‘Honeymooning’ is rooted in the nineteenth century European ‘bridal tour’, where recently married couples would travel the country and nearby continents to visit family members unable to attend the wedding. These kinds of parades, however, were largely undertaken by the upper-classes due to the large cost they accrued.
Honeymoons are expensive. They are also a largely Eurocentric idea; you’re either in one of Europe’s many romantic capitals, or you’re in one of the many ‘exotic’ locations which occupied the nineteenth-century ideal of the perfect honeymoon. Even so-called ‘unknown’ locations, Quebec or Sapa for instance, are marketed with the strict intention of targeting a European audience in both the geographical and, for lack of a better word, ideological sense.
Take Venice, for instance: romantic, beautiful, but not the most cost effective at about £280 per-person, per-night according to TripAdvisor. Also, Venice is currently experiencing its worst floods since 1966. Perhaps not the best option at the moment then.
Is Gothic architecture more your style? Why not visit the birthplace of this most influential of genres, which just so happens to be one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in the world: Paris. Not a bad idea, it’s just a shame that everyone has thought of it before you. Chances are, if you indulge a little during the most popular months (Spring to Summer), you and your other half may just be about to spend up towards £1,000 per-person, per-night.
What about Vienna? The same problem applies I’m afraid, and searching further afield isn’t likely to yield better results. A quick online investigation will highlight that destinations outside of Europe, for instance Morocco or Panama, whilst being comparatively less popular than their European counterparts, still attract a fair amount of interest. For one of Marrakech’s most scenic hotels, the Four Seasons Resort, newlyweds can expect to be spending upwards of £500 per-person, per-night.
It should be noted at this point that honeymooning tends to be significantly cheaper when one honeymoons alone. This may sound like a strange concept, but in recent years the idea of spending those sweet nights with your other half (or halves) in separate beds, usually in separate hotels and in countries at two ends of the globe, has become increasingly popular. It’s worth bringing up in this evaluation of the best honeymoon destinations because what constitutes a honeymoon, and what couples expect from one, are not the same as they were fifty years ago.
All of this leads us to the central question of this piece: what, exactly, is the best honeymoon destination? Unfortunately this is a largely unanswerable question. Honeymooning in the twenty-first century has become much more of an individual experience, so much so that couples are willing to part for weeks at a time in order to get the most out of their honeymoon, as mentioned previously. While the popularity of ‘landmark’ honeymoon locations has remained steady over the last few years, there is no doubt that honeymooners in general appear to be turning away from Victorian concepts of the honeymoon towards something more modern.
Perhaps the best honeymoon destination has less to do with the place, the price or even the person, and more to do with what you as an individual want out of the whole honeymoon experience.