With so many types of ‘moons—engagementmoons, minimoons, adventuremoons, tinymoons—it can seem like there’s a new term for the trip of a lifetime popping up on a weekly basis. One honeymoon option becoming increasingly popular is the buddymoon, or a honeymoon where you bring your gang along for the ride. And while many brides are hesitant to take the most romantic trip of their lives—and what has historically marked the start of a couple’s life together—with their friends, others are embracing the trend and starting off their new life not only alongside their soulmate, but with the others in closest to them.
Here’s what to consider if you’re throwing a buddymoon:
First off, “Determine the type of buddymoon you two want to have—how active, relaxed, communal, or private that might be—and communicate it to the group,” say Mike and Anne Howard, the founders of HoneyTrek.com and National Geographic authors of the new couples travel book, Ultimate Journeys for Two—who left on their own honeymoon in January 2012 and have been globe-trotting ever since. “Ask each traveler in the group to write down the top three things they would like to do. Anything with an overlap—make sure to do that as a group—and save the others for a little private time,” they say, adding that you’ll want to set the expectation of having some alone time as part of the group trip—after all, this is your honeymoon.
When it comes to buddymoons, “The biggest don’t,” says Lydia J. Redmond, wedding expert at The Ritz-Carlton Resorts of Naples, is to “plan every waking moment to be together as a group. Traveling and experiencing this cherished time as a group doesn’t mean that dinner or excursions can’t be celebrated privately as a couple,” she says.
When it comes to said alone time, follow the 60/40 rule, Mike and Anne advise, noting that your time should be more skewed toward your posse in this case since they were invited along on your ‘moon. “That said, this isn't an extension of your bachelor and bachelorette parties. Keep it coed the majority of the time so that your circles solidify for lifelong friendships. Take the other 40% of the time for romance, adventures, and bonding as newlyweds.” What’s probably most important though is to plan your itin prior to arrival, says Redmond, noting that it will give the other couples on the trip the ability to plan their own excursions and dining.
Furthermore, remember that in the case of a buddymoon, it’s all about having the right squad around you. You should really only be inviting your closest friends, which doesn’t necessarily mean everyone in your bridal party. Unlike wedding invitations, which are always tricky to navigate, you can be more selective of who you invite on your buddymoon, concentrating on selecting those friends that you’ve traveled with in the past already, so that you’re aware of any of their travel...quirks.
And unless funds are unlimited, Redmond says newlyweds are not expected to pay for the buddymoon. “The soon-to-be married would do the research, provide the price points and the booking info—with buddies to secure individually,” she says. Still, traveling as part of a group, whether it’s a smaller or larger one, opens up new couples to a lot of exciting options when it comes to their friend-friendly honeymoon.
A few buddymoon ideas...
Maximize your dinero: A buddymoon is a great opportunity to finally rent one of those lavish, over-the-top presidential suites or villas that you’ve always dreamed about, though there should be no squabbling over who gets the master bedroom or private pool house in this case—it automatically belongs to the newlyweds.
“When traveling with a group, there is no accommodation that offers a better value than a vacation rental. Multiple bedrooms give a group privacy, but shared spaces like the living room or kitchen make for perfect gathering spots,” says Melanie Fish, HomeAway’s travel expert. Ideal for buddymoons, she adds that a vacation rental like a VRBO or HomeAway means you might get a more luxurious place in a more desirable location—all for a better price—making these trips even more attractive if you’re a couple on a budget.
Live the suite life: If you’d prefer being at a hotel or resort, Suiteness, an online booking website, allows travelers to access an inventory of thousands of luxury hotel suites based on the number of rooms they need or the types of amenities they’re looking for. This means groups can book connected suites for up to 10 guests without having to book multiple rooms. And should you or your friends need to finance your buddymoon travel, the site has also partnered with Affirm so groups can pay for suites over time with straightforward financing, making it even easier on those members of the group who might be strapped for cash.
Be crazy adventurous: Buddymoons also let honeymooners and their groups of friends be increasingly daring and share a trip they’ll long forget. Consider piling into a jeep with George Mavroudis Safaris, where you’ll buddymoon by camping in the bush with the animals for true Out of Africa vibes, or book a Wild Frontiers, the alternative travel company helping guests access some of the hardest-to-reach parts of the world, from Antarctica to the tropical islands of Southeast Asia.
Get specific: Whether the couple enjoys an active lifestyle or has special interests, a buddymoon is a great way to share those passions with their posse. Vino-loving couples can share a three-bedroom villa at Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa to experience a caviar and champagne tasting or private cooking classes with their buds. Or, those who might enjoy skiing or snowboarding can make what would general be a non-traditional honeymoon by hitting the slopes. Couples can just as easily research and plan their ski-themed buddymoon with the vacation experts at Ski.com as they can take a culinary tour with Access Trips, the ultimate foodie trip for up to 10-12 people.
See more: 10 Reasons This All-Inclusive Resort Is Honeymoon #Goals
A cruise also serves as a nice multi-destination alternative, an Expedia rep tells us, and would suit well for a buddymoon because travelers can take advantage of group booking discounts. In general, if you book as a large group with most cruise lines, one person will often even cruise for free.