The past few years have brought a lot of uncertainty into every aspect of our lives, and this is especially true for couples who are planning a honeymoon. And though travel restrictions have severely eased up over the last several months, there is still much uncertainty as it pertains to whether or not it's safe to travel to certain destinations.
Regardless of where you and your spouse plan to visit, though, one key point that everyone can agree on is that travel is an exceptionally personal choice right now. There’s no right or wrong way to honeymoon, and the final decision ultimately lies with your personal preferences.
“Everybody’s comfort level is different right now,” explains Katie Jacobson of Ever After Honeymoons. Some couples still aren’t comfortable leaving the house to go to the grocery store, while others feel comfortable enough with the safety precautions put in place to travel. “Everything has some level of risk right now,” Jacobson further shares.
Therefore, given the uncertain and personal nature of travel today, we can't give you an exact breakdown of what the future of honeymoon travel holds. But, we can provide you with some information that'll help you settle on a decision that's right for you. Read on to learn more.
Meet the Expert
- Sarah Brook Austin is the managing director at Currie & Co. Travels Unlimited, a boutique travel consultancy with an emphasis on luxury and adventure travel.
- Alexandra Stockton is a travel agent at Smartflyer and has more than ten years of experience in the luxury wedding and corporate event industry.
- Katie Jacobson is the founder of Ever After Honeymoons, a concierge-style luxury honeymoon planning service.
- Melissa Williams is the CEO and owner of B. Astonished Events, a Washington, D.C.-based event planning company.
Is Honeymoon Travel Right for You?
Let's face it, while travel has significantly reopened—both domestically and internationally—we are still suspectable to getting sick and couples should assess their own personal comfort levels before planning a trip. For those who are averse to going anywhere far for a honeymoon, set your sights on planning a luxurious trip once you've truly adjusted to all of the health changes going on today. Alternatively, if you feel comfortable navigating safety protocols, go ahead and take that honeymoon now. And for those who find themselves in the middle ground, Jacobson suggests traveling to a location that's close to home (a place you can simply drive to).
Echoing how personal travel decisions are, Alexandra Stockton of Smartflyer says couples should also consider personal circumstances when weighing the pros and cons of honeymoon travel. You can do this by asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you have grandparents or elderly relatives you see regularly?
- Do you or your partner have preexisting conditions?
- Are either you or your partner essential workers whose livelihoods might be interrupted if you get sick?
What to Expect When Traveling
If you've decided to plan a honeymoon, you can expect the unexpected when traveling between countries and also between states. "It's important to monitor the government website of the location they’re traveling to, as well as go by the CDC guidelines,” Sarah Brook Austin of Currie & Co. Travels Unlimited advises. As a result, you’ll want to plan your trip on a more granular level than you might have in the past.
As of 2022, international travel has significantly ramped up given the ease in restrictions by the CDC. While proof of vaccine and negative test results are no longer required for some international destinations, it's still highly encouraged that passengers get tested no more than three days before their flight back to the U.S. (even once vaccinated). For those who have not received the vaccine, the CDC recommends delaying international travel until you are able to get fully vaccinated.
Furthermore, the experts urge couples to practice patience when traveling and to call ahead before arriving at their locale. Talk to the concierge a week or so before the trip to find out if reservations are needed for certain activities, as some properties require bookings for specific levels of access. Austin also points out that service may be slow depending on certain staffing needs, and Stockon encourages travelers to tip people more if they're financially able. "There are different circumstances that have changed [hospitality workers'] financial situations. Anything you can do if you’re able is really nice," she says.
How Honeymoon Trends Have Changed
States and countries are managing guidelines and protocols on a case-by-case basis, and as a result of the changing guidelines, many couples have ditched the tradition of traveling right after the wedding ceremony, opting to wait a few days, weeks, or months before hopping on a plane. "We have started seeing multiple couples take their honeymoon trips a few weeks after the wedding instead of a few days following the wedding," shares Melissa Williams, CEO and owner of B. Astonished Events. "I think this is an excellent idea so if they did get exposed at their wedding, they will be able to take time to rest and recover so they can enjoy their honeymoon."
Aside from delayed travel, the experts have also seen a spike in drivable destinations, with couples opting to honeymoon at a nearby location by way of renting a private property. What's more, destinations that lend themselves to time spent outdoors have spiked in popularity, too. For example, Napa has become a more ideal destination for couples looking for a romantic getaway where they can escape the crowds. With so many wineries there, there’s a vibe for everyone to relax and enjoy.