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Interview with Geri Bain

Insights from a former travel editor of Modern Bride

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By Susan Breslow Sardone

A honeymoon expert, Geri Bain was travel editor of the magazine for 12 years and is also the author of "Modern Bride: Honeymoons and Weddings Away." Recently Ms. Bain gave this exclusive interview to Honeymoons at About, and here's what she had to say:

What are the major trends in honeymoons?

One is destination weddings, where a couple gets married at their honeymoon destination. The top reason couples cite is the romance of exchanging their vows in an exotic locate. With men and women marrying at a later age and often paying for the wedding and honeymoon themselves, cost also comes into play. Some couples get married on their own. For others, with friends and families are scattered all over the place, it can make sense to choose a place everyone will be excited about traveling to. It's a good alternative for couples who get unhinged in terms of family, since a destination wedding eliminates all the expectations people have about weddings. And since someone else almost always handles all the details, couples say the best part is that they can focus totally on each other.

Isn't it expensive to transport a wedding to a resort location?

A destination wedding is often a scaled-down version of a wedding, with 20-40 guests rather than 200-400 -- and that saves money. Some resorts arrange a wedding at minimal, or in some cases, no cost for their guests. Also, most couples don't pay for their guests' trip.

What are the top honeymoon destinations?

Couples are getting much more adventurous, both in where they're going and what they're doing when they get there. The top spots continue to be Caribbean, Florida, Hawaii, and Mexico. But even when a couple picks one of these popular areas, they're likely to participate in adventurous activities.

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What kinds of adventures do honeymooners want?

In Hawaii, they're doing things like sea kayaking, mountain biking, taking a helicopter flight-seeing tour, and having a picnic atop the Haleakala volcano.

In Cancún, a couple can safari through the mangroves on 2-seater jet-skis. It's an incredible experience, where you get to see the natural ecology and monkeys up close. People who honeymoon in Cancún get out there and do everything- para-sailing, visiting the Mayan ruins.

The focus is much more outward than just hiding away with one another, which explains why a place like Orlando is so interesting to honeymooners.

Where's the next great spot?

The South Pacific -- Tahiti, Fiji, Australia, New Zealand, and the Cook Islands -- is the fastest growing area, especially for honeymooners from the West Coast. In Tahiti, Fiji, and Queensland the accommodations for honeymooners are what sell. While the Cook Islands don't have the same kind of fantasy resorts as the others, the Polynesian ambiance and the pricing is incredible.

Pampered adventures such as African safaris and bicycle tours, where all the details are handled for your and accommodations are top notch, are also becoming more popular with honeymooners.

How long is the average honeymoon?

Eight days.

What do today's brides want in a honeymoon?

Three out of four want warm weather and beautiful, natural scenery. Since the average engagement lasts about 14 months, they already know each other-so the honeymoon focus becomes discovering new things together, more than getting to know one other for the first time.

How much does the average couple spend on a honeymoon?

Close to $3,300. To maximize their budgets, more couples are opting for packages. Today 55 percent ofModern Bride's readers travel on a honeymoon package. Almost one third choose an all-inclusive resort. It's reassuring for a couple to know that after the expense of a wedding they can have a honeymoon where one amount covers all lodging, meals, sports, and entertainment.

More of this interview.

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