Rather than waiting for governments and corporations to find solutions that impact climate change, one way couples can make an impact and show their love for the planet is simply by how they choose to travel for a honeymoon. Since it's arguably one of the most lavish trips you and bae will ever take together, there are many ways to approach this once-in-a-lifetime trip more sustainably. From the way you chose to get there to the types of hotels you check into to the food you eat, here’s how to take a more sustainable honeymoon. Plus, see some of the best options out there today.
First Up—How to Take a More Sustainable Honeymoon
Epic trips usually require a flight, but they don’t always have to. “Before taking any flight, ask yourself, do you really need to fly? Can you stay domestic or go by other ‘slow’ transport means such as train or car?,” asks Susanne Etti, Intrepid Travel’s Global Environmental Impact Manager and an actual scientist. Intrepid has made sustainability a focus since the start of the pandemic, developing more than 40 new low carbon trips, with a focus on activities including walking, trekking, and cycling. Currently, tourism accounts for eight percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, and flights cause about a quarter of that alone, Etti tells us.
If you do decide to fly for a worthwhile trip like your honeymoon, it’s important to consider ways you can reduce your emissions before or after you arrive. Even though you may be tempted to fly business or first class to celebrate, it comes with a hefty carbon footprint roughly 5.5 times larger than that of an economy passenger. Not to be a party pooper, but you should also consider packing a few less outfit changes than you’d anticipated. Heavier planes bogged down with overweight luggage will produce more carbon emissions.
What to Pack for a More Sustainable Honeymoon
“An easy way to take action is to travel with some basics: a reusable cup, a water bottle, produce bags, a metal or bamboo straw, reusable eating cutlery, and packaging-free toiletries,” Etti recommends. You can also reduce plastic water bottle use and use a water bottle like the filtering CamelBak Eddy. Whether you’re filling it up with stream water on a hike or just double-checking that the water at your resort is safe to drink, this reusable water bottle removes bacteria and parasites, not to mention other funky stuff and unsavory smells.
More Sustainable Honeymoon Trip Ideas to Consider
From tire spins that lead to vineyards, cruises in the most remote parts of the world, and five-star oceanfront stays on private islands, each of these eco-conscious honeymoon ideas are as stylish as they are sustainable—and will please the personalities of every type of canoodling couple.
Hurtigruten launched the world’s first hybrid electric powered expedition ship in 2019 and followed it up with a second ship in 2020 that was rated the world’s most sustainable cruise ship. Designed by Rolls Royce, and functioning similar to a hybrid car which switches between fuel and a super battery to be optimally fuel efficient, it’s good news for those looking for a more sustainable way to cruise. Plus, Hurtigruten doesn't skimp on any of the luxuries you might expect to find on a cruise ship during your honeymoon, like outdoor heated hot tubs, a sauna and spa, gourmet dining options, and extra large, well-thought-out guest cabin suites.
The latter have large balconies that are ideal for revealing some of the world’s most epic landscapes, whether that’s on one of their Antarctica, Alaska, Greenland, Iceland, or even an epic Pole-to-Pole sailing trips should you have time for an extended trip. In other sustainable steps, the Hurtigruten was the first to remove single-use plastics on board, an almost-unheard feat in the cruise industry, and plans to roll out additional hybrid ships in the future.
Intrepid’s Cycle Sonoma and Napa Valley
Once you get to your honeymoon destination, see if you can get around by walking, cycling, or by using public transport, Etti advises. “Trade a private car for a toy train, longboat, or tuk tuk. Not only does traveling on public transport let you swap chuckles with your neighbors in their territory, but it also cuts pollution and carbon emissions,” she adds. Intrepid’s Cycle Sonoma & the Napa Valley is an even more extreme way to cut carbon emissions—it could even reduce your travel emissions by 75% over doing the same wine region trip by car.
Ideal for more active types, you’ll find yourself cycling surrounded by the rugged coastline of Northern California while you and your S.O. explore everything from vineyards to the ocean and redwood forests. It’s an uber romantic way to see and explore the celebrated Napa and Sonoma, and partake in some much needed, post-nuptial wine tasting. Though it will technically increase your carbon emissions, there’s also a support vehicle waiting should you decide you need to sit out one of the rides, or an entire day in general.
Origins Costa Rica
Nestled within lush jungle and nearby to an active volcano, a honeymoon at Origins immerses you into incredible natural splendor and will remind you why we all need to work harder to save the planet. You can take a queue from the boutique resort property itself, where most of the accommodations are private villas with stunning vista views and fire burning-heated hot tubs—just one of the sustainable elements seamlessly blended into the experience.
The hotel itself was built using an abundance of sustainable structural bamboo, adobe walls for humidity control and to avoid air conditioning, and even recycled bottles planted under each bungalows’ floors. When the dreamy, intimate resort was being dreamed up, they also managed to increase local vegetation by introducing various plants to merge with the already dense surrounding jungle.
The Mohicans Treehouse Resort
If you’re opting to stay more local to cut down on the impact of traveling by air, there are sustainable options across the U.S. The Mohicans Treehouse Resort is one of the dreamiest and also one of the most private. A reasonable driving distance from several major cities like Dayton, Cincinnati, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Indianapolis, this luxury cabin compound on 77 acres features string-lit tree houses each with their own vibe, along with cabins and country-style homes.
No matter where you decide to snuggle up, you’ll find ultimate privacy and can rest easy knowing that the high-design resort puts their money where their mouth is as it relates to sustainability. The use of passive solar design, radiant heat, and on-demand hot water are just a few ways, but it’s the repurposed materials throughout that show off the property’s commitment to reduce, reuse, and recycle. As it relates to recycling, the property already integrates century-old barn siding, hand-hewn barn beams, windows, doors, ladders, sliding barn doors, and cabinets made of recycled materials into their current accommodations.
We’ve established by now that running the AC around the clock is not great for the environment, but to combat this in French Polynesia—where the weather rarely dips below 80 degrees—this eye-poppingly beautiful resort became an early pioneer of a genius solution called Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC). Using the incredibly cold water of the deep ocean, the SWAC provides “low-energy, highly efficient cooling for all the buildings [at The Brando], reducing energy demands by almost 70 percent.”
After being scorched by the sun, this makes relaxing in the comfort of your thatched-roof villa—which comes complete with a private pool—all the more chill for you and the planet. The Brando also has an on-site ecostation aimed at protecting the environment and culture of Tetiaroa, the private atoll and little slice of paradise where couples will find themselves both consumed and transformed by nature.
Fairmont Banff Springs
The increasingly popular honeymoon destination of Banff, also a favorite amongst skiing couples for its world-class SkiBig3 slopes, takes sustainability seriously. Guests here will find a kitchen that strives to be zero waste and uses Leanpath, an innovative technology that allows kitchens to understand their food waste better and prevent it from happening. Since enjoying all of Banff’s natural splendor means you’ll need a car, the resort has installed electric vehicle charging stations so you can feel confident in renting a Tesla or other electric-powered vehicle during your stay.
The on-site spa here has a gorgeous mineral pool and water circuit, and should not be missed by couples celebrating their nuptials.
The fan-favorite, luxe Caribbean all-inclusive resort group is all about sustainable, experience-rich travel that gives back. They recently announced 40 new conservation projects aimed at uplifting the local community and protecting the Caribbean’s natural habitat, which means you can consider spending one day of your romantic vacay at a Sandals resort by putting in a little work and then returning to that all-important frozen cocktail come nightfall. In Jamaica, honeymoon travelers can participate in the planting of 7,000 trees in the Blue and John Crow Mountains; in Grenada, guests can restore reefs during dive excursions; and in Turks & Caicos, guests can replant mangrove forests that have been damaged by tropical storms.
Las Venatas Al Paraiso, A Rosewood Resort
Your S.O. may choose to play a few rounds of golf on your honeymoon. Las Ventanas al Paraíso, a Rosewood Resort has an unparalleled driving range that will pique their interest—and do some good for the planet. Located on a beach in Los Cabos that overlooks the sparkling Sea of Cortez, the driving range allows couples to hit golf balls directly into the ocean. It's less scary for the environment than it sounds, though, since each golf ball is made of a biodegradable material. Upon landing in the ocean, the golf balls transform into a pod of fish food that help the ecosystem of Baja’s waters to thrive.