Cancun beach-

Many couples want to spend their honeymoon lounging on a beach like this one in Cancun, Mexico.

The world is your oyster when it comes to a honeymoon destination. The options can become overwhelming, however, so we gathered some tips from travel agent Marie Lowe of Designer Travel Inc., who’s been in the business of booking dream vacations and romantic getaways for more than four decades.

Timing is an important element when planning a honeymoon, she says. Some newlyweds want to leave the morning after the wedding, but others choose to unwind from the festivities before going on a trip.

If you’re getting married on a holiday weekend, you can cut costs by delaying your honeymoon. To find the best deals on airfare, Lowe suggests looking for good rates in advance, but generally not more than six to nine months before the trip.

“My recommendation is to not pick anything around a holiday,” she says. “It keeps the airfare down and it keeps the cost of accommodations lower, too.” She recommends taking direct flights when possible since the wedding planning, ceremony and other commitments may have sucked up much of the couple’s available days off work.

Here are Lowe’s top five trending locations for honeymoons.

MONTREAL, CANADA

Biosphere of Montreal and mirror reflections

A biosphere in Montreal.

Boasting some striking parallels to New Orleans, our northern Canadian sister city of Montreal is a cultural hotbed of delicious cuisine (hello, poutine!) and historic architecture. For those seeking Francophone experiences, the plane ride is much shorter (and less costly) than, say, a flight to Paris. It’s also an excellent option for couples with a busy work schedule who can’t take off a lot of time and don’t want to waste any of it on jet lag.

THE WEST COAST

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The Hyde Street cable car in San Francisco.

An increasing number of newlyweds are favoring domestic travel, Lowe says, including Northern California, which can seem like a whole different world. San Francisco is a popular destination, she says, and its proximity to picturesque Napa Valley for wine tasting also is a major draw. She recommends spending a few days exploring San Francisco before heading into wine country.

Another West Coast city that draws honeymooners is Seattle (you can book direct flights from New Orleans), which is great for both urban explorers and those who love the outdoors due to its location on Puget Sound near numerous islands and mountains.

CANCUN, MEXICO

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Cancun features beaches and history.

Mexico, and Cancun in particular, is a popular and budget-friendly destination for newlyweds, Lowe says — and there are direct flights from New Orleans.

Situated on the Yucatan Peninsula, Cancun is a hit with tourists for its numerous resorts and white-sand beaches. It’s also a good choice for couples who enjoy scuba diving and snorkeling.

THAILAND

Thailand

Thailand has many temples, sandy beaches, mountains and more.

It takes a while to get there and the airfare can be costly, but once you arrive, Thailand proves it’s worth the trek, especially for those who want to lounge in the sun in proximity to turquoise waters.

“Generally for honeymoons, people want to go lay on a beach somewhere,” Lowe says, and Thailand offers that and much more, including luxury accommodations available at a fraction of the price of other tropical locales.

DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Camels on Jumeirah Beach, Dubai

Dubai lies in the Arabian Desert and on the coast of the Persian Sea.

This exotic city in the Arabian Desert on the Persian Gulf has a lot of ultramodern architecture folded in with older traditional buildings. There is a vibrant night scene, and the city is known for luxury shopping venues and accommodations, including resorts and theme parks on artificial islands offshore. 

“This place is incredible,” Lowe says, adding that couples easily can find five-star hotels for roughly $250 a night. Other draws include the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa; luxury shopping; and contemporary architecture.

Follow Sarah Ravits on Twitter: @sravits.