Congratulations! So you popped (or were asked) the question and now after the rush of adrenaline and the tears of joy it’s all becoming a reality. You’re going to be married.
As well as thinking about the wedding itself, you should start planning the honeymoon – hopefully the holiday of a lifetime. Here, Jane Anderson, Editor of 101 Honeymoons, gives her tips on where to go.
1. Remote luxury
Luxury resorts are opening in increasingly remote areas of the world – perfect if you want an off-the-beaten-track experience without sacrificing service and style.
Stand-out examples include the beautiful Alila Jabal Akhdar resort in the previously unexplored Al Hajar Mountains of Oman, and The Brando on the island of Tetiaroa in French Polynesia, which is accessible only by private aircraft.
— Alila Jabal Akhdar (@AlilaJabal) December 24, 2014
2. Take a minimoon
Rather than leaving the reception and heading straight for a honeymoon, many couples now opt for a romantic couple of days away directly after the wedding – known as a minimoon – followed by a full-length honeymoon a few weeks or months later. For example, you could take a weekend break in the Tuscany countryside, followed by a big trip to Brazil or Argentina. This strategy is a good one if your dream destination is out of season at the time you plan to marry, such as South Africa in our summer months.
3. Love for food
If you’re both big foodies, then a honeymoon is the perfect opportunity to indulge your passion. Head to the Marlborough region of New Zealand, or take a private tour of Vietnam.
You could burn off some of those extra calories with a bit of exercise: how about a gourmet cycling tour of Piedmont in Italy.
— Jess Goulart (@Jess_Ayn) December 18, 2014
4. Active romance
Once, the only exercise that honeymooners got was behind a locked-bedroom door, but tour operators report a growing trend for couples who want to tick off bucket-list adventures. Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru is a popular choice, while more unusual options include riding a Harley-Davidson across the USA and scuba diving in the Maldives.
@NullNFull Here is a picture of the Winay Wayna on the Inca trail #LPchat , the cost is to walk! budget but luxurious pic.twitter.com/8TLEtspI2O — Galapagos Voyagers (@galapagosvoyage) February 27, 2014
5. Out of the comfort zone
Many honeymooners are moving beyond the tried and tested honeymoon resorts in search of authenticity and excitement.
In India, for example, some couples skip the familiar charms of Rajasthan and head to regions such as Tamil Nadu and Madhya Pradesh.
6. Exotic short-haul honeymoons
You don’t need to fly across oceans to find unspoilt and exotic destinations. Alacati on the Cesme Peninsula in Turkey, for example, is an idyllic resort with white-sand beaches and hip beach clubs, just four hours flying time from the UK. Book with Exclusive Escapes. In Morocco, the atmospheric medieval city of Fes is just three hours from London.
7. Significant stopovers
If you are flying long haul, it is often less expensive to stop on route at a Middle East hub such as Dubai or Abu Dhabi, rather than take a direct flight.
Turn this inconvenience into a win by staying for a couple of nights at a glamorous hotel. Perfect if you’re bound for the Maldives, Mauritius or the Seychelles.
8. A healthy start to married life
After the stress of a wedding it makes perfect sense that many couples are now opting for a pampering and rejuvenating honeymoon. Top places to stay include Ananda in the Himalayas, the adult-only Spa Village Resort Tembok Bali and Parrot Cay in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
9. Head to the hills
As camping gives way to glamping there are increasingly appealing options for couples who want to commune with nature.
Posh tree houses, cute canvas cottages and gypsy caravans are all popular from innovative companies such as Canopy & Stars. Stylish and great value.
10. Experiential honeymoons
Now that most couples cohabit before getting married, there is no need for the honeymoon to be a “getting to know you” period. Instead, some couples see it as a chance to bond over a shared challenge.
Climbing Kilimanjaro, the highest mountain in Tanzania, (the highest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing mountain in the world!) might not seem like a traditional honeymoon activity, but the experience of enduring and succeeding together, and supporting each other, could make you stronger as a couple in the long run.
(Feature: Derek Purdy)