The newlyweds jetted off to the Maldives and Dubai on Thursday, and gave PEOPLE all the exclusive details about their trip
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Tarek and Heather El Moussa
Credit: Heather Rae El Moussa/Instagram

A week after their whirlwind wedding weekend began, Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young are jetting off on their honeymoon! 

The Flipping 101 star, 40, and the Selling Sunset realtor, 34, who tied the knot on Saturday night at a hotel in Montecito, Calif., left their home in Newport Beach on Thursday afternoon to embark on a three-week honeymoon. The pair will be spending the majority of the trip in the Maldives, then three days in Dubai. 

"We decided we wanted to do a long honeymoon, just because these last few months have been insane, busy, and we haven't had a moment to breathe," Heather (who is now using her married name, Heather Rae El Moussa) tells PEOPLE exclusively. "So we wanted to take a long honeymoon to just enjoy. Enjoy being married."

She adds that the pair were debating between Bora Bora (one of their favorite vacation destinations) or the Maldives for the special trip, but ultimately settled on the latter. 

Tarek and Heather El Moussa
Credit: Tarek El Moussa/Instagram

"We thought, obviously it's such a far flight to get to Maldives, when are we ever going to probably do this again, besides our honeymoon? So let's just go for it," she recalls. "Let's go all out and do the whole thing."

On Thursday evening, the pair boarded an Emirates flight in first class, which Tarek says he's "super excited about, because it's this epic airline that everybody dreams of flying on." Their suite-style seats came complete with lie-flat beds, a large TV, plenty of beverages and even a "glam mirror," as Heather shared in her Instagram Stories

Tarek admits that he and Heather are "weird," because they both love long-haul flights, so they're looking forward to the extended journey. 

"Honestly, when we're on the ground, my phone's going off, my email's going off, people are calling me with questions all day," the father of two explains. "When you're up in the air for 10, 14, 20 hours, nobody can bother you. It's like a vacation."

Tarek and Heather El Moussa
Credit: Tarek El Moussa/Instagram

"I'm just going to wear comfy sweat pant and no makeup, relax, get drunk and watch movies with him," Heather says of her plans for the flight. 

After a nearly 16 hour flight, they'll be landing in Dubai, staying in a hotel in the airport for a night, then making their way to the celebrity-favorite island archipelago in the Indian Ocean. 

"We got this 3,600-square-foot house on the water built on stilts," Tarek explains of their luxurious accommodations. "In our bathroom, it has a glass floor, so you can see the fish swimming under your feet. And on the outside, we have a private pool, private spa and private cabana. So, I'm just so excited."

Tarek El Moussa and Heather Rae Young
Credit: Tarek El Moussa/Instagram

And, as usual, Tarek says he has a few surprises up his sleeve for his now-wife. 

"Every single day, well, most of the days, I have things planned," he says. "She doesn't know about anything, yet."

"So I got the honeymoon covered. It's going to be epic," the Flip or Flop host continues. "And then on the way back, we're going to stop in Dubai for three days and go enjoy the Middle East."

RELATED VIDEO: Tarek El Moussa: "I'm So Excited to Live This Life" With New Wife Heather Rae Young

Both Tarek and Heather say they know they're going to miss his two kids — son Brayden, 6, and daughter Taylor, 11, whom he shares with his first wife Christina Haack — while they're away, but are excited to kick back and relax after over 14 months of wedding planning.

"This has been a very fun, stressful, exciting process... We've had a lot of ups, a lot of downs," Heather told PEOPLE of the planning process ahead of the big day.  

They began wedding planning almost immediately after their engagement in July 2019, but have revealed that things didn't go as originally planned. In August, the couple revealed that they scrapped their original wedding plans of getting married in Cabo, Mexico, over Covid-related travel concerns and started fresh, halfway through the process.

tarek el moussa and heather rae young wedding
Credit: Duke Images

In a candid Instagram post, Heather explained, "I haven't fully shared this but in the beginning, Tarek and I hired a wedding planner, sent out our save the dates, and then after rethinking some things we decided to completely change everything."

"We decided to go in a different direction with the wedding planner, hired a new one, changed the wedding location, and sent out new save the dates that said 'just kidding' on them," she revealed. 

Despite the bumps in the road when it came to planning, the wedding itself was everything Tarek and Heather could have dreamed of and more, they say.

"It was just so magical. Better than we even expected it to be," Heather says. "It felt like it was straight from a movie," Tarek agrees. "Everything was just spectacular."

"We're best friends, we're true soulmates, and our love is so rare and so special," Young adds. "It's the love I've always dreamed of my whole life."