Confession time: We're addicted to heavily-filtered snaps of loved-up traveling couples on Instagram. Show us a insanely cute couple star-jumping off a pier in front of a sunset and we're double-tapping the screen so hard, we're at risk of breaking it. But you don't have to be in a relationship to enjoy the trip of a lifetime with someone you are absolutely bonkers about. That's why we've come up with a whole new term: the buddymoon.
Okay, so the name needs working on, but the concept is flawless. You and your BFF head off on the vacation of a lifetime, where you get to raise a foreign tipple to your friendship (probably an Aperol Spritz), add some more stories to your memory vault and somehow become even closer than you already are (which, let's be honest, the world probably isn't ready for!).
To help you plan the most epic, inaugural buddymoon ever, we've pulled together a list of destinations that will have you high-fiving each other every time these places come up in convo hereafter. Yeehaw.
This is that place for those BFFs searching for foodie heaven.
The first thing you need to know about Barcelona is the architecture is nuts. Like proper nuts. Like nuttier than a walnut cake sort of nuts. It's like every slightly unhinged architecture came here and had a competition to see who could recreate a cheese-dream through the medium of construction. Anyway, the second thing you need to know about Barcelona is it takes #foodporn to the next level. You’re taste buds will think they have died and gone to heaven as you make your way around the vibrant backstreets and through each eatery’s tapas menu, nibbling on everything this city has to offer - chorizo, patatas bravas, jámon Iberico, octopus and potatoes, blistered green peppers, fresh anchovies, croquetas, bread and montaditos - aka all the best food ever in little bite-size portions. And to wash it all down (for want of a less accurate phrase), you have some of the most delicious local wines to slurp on. Basically, Barcelona is that place to go with your food-obsessed bestie.
This is the best place for any BFFs that love unplanned fun.
The thing about Portugal is, you’ve probs always wanted to go there, popping it into the ‘possible’ pile whenever you’re planning a vacay. But you never do, which is because, you know, it’s so close to Spain, so you stop there first and then go a little too hard on the tapas and booze in Barcelona and now you can’t bear the thought of moving. It’s totally understandable. But, trust us, you need to swing by Lisbon because it’s just, so, so, wow. It’s got all the breath-snatching hotspots of other European cities, but not so many that you’ll just spend all your time eating Portuguese sandwiches on trams. But here’s the best bit: you don’t need to have an itinerary to have the best time ever. Just book a city-centre apartment and walk in a different direction each time you leave. From next level beaches to cobblestone streets, pretty plazas to buildings painted the brightest shade of happy you’ve ever seen, Lisbon is the perfect backdrop for your first buddymoon. So long as you love using the word “yes”, you’re in for the memory-making trip of a lifetime.
Every BFF story needs a Vespa-riding montage.
If you’ve ever turned down plans to go out in favour of curling up on the sofa with your BFF to watch a romantic movie, you’ll know every scene set in Rome features a madly in love couple nipping down some cobbled back street on a Vespa. Fact. Well, we think your equally romantic (yet slightly more platonic) love story deserves a Vespa moment or, at the very least, it’s own Rome scene. It’s just such a stunning city. It’s like walking through one giant, open-air museum, each road leading to another jaw-hits-floor piece of ancient history - the Colosseum, Sistine Chapel, the Pantheon. They’ll all be pretty cool places to reminisce about in years to come. Basically, Rome is that must-see city for any BFF couple that loves walking and talking. You can just imagine it now. Wandering down yet another pretty street, a strawberry gelato in your hand, your bestie by your side, the smell of fresh pasta filling the air, and the delicate trickling sound of the Trevi fountain lodged in your earholes. Sometimes you and your best bud just need to get away for some peace and culture and nowhere does that better than Rome.
For those needing a budget-friendly buddymoon.
Yes, this place is often (read: always) referred to as “the city of love” and, yes, more people have popped the question here than anywhere else on planet earth, but that shouldn’t stop you and your partner in crime heading here for a mini-adventure - especially when you’re fanny pack isn’t exactly bulging with Euros. Public transport is almost free, all-inclusive museum passes can be picked up for next-to-nothing, the hostels here are actually super-cute, the best coffee you’ve ever tasted won’t make you gulp prematurely, the streets aren’t just pretty, they’re bustling with the unexpected and, best of all, flights are as cheap as plastic-cheese (quick piece of advice: don’t fly to Paris Beauvais because it’s not anywhere near Paris). The point is: it’s so important BFFs zoom off somewhere together at least once a year, even when your funds are a tad meagre, and that’s who Paris caters to. It doesn’t matter whether you follow the hordes of selfie sticks to each sightseeing hotspot or you just spend hours and days just lounging in the al fresco part of a Parisian café making up backstories for each of the impossible-stylish people to saunter past, Paris is for everyone. That’s the beauty of it.
Every pair of BFFs needs a holiday that cements their BFF status.
Every so often, a buddymoon needs to go above and beyond. It needs to be more than just a weekend away in Europe, a two-week adventure to Sydney or a month backpacking around Indo-China and Bali on a post-uni “trek”. Sometimes you need to go somewhere that isn’t low-key or cheap; somewhere that requires a healthy dollop of commitment and planning; somewhere that screams, “Holy heck, we’re doing this, huh, we’re really going on the ultimate BFF-trip” and nothing says that more than a trip to Cartagena, Colombia, where, as their tourism slogan states, the only risk is wanting to stay. As a city, it’s a little Barcelona-esque. It boasts a bunch of pristine-white beaches, the sort of wild nightlife you won’t find anywhere else and eye-widening steak dinners so affordable you’ll probably blab the same “this one time in Cartagena” story every time you have a steak back home. Sure, there are other epiphany trips you can take with your bestie, from the madcap city of Tokyo to the seriously hip Nacpan Beach in the Philippines, but we still think you + bae + Cartagena = the trip you’ll never forget.
Every pair of BFFs needs a holiday that cements their BFF status.
Missing your long-distance bestie? Thankfully, there is a tonic, the buddymoon, and the best place to chug down this tonic is Copenhagen - aka the Capital of the happiest country in the world. And there’s a reason it’s super-happy: the crazy delicious food and beer. Oh and umm all that culture and design and architecture and those old harbours and their concept of hygge and stuff, but the food and beer is a good starting point. Anyway, it’s the perfect place to escape when you’re desperately looking for a splatter of post-breakup therapy. Stroll along the Nyhavn next to your best pal, have a selfie by The Little Mermaid statue, skip up the steps of the Round Tower, take some deep breaths in the Tivoli gardens, pop into the world’s oldest amusement park, and work your way around all the purist coffee spots you can. No, it may not be the happiest vacay you’ve ever shared, but it will be the one that matters most. So take it slow, stroll a lot, enjoy the moments of silence, cosy up together, have fun and accept this universal truth: buddymoons are the ultimate breakup medicine.
Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman
Sometimes all BFFs need is a lot of sun, a stretch of sand and some sea.
Okay, this is a first, but we don’t actually know where to start. Not because this beach is complicated to navigate or because there is no set beginning, middle or end, but because this slice of sandy beach paradise has so many talking points. In fact, if there was an annual Best Beaches Award, this piece of Grand Cayman beauty would take home an awful lot of gongs. There would be The Most Instagrammable Beach Award, The Softest Sand On Earth Award, The Best Place To Sip Sundowners Award and The Most Wealthy But Kinda Modest Waterfront Award. Basically, it’s the perfect place to run off to when you and your bestie are sick of grey skies and miserable weather because it’s the exact opposite. It’s brilliant white beaches, volleyball with beach bums, lounging on breezy cabanas, (responsibly) sipping your way through all the cocktail menus you can get your hands on, exploring coral reefs and sunken shipwrecks, snorkelling and pretty much anything else your bucket list might entail. That said, the holiday blues will suck. Probably really suck. But you’ll have your BFF with you to make the journey home a million times less sucky, which is a plus.
And with all that said and explored, what are you waiting for? Go and live your best buddymoon life.
Thanks for reading. For more travelspiration and far-flung adventure ideas, follow us on Instagram and Facebook and, you know, don’t forget to grab yourself the most awesome towel ever made… and some shorts… and a hair wrap... and probably a poncho too. After all, everyone looks good in stripes.