Honeymooning in 2023: The Era of Mega-Moons, Duo-Moons, and Destination Weddings

With pandemic shutdowns finally just a speck in the rearview mirror, travelers everywhere are eager to make up for lost time. No one is as keen for a second chance at their thwarted plans as newly married couples whose wedding and honeymoon plans were impacted by travel restrictions. 

What does it take to make a honeymoon truly special in 2023? For many couples, the answer lies in mega-moons, duo-moons, redo-moons, and destination weddings.

The Mega-Moon: Bigger Budgets and Bucket-List Itineraries

According to a survey by travel app Expedia, couples are “clearly determined to have an epic honeymoon.”

The average honeymoon lasts 7-10 days, but that won’t do for post-pandemic couples. Expedia’s survey revealed that more than half plan to splash out on a “mega-moon,” spending more than initially budgeted and adding bucket-list destinations to the itinerary. 

Today’s couples plan to spare no expense for a luxurious and memorable honeymoon experience. The survey shows that nearly half plan to attend an all-inclusive resort for worry-free pampering after the stress of planning a wedding in the Covid era. 

Honeymooning Couple
Image Credit: Canva.

While enjoying the luxe accommodations at these resorts, the data also shows that couples may not be content to bask in the sunshine. Honeymooners are increasingly interested in exploring and engaging in activities during their trips, taking advantage of more planned events during their stays. 

Sarah, lifestyle blogger and founder of Dukes Avenue, is no stranger to travel and luxury, and she jumped on the mega-moon trend before post-Covid couples brought it to its peak. 

“For many, booking a honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” she says. “So when it came to booking ours back in 2017, we knew we wanted to go large and plan a trip that we were likely never to go on again.” 

Sarah describes a trip that took her from her home in London to Oman, Singapore, Australia, Chile, Peru, and Mexico. Of her globe-trotting mega-moon, Sarah says, “Will we revisit these countries – definitely. But, would we ever embark on such a fast-paced, action-packed adventure holiday that took us around the world? Probably not!” 

Forget the Dishes: Today’s Couples Want Experiences

Bucket-list trips are costly, and today’s couples have adjusted their priorities to come up with the cash they need. Many couples have traded the traditional gift registry for a cash registry or honeymoon fund to pay for more luxurious trips. 

No longer interested in traditional wedding gifts like toasters and china, today’s newlyweds prefer that guests contribute to their honeymoon fund. Jessica of Budget Savvy Bride isn’t surprised. “Couples today are really prioritizing experiences,” she explains.

Expedia’s survey uncovered the same tendencies, with romantic experiences like hot air balloon rides and sunset boat cruises high on the must-do list for many couples. 

“It’s no surprise that they’d want to invest in a longer honeymoon,” Jessica adds. “It is evident in the increase in popularity of cash wedding registries where couples can utilize monetary gifts from guests as a way to crowdfund their trip.”

Redo-Moons and Duo-Moons Help Curtail Honeymoon Disappointment

Other couples still honeymooned immediately after their pandemic weddings but are planning a second trip to make up for the underwhelming first one. Expedia’s survey revealed that 54% of post-Covid couples are planning a “redo-moon” of this nature. 

Some newlyweds can’t round up the cash or vacation time necessary to take the honeymoon of their dreams right after they say “I Do” and are instead planning a “duo-moon:” a short honeymoon right after the wedding followed by an extended trip later. 

Arnie of Arnienicola.com and her husband enjoyed a “duo-moon,” pointing out that they, like many couples, felt that they had missed out on an essential experience by losing the honeymoon of their dreams to Covid restrictions. 

 “[We] got married in 2020 but went on our honeymoon two years later with a baby,” she says. “We did it because we felt like we were missing out on a ‘rite of passage’ by not going on our honeymoon and it was a good excuse to get out of the country as the borders were opening up.”

Margarita, a travel expert at DownshiftingPRO, fully supports the “duo-moon” and encourages couples to celebrate their ongoing marriage with special trips. “You have to celebrate those large milestones in a world where 50% of marriages end in divorce,” she says. 

She continues, “For our 15th Anniversary, we had a ‘second’ honeymoon in South Africa and renewed our vows privately. This year we went to Greece [for a] ‘third’ honeymoon.”

Come for the Nuptials, Stay for the Honeymoon

With borders finally open and travel restrictions a thing of the past, couples who postponed their weddings until 2023 and beyond have another luxurious option: a combined destination wedding and honeymoon trip. 

Often more intimate and smaller than traditional weddings, these celebrations bring couples and their guests to resorts, villas, and other upscale locations. 

Destination Wedding
Image Credit: Canva.

Once the ceremony is over, the newlyweds stay in luxury accommodations. Many times, resorts will offer honeymoon packages specifically for couples looking to get married then stay and relax for a honeymoon afterward. 

Their loved ones may travel home or may stick around for a “buddy moon:” a trip that widens the focus from just the bride and groom to allow for time spent with friends and family, many of whom likely couldn’t spend time together during the pandemic. 

Happily Ever After: Embracing the New Age of Honeymoons in 2023

Today’s couples are divided regarding the perfect destination for their ideal honeymoon, with nearly-equal factions planning a beach or tropical getaway, a multi-destination trip, a city escape, or a national park visit. 

However, despite the variation in their travel plans, one thing is for sure: the era of 2023 honeymoons promises to be a remarkable chapter in the love stories of couples worldwide.

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