In the past, honeymoons were taken right after your wedding. In fact, in the 1950s, the bride sometimes would change from her wedding dress into a chic little suit for traveling and the couple would leave the reception and head right for the airport! Even though I am sort of in love with this idea, here in 2018, that’s just not the case. Sometimes work and school schedules can conflict with having a honeymoon right away. Sometimes it’s just not in the budget to head on an expensive trip after paying for a wedding. Up here in Canada, we usually marry in the summer but want to save our honeymoon to head south in the winter!
I understand the struggle! But you did just plan a wedding, so at least take some time to relax (at the very least a staycation) to be with your new spouse. There are all types of “moons” that couples take in lieu of a traditional honeymoon – and I’m here to break down my favorites for you! These moons act as honeymoon alternatives for those that can’t (or don’t want) traditional.
The most popular “alternative moon.” With more and more couples waiting until longer to get married, babies are often on their mind. And then there was the Zika Virus. Thankfully it becomes less and less of an issue everyday [Don’t take my word for it based on this blog post. This can change by the minute and I always remind couples to ask an expert but to do their own research as well]. I will say this though, it really proved how many people were thinking about getting pregnant right after their wedding! Almost every honeymoon couple brought it up. If babies are on your mind and you can’t getaway right after the wedding, a babymoon might be the perfect option to connect with your new spouse. There is no denying that this new addition is going to change your life strengthening your relationship is priceless.
Babymoons are usually seen as the last trip a couple takes before their first baby is born. Couples usually want something relaxing – a beach vacation with a spa that offers prenatal massages. It goes without saying that it’s probably a good idea to stay away from locales and activities that aren’t pregnancy-friendly, so no sushi tastings or babymoons to Oktoberfest! Even if you don’t crave a “relaxing” holiday, I would encourage you to not try and book too much in. Depending on how far along a pregnancy is, it’s important to remember restrictions on flying and travel in a woman’s third trimester. Of course, The travel agent in me needs to remind you to MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TRAVEL INSURANCE.
Buddymoons are exactly what they sound like: a honeymoon with your friends. Huh? It’s actually more common (and fun) than it sounds! In some instances, couples have a weeklong party for their destination wedding, which ends up doubling as a honeymoon. If you get married in the middle of the week, you’ll have the next few days to celebrate and hang with your friends and family. If you have a fun group there with you, this can be a great time. You can sneak away for private time with your new spouse, but still meet up with everyone for dinner or drinks. Some couples end up taking their closest friends and family on an amazing trip with them – Jennifer Aniston and her husband chartered private jets for their closest pals to a tropical island for their buddymoon. That’s not in the budget for most couples, but sounds like a super fun time!
I wrote a whole post on Why Buddymoons are the new Honeymoons but basically what it comes down to is this: Do you and your new boo have the same vacation style? You’re not getting any judgement from me, my husband and I definitely don’t! We LOVE going to vacations with our friends. He likes to go-go-go and I just want to lie by the beach. We can compromise, but it is so much better when we are with our besties and just get to meet up for dinner on some days (we do like hanging out, I promise). But seriously, buddymoons are one of my favorite honeymoon alternatives!
Did you take off too much time before your wedding (so you could actually plan it)? Are you strapped for cash after the wedding (because you just bought dinner for 140 of your closest friends? Whatever the reason, If heading straight to a two-week dream vacation isn’t in the cards for right after your wedding, you can opt for a minimoon instead. A minimoon is when a couple takes a smaller, shorter vacation right after their wedding, and plan a longer honeymoon for when their budget or schedule allows for it. Maybe your spouse is in grad school and can’t take a full week off after your wedding – you might opt for a weekend at a charming bed and breakfast, and wait till holiday break for the “real” honeymoon. Again, us Canadians tend to save our longer trips for when the weather drops to -30 but that doesn’t mean we don’t want to celebrate after our weddings!
I am based out of Edmonton, so the most common request I get for minimoons is Banff and Jasper. There is plenty to do and we are lucky to live so close to such beautiful scenery! I know I take it for granted (please tell me I am not the only one). You may have been to Banff or Jasper before but have you ever really splurged? If budget allows, there are some absolutely INCREDIBLE hotels. If you still want something different, there are always hot spots around Canada or the USA that make for amazing winter getaways. Visit the Niagara falls in Toronto, explore the art scene in Montreal, spend a weekend in Nashville or San Diego. Your options really are almost unlimited.
This is definitely an interesting way to plan your honeymoon! Mysterymoons are a new trend in which the couple has a third party (like me!) plan their honeymoon, so it’s a surprise to both of them. This is definitely an unconventional way to plan your honeymoon, but with a good travel agent and some guidelines on budget, timeline, etc. it’s possible! Another idea is to have the groom or one partner plan the honeymoon and keep it a surprise from the bride or other partner. Rumor has it that’s what Prince William did when he married Kate Middleton, keeping with British tradition.
How does this work? If you both want the surprise, I always start with a pretty thorough consultation (you can set one up here). I want to make sure I have enough information about what you two like and don’t like so that I don’t need to ask any follow up questions that might give it away. The schedule is flexible (and depends on the couple) but typically I send over a “Packing list” three weeks in advance and mail you your e-tickets in an envelope for you to open together at the airport. Talk about an adrenaline rush!
Earlier, we talked about how couples are waiting longer to get married and then want to have kids right away. Almost equally as common, couples already have children. While I completely support a parent’s decision to take a honeymoon away from their kid (you do you!), more and more often couples are actually wanting to bring their pride and joy along with them! This is probably due to the fact that experiences are becoming more and more highly valued and parents want their children to have as many experiences as possible. Of course, it also helps that travel is becoming more and more accessible (and affordable!).
Introducing the familymoon, where parents take their first getaway as a married couple with their children. A great choice for a familymoon is an all-inclusive resort that has lots of activities for your kids! Lots of resorts offer kids clubs, where your kids will be entertained and you can still enjoy alone time. Then, everyone can get together for dinner and enjoy each other’s company! Or you could take a cruise so the family can knock more than just one country off their bucket list!
If you’re unable to (or not into) the traditional honeymoon, one of these other honeymoon alternatives might be perfect.. Hopefully this post has inspired you to find the perfect fit for you and your new spouse! Ready to plan yours? If I have inspired you enough to set up a phone consultation, click here to book it. If you are not quite there yet, you can continue to be inspired on my blog, Check out more of my favorite locales here, or us my contact page to ask me any questions!