As each new generation weds and enters the honeymoon market, they bring their own taste and desires to travel. Destinations, resorts, and activities that thrilled parents or grandparents on their honeymoon may be less appealing, or not as attainable. Thankfully, new trends emerge, offering couples fresh opportunities for fun and relaxation. So before you plan your honeymoon, check out the latest ways to celebrate one.
1. Honeymooning in non-European Union Countries
Although many brides and grooms fantasize about a romantic European honeymoon, the unfavorable dollar-to-Euro exchange rate has made all but the most budget-conscious European stays unaffordable. Fortunately, most countries in the world do not belong to the European Union. Appealing alternatives where couples can explore Old World cultures and get more for their money include Eastern Europe and South America.
Noordam sailing off the coast of Venice © Holland America Lines.
Still determined to see the great cities of Europe? Don't despair: Major cruise lines that operate in the United States set their prices based on the U.S. dollar. That means you can sail into glamorous ports such as Venice, Monte Carlo, and Barcelona to spend the day and see the sights without going broke. Around dinner time, get back on the ship, where your meal is pre-paid. Smart!
Eco-conscious couples feel good about choosing a honeymoon that helps the planet rather than adds to its pollution and other environmental problems. So one of this year's major trends -- and undoubtedly a trend for years to come -- is planning a green vacation where small changes in honeymoon travel plans can make a big difference.
Hacienda Sepulveda © Mexico Boutique Hotels.
Eschewing Cancun and Acapulco in favor of newer and less heavily touristed areas, the trend among today's sophisticated honeymoon couples is to seek out more seductive destinations such as Riviera Maya. And charming smaller lodgings, such as members of the Mexico Boutique Hotels group, many of which are located inland and close to historic and archeological treasures, also are winning converts.
Jade Mountain in St. Lucia in the Caribbean © Cynthia Blair.
Why swim in a pool with strangers or -- shudder -- diapered babies -- when you can have a pool all to yourself? More and more upscale hotels that cater to honeymoon couples and other romantics are offering suites with a private plunge pool where you can frolic in privacy and sans suits. An alternative: hotels, such as Acqualina in Miami, Florida, which feature adults-only swimming pools.
Secrets Capri Riviera Cancun © Koutsky.
Destination weddings -- where you invite your closest friends and family members to see you wed in a fabulous setting away from home, and then get to start the honeymoon as soon as they clear out -- continue to grow in popularity. While a hometown wedding lasts fewer than five hours, a destination wedding usually stretches over a weekend or longer. You vacation with your nearest and dearest -- and when they leave, there's no packing or travel involved: You can start your honeymoon immediately.
It's your honeymoon, and it should be a once-in-a-lifetime experience. So why not live it up (especially when there's wedding cash to help pay the way)? Honeymoon couples are choosing big luxuries (top-of the line hotels, African safaris) and smaller ones (private dinners, butler service, and special romantic packages) to celebrate their union.
Royal Hideaway Playacar all-inclusive on Mexico's Riviera Maya © Occidental Hotels.
There's no need to stretch out on a thin towel or a narrow chaise when you can actually have a bed for two, complete with comfy pillows and curtains that can be drawn for privacy. Most resorts that feature beach beds position them in fairly secluded areas so that a honeymoon couple can feel as if they're the only ones around for miles.
Why listen to one opinion when considering a honeymoon spot when you could hear from tens or even hundreds of people who've been there? Travel 2.0 sites like Trip Advisor enable visitors to contribute words and images, reviews and travelogues. Consequently couples who visit a travel 2.0 site can glean multiple insights about a destination, hotel, or other aspect of travel.
Scuba diving and underwater photography in La Paz, Mexico © Joe Liburdi.
Although many couples are perfectly happy lolling on a Caribbean island on their honeymoon, others prefer to pursue a specific sport or passion on vacation. From scuba diving to shopping for antiques, kayaking to casino gambling, as long as both of you agree on an activity you enjoy, a honeymoon can be an excellent opportunity to engage in it to your heart's content.