t know it was an option (thanks WIC), I just…didn’t do anything.

          I actually think the idea of waiting a year or two to take a huge vacation is more of the WIC stamp of approval. Like, it doesn’t matter when you do it, as long as you do it “right.” And in hindsight, a few days away close to home would have been much better for our sanity than the all-inclusive resort we ended up booking the year after. That just felt like a vacation.

          • Marie

            I suppose the issue I think Sarah and I are getting at is exactly that: why is distinguishing necessary? A trip you take after your wedding to celebrate getting married: honeymoon! Does it matter how far or for how long or how much money was spent?

            So by naming it something different, for me, cements the feeling you’re describing of not knowing a non-lavish vacation wasn’t an option. Because now we know that a REAL honeymoon is lavish but if you can’t pull that off, well, here’s your MINI-moon.

            I’m not sure I’m making sense…

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            You know, I almost made a similar analogy, except I was going to say it’s kind of like how an elopement is a different thing from a wedding. Not less than or worse, just sets up different expectations. I’m not sure it’s the BEST analogy (hence why I left it out the first time) but it sort of makes it more understandable to me why having two words to describe different events might help people understand what you’re talking about. I think a mini-moon could easily be called a weekend-moon or whatever, and avoid the less-than connotations, but then we wouldn’t have this fun alliteration. :)

          • Sarah

            I was going to use a similar analogy, too! (obviously many great minds are thinking alike here) Like, you can have a $50k 400-guest wedding or you can have a 20-guest, $200 wedding. The latter is not a “mini-wedding” or whatever. It’s not even an elopement, necessarily. It’s just as important and valid and I’d be offended if someone called it something other than a wedding.

          • Marie

            One might call it a practical honeymoon ;)

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            Oh. I see what you did there. :)

          • Lindsay Carlisle Shay

            You are totally making sense, and I agree with you. My post-wedding trip was “less money, less fanfare.” It was, by most descriptions here, a mini-moon, and it was great. But we’re not planning a big international trip or exotic vacation. So if I buy into this honey/mini distinction, I will never take a honeymoon.

            But here’s the thing – my husband and I spent a handful of nights after our wedding staying at two beautiful B&Bs (one of which served ice cream with breakfast!!), reading and relaxing and stuff… I find the idea that our trip doesn’t count as a “honeymoon” to be ridiculous. A few nights away within driving distance without the expectation of a blowout trip later is the norm for a lot of people.

          • Meg Keene

            I mean, I think that it’s two linguistic approaches to the same question.

            For the record, these trips were designed to be good for the already married folks (or the not yet married folks) in the crowd too, and honeymoon doesn’t really work as a term for us. So, I liked mini-moon just as a less exclusionary term.

            But yeah, these are great honeymoon trips. Or mini-moons, if that’s what you want to call yours. OR, mini-moons, for those of us who have been married for years and REALLY need to get away and remember what the days just after the wedding were like.

          • Lauren from NH

            Hmm I see what you are saying, that the term is perhaps making room for lower budget/shorter honeymoon type trips. It’s tricky since it’s all tied up in wedding hoopla and advertising, but your example makes it read more positive to me.

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            Yeah, I think the word is honestly less important than just making space for the idea that a honeymoon doesn’t have to big this BIG BIG thing. And however you get to that idea is great. (And honestly, part of this is for Google. If you’re searching for honeymoon ideas, you’re going to get a zillion WIC-approved results. Being able to do a quick mini-moon search means you’re going to get information that’s way more useful to you with half as much work.)

          • Sarah

            I totally agree with that part.

          • Meg Keene

            I mean, how you react is also a little bit about how you feel about the term. If I thought the word mini-moon was insulting, we’d never use it on APW ever. It happens to be a term I’m very, very, fond of, because to me it speaks not just to “OMG GET AWAY AFTER THE WEDDING NO MATTER WHAT THAT LOOKS LIKE” (which has always been my #1 argument), but also to the fact that you can keep having tiny honeymoons for your whole married life. In short, I’m really really fond of the term, so to me it’s not insulting.

            End of the day though, it’s not that huge a deal. Everyone should be making their own linguistic choices for what they call their own trips, and other people should be respecting those choices.

          • Abby

            I’m late with my 2 cents because I was ignoring the internet on my mini-moon last week, but I have to put in a solid plug for a mini-moon that’s even less honeymoony than Maddie’s suggestions. The suggestions in this post look like full-on, super delightful honeymoons to me, complete with Fun Things to Do Together and New Places to Go.

            Our mini-moon was the opposite of that, and exactly what we needed: 3 days in a quiet country house together (we’re lucky enough to have one in the family that we could use for free) with zero planned activities so we could nap as much as we wanted without feeling guilty we were missing out on a more exciting vacation (or that we had dropped tons of money to go somewhere and nap).

            Linguistically-speaking, we opted to use the term “mini-moon” for this because (a) it took the pressure off of us to have All The Fun or All the You-Know-What All At Once Right Away; and (b) we wanted to have the excuse of calling our next big vacation our Official Honeymoon because we’re pretty sure our jobs will respect “I’m going on my honeymoon now, don’t email me” more than they would for a “regular” vacation.

            So, you do you, as they say, but letting ourselves off the hook and sleeping for a solid 3 days (with a couple nice dinners thrown in) worked out great for us, whenever (or if ever) we get around to a “real” honeymoon, which I agree with y’all, has been WICed way out of proportion.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      I think the importance of distinguishing between honeymoon and mini-moon is more about indicating that it IS less…less money, that is. Or less fanfare. Not that it’s less significant. I think the big lavish honeymoon expectation is harmful for a lot of folks, because the assumption is that if you can’t afford to go big, you should just go home. I know I certainly assumed it was all or nothing. So the concept of a mini-moon appeals greatly to me. It feels like it’s taking something that might be considered less than, and sanctioning it.

      • Eh

        Ok when it is phrased that way. Unfortunately I’m not sure that’s how others see mini-moons. It being a replacement is one for a honeymoon is one thing. Going on a mini-moon (and then in the case of my friends, multiple large trips) and then a lavish “honeymoon” two years later seems to be a common idea (especially in WIC crowds).

    • Meg Keene

      I mean, I agree with you. I think you and Maddie are actually approaching exactly the same question/ issue and just coming up with different linguistic solutions for how to talk about/ solve it. I think both are pretty valid.

      It’s not a term I find terribly offensive, I just think it’s important to overtly remind people over and over that getting away after the wedding doesn’t have to be a huge expensive deal, because I’ve learned over the years that is not always as obvious as it seems. (Thanks, wedding industry!). I think doing that by calling it a mini-moon or by specifically NOT calling it a mini-moon are both valid ways to do it.

    • Kayla

      To me, this comes down to whether a person gets to define their own experience or not. If I take a two-day camping trip in my backyard and spend zero dollars, but to me it was a honeymoon, then yes, I should get to identify that as my honeymoon, and it’s bullshit for anyone to tell me it was just a mini-moon and expect that I will take a big trip later.

      But if I take a two-day camping trip in my backyard because I need time to process the wedding, and I’m planning on a bigger trip later, what’s wrong with giving me a term to describe my first little getaway?

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah, agreed. And of course the problem is a post like this can’t really decode and encompass which term is right for who. We’re mostly just trying to point out that small honeymoons are good honeymoons.

        ALSO. I personally use the term mini-moon to mean “tiny trips we take when we need to get away and remember why we got married in the first place,” and all of these trips are PERFECT for that, so here the term was intended to do a little double duty. Sure, mini-moons are good for honeymooning folks, but they’re also good for everyone else. (Where as, if I told you we were going on a honeymoon this weekend, you’d probably think I lost my mind.) In other news, I really want to take this trip to Joshua Tree, for just that kind of mini-moon.

        • Kayla

          “…a post like this can’t really decode and encompass which term is right for who.”

          And it shouldn’t have to. Readers can do that for themselves. :)

          • Meg Keene

            Mostly I just like these trips (really like these trips, want to take these trips), and I want someone to get a free $500 trip, and I hope everyone feels empowered to call their trips whatever they want.

            I mean, because we haven’t even gotten INTO the (awful) unfeminist roots of the term honeymoon, and why you might not like THAT word either. In short: it’s yours. Call it by your name.

    • Caroline

      Oh yeah. I totally get calling it a mini-moon in wedding media (like APW), because it distinguishes it as less expensive, (and content on honeymoons I glazed over as too expensive), but our “minimoon” was our honeymoon, and it was perfection. We spend our wedding night at a hotel near the wedding (30 min from our house), then drove another 30 min and spent 4 nights at a rented apartment at the beach.

      I always called it a honeymoon, and I actually had a project supervisor from work give me crap about it for not being international travel at lunch once when he asked our honeymoon plans. But the fact is, it was our honeymoon, and it was AWESOME. We are taking a big trip this year that’s sort of a pre-anniversary trip (it’ll be at 9 months, but that’s when we have free), but that’s not our honeymoon, just an awesome trip we’re taking.

  • Rose

    We’re thinking about doing something like this, 4-5 days or so a couple of hours drive from where we’re getting married. At a hot spring resort, because that sounds like perfection after the craziness of a wedding.

  • newyork22

    After we finished the second of our three ceremonies last year, we took a mini-moon for 48 hours in Split, Croatia (wedding #2 was in Germany). The small beach-side town was perfect for the peace we were craving and having returned yesterday from our Galapagos honeymoon, I can confirm that the mini-moon is definitely the way to go. There is no way in hell hubby and I could have survived the Galapagos itinerary we designed if we had just come off of the wedding (just another reason to know thyself and your energy levels when determining the type of honeymoon you’re looking for). As with all things, I think if one commits to making the most of a situation, very often, it will be enough to achieve the goal he/she had in mind which in the case of a honeymoon is to get away from the insanity of the wedding planning process. You don’t need a lot of time and you can always upgrade a shorter experience to make it more memorable/special.

  • Sarah

    We haven’t gone on our honeymoon yet, but this weekend we took a trip up to Ithaca NY and it was WONDERFUL. My fiance was an undergrad at IC so he knows the area really well, but it was just such a wonderful beautiful weekend that I would recommend it to anyone. Stay in the french inn (La Tourelle), hike the gorges, go around lake Seneca or Cayuga for the wine tours. Oh my god. We just ate it all up, the falls, the sun, nature, wine. AMAZING.

    • sarah

      I LOVE Ithaca! What a great little town/area. Farmer’s Market is super great too.

  • Annie

    For those of you in the middle of the country, I recommend Eureka Springs, AR.

    It’s a funky town that’s super welcoming with great food, nice hiking, and within several hours of the lower Midwest / upper Southwest / western half of the Deep South.

  • Sarah

    Um, let’s do an open-thread on mini-moons for those who live near other cities–Baltimore/Philly/DC in the house?

    • jubeee

      I’m a Philadelphian and we do weekend vacations a lot….I’m game to chat.

    • jubeee

      Oh and quick plug for my now home, Bucks County PA which is a wonderful weekend getaway. We have wineries, amazing parks, lots of history and the arts!

      • YetAnotherMegan

        Hey neighbor! I’m in Lehigh County myself. We have features of the cities but also parks, countryside, and wineries too!

    • Nope.

      We’re on the save wave-length! I posted about the Eastern Shore, where we went. Within a 5 hour drive or so of DC, you could also do Virginia Beach (not my fave, a little too bachelorette partyish for my taste, but you could do a nice airbnb outside of town), Shenandoah National Park, Rehoboth, even the top tip of the Outer Banks. A cabin in West Virginia or western Pennsylvania! Assateague, as long as it’s not August. You could even drive to Durham or Philly if you wanted an interesting city. We did Annapolis and the Eastern Shore, which wouldn’t be as exciting for a Baltimore native, but we loved it and it’s where we decided that it was pretty clear we were getting married, so it was significant for us.

      We happen to like driving, and we’ve done a lot of road trips over the course of our relationship. For us, 5 hours for a 3 or 4 day trip isn’t a big deal, so that’s why my suggestions are where they are! It can actually be nice and relaxing to drive somewhere – we happened to get married in the middle of Serial, so we binged and discussed during most of our driving. Find some podcasts, google a few small towns to stop in to go to a diner for lunch or see a weird road-side attraction, and enjoy a leisurely drive!

      • Bethany

        My family used to rent a house outside of Virginia Beach through a company called Siebert Realty. It was always really peaceful in the rental community and we’d get gorgeous homes. I remember seeing some smaller ones with hot tubs and balconies that looked perfect for a minimoon (or even a full length honeymoon!)

    • Bethany

      We keep meaning to take a weekend in Old Ellicott City, MD. We used to dog sit for a friend who lived within walking distance (through a gorgeous wooded trail) of the main drag with little antique shops, a brewery, and a lovely coffee shop. Close by (I have friends who commute from further!) but it feels oddly far away.

      We’re planning on a minimoon now and a Europe trip in a year or two once we can save a little more money and vacation time. We still haven’t figured out where though. He loves exploring cities while my inclination is to retreat after something that big and save the exploring for when I’m mentally fresh. We’re trying to figure out a compromise or a place where the first 2 days could be retreat and the 3rd could be exploring.

    • Sarah E

      We’re getting married in South Central PA, and Maine is only an 8 hour drive away. CT or NH could also be completely do-able for laid-back coastal vibes. I’d also look into the Poconos (in non-foliage season), or the woods/mountains in North Central PA if you’re looking for outdoorsy, hiking stuff. My cousin adores Cook Forest State Park, above Pittsburgh, which has gorgeous hiking and cabins available. Delaware has awesome beaches, too.

    • SLG

      Middleburg! And generally all of western Loudoun County VA, and the bit of the Shenandoah valley just west of that. It seriously is like spending a weekend in the Shire.

    • anonpsu

      We went to Bedford, PA (Bedford Springs). It’s a gorgeous resort in the mountains. Has a spa, great for sitting on the porch and relaxing. You can also try Homestead in Virginia, which is also owned by Omni and has the same feel (Hot springs, spa, etc…). We got a package with all our meals included, which were really decadent, and that way we didn’t have to think about anything. We just went on our big honeymoon 5 months after that. I can’t recommend it enough.

  • Nope.

    For the mid-Atlantic folks, I really recommend Maryland’s Eastern Shore. We got married in Ohio, drove home to DC to switch out our bags, and then spent four days at a b&b with a private porch overlooking the Chesapeake Bay. It was October, so it wasn’t really beach weather, but we took long walks, read a million books, and had an extremely restful experience. We also brought some key cocktail ingredients and a shaker, and sipped old fashioneds on our porch. Then we went home and tried to find cabinet space for all of our new kitchen gadgets. We’re planning to head to Italy later this year, but we just couldn’t have handled international travel after the wedding, and it’s fun to have another project to work on this year!

    • jubeee

      Stayed at an airbnb on the eastern shore for my birthday last year, what a great area plus we got kayaks as part of the rental!

    • SLG

      +1 for the Eastern Shore. There are lots of tiny B&Bs and other assorted lodging arrangements available, it’s a non-exhausting drive from the DC area, and you really can forget you’re close to the city. Plus, long walks and long books are my jam.

  • jubeee

    We used airbnb for our roadtrip from Seattle to Glacier National Park (where we go engaged!) last year. We booked a place with a a moonlit hot tub for the night of glacier…we were so excited to make love under the moon after our engagement….then we ran out of gas in the middle of no where Montana….waited for 3 hours for AAA by the time we got in 2:30 am Mountain time (we are est people) we laid in bed and fell asleep.

  • We did a mini-moon to New Orleans which was fantastic. We considered Airbnb but instead went the B&B route, which was lovely.

  • I live in Columbus, OH, and have heard great things about Midwestern destinations like the western coast of Michigan (in summer) and Door County, Wisconsin (especially in fall). Am open to hearing other Midwestern destinations too!

    • Nope.

      Traverse City!

    • Lisa

      Door County is loads of fun! There are so many cute, kitschy places in Michigan, too, if that’s the route you’re considering. Traverse City (as mentioned), Holland, and Mackinac are all great places for a mini-moon.

    • Lindsay Carlisle Shay

      Door County is great! It has a huge mix of stuff to do (including just sitting/reading/eating ice cream), and there are some beautiful places to stay – B&Bs, resorts, and lots of rental houses.

      Lake Geneva and Galena are also cute resort towns. We used the travel section of Midwest Living to come up with possibilities when we were planning.

      • Lindsay Carlisle Shay

        I’m also adding because we just booked this, and I’m excited, even though I can’t definitely report on the town. We’re staying at a B&B in Albany, Wisconsin this summer, with a planned day trip to relatively nearby New Glarus Brewing.

        Now that I think about it, this formula (brewery + small town B&B) is pretty awesome for Midwestern getaways.

    • Jess

      Door County! We’re doing a non-wedding related mini-vacation there soon. I’m excited.

      It’s not quite Midwest, maybe, I guess, but I’ve heard really great things about Nashville and the Smokey’s, which are reasonably close to Columbus. Louisville and Lexington are pretty sweet places if you’re into Bourbon touring.

  • Sara P

    We’re in Duluth, MN, and just planning on taking a week to drive up to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan – not much driving, no flying, lots of quiet hanging out :). I imagine this could work out for other Midwesterners as well!

    • Lisa

      Isle Royale is a place I keep dreaming of going some summer.

      • Sara P

        We keep talking about it too – it looks so cool!

        • Lisa

          We’re a lot further away now than when I was planning last summer, but I still think it would be an incredible week-long getaway!

    • InTheBurbs

      Duluth and/or the North Shore are also wonderful get away’s. We spent a long weekend in Grand Marais in February – and despite the frigid temperatures – we had a wonderful time. It was too cold to do much outside – but we found plenty to keep us busy. The off season made it super cheap!

      • Sara P

        Grand Marais is such a great little town, we should really get up there more often! That sounds lovely.

      • Lauren

        Grand Marais in February… hats off to you for your bravery :) My dad is a native yooper, but avoids going up between October and April like the plague!

    • AGCourtney

      Haha, funny – we’re from southern Minnesota and planning on going up to Duluth. :)

      • Sara P

        Enjoy! It’s a fun town to poke around in :)

    • CP

      Yes! We went to two B&Bs in small towns in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and it was great! We started with lists of best B&Bs, and picked ones that were available in cute looking towns (and returned our phone calls). It was fantastic!

  • Juliet

    We stayed in two different Airbnb’s on our Montreal honeymoon- an apartment in the city for a few days, and then a few nights in a cabin about an hour out of town. Airbnb made the whole trip very affordable and breezy. I have dreams about going back to that cabin in the summer with friends in a few years!

  • annona

    We did a mini moon to a mountain North Carolina cabin and it was awesome. We were all about the hot tub– perfect, because I was sort of sick during and after the wedding, and it was a nice to place to recover for a few days.

  • pajamafishadventures

    Guys, really? You title the post “how to have a mini-moon” and use that snazzy little geodesic house and I’m like “YES. I AM READY FOR THIS TUTORIAL. TEACH ME TO BUILD A BABY MOON APW!” and it’s JUST an article about airbnbs with a vacation contest? :p

    (Yes, this is sarcasm, and yes this is an awesome post and I think APW+AIRbnb is a perfect match, but I was seriously ready to paper-maiche my apartment into mini-moony glory or whatever)

    • Sarah E

      I think this is the best possible misinterpretation of mini-mooning.

    • Meg Keene

      Obviously how to build a gedesic house is our NEXT post.

    • Jess

      “TEACH ME TO BUILD A BABY MOON APW!” In all reality, I would totally read that tutorial. And build myself a tiny fort in the middle of my apartment. Because TINY MOON.

    • I’m just here to agree with this completely.

    • I was hoping this too :(

  • FancyPants

    ….like a dream come true! It’s as if APW paired with Ben&Jerry’s and there was a chance of winning a million pints- this is a match made in heaven! I just love AirBnb- the diversity of experiences and the access to places otherwise inaccessible (I’m talking to you, downtown big cities and super rural out west spots) has given us a whole new way to explore (and better than the side of the road in our tent).

    And yes, this article just opened the floodgates of AirBnb dreaming / planning / rabbit-holing.

  • FancyPants

    I also wanted to take this chance to throw this out there: we are totally taking a Honeymoon right after our wedding (….in 9 days) a 3 hour drive away (so it’s a mini-moon or affordable-moon, or whatever we decide to call it)….
    AND we invited 15 of our closest friends who are traveling to our wedding- and they all said they could come!

    So…it’s a joint honeymoon? Communal-moon? Extension of the wedding? No clue- but we are so excited to see our far-flung friends for longer than 36 hours while we are also doting on cousins, uncles, old family friends, etc at our wedding.

    Our plan (AND HERE’S WHERE MY QUESTION IS): we have a place to stay and our friends have a place to stay. We are coordinating dinner plans w/ friends and keeping the rest open- in y’all’s experience or opinion on this plan: how much time do you think we should schedule away from friends? Or is this just a ‘friend-moon’ and we embrace it?

    There have already been lots of jokes about how our friends need to stay out of the way of ‘all the consummating’ but I do hope to have 1) time w/ friends and 2) reflective time w/ partner. We’ll see!

    • Caroline

      For me, I was so glad we had a honeymoon by ourselves. I was so overwhelmed (in a good way) by all the wedding events, and peopled out. Plus, it was great to have some time to adjust and get used to being married together and enjoy eachother’s company. So for me, I’d think at least 1/2 or 2/3 of the time just with your partner and meet up sometimes with friends. But that’s just me.

  • Elizabeth

    We took a day trip to Beacon NY last summer and loved it so much, we are going back for our “mini-moon” and probably forever when we are too old to deal with NYC stairs. It’s the perfect mix of quaint and cultured. Highly recommended. :)

  • Vilmos Kovacs

    We did Joshua Tree/Palm Springs as a pre-wedding get-away. It was PERFECT.

  • YetAnotherMegan

    We did a longish mini-moon to Ocean City, MD. It meant that the day after the wedding was 6 hours driving home to switch bags and then another three hours to OCMD. We were there right before peak season and early in the week (Sun-Wed), so we were able to just stroll the boardwalk, eat, and check out the breweries. The drive down was lengthy, but otherwise I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

  • Katy

    We used airbnb for our European honeymoon! Having a kitchen (and a pool) was a great way to experience Italy (and save some $$). There are 4 apartments at the place we stayed, and the other couples were doing long weekends from elsewhere in Europe.

    https://m.airbnb.com/listings/599813

  • EF

    This is good timing. I went to the doctor this week as I have been feeling not myself, and she asked me if anything had been stressing me. Not particularly, I said. Except…this. and that. And…ten minutes later I was crying in my doctor’s office from anxiety and uncertainty, and she set down her pad and said, ‘Dear, I think you really just need a holiday.’

    I’d forgotten about all the bookmarks I had on airbnb. Even if I don’t win this, I’m booking a minimoon (a mini holiday) anyway, dammit. Self care!

  • Caroline

    We rented an apartment right on the beach 30 mins awa for 5 days (4 nights) for our honeymoon. It was fabulous!! Just relaxing together in a beautiful place, eating good food, walks on the beach, boogie boarding, and beach fun. I highly recommend the mini-moon. Even if we had just had 3 days at the beach, it would have been enough and be lovely.

    If your in the bay area, I highly recommend Stinson Beach for your mini moon. It was perfect! (We stayed here: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/5608154 and I highly recommend it!)

  • meeliebee

    We loved our minimoon! We really wanted to do our honeymoon in Europe since neither of us have ever traveled internationally, but we didn’t want to take on that adventure right after the stress of the wedding so we booked a few days in a cabin about an hour away. It had a hot tub, which was my must-have and was soooo nice! We ended up only venturing into town for food and booze and spending the rest of the time resting and watching law and order reruns. It was exactly what we needed.

  • Lauren

    If you go to Sonoma, the tourist information office in Healdsburg has coupons for free wine tastings at a few of the local wineries!

  • Eh

    This post has reminded me that my husband and I need to take a trip :)

  • GBee

    I love Airbnb. Our total cost for TWO weeks in Italy – $550/per person (5 of us). If we had used hotels, it would have easily been double the cost per person.

    • Same! We spent a week in Paris and the total was $500 (family of three), and we stayed in THE most adorable apartment in a really awesome neighborhood. Airbnb for liiiiife.

  • I la-la-la-la-love this post. We’re all about mini-moons as family trips — a drive within 5 hours, a cute Airbnb spot to spend a few nights, and beautiful outdoor stuff to do = the best.

  • TeaforTwo

    I love love love this so much. I am always confused when I hear that people are delaying their honeymoon for a year so that they’ll have enough vacation time/money to DO IT UP. To me, the whole point of a honeymoon is just to get some privacy after the wedding and enjoy one another before re-entering the real world. Whether that means gelato and a high-end hotel in Rome or camping or house sitting or whatever, I would have cut almost ANYTHING from our wedding budget to make sure we still got a few days together with no cell phones or email. Getting married is…a big deal, and I was completely emotionally raw afterward.

  • macaroni

    There’s an amazing treehouse in Atlanta on Airbnb that I am DYING to rent for a weekend! (maybe our first anniversary??) I submit this for your viewing pleasure:

    https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/1415908

  • Oh gosh, this is all so dreamy!

  • Jenica

    My partner and I have been calling our post wedding event our “mini moon”, too! Similarly, we are utilizing the wonders of Air BnB to make it happen! For all you in the Pacific Northwest looking for somewhere low key, low budget, and magical, we are paying $106/night at the Out There Eco Retreat on Nelson Island in Canada. A permanent tent structure on your very own dock, totally off the grid, and the owners cook dinner, too.

  • Pamela Seaver

    Ideas for a Chicago ‘mini-moon’ or whatever you want to call it: Galena IL, Madison WI, or even Milwaukee WI. Check it out!