WANT TO PLAN THE PERFECT HONEYMOON? THESE ARE THE DESTINATIONS AND TRIP TYPES TRENDING IN 2024
January 3, 2024 | By Colleen Sullivan
Couples focused on sustainability are requesting stays at locations with a strong conservation component and itineraries that pay-it-forward. “It’s important their honeymoon has a meaningful story, plus they want to know their money is going to a place that supports local projects,” says Crisney Lane, founder of Mosaic Safaris, a Virtuoso agency.
Some newlyweds have the desire to share their honeymoon experiences with others. “They want to make memories while bonding with friends and family, often opting to take the first half of their honeymoon with the group and the second half alone,” says Crisney Lane, founder of Mosaic Safaris, a Virtuoso agency.
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Ask any couple currently in the thick of it, and they’ll probably tell you that planning a wedding is stressful. But planning the honeymoon? That’s (mostly) pure fun. While choosing a destination that suits your preferred vacation style and then preparing an itinerary does involve foresight and work, there’s something about preparing for that first-married trip that feels like a big sigh of relief. By the time you hit that white sand or take that first step up the mountain, all of your toils will be behind you—and all you have to do is bask in the beauty of your surroundings with your freshly minted spouse.
With that said, beginning the honeymoon planning process can be a challenge (at least at first!) if you aren’t entirely sure where you want to go—or what type of trip you even want to plan. Do you want an adventure-packed vacation? Something slow and open ended? Do you actually want to travel with friends and family first or delay the honeymoon so you can nest and rest at home post-wedding? If these questions only lead to more questions, we’re here to help. Enter the following 2024 honeymoon trends that should absolutely be on your radar. They comprise a myriad of trip styles, from slow travel to pre-wedding mini moons, and hot-right-now destinations (like Fiji and Japan!), and will help point you in the right direction.
Ahead, discover the 2024 honeymoon trends all duos currently planning their first-married trips should consider before they book.
When and How to Plan Your Honeymoon
Couples looking to interact with local communities in a more conscious and authentic way on their honeymoon will appreciate slow travel, where they can broaden their cultural horizons while establishing meaningful connections with each other as well as the world around them. “In previous years, I found clients eager to check the box on as many famous locations as possible in one trip, moving every two nights just to say they saw Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Colosseum,” says Mackenzie Peyser, a travel advisor at SmartFlyer, a Virtuoso agency. “I’m encouraged to see honeymooners slowing down and getting to know and enjoy one destination for a longer period of time, immersing themselves in the culture, cuisine, and landscape.”
What to Book
Newlyweds can call Eichardt's Private Hotel home while enjoying everything Queenstown, New Zealand, has to offer, including helicopter rides, mountain-top picnic lunches, and visits to local vineyards. Or, after checking into the historic Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, stroll the streets of Bellagio, Italy, and enjoy romantic meals looking out at Lake Como. For those wanting to stay stateside, Carneros Resort and Spa in Napa, California, is the perfect home base, as duos can fill their days with bike rides, hikes, hot air balloon excursions and visits to Michelin-star restaurants and world-famous vineyards.
“More and more couples are planning their honeymoon around a big moment such as a concert, sporting event, or festival,” says Mackenzie Peyser, a travel advisor at SmartFlyer, a Virtuoso agency. “Once they’ve selected the event, their date and location are set, making it easy to plan and customize a honeymoon.”
What to Book
Ticket holders to Taylor Swift’s June 2024 concert in Scotland can stay at the Gleneagles Townhouse, a luxury hotel within walking distance to all of the main sights in Edinburgh, while those attending Munich’s Oktoberfest in September/October 2024 can book a room at the Hotel Bayerischer Hof—which is a short walk to the beer garden at Viktualienmarkt. Heading to Paris during the 2024 summer Olympics? Avoid crowded hotels while still enjoying the games on a Viking or Uniworld river cruise down the Seine River.
Japan is quickly becoming a honeymoon destination where couples never run out of romantic and fun things to do—from signing up for a guided food and culture walking tour, to visiting a local fish market and taking a sushi making class, to staying at a ryokan and experiencing a mineral-rich hot spring bath, hiking up Mt. Fuji, and walking the white sandy beaches on the islands of Okinawa.
What to Book
At Aman in Tokyo, newlyweds can relax in the two-story spa featuring a black basalt pool, stone bath and yoga studio. Couples looking for seclusion can stay at the Roku Kyot in Kyoto, where meals are sourced using seasonally inspired ingredients and an outdoor hot-spring thermal swimming pool makes for romantic dips. Lindblad Expeditions 20-day Japanese cruise features a stop in Mito, where visitors can visit the picturesque Kairakuen Garden, while Viking has a north Pacific passage that takes travelers all the way from Tokyo to Alaska.
Conservation and Regenerative Focused Travel
Couples focused on sustainability are requesting stays at locations with a strong conservation component and itineraries that pay-it-forward. “It’s important their honeymoon has a meaningful story, plus they want to know their money is going to a place that supports local projects,” says Crisney Lane, founder of Mosaic Safaris, a Virtuoso agency. Regenerative travel takes things a step further by prioritizing not only the protection and preservation of natural environments and local ecosystems, but by playing an active role in their regeneration, explains Mery Calderon, founder and CEO of Kuoda Travel.
What to Book
In South Africa, newlyweds participate in school projects sponsored by Bushcamps Company in the South Luangwa National Park Zambia and plant local trees and play a part in a rhino monitoring project at Kwandwe in the Eastern Cape. If you visit Central Africa, you can walk through the rainforest in thigh-high water and learn more about the native gorillas at the Kamba camps in the Republic of Congo, while guests at Casa Chameleon at Las Catalinas in Costa Rica can prepare meals for animals undergoing rehabilitation at the Monkey Park Foundation. At Kaypi Kunan in Peru, newlyweds are encouraged to assist local community members with musical and computer training skills.
The Best Honeymoon Destinations by Month
Some newlyweds have the desire to share their honeymoon experiences with others. “They want to make memories while bonding with friends and family, often opting to take the first half of their honeymoon with the group and the second half alone,” says Crisney Lane, founder of Mosaic Safaris, a Virtuoso agency. The trip is usually more affordable because the cost is often shared. “Traveling with others can increase vacation spending power,” adds Alex Johnson, a spokesperson for Vacasa.
What to Book
At The Loren in Bermuda, guests can rent The Residence, a six-bedroom 10,700-square-foot home that sits on over five acres of private land adjacent to the resort, which comes with its own private beach, tennis court, pool, chef’s kitchen, and media room. The Hotel Manapany on St. Barts has a variety of group accommodations—from beachfront suites to larger, private VIP villas where an on-site coordination team can arrange private group dinners on the beach with music and dancing, cocktail classes at the bar with a mixologist, and wellness retreats at the spa with trainers specializing in yoga and Pilates.
At The Shore Club in Turks and Caicos, guests can book one of the 8,800-square-foot, six-bedroom luxury villas boasting a heated pool, expansive terraces, and ocean views. The Ritz-Carlton Yacht Collection offers chartered boats where couples can marry and then spend a few days celebrating and sailing with close family and friends.
Greece remains a popular honeymoon destination but many couples are focusing less on Instagrammable locations such as Mykonos and Santorini, and more on lesser populated places, like the islands of Paros and Crete and the Peloponnese Peninsula. “Newlyweds visiting these areas get to escape the crowds and experience Greece in an authentic way, while getting more value for the money,” says Mandy McKaskle, founder and luxury travel advisor at Creosote Journeys, a Virtuoso agency.
What to Book
On the Peloponnese Peninsula, honeymooners can discover the Mandarin Oriental Costa Navarino, which offers stunning views of the countryside and sea, the beachfront Romanos Resort, which features endless onsite activities like golf and twelve court tennis courts, and Amanzoe, a resort that emphasizes well-being where guests can join a local farmer and his family for a meal.
On Paros, honeymooners can relax at Cosme, a luxurious beachfront location with a modern design and laid-back vibe—and on Crete, an island filled with colorful bougainvillea-lined streets, newlyweds can book rooms at the recently renovated Blue Palace (which reopens in April 2024) and the luxurious Amirandes Grecotel Boutique Resort.
Trip Stacking Honeymoons
While many honeymooners plan a seven-to-10-day post-wedding getaway, some seek out romantic excursions that last weeks—or even months. “Trip stacking is a subset of revenge travel, where couples are taking longer honeymoons. For example, they’re adding multiple Europe trips together, such as several back-to-back cruises,” says Ellen Bettridge, president & CEO of Uniworld Boutique River Cruises.
What to Book
For couples looking to experience Australia’s natural wonders, Viking offers a 32-day sailing experience that circumnavigates the country. (There’s also a 15-day sailing option that includes New Zealand.) Uniworld’s 2024 itinerary features a 15-day cruise and rail trip that takes guests through the natural wonderland of the Alps via a luxury overnight train, followed by a romantic eight-day cruise through the heart of Venice. Norwegian Cruises offers a transatlantic 15-day sailing that starts in New York City and ends in London with stops in Iceland, Amsterdam, and Paris; it includes eight relaxing days at sea.
“We’ve seen a steady rise in couples planning honeymoons around romantic celestial moments that include on-site astronomers, stargazing packages, or even a curated trip based on their partner’s zodiac sign,” says Marsha-Ann Donaldson-Brown, director of weddings and romance, Sandals Resorts International.
What to Book
The Alpine Falls Ranch in Montana offers stargazing picnics with blankets, sweets, and Champagne and a glamping experience in an oversized tent that includes a s’mores set-up. Sedona is an official “Dark Sky City,” making Arizona’s L’Auberge de Sedona the perfect spot for stargazing (bonus: telescopes in the room). Designated villas at the Sandals Dunn’s River in Jamaica include the services of a personal stargazing concierge to help guide couples around the constellations. Guests on Viking can view the Northern Lights in Norway from one of the comfortable spaces on the ship or while snuggling up outdoors during an overnight excursion.
Expedition travel is taking the ultra-luxury honeymoon sector by storm, with couples wanting to experience unique, untouched wonders of the world. “As a result, expedition and nature-based travel led by researchers and guides have become a popular honeymoon option,” says Amina Dearmon, a luxury travel advisor at Perspectives Travel, a Virtuoso agency.
What to Book
Trek through ice tunnels, sleep in cozy igloos, and ski along snowy landscapes with a trip to Antarctica booked through the travel company, White Desert. Or cruise with Seabourn’s 24-person expedition team which includes scientists, historians, and naturalists who can provide insight on wildlife and geography. On Viking, whose expedition ships come equipped with zodiacs, special operations boats, and submarines, honeymooners have the opportunity to experience penguins and sea lions in South America’s seldom-visited subantarctic islands.
The Amalfi Coast
“The Amalfi Coast has become my honeymooners’ number-one requested destination, thanks to its dramatic cliffside coast, indulgent cuisine, and photo-worthy sights,” says Kristi Zalesky, a destination weddings designer at Explore Your World Vacations.
What to Book
Travel experts recommend The Excelsior Vittoria in Sorrento, the Caruso, A Belmond Hotel in Ravello, the Hotel Santa Caterina in Amalfi, and Il San Pietro and La Sirenuse in Positano for old-world charm, luxurious upscale service, and all the romance.
Couples are booking a two-to-three-day getaway to a spa or inn prior to their wedding, where they can relax and enjoy each other's company in anticipation of their upcoming festivities. “These mini trips offer an intimate escape before the whirlwind of wedding celebrations,” says Kristi Zalesky, a destination weddings designer at Explore Your World Vacations.
What to Book
Engaged couples prepare their feet for dancing with a rejuvenating leg and feet massage at the Dewberry Spa at The Dewberry Hotel in Charleston, South Carolina, and clear their heads in an eucalyptus-infused limestone steam shower at the Away Spa at the W South Beach in Miami. The oceanfront Paséa Hotel & Spa in Huntington Beach, California, offers a two-night minimoon, which includes a 100-minute couples massage at Aarna Spa, a private pool cabana, and in-room Champagne. Guests at the Cavalier Hotel and Beach Club in Virginia Beach, Virginia, can de-stress in the indoor-outdoor pool followed by a skin-glowing oxygen crystal facial at the SeaHill Spa.
Everything You Need to Pack for Your Honeymoon
Many newlyweds are opting to postpone their honeymoon instead of embarking on a trip immediately following their wedding. “Some couples delay for a few days to spend quality time with guests who have traveled in for the wedding, while others wait a few months in order to accommodate work schedules or to refill their energy tank or bank account,” says Amina Dearmon, a luxury travel advisor at Perspectives Travel, a Virtuoso agency.
Putting a pause on the honeymoon allows couples to travel at a different time of year, which can open up their destination options.
If balmy breezes and white beaches have always been part of your dream honeymoon, there’s no better place to celebrate than Fiji, where water and air temperatures remain in the mid-80s year-round. “Fiji is one of the best values in the South Pacific with the U.S. dollar worth about twice the value of the Fijian dollar,” says Piper Fenton, a luxury travel designer at Remarkable Honeymoons, a Virtuoso agency. “It’s here where couples encounter some of the friendliest islanders in the world—be prepared to be greeted with a warm and lively ‘Bula,’ Fijians way of saying hello at every turn.”
What to Book
Take a boat or helicopter ride to one of the 330 private islands that make up Fiji, including Turtle Island, where couples are assigned a dedicated personal concierge and their own private beach, Matangi Private Island Resort, where honeymooners can hide out in a luxury air-conditioned treehouse surrounded by lush tropical foliage and at adults-only Royal Davui Island, where guests can relax in their own private plunge pool.
Everything to Know About the Honeymoon Tradition
Staying at Hotels Made Famous by TV Shows
Couples want to experience hotels made popular by television shows, says Mandy McKaskle, founder and luxury travel advisor at Creosote Journeys, a Virtuoso agency. “Netflix’s romantic Korean drama Crash Landing on You has brought an influx of fans to the tiny Swiss village of Iseltwald, while its series Emily in Paris has made an already romantic French city even more popular,” she says. “Sicily continues to experience strong growth thanks in part to Max’s hit White Lotus, where honeymooners have learned to appreciate the area’s rich history, incredible food and wine, beautiful sights, and Italian hospitality.”
What to Book
Newlyweds can book rooms in the hotels where filming of the above-mentioned shows took place. At Victoria-Jungfrau Hotel, located in the Interlaken region of Switzerland, couples take private boat rides around the beautiful Lake Brienz. Emily Cooper (played by Lily Collins on Emily in Paris) would approve of the romantic views of the Eiffel Tower in the higher floor rooms at Grand Hotel du Palais Royal and Tanya McQuoid (the character on White Lotus made famous by Jennifer Coolidge) would most certainly give a thumbs-up to a stay at San Domenico Palace, a Four Seasons hotel in Taormina set in a former 14th-century convent with panoramic views of Mt. Etna.