Winners Revealed for Wanderable’s 2019 Honeymoon Story Contest

Congratulations to Ashley & David, winners of the 2019 Wanderable Honeymoon Story Contest! The newlyweds, who recently traveled to Ireland for their getaway, have won $500 towards a first anniversary trip.

We’d like to extend a huge THANK YOU to all the newlyweds who shared their incredible honeymoon stories! Stay tuned to Wanderable’s Honeymoon Blog and our Instagram page (@wanderable) as we’ll reveal the Top 3 finalists in the coming months.

Meanwhile, read below for a few highlights from their honeymoon story along with a link to their honeymoon registry.

“Another surreal experience was seeing Dingle and the surrounding (majestic) landscape while riding atop Doire and Cookie with Dingle Horse Riding. The stars aligned and we somehow ended up with a private tour, just the two of us and our very friendly and knowledgeable guide Katie.

I will admit that I may have had to wipe my eyes as we stood at the top of the hill feeling the warm sunshine and cool breeze while feasting our eyes on Dingle, the bay, ruins in the distance, and the endless green, rolling hills.

 

Later that day, with recommendations from our gracious Pax House host John, we had a delicious meal, poked around in shops, and then lucked out with front row seats for live music and a pub performance from world champion Irish dancer David Geaney.

We had been advised to take our car down Slea Head Drive, which hugs the cliffs and overlooks the ocean, and we were not disappointed. Not only did we get an eye-opening history lesson when we explored the famine cottages and prehistoric beehive huts, but we got to snuggle a baby lamb at a roadside farm!”

 

Stay tuned as we’ll be posting Ashley & David’s entire honeymoon story in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, be sure to check out their INCREDIBLE honeymoon registry page.

 

In case you missed it:

Winners Revealed for Wanderable’s 2018 Honeymoon Story Contest

Wanderable Real Honeymoon Registries: Best of North America

 

What It Feels Like to Win a Trip to Vietnam

Ever wonder what it would feel like to win a trip to Vietnam?! Kelly and John share their amazing story.

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We recently teamed up with Mr. and Mrs. Smith (side note: we are all obsessed with Mr. and Mrs. Smith’s gorgeous hotelsto co-host a Vietnam Giveaway and are so excited for our winners, Kelly and John! You know how there always seems to be that one hip and inspiring couple you know and love? That’s Kelly and John. They are wanderers at heart. In true adventurous fashion, they shared with us their how-to for enjoying life to the fullest and what they’re most excited to try in Vietnam.

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Kelly, what was your reaction when you found out you had won the contest?

My first reaction was of skepticism and disbelief. I received the email from Ann Marie [of Mr. and Mrs. Smith] while I was at work and talking with a co-worker. It was like “OMG, I think I just won a trip to Vietnam” and then I called Ann Marie to see if it was legit and she assured me it was. I was just super floored by the whole thing, I’ll enter these contests from time to time, you know, “The Downton Abbey” sweepstakes, “Win a Trip to Wimbeldon”, “Win a Trip to the French Open” (we’re both big tennis fans), I just fill them out and forget about them, never expecting to win, but this time I did! I called John and let him know and we both still cannot get over how crazy the whole thing is. We’re super, DUPER insanely, excited!

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What are you and John most excited about for your Vietnam trip?

The prospect of taking a REAL, proper, vacation! Overseas! To an exotic locale! On the beach! 5-star hotels! John has never been out of the country aside from Mexico and I’ve only ever been to Paris so having a real vacation is just a dream come true. Neither of us has EVER stayed in a 5-Star hotel. We plan on extending the trip a bit and taking a full two weeks. Seeing the temples of Angkor Wat has been on my bucket list for years and we figure, while we’re over there, let’s just go to Cambodia too! We both love Vietnamese food so we plan on spending a lot of time sampling the offerings of the various street vendors. We’re just so excited to explore a part of the world that’s so different from ours!

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We’d love to hear, where did you and John go on your honeymoon?

Well, we had initially registered for a Croatian and Slovenian honeymoon but because we didn’t have a traditional wedding (we were married in a courthouse in August 2012 and had a party the following October with our friends to celebrate), we didn’t quite make our goal, funding wise. Instead we used the money our friends donated through Wanderable and took an epic two week camping trip through the Eastern Sierras and the Cascades and back down the coast of California with our dog, Juniper. We both love the outdoors, camping, and hiking, and this turned out to be the ideal trip for us at the time. We had a blast!

Why did you choose to register for experiences over things when you got married?

Being an “older” couple (I was 40 when we got married and John 38, first marriage for both us!) we really didn’t have a need for household items, we already had them. Life and marriage for us at this point wasn’t about things or kids, it was just about spending the rest of our lives together. John’s mom had been fighting cancer throughout our engagement and she lost that fight the week that we were married. The importance of enjoying life to the fullest was really and profoundly made apparent to us. We’re both super adventurous and love new experiences, exploring different cultures and foods and really just seeing, smelling, hearing, laughing, loving, doing and living as much as possible! Our time here is short and our time together even shorter, why spend it in the aisles of Target registering for an espresso machine when we could be sipping espresso along the Dalmatian coast, or in this case, sipping Vietnamese Iced Coffees on the beaches of Hoi An!

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How amazing do Kelly and John sound?! Thank you so much, Kelly! And a huge shout out again to Mr. and Mrs. Smith for helping to make Kelly and John’s next adventure to Vietnam a reality!

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#IKnewILovedYou, the Trip of a Lifetime

The winners of last year’s #IKnewILovedYou‬ giveaway share about THE trip of a lifetime!

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Ever wonder what it would feel like to win a dream trip to Bangkok and Bali? We recently caught up with Alexis and Willie, the impossibly cute couple who won the I Knew I Loved You‬ giveaway hosted last summer with our amazing partners, Clear Channel. Alexis and Willie were whisked off to paradise and treated to the trip of a lifetime with the luxurious Alexa Private Cruises and Oazia Spa Villas. Alexis shares her top moments with us, from the mouth-watering food they’re dying to recreate at home to their favorite memory of a spontaneous boat ride down the Klongs. Live vicariously through their images and favorite moments below!

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What was your reaction when you first found out that you won the I Knew I Loved You giveaway?!

We were completely floored! We were so excited to be finalists, but we never thought we would win. Who wins contests?! Particularly when the prize is an amazing trip to Bali!

What sorts of activities did you enjoy while staying at Oazia Spa Villas?

Oazia has all kinds of activities. Whether you want to lounge at your own private pool or have day trips, they are there to make sure you get everything out of your experience you hoped for. For us, they took us on a day trip to Ubud where we saw the Monkey Forest, Rice Terraces, and fed elephants! Had we had more time we could have taken an art class, surfing lessons, or had a spa day. We DID get a couples massage our last day and that evening had a romantic candlelit dinner on the beach 🙂

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What towns/cities did you stop at during your Alexa Private Cruises trip?

Given how remote that part of Indonesia is, there aren’t really towns or cities – mostly tiny fishing villages we passed that were pretty private, where we enjoyed the boat and the diving. The one stop we did do was on Rinca Island to see the Komodo Dragons. What an amazing experience!

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What was your favorite part?

Hah – we have to pick a favorite? That is almost impossible! Can I pick two? If so, I would say eating and diving. We ate some of the most incredible food! It was amazing given the tiny kitchen our chef had. You would have thought he had a huge, full-service kitchen and staff with the things he was serving! Even breakfast came with bread he made from scratch! We loved eating that bread in the morning (and dipping it into the hot chocolate 🙂 while the sun was coming up! The dives were also unbelievable – a once in a lifetime experience. The diving instructor was so knowledgeable and showed us all the wildlife to look for! We saw manta rays, sea turtles, and thousands of species of fish!

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Where else did you go?

Bangkok, Thailand! 🙂 We also had a 10 hour layover in Singapore so we spent the day there!

What is the best moment from the entire trip?

Oh golly…again with the hard ones. If you are MAKING us pick…the manta ray dive. It was pure magic. Well, that or the komodos? Or the beach dinner on our own private island? Or…ugh, you get the picture! This question is impossible.

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Did you pick up any travel tips? Care to share? 🙂

Definitely precise exchange rates :). We had done all our research and were feeling pretty proud of ourselves, but we found out in Bali we had forgotten a 0! We were so confused why everything was so expensive! HAHA – good thing the locals were nice and filled us in :). Also, we exchanged cash at our banks at home so we didn’t have to pay any exchange rates while were there which was awesome…well, until the Bali fiasco and we had to hit some ATMs! We only ended up bringing 20 instead of 200! OH! Also, tipping customs – learn those :).

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Do you have any tips for couples who are planning for their honeymoons?

Since we had about 6 months to plan I took my time and was as detail oriented as I could be. We used literally every resource we had: Tripadvisor, Pinterest, travel blogs. etc. For our Thailand portion we planned every day out, making sure that things we wanted to do were open the day we had planned to go. For example, we had to switch a few things around because of a holy holiday. If we hadn’t planned that day, we wouldn’t have known and may have missed out on the experiences. What I will say is that some of the best stuff wasn’t planned. It just fell into our lap – like the boat down the Klongs. That just fell into place and was one of our favorite days in Thailand!

For Bali, I knew we couldn’t really plan for the boat so we had to look into our 2 days on land. I knew I wanted to go to Ubud for the day so I looked into what activities I wanted to do and how far they were from one another so we could pack in as much as we could. One of the biggest pieces of advice I could give is that you need to remember jet-lag! It was great going to Thailand first so we could really truly enjoy Bali without any jet-lag. We also planned less stuff our first few days so we could adjust. Helped so much!

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What were your travel essentials?

Sunscreen and a camera

Are there any memorable dishes you want to try and recreate at home?

BREAD! I know it sounds silly, but now we are dying to make bread from scratch now! We loved it every day on the boat. Also, we took a cooking class in Bangkok and made some pretty great curry and Pad Thai!

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Did you discover any interesting things about the culture that you didn’t know before?

Oh goodness. Lots. We had no idea about the traditional food of Bali or much about their religion. Bali has GORGEOUS active temples which still are very much alive and worshipped. On our drive back from Ubud we saw all the women of a village walking to a temple ceremony with so much fruit and incense balanced on their heads for the ceremony. To them, it was just a normal routine to carry a shopping cart worth of stuff on their heads, but I can’t even balance a book! It was amazing!

Did you and Will learn anything about yourselves as a couple?

We learn something about each other every day :). I would say we were reminded how well we work together. We worked through any crisis we may have had and we compliment each other pretty nicely 🙂 – if we don’t say so ourselves. This isn’t particularly new info, but we learned that Willie just can’t eat squid. No matter how well it’s prepared.

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Where else is on your travel bucket list? 

Oh this list is QUITE long :). I think our next trip will be South America (thinking the Salt Flats in Bolivia, hiking in Peru, and either Chile or Argentina). Then I am hoping for Greece (Santorini and Mykonos), then Southern Italy and the Italian Islands. Also have our eyes on Vietnam and Cambodia.

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Didn’t their trip sound amazing?! We are so happy that Alexis and Willie experienced so many incredible adventures on their I Knew I Loved You‬ giveaway. Congrats again, Alexis and Willie! And a big shout-out to all their friends and family, as well as Alexa Private Cruises, Oazia Spa Villas and Clear Channel, who helped make their dream trip a possibility.

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UPDATE: Contest Closed! Win A Bachelorette Party for 8 to NYC!

UPDATE: This contest is now closed! Make sure to follow us on Facebook to find out about more chances to win!

CONTEST ALERT: WIN A FREE BACHELORETTE PARTY IN NYC FOR 8!

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We cannot wait to announce our partnership with The Bach, The Big Fat Indian Wedding, Manhattan Walking Tours, On Location Tours, and The New York Nightlife to give away an incredible New York City bachelorette party for 8!

Here’s what’s included:

– A 1-hour bachelorette planning session with Joanne Barken, CEO of The Bach

– A Sex and the City Hot Spot Tour from On Location Tours

– A VIP Nightclub Experience from The New York Nightlife

– A Times Square Walking Tour from Manhattan Walking Tours

– A $400 voucher for a ladies luncheon or dinner from The Big Fat Indian Wedding

Goodie bags provided by The Bach and The Big Fat Indian Wedding

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Here’s what you need to know:

The Bach is an online resource that provides classy bachelorette party ideas, curated venue recommendations, and the tools necessary to simplify the planning process. The Bach will be offering a 1-hour bachelorette planning session with Joanne Barken, the CEO, as well as goodie bags.

The Big Fat Indian Wedding is a South Asian wedding inspiration blog to help brides and grooms plan their wedding, help guests navigate the cultural world of South Asia, and inspire wedding lovers. The Big Fat Indian Wedding will be offering a $400 voucher for a ladies luncheon or dinner, as well as goodie bags!

Manhattan Walking Tours was created to give the NYC sightseeing tour an advantage over the tour bus. Manhattan Walking Tours will be providing a Times Square Walking Tour to show you the best kept secrets of this famous NYC attraction.

The New York Nightlife is the leading promotional company of choice for New York’s fashion and entertainment industries, with a large focus on tourism. The New York Nightlife will be offering a VIP Nightclub Experience so you and your ladies can have the time of your lives in the City That Never Sleeps

On Location Tours is one of the world’s largest TV and movie tour companies. Their tours feature sites from the hottest and latest on the big and small screen. On Location Tours will be providing a Sex and the City Hot Spots Tour so you can get a peek into the fabulous lives of the Fab Four.

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ENTER NOW FOR THE BACHELORETTE PARTY OF A LIFETIME! 

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UPDATE: Contest Closed! Win a Free Honeymoon (or just a trip!) In Vietnam

UPDATE: This contest is now closed! Make sure to follow us on Facebook to find out about more chances to win!

CONTEST ALERT: WIN A FREE HONEYMOON IN VIETNAM!

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We are very excited to announce our partnership with Mr. and Mrs. Smith Hotels, Cathay PacificTourNative and Traveling Spoon to give away an amazing honeymoon to Vietnam!

Here’s what’s included:

– Roundtrip airfare for two courtesy of Cathay Pacific

– 3 night stay at Fusion Mala courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Smith

– 3 night stay at An Lam Saigon River courtesy of Mr. and Mrs. Smith

– Amazing guided tour of Ho Chi Minh City and Hoi Ann by our partner TourNative

– Cooking lessons provided by our partner Traveling Spoon

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Here are the deets:

TourNative is an online marketplace connecting travelers to local guides to facilitate authentic travel experiences: TourNative will be offering a tour of Ho Chi Minh city where the lucky winners will be able to see this magical city with their very own personal tour guide, as well as a tour in Hoi Ann.

Traveling Spoon finds the best grandmothers and other home cooks and connects them with travelers looking for meaningful food experiences in local homes: Traveling Spoon will be offering a Cooking Lesson and Authentic Vietnamese Meal in Ho Chi Minh City.

TourNative and Traveling Spoon are two of Wanderable’s favorite partners! Good news: they’re also available in many other locations, so don’t forget to think of them on your next worldly adventure.

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THIS IS A ONCE IN A LIFETIME OPPORTUNITY. Enter here!

Good luck Wanderers!

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