The vows have been exchanged, the party is over and the passports are packed – where to next?
With the whole world at your fingertips, where to go on your once-in-a-lifetime honeymoon might be the toughest wedding planning choice you make. Whether you’re after a far-flung paradise beach or a jam-packed European break, there’s even more adventure, romance and experiences to be had in 2019 than ever before.
Love Springs Eternal
Unsurprisingly eco-tourism is a massive trend for 2019, and we’ll see more couples choosing to take part in a beach clean-ups as part of their honeymoon activities and opting for sustainable hotels that give back to their local community. You only have to look at some of the most beautiful beaches in the world to realise plastic pollution is an urgent issue, especially on Thailand’s paradise islands and the honeymoon hotspot of Bali.
Once owned by the iconic actor, Marlon Brando, The Brando in French Polynesia continues to be an eco-friendly escape for anyone from royalty to Barack Obama. The resort is located in Tetiaroa, a private island nestled in the South Pacific Ocean. Just 30 miles away from Tahiti, this Polynesian escape boasts 35 villas amid white sandy beaches and clear blue ocean waters.
Brando was focused on creating an eco-luxury destination which would maintain an environmentally responsible agenda and implements a comprehensive water conservation, recycling and composting programme, perfect for environmentally conscious couples. An abundance of activities from bicycling, snorkelling and bird watching to diving and paddle boarding are available to try together too.
You’ll both feel right at home in a carefully designed villa that blends into and enhances the serenity of your surroundings. A walkthrough dressing area adjoins your spacious bedroom, where a king-size bed invites you to relax and gaze through a large window at the lagoon, visible through a screen of pandanus, mikimiki, and coconut trees, while the adjoining bathroom features an outdoor al fresco bathtub, set behind a wooden screen.
Whether it’s the historic Route 66 in the USA or the dramatic Great Ocean Road in Australia, more couples are choosing a once-in-a-lifetime road trip for their honeymoon.
With freedom to go where and do what you want, it’s got the ultimate appeal for free spirits. You can go as luxurious or budget-friendly as you like: buy a cheap VW van and camp out, or hire a mustang and live it up. Make sure to ask locals for the beaches, restaurants and secret spots they go to that you wouldn’t get to easily on public transport.
The New Mexico route to The Million Dollar Highway in Colorado is a perfect choice for a Wild West history-filled ride through the US, while the Pacific Coast Highway in California has to be ventured in a convertible.
Go The Extra Mile
Apparently it’s not enough just to relax on a beach, cocktail in hand for two weeks anymore. Many couples want to challenge themselves and tick things off their bucket list, leading to a rise in ‘achievement-moons’. Think conquering Mount Kilimanjaro, Machu Picchu or Everest Base Camp. The honeymoon is about the journey as much as the destination, and you could be left with unforgettable memories and an unparalleled feeling of accomplishment.
It doesn’t have to be a physical challenge though, why not learn a new skill you’ve always wanted to master, whether its a sailing school on the Dalmatian coast, becoming a gaucho in Argentina, or taking a cookery course in Italy. It can mean visiting fascinating countries with a rich cultural heritage. Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos and Thailand are all fabulous honeymoon destinations with their own distinctive histories and attractions. A honeymoon in any of these countries will feel like an adventure for the soul and offer you countless opportunities to see ancient ruins, learn about different cultures and, if you still feel like being active, you can go trekking, elephant-riding or cycling in the wild.
Shoot for the Moon
You’ve likely heard of the ‘mega-moon’ where couples take a sabbatical from work and spend several months travelling. Well, 2019 is the year of the ‘micro’ or ‘mini’ moon.
Instead of one big honeymoon, some couples are now having lots of long weekends away in a year. It’s easier to get time off work and means you can visit lots of European and farther flung destinations across the year. Newlyweds still want to acknowledge their marriage, but life issues like a new job, child commitments, budget restraints or wedding fatigue can all conspire to rule out taking a long trip. That’s when a mini-moon makes sense. A two-day or long weekend jaunt can be an indulgent, stress-free getaway and is a fitting end to the big event. From watching gondolas sail down the Grand Canal in Venice to having a candlelit dinner on the edge of the caldera in Santorini, escaping for just a few days after the wedding is an attractive alternative to the financial blowout that some epic trips can be.
Home Is Where The Heart Is
There are so many romantic things to do in the Lake District, it’s no wonder it’s a top destination for romantic breaks and staycation honeymoons in the UK. The lakes are renowned for its connection with Romantic poets, painters and writers; of which the landscape inspired many famous works.
William Wordsworth wrote about the daffodils in Grasmere, and what could be more romantic than wandering through those picture-perfect pastures? Strolling through chocolate-box villages and visiting the homes and landmarks painted and described by some of the literary greats, such as John Ruskin, Samuel Coleridge, Arthur Ransome and Beatrix Potter.
Lakelovers, the local Lake District cottage booker, has hand-picked a collection of romantic cottages across the Lake District in a variety of facilities, styles and locations to suit all budgets. Charming picture-postcard cottages to luxury barn conversions in Ambleside, Bowness, Coniston, Grasmere, Hawkshead, Keswick, Langdale and Windermere are just some of the locations in Cumbria to consider.
Surprise your other half with a peaceful picnic at Surprise View near Ashness Bridge to look down onto Derwentwater, near Keswick in the North Lakes. Following a romantic meal, watch the setting sun and night sky from your rural retreat or stroll hand-in-hand along the pebbly shore, resting for a romantic embrace or photograph opportunity. To escape the crowds for some blissful seclusion and time on your own, why not take to a boat to enjoy the scenery?
Rachel Overall, owner of Mirabella Weddings, a luxury wedding and honeymoon planning business, says…
“If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, then how about a road trip around the beautiful islands of New Zealand?
For the adrenaline junkies there is the obvious bungee jumping or skydiving, but for those after something slightly less exhilarating without compromising on fun, there’s whale watching and swimming with wild dolphins in Kaikoura, heli-hiking the glaciers in Franz Josef or visiting the incredible volcanic geysers in Rotorua.
When it all gets too much, sit back in one of the many beautiful vineyards with a glass of delicious wine and some fantastic food and soak up the breath-taking scenery.”