So, you're looking for the perfectly romantic honeymoon getaway to celebrate your wedded bliss, but you're on a budget. No problem! Nowadays, more and more couple are choosing to forgo lavish wedding day nuptials, in order to embark on never-ending global honeymoon excursions. Despite popular belief, there are a variety of destinations that newlyweds can visit that don't cost a small fortune. They provide fun activities, culture, relaxation, and gorgeous views. Most of all, you don't sacrifice beauty or the romance of your desired ambiance just because you refuse to break bank.
Ready to go on your budget-friendly honeymoon destination? Here are just a few options:
Now that Tulum has become oversaturated with tourists, this town, located in southeastern Mexico just near Belize, is a great spot to get away from the hustle and bustle while still enjoying some of Mexico's beauty and culture. The area is near what is called The Lake of Seven Colors which is known for its various hues of water and is close to cenotes and archeological zones. It is the perfect place for a romantic getaway. The drive from Cancun takes about four hours. I recommend skipping the so-called 5-star hotels in the area and booking an Airbnb. They have gorgeous inexpensive homes for less than $100 per night along the lagoon front.
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Located in the northern region of Thailand, this is one of the cheaper cities to explore in this Southeast Asian country. Couples can enjoy a traditional Thai massage, take cooking courses, and explore some of the temples in the old city. Chaing Mai's Buddhist temples are some of the most visually stunning you'll ever see—although choosing which to visit could be a difficult task seeing as how there are hundreds to choose from. The stunning Shangri-La Hotel in the heart of the city is a luxury urban resort that is a great option at just under $200 per night.
St. Elizabeth, Jamaica
Pass up Ocho Rios, Negril, and Portland and head over to the "quiet side" of Jamaica. This unique fishing village boasts a wealth of natural scenery and romantic activities for couples. Swim in the spring water pool at YS Falls, take a stroll along Treasure Beach, explore the Appleton Estate, or visit the legendary Lovers Leap and hear the story of two slaves who'd rather jump to their deaths than be separated and sold off to different masters. The drive is a little over two hours from Montego Bay. Many visitors stay at the popular Jakes Hotel where prices start at about $100 per night.
This Dutch Caribbean island falls under the radar for some because it is overshadowed by neighboring spots like Aruba and Bonaire. Located just 45 miles north of the coast of Venezuela, the island enjoys warm temperatures between 75 to 90 degrees year round. The beaches are what draw visitors to this quiet oasis, but there are numerous activities for adventure-seekers like hiking and cliff jumping. They also have the most comprehensive collection of African artifacts in the Caribbean displayed at their Kurá Hulanda Museum. Airbnb oceanfront villas in the area are under $200 per night.
Torch Lake, Michigan
If you don't have a passport but you're still looking for Caribbean-like scenery without the palm trees, Torch Lake is the perfect honeymoon destination. Rent a boat and explore Michigan's 2nd largest inland lake at almost 19,000 acres. This area is perfect for water sports like jet-skiing and tubing, but many people like to hang out on the sandbar in awe of just how much this Midwest lake's beauty compares to the Caribbean Sea. The area is pretty secluded, so it's scarce on nearby restaurants but there are wineries and breweries within driving distance. This is a popular spot especially in the summer months so rental properties (while reasonably priced) are booked at least a year in advance.
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Tiffany D. Smith is a TV journalist by day and food and travel influencer by night from Chicago, IL. Since being bitten by the travel bug a few years ago, she uses her blog TheLoveofFoodandTravel.com to encourage people to release their fears, step out of their comfort zones, and explore new places and great food. When Tiffany isn't working in live TV or blogging, she enjoys kickboxing, watching 70's shows, and spending time with friends and family. Keep up with her @loveoffoodandtravel on IG.
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
Russell and Nina Westbrook are one of those low-key, unproblematic couples we don’t talk about enough. They met in college and got married in 2015. They also have a beautiful family with three kids. While Russell is an NBA star, Nina is a licensed family and marriage therapist and a mental health advocate.
She recently launched the podcast The Relationship Chronicles with Nina Westbrook, and in the latest episode, she had none other than her husband on as a guest. The college sweethearts dived into important topics from marriage to children and how they navigate it all.
One of the topics they touched on was dealing with resentment in your relationship. The former MVP highlighted the sacrifices his wife has had to make in order for him to pursue a career in the NBA, and that’s why it’s also important for him to support his wife whenever he can.
“For me is respecting and understanding what your partner do and the time it takes,” Russell said. “Not kind of downplaying what they do, understanding the time and energy and effort they're doing to make sure whether it’s their job or making sure home is taken care of, and understanding that, I think that is the challenge of not being resentful.”
Nina agreed and also shared her thoughts on resentment. According to her, one of the best things couples should do is have their own identity and passions outside of the relationship in an effort to be fulfilled.
“I also think that when you’re in a relationship, that’s why it’s so important that each individual kinda pursue their own passions and follow their own dreams as I feel like it only becomes or leads to resentment when one person is not feeling fulfilled in what they're doing in their lives,” she explained.
“And so, they will start to look at the other partner who’s happy or excelling or promoting or moving along in their journey, then they’re left feeling stuck like they sacrificed themselves, their happiness, their career, their future and have not pursued it in the name of the relationship or their partner. So, it’s so much easier to avoid those feelings of resentment when you’re each equally pursuing your passions.”
The couple has many passions that they work on together and separately. Outside of basketball and his family, Russell has become known for his eclectic style and started the fashion brand Honor The Gift. Nina has her podcast, and she also started the mental health website Bene. Together, they run the Why Not? Foundation, which works with kids in underserved communities.
“I’m a firm believer that one person can’t be everything to you, so you have to sort of seek out those different friendships or groups or hobbies or activities that help to fulfill you,” Nina concluded.
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Feature image by Jon Kopaloff/Getty Images for Religion of Sports