A honeymoon isn’t just a honeymoon anymore. Whether it’s a mini-moon, mega-moon, or early-moon, planning the perfect trip (or multiple trips) around your wedding can understandably end up taking its toll on a lot of couples.
In fact, new data from the wedding site Hitched shows that over half (51%) of couples have argued about budget constraints when it comes to their honeymoon. In addition, more than a third (35%) have struggled to agree on where their honeymoon should be.
With the average cost of a honeymoon increasing by nearly a quarter (23%) to £3,800 in 2022, according to Hitched’s national wedding survey, and a whopping 70% of honeymooners now keen to visit more than one destination on their trip, it seems newlyweds are piling on the pressure to nail down the right honeymoon.
Andre Van Kets, director at Discover Africa Safaris, a popular honeymoon choice for many couples, comments: “Over the past year, we have increasingly seen couples going “all out” on their honeymoon. Of course, it’s a very special, once-in-a-lifetime trip, but there has definitely been a trend in couples adding more unique, special experiences to their honeymoons over the past couple of years.
“For example, couples are now adding on wellness experiences, hot air balloon rides, and even incorporating volunteer work into their honeymoons. They’re also extending the time they’re spending on a honeymoon to as long as two months in some cases. It’s clear that there is now a desire for newlyweds to create a honeymoon that is more than just a longer holiday; they want that “life-changing” experience too. It’s not surprising that this is adding to the pressure to have a “picture perfect” trip, which can make it difficult for couples to agree on what their dream honeymoon looks like.”
If you’re in the midst of wedding planning and are struggling to align with your partner on where to go on your dream honeymoon, Discover Africa Safaris has devised a “honeymoon helper tool”, which determines the destination and type of trip you should go on based on you and your partner’s interests, travel “personalities”, and budgets.
Discover Africa Safaris has also teamed up with the relationship coach and psychotherapist, Alex Limanowka, shares some top tips on how to resolve honeymoon disputes and provide insight into why they can happen in the first place.
Alex comments: “While a honeymoon, in name and purpose, may sound like the most romantic and relaxing time for a newlywed couple, it doesn’t always turn out that way. One of the reasons for this is that disagreements can arise during the holiday due to differing expectations at various levels of trip planning. It’s quite common because couples are typically accustomed to their daily routines. When they are suddenly in close contact 24/7, without many other distractions, they need to find a new level of connection between them.
“Even if we function perfectly as a couple in our daily lives, it doesn’t necessarily mean we both enjoy spending our free time in exactly the same way. For some people, a honeymoon means being in a bubble, detached from the outside world, and just enjoying each other’s company. Others may want to use this time for exploration and seek more adventurous experiences. Consequently, differences can arise in various aspects of the trip, such as the destination, what to see, budget considerations, the duration of the stay, and preferred activities.
“Experiencing these differences is completely normal and doesn’t signify a major obstacle in your relationship that should immediately cause concern. Ultimately, it all depends on the couple’s level of effective communication and their willingness to compromise in order to reach mutually acceptable decisions.”
1. Discuss your expectations in advance
“By having open discussions with your partner before your honeymoon, you can avoid negative surprises and set clear expectations.
“Take the time to discuss where you want to go, your vision for the trip, and address potential issues like the duration of your stay, budget, and preferred activities. This way, you can understand each other’s perspectives, identify shared visions, and work together to find satisfying compromises.”
2. Plan the trip together
“Organise the honeymoon as a team effort.
“Even if you plan to surprise your partner, make sure to consider their likes and preferences. This way, you can create a trip that caters to both of your needs and desires.”
3. Realise it’s OK if it’s not picture-perfect
“It’s important to understand that your honeymoon doesn’t have to resemble a scene from a romantic comedy. Popular culture often portrays it with perfect views and couples holding hands at sunset. In reality, embarking on this journey together can be a challenge in and of itself. Most couples aren’t used to spending 24/7 with each other, so disagreements and differences are normal.
“Remember that it’s OK to pursue some activities individually; you don’t have to do everything together just because it’s your honeymoon. If you want to relax on a deck chair and read while your partner prefers to go for a run, that’s perfectly fine. The key is to enjoy the experience in your own way while respecting each other’s preferences.”
4. Enjoy the experience
“Remember that your honeymoon is a time to relax and celebrate your new marriage, especially after the stress of wedding planning.
“It’s a moment to savour and take a breath. Sometimes, it’s not worth getting bogged down in disagreements over minor details that could potentially sour the overall mood. Instead, focus on enjoying the moment with your significant other, creating beautiful memories in your own unique way.”