Considering how much planning goes into a same-sex wedding, it can be daunting to also plan a romantic vacation immediately following. So, we reached out to travel experts Lance Stamps, Heather Solish and Gail Goldberg for suggestions about planning an ideal honeymoon.
First: How far in advance should couples book? Stamps feels six to eight months is safe. “People think they can get a deal if they book last-minute, but that doesn’t really happen anymore,” he explains.
Meanwhile, Goldberg’s philosophy is: the earlier, the better. “Start investigating options as soon as you get engaged,” she recommends.
Our experts agree that you may prefer to put some distance between the big day and the big getaway. Stamps and Solish recommend some couples take a long weekend “mini-moon” after the wedding and plan a more extended trip at a later time more convenient for their work schedules or for visiting the destination.
As an alternative, you can reverse-engineer the wedding to accommodate the honeymoon. “The honeymoon destination could help determine the wedding date,” suggests Stamps. “If couples want to travel to South America or Australia/New Zealand, they would go in our winter. Similarly, November/December is the best time for safari in South Africa.”
When it comes to destinations, our experts point to Hawaii, France, Greece and Italy as perennial favorites. Gay-friendly island escapes include Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, St. Barths, Curaçao, the U.S. Virgin Islands and the Dominican Republic. However, Goldberg reminds us that June through November is hurricane season, which may affect destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico.
For honeymooners looking for a trip that blends romantic intimacy with more grandiose adventures, Goldberg finds the South Pacific increasingly popular, with Tahiti and Fiji in the hot seat for ultimate post-wedding fantasies.
Couples thinking outside the box are considering destinations including parts of Africa, Cambodia, Vietnam and even Bhutan. Stamps and Solish tell us that they are seeing a trend in couples traveling farther and taking trips that are more experiential and adventurous. “They don’t want to just sit on a beach,” the pair agree. “And if they do travel to a beach destination, they will pair it with a cultural experience.” A pair of recent clients even took a three-month honeymoon across three continents!
Practical recommendations include: Always purchase travel insurance, and work with a travel agent to customize the experience. “We always inform the hotel when we have gay clients traveling to make sure the welcome note doesn’t say MR. AND MRS. and that it’s clear before the check-in that the clients want a king bed,” Stamps says. Attention to details like these helps set the scene for the perfect beginning to a new life together.
For more info, visit Lance Stamps and Heather Solish at classictravel.com.
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Last modified: October 8, 2019