Honeymoons are an essential part of a couple’s post-wedding celebration. They can occur immediately after the reception or several weeks or months later. Unfortunately, many honeymoons—and the weddings preceding them during the pandemic were postponed. Now that travel and weddings are happening again, honeymoon trends are changing in 2022 and beyond. Experts from The Knot and Brides Magazine have shared what the future looks like for honeymoon travel.
Destination Wedding/Honeymoon Combination
After two years of being isolated, many couples are choosing to host weddings and honeymoons in the same destinations.
According to Elizabeth Urraza, sales manager of Paradise Weddings, a destination wedding company that organizes resort weddings in Mexico and the Caribbean, destination weddings have seen huge growth in 2021 and 2022. She says that many resorts are now offering wedding/honeymoon combos where the couple stays for an additional five to seven days after their wedding in a honeymoon suite to celebrate their nuptials. They can even switch properties to even feel like they have traveled to a different destination.
“Couples clearly want to get away and a destination wedding is a perfect excuse,” she says. “You can also have a 50-person wedding for $7,500 at a gorgeous 4.5-star all-inclusive resort—where back home, that barely covers the florist.”
Mini Moon/Staying Local
What is a mini-moon? It’s a shorter honeymoon taking place closer to a couple’s home. This can be used either in place of a traditional honeymoon or as a precursor to one. These can be good for couples who don’t have the budget for their ideal honeymoon yet, or if they still have some concerns about COVID.
Top destinations for mini-moons in the U.S. include Florida, Puerto Rico, The Bahamas, and The Virgin Islands.
Elain Ng Basiliere, of Murrieta, CA, and her husband had their wedding and honeymoon altered multiple times and opted for two versions of mini-moons, one before and one after the wedding. Their original wedding was scheduled for June 2020 in California, followed by an Italian honeymoon. However, after being forced to cancel both events, she still wanted to salvage the original wedding weekend date, so she and her husband embarked on a local trip to Solvang, CA, which she called a “Canceled Wedding Moon.”
Eventually, they were able to get married in September 2020, however, their Italian honeymoon was still out of the question. So instead, they chose a mini-moon to Lake Tahoe since they had just purchased a new home and desired a more budget-friendly option.
“We knew what the restrictions were in California, so we decided to do Tahoe. We went Wednesday through Monday—the cheapest travel days,” she says. “A lot of things were still closed when we went to both Solvang and Tahoe, though it was okay since it was all beautiful outdoors and there was plenty to hike and do.”
Longer Trips, Bigger Budgets
Another trend has couples with larger budgets planning their honeymoons for longer periods of time than in the past.
Dr. Terika Haynes, the owner of Dynamite Travel, a five-star rated luxury travel and media consultancy providing travel planning to clients for nearly 15 years, shares her insights on longer trips and bigger budgets.
“Thanks to being stuck inside for nearly two years, many travelers—including honeymooners—have larger budgets which allow them to opt for more luxurious accommodations and honeymoon experiences… In the past, our average honeymoons have ranged between three to five nights, but now honeymooners are vacationing longer for at least five to seven nights.”
She points out even traditional honeymoons come with bigger budgets and recommends couples plan at least $5,000 for their trip.
Basiliere and her husband are finally taking their dream Italian honeymoon for two weeks in September—two years after their wedding. She noted there weren’t too many differences in planning this time around.
“Previously, when I was planning, I only booked our flights (before) COVID happened, so I stopped planning,” she says. “I never booked hotels or excursions, thank goodness, or else we would’ve lost out on a lot more money.”
She is most excited about being able to travel for the first time internationally with her husband. However, she says one drawback of the delay was him requesting the time off.
“The further away a honeymoon is from your wedding date, people don’t take it seriously, but I told him if we don’t do this, we’ll never get to.”
More and more honeymooners—particularly millennials—are opting for more sustainable experiences and trips based on nature. Sustainable trips tend to feature smaller crowds to under-the-radar destinations, which help in a post COVID world where social distancing is still desired.
“Honeymooners are incorporating sustainable practices,” Haynes says. “Honeymooners have increased their participation in voluntourism and are also looking to eat locally more to support local farmers and locally sourced food.”
There are several places to get ideas for those looking for sustainable and eco-friendly options.
Green Matters Eco-Friendly Resorts
As travel increases post-pandemic and weddings and honeymoons return to a more normal state, experts believe many of these trends are here to stay. There are plenty of options to help couples plan the right trip—whether it be a destination wedding/honeymoon combination, a long-delayed honeymoon, a mini-moon, or an eco-friendly adventure. Destinations across the globe are ready to welcome honeymoon guests.
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Kelley Dukat is a freelance writer, photographer, and event planner currently based in the United States. She has spent the last year as a nomad travelling and house sitting. She holds a Journalism degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder and previously served as a trade magazine editor. Her favorite include dog friendly travel, road trips, nomad life. She is currently working on a memoir, and a series of personal essays.