Here’s where the travel pros would go if they planned their own ‘megamoon’

If your travels after the wedding have been changed, postponed or completely canceled due to the pandemic, you are not alone. According to a recent study by travel app Expedia, 97% of honeymoon plans were impacted by COVID-19, meaning almost all newlywed couples had to forego or change their original trip over the of the last two years. With weddings back in full force, people are ready to travel again – and they’re going further than ever. In fact, as the Expedia survey indicates, this has led to the rise of ‘megamoon’ travel: “More than half (53%) [of those polled] plan to spend more on their honeymoons than they originally planned and 59% are now more interested in traveling to a destination on the to-do list,” reads the brand’s report.

What does it look like exactly? “Coming out of the pandemic, couples are clearly determined to have an epic honeymoon,” said Christie Hudson, head of US public relations for Expedia. “For many couples, this will include flights, luxurious accommodations and even romantic activities at destination.”

Yet, while these are the elements that will make up many Mega Moons, the destination is up to you. It’s time to show creativity and personality, and imagine the ultimate journey for you and your partner. If you’re already planning one, chances are you have a few ideas. But what if you’re overwhelmed with choice? TZR enlisted a few travel experts to find out where they would go if they were planning their own epic honeymoon. Here are their ideal routes, to follow if you wish.

A journey through Morocco

Places: Jennifer McClymont, associate travel expert at Naya Traveler, says her megamoon should include the bespoke trip planner’s La Route du Sud trip, or La Route du Sud trip, to Morocco. To make your trip unforgettable, she recommends arriving in Marrakech and heading to the Ourika Valley (one hour away) for two nights in a kasbah or lodge. “You then begin your six-night journey on the Southern Route which ends in the Skoura Valley at the Dar Ahlam Residence. I would then suggest staying two to three nights in Marrakech before returning home.”

Activities: For McClymont, “the dream” would be “to spend a night in a desert Bedouin camp under the dazzling, starry sky, letting emotions and romance blossom.” She also suggests watching the sun rise in a hot air balloon or taking a camel ride through the desert in Marrakech for other epic experiences. And to top it all? “Certainly, ending your honeymoon with the ultimate Moroccan hammam experience designed to refresh and rejuvenate body and soul is a must.”

Accommodation: “The private residences on this trip are traditional red brick houses and adobe castle-like mansions that overlook large valleys and are located in small Berber villages. a very authentic experience,” says the travel expert. McClymont again mentions Dar Ahlam, which she says offers “very comfortable rooms with harmonized ambiences and exquisite activities.” And, she continues: “I would end this trip by savoring the mixture of Moorish traditions and colorful modernity in the riads of a medina or the Villa des Orangers in Marrakech.

A European exploration

Places: Oleema Miller, co-founder of swimming and resort brand MIKOH, says she just returned from a whirlwind trip to Europe (where she also got engaged). Thus, she says it would be more appropriate to return there for a megamoon. “Even though we traveled through France and Italy for three weeks, we barely scratched the surface of everything Europe has to offer,” she told TZR. “Discovering more of southern France, northern Italy, Greece and the English countryside is always on my to-do list and would be the ultimate honeymoon adventure.”

Activities: Miller says that for her, a combination of relaxation and adventure is the perfect mix. “There’s nothing I love more than a quiet day at sea, an afternoon at the spa and a sunset rosé followed by an exciting day on a boat.” Miller also shares that being a lover of antiques, one of her favorite things to do is scour markets and shops for gems. “Having those special keepsakes to bring back allows you to relive your memories day after day when you can enjoy them at home.”

Accommodation: “I’m not going to lie, I like a nice hotel myself, especially one with an ocean view,” Miller says. “I’m constantly cleaning, organizing and moving things around the house so I can be somewhere I can relax, breathe and have a big, clean, soft bed to crawl into every night after stuffing myself with local food – nothing not worth this.” Some properties she’s recently loved? Le Sirenuse in Positano, Italy, and Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Cap d’Antibes, southern France are both favourites.

A journey across continents

Places: If you’re a serious adventurer, you’ll love the dream honeymoon plans from Dynamite Travel owner Dr. Terika Haynes. She tells TZR that for her trip as a couple, she would choose “five different continents to symbolize how many years we’ve known each other” and spend a week in each one. These would include Asia (Philippines), Africa (Cape Town, South Africa), South America (Peru), Australia (Cairns) and Europe (Cinque Terre, Italy).

Activities: Dr. Haynes shares a different activity she would like to do in each destination on this epic honeymoon. In the Philippines, she would travel to Palawan to explore the Puerto Princesa Underwater River. In South Africa, she says she would engage in voluntourism with iKhaya Le Themba, a non-profit organization based in Hout Bay that provides holistic after-school care programs for children in need. For the Peru leg, Dr Haynes would take the Andean Explorer, a Belmond train, to see Cusco, the Andes and Lake Titicaca. Once in Cairns, the travel expert would snorkel the Great Barrier Reef. And finally, in the Cinque Terre, she would charter a luxury yacht.

In addition to these plans, Dr. Haynes has a few activities that she would incorporate into each venue. These include bringing dice to decide what and where to eat, hiring a photographer in each destination, leaving surprise elements for their partner to see their true excitement, and including a ready-made activity in each destination to make them get out of their comfort zone.

Accommodation: Dr. Haynes has accommodation preferences for each location. The luxurious Amanpulo would be her choice in Palawan, and in Cape Town she would stay at One&Only Cape Town. In Peru, she was heading to the Sanctuary Lodge; when visiting Cairns, she was traveling to Lizard Island; and in the Cinque Terre she would choose the Portovenere Grand.

An Italian Adventure

Places: Janine Seale, co-founder of recommendation-based travel app Out of Office, says her megamoon would involve spending a month in Italy visiting some of the places she’s never been. “I would spend part of the honeymoon in Tuscany, visiting Sardinia and neighboring islands, and complementing it with time in Puglia,” she explains.

Activities: Seale’s list of activities is simple. According to the co-founder, her itinerary would include a mix of beach, relaxation and wine. “All my favorite things,” she says.

Accommodation: When it comes to hotels, Seale knows exactly what she wants. “I would love to stay at Castello di Casole, A Belmond Hotel in Tuscany and Masseria San Domenico in Puglia,” she shares. “Both are meant to be amazing and perfect for a once-in-a-lifetime megamoon.”

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