All in all, after receiving $3,000 in gifts from friends and family, we enjoyed two full weeks in Europe, taking excursions in nearly every port, toasting to our marriage with rivers of wine, eating some of the best food imaginable and seeing some of the greatest sites in the world, all for about $200 out of pocket - total!
For our honeymoon we really wanted to explore some of the most iconic countries in Western Europe. Thanks to Traveler's Joy, we were able to do so to the fullest extent!
We wholeheartedly recommend Traveler’s Joy as a registry to anyone who wants less stuff to stash and more stories to share.
Without Traveler’s Joy, the trip we took would not have been possible. We know the memories of this adventure will last far longer than a new toaster or hand towels.
After researching different honeymoon registry sites, we decided upon Traveler’s Joy for its user friendly navigation and inviting aesthetics. We were able to customize our registry so it reflected our personalities, even making fun of ourselves a bit.
We raised $6,200 with our Traveler's Joy registry. We received numerous complements from our guests. They enjoyed having the opportunity to contribute to our honeymoon experiences. Traveler's Joy helped us cover the cost of our honeymoon but also share our experience with family and friends!
As we began to consider registering for gifts, we realized we didn’t need the slow-cookers, the towels and the wine glasses typical of a wedding registry. We truly believe that money is best spent on making memories and good stories, so we were elated to find Traveler’s Joy!
Thanks to Traveler’s Joy and the generosity of our friends and family we enjoyed a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. Everyone got excited about the registry and agreed that it was a great way to participate in our joy as they saw the photos of what their gifts had enabled us to experience.
Traveler’s Joy made it possible for us to trek across Italy for the honeymoon we didn’t dare dream possible. Mostly, though, it gave us a profound appreciation for the friends and family who helped bring our travel itinerary to life.
We were able to leverage my iPhone, Twitter and Facebook to include our friends and family on what we were able to see and do - and for those who had participated in our honeymoon registry on Traveler's Joy, it was meaningful to feel like they were part of our trip.
Logan took over the honeymoon planning about 5 months before the wedding and used his honed research skills to put together an amazingly well-thought out itinerary for our 14 days in Italy. This made setting up our Traveler's Joy website so easy. Our friends and family appreciated knowing specifically what part of our honeymoon they were contributing to.
We both agree there’s no way we could have taken such an action-packed vacation had we not signed up for a honeymoon registry with Traveler's Joy. We’re so grateful to our family and friends for helping us create the vacation we’d always dreamed about, and one we’ll always remember.
Neither of us wanted to register for pots or china. When thinking about how we wanted to celebrate our nuptials, it was evident that we both wanted something that would give us memories to share with our families, friends, and future children. That is when we came across Traveler’s Joy.
When we began planning our honeymoon, we never thought a European destination could be possible until we came across Traveler’s Joy and realized our guests could help plan our honeymoon and giving us a tactful way of asking for money to put towards what we really wanted, our dream honeymoon.
We began our trip with high hopes that debt would not be a factor at the end. We used painstakingly saved frequent flier miles for our flight over, and when we stayed at our luxurious hotel in Rome, we used points. We raised nearly $2,500 through Traveler's Joy.
Immediately when we told people we were going to Italy, everyone become a resident travel agent, giving us books and plenty of advice on where to stay, eat, and everything in between! When we created our Traveler's Joy registry months before the wedding, we already had an idea of where we wanted to go.
Like many people who would register with a website like Traveler's Joy, my husband and I have a true zest for travel. We love experiencing new cultures, unexpected moments, and the thrill of doing something once in a lifetime. Our honeymoon was just that.
We weren't sure how our family and friends would react to our honeymoon registry, but it turned out to be a huge hit. The website was extremely easy for everyone to navigate. We were able to choose from a variety of wonderful activities and could pick exactly the ones that we wanted to partake in. Thanks to Traveler's Joy, our guests helped to create memories that we would never forget.
The total cost of our honeymoon was just over $7,000, so the gifts we received on Traveler’s Joy helped us pay for extras such as shore excursions, fancy meals, wine with dinner, and taxi fares.
I absolutely loved the idea of Travelers Joy only because we both had tons of family that could not make it to the wedding and it seemed to work great for them, not to mention they all thought it was so neat. All together we had around $900 given to us through the website which we used for our Shore excursions.
Once my wife told me about Traveler's Joy and all the things they had to offer, I was excited about what the possibilities could be for a once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon. I can remember Carol looking like a little kid that got a cool toy to play with when she was creating the "trip of our dreams" - and it certainly was.
Words cannot truly explain the beauty that Tuscany embodies. Although we had seen plenty of photos and paintings of Tuscany before, the images just did not do the real sites justice.
We had already been to France and wanted to go back to Europe for our honeymoon, but didn't think we could afford it after all our wedding expenses. Once we discovered Traveler's Joy, we realized that if we registered there, we just might be able to pull it off.
The Cinque Terre region of Italy is often considered a hidden gem of the country. With its unique blend of historical and colorful hillside towns, gorgeous beaches, sun-drenched vineyards, hiking trails, fantastic restaurants, and fabulous water sports activities, The Cinque Terre is an ideal getaway for couples seeking a complete escape and a honeymoon that will be remembered forever.
The Cinque Terre is a tiny, remote section of the Italian Riviera and situated just west of the city of La Spezia. The region is comprised of five remote villages clinging to the rugged hillsides along the Mediterranean Coast, each thriving since the 16th century through its fishing industry and grape growing. Even today, the villages have retained a sense of authenticity and still feel far removed from the modern world and part of a different era. In fact, you can only get to each town via trail, train, or boat. Passenger cars are not permitted within the towns.
Meanwhile, the five villages – with their pastel-colored homes seemingly stacked on top of each other – and surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park. The Cinque Terre is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The region is easy going, traffic-free, and doesn’t feature any touristy museums or destinations. Quite simply, it’s a perfect destination to take it all in and unwind.
The towns that make up the Cinque Terre include Monterosso, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. Riomaggiore is the southern-most village and known to be the top non-resort town of the region. It features a rocky beach, colorful central square, and is nearby to Via dell’Amore (“Love Walk”), a popular hiking trail that clings to the cliff’s edge. Manarola has a tiny but postcard-perfect harbor, lovely town square, and a can’t-miss vineyard walk.
Corniglia is considered the sleepiest of all Cinque Terre villages and the only one not set on the water. The town has some notable shops, wine bars, and gelato spots (made with local honey). Vernazza is arguably the region’s most beautiful town, complete with a harbor/promenade, a beach, excellent restaurants, a castle, and an intriguing main drag. Finally, Monterosso al Mare is the most resort-like town of the group. Enjoy a spacious, sandy beach, numerous late-night offerings, hotels, and historic old town.
In terms of weather and anticipated temperatures, the Liguria Coast can be quite warm during the summer season. July and August provide the highest temperatures of the year in the Cinque Terre, with average highs frequently hitting the low-to-mid 80s. Low temperatures average in the mid-to-upper 60s at this time of the year. Precipitation wise, the region experiences frequent rain showers during the spring and fall but is typically dry during the summer season, perfect for grape growing on the terraced hillsides.
As far as the best times to visit, peak season is from May to September and offers the longest hours and most extensive slate of activities. However, this period is the busiest of the year for visitors to the region – especially weekends as day-trippers clog the streets and beaches. Weekdays during May, June and July are quite ideal with fewer crowds, plenty of activity, and perfect weather.
Hiking the Cinque Terre — All five towns in Cinque Terre are connected by well-maintained trails. See the entire region by foot as you make your way from one village to the next and stopping at a number of wonderful detours. The hike is about seven miles from Monterosso to Riomaggiore and usually takes about four hours, but definitely tack on a few more hours for unexpected stops.
Simply follow the red-and-white-marked lower trail between the towns. Remember to take your time and savor the sights, smells, and sounds – from the olive groves to the exotic flowers and to the amazing Mediterranean vistas. Begin in Monterosso and work your way south all the way to Riomaggiore. The trails are overall moderate in terms of difficulty, with Monterosso to Vernazza being hands down the most challenging.
Tip: Buy a three-day Cinque Terre Card as soon as you arrive. The card will take care of all local train rides between the five villages and also gives you free access to hiking trails.
Swimming and Water Sports — Just about every village in the Cinque Terre has a unique place to swim or take part in water sports activities. Monterosso offers the largest and softest beach complete with snack bars, umbrellas, and a resort-like atmosphere. Meanwhile, Manarola has some of the best deep-water swimming. Vernazza has a tiny beach, while Riomaggiore and Manarola offer rocky beaches. Most towns provide kayak and snorkel rentals if you’d rather explore the coastline or discover the many underwater sights. Small motorboats, jet skis and canoes can also be rented in several of the towns.
Foodie Experiences — As the birthplace of pesto, the Cinque Terre region is well known for its dynamic cuisine. Be sure to indulge in regional specialties like acciughe (anchovies), focaccia, farinata (fried bread served as a snack), pesto (of course), and wine, which is typically white in color and the perfect pairing with seafood dishes.
Exploring Nearby Riviera Towns — While Cinque Terre is by far the jewel of the region, there are several other highly recommended destinations nearby. Just north of Monterosso, Levanto features a spacious, sandy beach, quaint old town, and several pedestrian-only streets.
Meanwhile, with its ritzy shops, art galleries, colorful buildings, and busy harbor parked with luxury yachts, Portofino has been beckoning visitors for centuries. Tour San Fruttuoso Abbey (only accessible by foot or boat), stroll through Museo del Parco (a park featuring contemporary sculptures), and visit Castello Brown (a medieval castle) before walking along the harborfront and splurging on a fancy dinner and drinks along the water.
La Torretta — Located in Manarola, La Torretta is one of the region’s trendier, upscale properties and one of our top recommended places to stay for your trip. The property has commanding views of the water and village, a communal hot tub, plus solarium. Rooms are in traditional Ligurian style, but also feature a mixture of modern and antique furnishings, such as flat-screen TVs and canopied beds. Although pricey by Cinque Terre standards, you’ll likely find La Torretta’s fine amenities and service to be worth it.
La Mala — This antique Ligurian house in Vernazza has been converted into an elegant and comfortable property highlighted by fantastic views of the Mediterranean. La Mala has a modern feel to it and also features four spacious white rooms, air-conditioning, a shared terrace, plus daily breakfast included.
Tonino Basso — Tonino Basso rents four modern, clean, and air-conditioned rooms on the eastern edge of Vernazza. Don’t expect many amenities here, but do expect a perfect home base for exploring the entire region. While the property doesn’t offer much in the way of views, each room features a computer for free Internet access. Meanwhile, the building has its own elevator, plus Tonino is one of the few renters in town who accepts credit cards.
Enoteca da Eliseo - Make plans to stop at this lovely wine shop and tasting room set in the heart of Monterosso. Family owned and operated, the wine bar offers local tastings and mouth-watering nibbles at indoor and outdoor tables set along a picturesque stretch the historic village.
Gambero Rosso - Snag a table at this tiny harborside trattoria serving delicious Ligurian cuisine. Specialties include fresh fish and homemade pasta such as trofie with pesto sauce. Like Gambero Rosso, most of Vernazza’s restaurants are locally owned and proudly serve regional selections.
La Lanterna - This memorable dining spot in Riomaggiore is absolutely charming with its rustic (albeit cramped) interior and lovely terrace. Local seafood is the specialty, whether served with pasta or as part of hors d’oeuvres.
Tuesday Market - Spend time at the Tuesday morning market in Vernazza, which is buzzing with activity as vendors set up a wide variety of goods. Sellers typically display fresh produce, seafood, and other delicacies from 8 a.m. until 1. Meanwhile, in addition to white wine, food items like anchovies, focaccia, and pesto are also staples of the region.
Your best bets for arrival include Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport (FCO) and Milan’s Milano Malpensa Airport (MXP). Fiumicino – Italy’s largest airport – is situated about 4.5 hours away from the Cinque Terre Region and about 3 hours from Tuscany via car. Meanwhile, Malpensa Airport is about 3.5 hours from Tuscany and 2.5 hours from Cinque Terre.
Both airports feature all of the major rental car companies, plus taxi services, shuttle buses, trains, and other public transportation options. Keep in mind that there are no roads within the Cinque Terre villages for passenger vehicles, so consider using the train for your arrival/departure.