Cape Cod, Atlantic City, the Poconos. For an East Coast couple, those were once the traditional choices for a honeymoon. A three- or four-hour car ride for a long weekend, then it was back to real life and possibly a lifetime before the next major vacation, a reward following retirement from a job.
It’s no secret to travel advisors that this scenario has changed, but did you know honeymooners are still evolving?
I caught up with Jim Augerinos, president of Perfect Honeymoons, to get a glimpse of what he’s seeing from the frontlines. The fact that Jim had been to Uganda and Tanzania late last year to check out new locations for his newlyweds speaks volumes about how honeymoon options have changed.
He says his clients are telling him they can go to a beach anytime and that they’d rather do something life changing. Even better, they’d rather do something their friends haven’t.
What else is this romance travel expert seeing? He says that nearly a third of his clients are deferring their honeymoon by up to three to six months.
Blame that on vacation shame; some couples take the week off prior to the wedding to prepare and feel guilty about taking another week off in a row. They’re also not that keen on leaving all their friends and family behind right after the wedding. They’d rather stick around and enjoy the company, and take care of errands, such as returning tuxedos and writing thank you notes. Best part? They can defer the cost of the trip, an especially important consideration after an expensive wedding.
What surprised me about Jim’s observations is that his honeymooners are traveling at least 20 hours to get to their destinations. And, when they get there, they want to travel extensively.
“Couples are not content with just visiting one country; people are on average spending two weeks on their honeymoon and wanting to see two countries, sometimes even three,” says Jim. Combinations he’s seen include Tanzania and the Seychelles, Australia and New Zealand, Chile and Argentina, Greece and Italy, South Africa and Mozambique, and Nicaragua and Costa Rica.
Of course, there are still some rather traditional honeymoon destinations that remain high on the radar. The Caribbean and Mexico, French Polynesia, Hawaii, and of course, Paris are always a good idea. There’s really no end to where travel advisors can send their clients to start their lives together. That means you all need to explore just about every destination possible so you’ll be fully armed with knowledge for your customers. Happy traveling!