Honeymoon hopes are finally having their moment, taking full advantage of the relaxed restrictions related to COVID-19, including the recently announced removal of masks on planes. After a few false starts, it finally looks like the return to normal we were promised could be here. Yet despite this, those eager travelers who delayed honeymoons or opted for mini-moons closer to home during the pandemic, are reentering a honeymoon landscape like no other.

Fueled by, well, the recent increase in the cost of fuel and incredibly high pent-up demand, flight prices have risen nearly 13% year-to-date and hotel rates have risen nearly 40%. With things looking for a bit more competitive and complicated right now, your honeymoon might require a little more planning. So we spoke to a few travel and honeymoon experts to help you prepare for your big trip in 2022 and beyond.

Newlyweds plan well ahead

Newlyweds are starting their planning process earlier than before the pandemic, says Dr. Terika Haynes of Dynamite trip, a luxury travel and media consultancy. She notes that this is likely due to the fact that so many weddings and honeymoons were postponed during this time.

As a result, there is currently a much higher demand for honeymoons, but also for more exclusive experiences once travelers arrive at their destination. This means that planning further in advance is not only beneficial, it is becoming the norm. Otherwise, newlyweds risk missing out on the best flights, hotels, restaurants, events and activities as they sell out or become booked. A good rule of thumb is to book at least three months or more if you can. But do your research. Some hotels and experiences now need to be booked with even more time.

Local honeymoons are here to stay

In recent years, many newlyweds have decided to celebrate their “mini-moons” as international borders remain closed. But, despite the reopening of top international honeymoon sites and the easing of restrictions, domestic travel continues to be a trend for these travelers, says Sam Jagger, chief executive of Fairmont Miramar Hotel & Bungalows. “We have followed more American honeymooners in Los Angeles than in previous years,” adds Jagger. A hotel like Fairmont Miramar makes a lot of sense for couples who prefer to travel domestically and avoid risking their honeymoon dates, which can quickly become a moving target if a new wave of COVID-19 arises and disrupts international travel.

Being in a city is another draw for many travelers who have tried to avoid urban crowds during the pandemic when keeping six feet apart was the norm. “With travelers eager to explore and see new things, we’ve noticed that honeymooners are less likely to focus solely on R&R,” says Jagger, noting that they demand more activity and adventure during their stay, including surfing, hiking, wine tasting, and more.

honeymoon to do

We’ve all heard of “renewal of vows,” but some post-pandemic couples are remedying it by renewing their honeymoons. “Some couples have seen their honeymoon cut short or replaced by a staycation due to the pandemic. Others want to rekindle the romance after more than 30 years, celebrate a momentous anniversary, or retake a trip that just didn’t work out the first time,” says David Ox, CEO of Winged boots, a personal travel management company. As with upgrading your engagement ring, couples are spacing out a second honeymoon after a few years of alternative, low-key getaways so they don’t miss out on that bigger, dreamier trip they originally planned before the pandemic. .

Combined weddings and honeymoons

Another trend that many of our experts are noticing is that couples are choosing to have their weddings and honeymoons in the same destinations, Kenroy Herbert tells us. As president of Leviticus Lifestyle and Travel, a concierge brand specializing in luxury villa rentals and high-end charters, he has seen an increase in smaller, more intimate destination weddings with couples renting villas for their ceremony and reception. Then the newlyweds stay in the villa for their honeymoon, while the guests stay at nearby villas or resorts. Combining a buddymoon-style wedding and trip, this epic combo is exciting for both couples and their guests who have felt crowded out during the pandemic.

Crazy moons are the new normal

Whether you’re renewing your honeymoon or taking it for the first time, the top trend for couples on a love trip is to drop the cash for something more lavish, luxurious, and one-of-a-kind. “Couples are choosing quality over quantity and we’ve seen a huge demand for experiences,” says Herbert. “For example, private yachts and motorboats are rented by the day to go from island to island.” Requests are also made for private notable chefs, fire dancers and in-villa massages.

Renting luxury and exotic cars for long-distance travel is another trend our experts are seeing. “A luxury convertible is the epitome of a honeymoon,” says David Sajasi, general manager of Beverly Hills Car Rental. “It makes a bold statement when you arrive at your destination.”

Avoid booking your trip online and book with a trusted travel agency instead. They can use personal relationships with hotels, airlines and travel suppliers to ensure your honeymoon is personalized and you receive special treatment.

Couples check in for longer stays

“As a seasonal hotel located on Mallorca’s most romantic cliff, we will be meeting couples this summer whose reservations have been on the books since 2020,” says Gianluca Priori, General Manager, Jumeirah Port Soller Hotel & Spa. “We are seeing honeymooners extend their stay by up to three weeks compared to the average of one to two weeks previously, to have a longer and more elaborate honeymoon.”

Long-haul travel is also back, with many families opting for what Ox calls “3G vacations,” or also bringing along three generations like your parents and grandparents. It can catch up on time during the pandemic or mark a milestone that may not have been celebrated during this time.

With a little more time on the ground in a destination, travelers are looking for unique, more carefully curated experiences that are local in nature and led by experts, Abigail Rivera, chief operating officer at Hammock Hotels recount. “Authentic folk expressions in art, music and markets through a local lens are a great way for couples to create totally unique memories.”

Multi-stop (or bust) honeymoons

Longer trips also mean couples can make multiple destinations a reality, and do so in a relaxed way rather than rushing. “With luxury hotels in some of the most prominent honeymoon destinations, our portfolio has developed what we call ‘Layover Honeymoons’. Due to the couple’s tendency to spend more and stay longer, we notice that they want to maximize their time and no longer limit their trip to just one destination,” says Ermanno Zanini, Regional Vice President and General Manager of Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. . Jumeirah has developed a honeymoon destination duo program that includes a two-night stay at the iconic Burj Al Arab Jumeirah in Dubai, followed by four nights at the new Jumeirah Maldives Olhahali Island resort.

Choosing Under-The-Radar Honeymoon Destinations

While choosing your honeymoon destination is a very personal decision, there are a few destinations that are already booming with travelers this year. Since we have established that there is a lot of demand and competition in popular destinations, you may want to consider another location if you are going on your honeymoon in 2022 or early 2023. Brian Kelly from The dot guy suggests looking for destinations similar to popular hotspots: e.g. book Kos, Greece instead of Mykonos; the Italian Alps instead of Switzerland; Tarifa, Spain instead of Ibiza; Guatemala instead of Costa Rica; or Sri Lanka instead of India.

For LGBTQIA+ travelers, Mérida, Mexico is high on Kelly’s list. “Repeatedly dubbed the safest city in Mexico, Mérida is full of colorful classic Spanish settlements, shady parks, festive cafes, sophisticated yet laid-back boutiques and galleries,” he says. In Croatia, gay travelers will want to visit Hvar, the idyllic island known for its annual cultural festivals, beautiful lavender and fun wine harvests. Nightlife is also a draw, with plenty of open-air clubs and bars in town along the breezy waterfront that cater to LGBTQIA+ travellers, Kelly says.

Eco-Conscious Honeymoon Considerations

According to a recent survey by Vacasaone of North America’s leading rental accommodation management platforms, 46% of consumers say sustainable and responsible tourism is important when planning their trips, and that number is even higher for eco-conscious travelers. z and millennial environment. When planning a honeymoon, couples can stay eco-conscious by considering greener ways to get to their destination, taking into account their consumption energy at destination and by choosing activities that respect the environment.

Kelly also advises traveling “low and slow” by flying to one location and then by train, on foot or by bike instead of taking multiple flights. “Book tours and activities through booking portals such as Boumundia platform that automatically offsets the carbon footprint generated by all visits booked through its website,” he adds.

Finally, choose a lower-impact lodging option like a vacation rental rather than a hotel. They use less water and electricity, and they’re also ideal for couples looking for privacy and privacy on their special trip.