Honeymoons for Young Couples
There are always those lucky people who find the right partner early on in life and want to tie the knot. Despite the average wedding age increasing, there remains a good deal of under 30s taking the plunge who still have many iconic destinations to tick off their bucket lists, or their first real taste of five-star luxury after years of backpacking. Here’s my guide to young love’s honeymoons.
Bucket list favourites
Italy’s Amalfi Coast is an iconic honeymoon destination favoured by the well heeled and glamorous. Rather than opt for a fancy hotel, bag yourselves a beautiful apartment for two with CV Villas.
If California is more your thing, how about a spectacular fly-drive honeymoon from the Big Sur to the wide-open spaces of Yosemite National Park? American Sky offers inspiring routes and plenty of freedom to create your perfect honeymoon. If you have a more generous budget, check out these ultimate road trips, perhaps in an open top Mustang, from Exsus – Miami South Beach and the Florida Keys for example.
For a spot of hedonism meets spiritualism, you can’t beat Bali, You’ll be in safe hands with the i-escape team which offers sought after hideaways to suit every taste and budget.
Cambodia is fast becoming another iconic Far Eastern destination for romance with incredible experiences from the temples of Angkor Wat to the mighty Mekong, polished off with time on the beach. Selective Asia will lead you to the best in honeymoon accommodation too.
Australia is a destination on many bucket lists and more specifically the Great Barrier Reef. For a totally memorable trip Down Under, book with specialist Bridge and Wickers and stay at the incredible One&Only Hayman Island.
For couples with a big sense of adventure, a luxury safari has the potential to be the most romantic holiday you’ve ever had, making it a perfect honeymoon choice. Rainbow Tours offers the high-octane thrills of a safari in Tanzania from game spotting to luxury camps and sundowners on the boot of your 4WD. A great idea is to contrast this bush adventure with a relaxing beach break such as the exotic island of Zanzibar.
Botswana is another top choice for a safari honeymoon as it’s home to the Okavango Delta and some of Africa’s most gorgeous camps. It combines well with some R&R in Mozambique, Mauritius or South Africa.
If you’ve always hankered after a luxury cruise, but want to avoid the mega ships, Star Clippers offers intimate sailing ships with access to smaller ports of call in gloriously romantic destinations such as the Mediterranean, Central America and the Caribbean.
First taste of five-star luxury for dreamy romance
If you’re tying the knot before you’re 30, you may not have splashed out on a fully-fledged five-star holiday which makes this choice all the more tantalizing when it comes to your honeymoon. The Maldives is full of incredible resorts, and among the best is Niyama. Highlights include secluded beach and water studios and pavilions, a night in a chic dhoni, dining in a floating restaurant, dancing the night away in the world’s first underwater club and pampering yourselves around the clock in the 24-hour LIME Spa.
Dubai is another destination that’s packed with incredible resorts. One of the most stunning is the One&Only Royal Mirage Arabian Court and you can combine it with the Maldives or The Seychelles for a great two-centre.
If you want five-star but are on a more modest budget, Mexico is a great choice with relatively affordable all-inclusives. If you like to party at night and be pampered by day, try the new Hard Rock Hotels. I recommend the adults-only Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Mexico and the Hard Rock Hotel Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.
Vietnam is home to jaw-droppingly beautiful resorts including the Six Senses Hideaway Ninh van Bay where you’ll be pampered silly.
Or how about keeping things simple and heading to Paris to pamper yourselves in one of its classic hotels such as the Lancaster just off the Champs-Elysees.
Still ravers at heart
You may be settling down to married life, but that doesn’t mean you’ve lost your party spirit. If you want a honeymoon with a good choice of nightlife, Brazil should be high on your list. Follow the jet-set and combine Ipanema beach life with partying in Rio, and if it all gets too much, you change pace with an Amazonian riverboat adventure or a beach pad on the Bahia coast.
The Cuban capital of Havana has long been known for its jazz clubs and lively bars. The Caribbean’s most colourful and vibrant country won’t disappoint.
For a hedonistic honeymoon closer to home, Mykonos is a true party island, but a little less obvious than Ibiza! The Grace Mykonos is a seriously sexy honeymoon pad.
Offbeat and boutique
If you have a love of all things quirky and don’t want to follow the usual honeymoon route, the boom in glamping and boutique places to stay has opened up a whole new world of romantic travel.
For one step up from glamping, France is a treasure trove of quirky places to stay that’s right on the doorstep when seek out a place to stay with i-escape.
For an insider’s guide to the best boutique hideaways the Caribbean has to offer, look no further than Essential Detail with gems on a wide range of islands from Anguilla to Grenada.
Following the fashionistas
In a world where celebrity is given such kudos, young honeymooners might like to take their lead from the rich and famous.
Ever since George Clooney said’ I do’ in Venice, the city’s reputation as a romantic hot spot has soared. Stay at an iconic hotel such as the Cipriani and you’re sure to see a famous face or two. Citalia has a huge choice including many which are easier on the pocket.
Laluna on the Caribbean island of Grenada, known as the Spice Island, was created by an Italian couple with a background in fashion. Its nonchalant, effortless style is infused with a Balinese vibe complete with Asian spa. It’s all about understated cool, a bit like fashion’s high goddess, Kate Moss!
Other great celebrity hangouts in the Caribbean include Parrot Cay in the Turks & Caicos where Donna Karen and Bruce Willis have homes, and Anse Chastanet in St Lucia with its gorgeous suites with no fourth wall.
And if you seek the kind of high end, well-being holiday that supermodels and pop stars frequent, Ananda in the Himalayas is my number one choice.
If don’t want to be stung by any surprise costs on honeymoon, especially when you’re setting up your first home as a married couple and have just had the expense of a wedding, then all-inclusives are a safe choice. Most have shaken off any negative image and really go the extra mile to offer couples value for money.
The Maldives used to be an impossibly expensive honeymoon choice if you stayed at a five-star as each resort is on its own island with nowhere else to eat, drink or play, but now there are several all-inclusives making this paradise more affordable. Tropical Sky and Hayes and Jarvis have a great selection.
If you prefer the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic has an impressive array of luxury all-inclusives such as Zoetry Agua Punta Cana and Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana.
Or how about staying at Sandals LaSource Grenada Resort & Spa for an adult only, all-inclusive honeymoon?
High adrenaline adventure honeymoons
Many young couples have abandoned the traditional two week beach paradise for adrenaline-infused honeymoons high on adventure. They may leave time at the end for some R&R, but the main focus is on memorable adventures together with a bit of luxury thrown in.
Madagascar remains an island that’s still big on adventure and Rainbow Holidays has a unique 11-night honeymoon that puts together rainforest, mangroves, traditional villages, colourful wildlife and sensational beaches.
Central America is another favourite for active honeymoons. Book with a knowledgeable tour operator such as Journey Latin America and you’re well on your way to having the time of your lives in Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Colombia and more.
New Zealand remains an iconic adventure honeymoon with its awe-inspiring countryside and impressive activities from heli-skiing glaciers to horse riding across the wild bush. New Zealand Sky has all the knowhow you need.
You’ll love South Australia where you can visit wineries in the Barossa Valley, explore national parks, stretch out on spectacular Pacific beaches and encounter kangaroos, sea lions, possums and penguin colonies on Kangaroo Island.
Closer to home, Iceland has a landscape to inspire adventure and if you want a snowy, winter honeymoon, you could head to the Arctic with Artisan Travel which has a range of ice and snow hotels and the chance to try ice fishing and husky sledding on an adventure honeymoon in Finnish Lapland.
Making the most of your honeymoon
If this is your first trip of a lifetime together, it’s worth making the most of your time away with a twin or multi-centre honeymoon.
South Africa and Mauritius are a winning combination with Cape Town, the wine route, safari and beach all rolled into one.
Sri Lanka and Maldives is another tried and tested formula, mixing culture with beach. It’s also a great one if you want to get married in Sri Lanka and honeymoon elsewhere.
Indonesia is an amazing multi-centre honeymoon destination with exotic locations to explore such as Java, Lombok and Bali, teeming with culture and romance.
If you’re in your 20s, without the ties of children or even a mortgage, you may feel like you both want to make your honeymoon the opportunity to take a trip of a lifetime around the world – we call this gap-year type of honeymoon a maximoon! Austravel is a good company book with as they have good deals on round the world flights and all the insider knowhow. They also offer a honeymoon list service if you need the help of family and friends to fund this mighty trip.
Marrying overseas without kids
If you feel like heading overseas to tie the knot for the first time, and want to make it just the two of you, or you and some close friends and family, the Sarojin in Thailand is magical.
Or opt for the adult all-inclusive route with Sandals, in Jamaica, St Lucia, Barbados, Grenada, the Bahamas and Antigua – weddings are often free when you stay seven nights or more.
But the ultimate in shot gun, adult weddings, remains Las Vegas!
One final thought – if you’ve already set up home, you can opt for a Honeymoon Gift List so your friends and family can all contribute towards the cost of your honeymoon.
Last updated: 22 February 2017