Any other year, a honeymoon would have been a great proposition that could rival the actual wedding. In 2021, however, this rite of passage will look a little different. With a global pandemic on the horizon, the archetypal honeymoon is now happening on a smaller scale, but it’s by no means a muted affair. Here is everything you need to know to start planning the honeymoon of your dreams, as domestic destinations are preferred over idyllic international getaways.
How the pandemic affected conventional honeymoons
In the pre-pandemic world, popular hotspots for newlyweds included the usual suspects. Ankur Sarawagi, director of wedding planning company The Knot Worldwide, confirms: “Popularly known as the City of Love, couples have always come to Paris to mark this milestone. Venice is also considered a popular travel destination for its scenic views, culture, and dining experiences. Before the pandemic broke out, honeymooners also visited Bali, Italy, the Maldives, and Thailand as these places had favorable travel policies. “
However, the outbreak of an unprecedented health crisis has affected every aspect of the honeymoon – and post-wedding short breaks have not been spared either. In the new normal, honeymoons were reinvented to create lasting memories while minimizing physical strain, he believes. “To meet the pent-up demand for travel, couples are either exploring luxury stays and packages at premium hotels in India with adequate hygiene protocols, while cottages and wildlife getaways are popular with adventurers. This unique limitation has led to various interesting trends, such as ‘minimoons’ – short term local vacations – or ‘latermoons’ to postpone travel to a time when the risks are low, “he says.
The latter was also endorsed by the famous makeup artist Mehak Oberoi. After recently tying the knot in the middle of the pandemic, the 32-year-old has decided to postpone her honeymoon until the risk factor has been re-elected. “If it had been a different time, I would have imagined my dream honeymoon in the picturesque Greek areas of Athens, Santorini and Mykonos. Cappadocia in Turkey has always topped my list. However, given the ongoing pandemic, we decided not to go on a rushed honeymoon and instead wait for things to return to normal, “she says.
Given the uncertain international travel in the near future, which travel destinations deserve the favor of married couples? Says Sarawagi, “Due to the sudden shift, trips to domestic destinations like Goa for a spa vacation, Kerala for an Ayurvedic retreat, Rishikesh for white water rafting, and hill stations near metropolitan areas have seen a surge in demand for couples. The aviation industry has since been able to restore confidence by incorporating health and safety protocols as well as relaxations in regional travel policy that prompted honeymooners to consider international destinations such as Maldives, Mauritius and Bali. “Certain destinations remain excluded, however – Australia and New Zealand are expected to remain closed until countries open their borders after the entire population has been vaccinated, he confirms.
Expect honeymoon trends in 2021
With shorter, eventful trips that give priority to international destinations, Sarawagi decodes what the honeymoon landscape looks like in the new normal:
Air travel has been a problem for the vast majority of couples planning their special vacation. To minimize multiple physical interactions, mobile destinations are preferred over long distance calls. This trend has further inspired travel agents to focus on two- to three-day getaways to various scenic hill stations, historical visits, and adventure packages.
For many couples, luxury resorts promise safety as health and safety protocols are strictly followed. However, to make their honeymoon a memorable one, couples prefer to rent Airbnb hotels or smaller villas, as these are cheaper and offer a complete experience.
Reduced travel routes
Itineraries have also become straightforward to move around freely without constantly taking precautions. We can now find couples who opt for a relaxing vacation with easier and limited activities planned for the day.
How to plan a honeymoon now
We live in uncertain times, but this is no reason for you to compromise on this once in a lifetime experience. As a bonus, local host families and domestic destinations affected by the pandemic could also benefit from your sponsorship. If you’ve tried to make the process as smooth as possible, Sarawagi believes that a few precautionary measures can make the trip to “I do” just as memorable. Looking to the future, he predicts that vaccination certificates or certification of the COVID-19 vaccination will become a mandate. He also advises newlyweds to look for travel companies that offer COVID-19 insurance. “It is advisable for couples to travel to familiar places, plan their stays in trustworthy accommodations, and keep physical interaction to a minimum. While that would limit exploration of the city, couples would certainly have more time to themselves, ”he says.
Before booking tickets, it is also important to understand government travel regulations. Travelers are expected to carry a registration form provided on government websites stating that they have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two months or have not had contact with anyone who tested positive. He also advises against choosing destinations that require a stay in a third country, as it can be difficult to comply with cumbersome travel formalities and restrictions.
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