This is what honeymoons look like in 2021 - Travel precautions, restrictions and more

5 months ago 35
google news Flipboard

Any other year, a honeymoon would have been a grand affair that could rival the actual nuptials. However, in the year 2021, this rite of passage looks a little different. With a global pandemic on the cards, the archetypal honeymoon is now being carried out on a smaller scale, but it is by no means a subdued affair. With domestic destinations finding favour over idyllic international getaways, here’s everything you need to know for planning the honeymoon of your dreams. 

How the pandemic affected conventional honeymoons

In the pre-pandemic world, popular hotspots for newlyweds encompassed the usual suspects. Ankur Sarawagi, country head for wedding planning company The Knot Worldwide, confirms, “Popularly known as the city of love, couples have always flocked to Paris to mark this milestone. Venice has also been considered as a popular destination for its scenic views, culture and culinary experiences. Before the pandemic hit, honeymooners also frequented Bali, Italy, Maldives and Thailand as these locations had favourable travel policies.”

However, the onset of an unprecedented health crisis has affected every aspect of the wedding journey—and post-wedding getaways haven’t been spared either. In the new normal, honeymoons have been reinvented with the objective of making lasting memories while minimising physical exposure, he believes. “To meet the pent-up demand for travel, couples are either exploring luxurious stays and packages at premium hotels within India with adequate hygiene protocols, while cottages and wildlife getaways are popular with those who seek adventure. This unique constraint has given rise to various interesting trends, like ‘minimoons’—short term local vacations—or ‘latermoons’ for postponing trips to a time when one feels the risks are low,” he says.

The latter has also received a nod of approval from celebrity makeup artist Mehak Oberoi. Having recently tied the knot amidst the pandemic, the 32-year-old has decided to postpone her honeymoon until the risk factor has been dialled back. “If it were any other time, I would have envisioned my dream honeymoon in the scenic Greek locales of Athens, Santorini and Mykonos. Cappadocia in Turkey has always topped my list as well. But given the ongoing pandemic, we decided not to have a rushed honeymoon and instead, wait it out until things go back to normal,” she says.

With international travel looking uncertain in the immediate future, which destinations have earned the favour of married couples? Sarawagi says, “Due to the sudden shift, travel to domestic destinations such as Goa for a spa getaway, Kerala for an Ayurvedic retreat, Rishikesh for white water rafting and hill stations close to metro cities have witnessed a surge in demand for couples. The aviation industry has since been able to restore trust by taking into consideration health and safety protocols, along with relaxations in regional travel policies that have led honeymooners to now consider international destinations like Maldives, Mauritius and Bali.” However, certain destinations continue to remain off the cards—Australia and New Zealand are expected to remain off-limits till the countries open their borders after the entire population has been vaccinated, he confirms.

Honeymoon trends to expect in 2021

With shorter, experiential trips currying favour over international destinations, Sarawagi decodes what the honeymoon landscape looks like in the new normal:

Drivable destinations

Air travel has been a concern for the vast majority of couples planning their special vacation, and in order to minimise multiple physical interactions, drivable destinations are being preferred over long-distance locations. This trend has further inspired travel agencies to focus on two- to three-day getaways to various scenic hill stations, historical visits and adventure packages.

Rental properties

For many couples, luxury resorts promise security as health and safety protocols are strictly followed. However, to make their honeymoon memorable, couples prefer to rent Airbnb properties or smaller villas as they are more affordable and offer an immersive experience.

Pared-back itineraries

Itineraries have become uncomplicated as well for moving around freely without taking precautions all the time. We can now find couples opting for relaxing vacations with simpler and limited activities planned for the day.

How to plan a honeymoon right now

We live in uncertain times, but that’s no reason for you to compromise on this once-in-a-lifetime experience. As a bonus, local homestays and domestic destinations that have been adversely affected by the pandemic could also stand to benefit from your patronage. If you’ve been looking to make the process as smooth as possible, Sarawagi believes that keeping a few precautions in mind can make the journey after ‘I do’ equally memorable. Looking ahead, he predicts that vaccine passports, or a certification of COVID-19 vaccination, will become a mandate. He also advises newlyweds to look for travel companies offer COVID-19 insurance. “It is advisable for couples to travel to known locations, plan their stays at trusted properties and keep physical interaction to a bare minimum. While this would restrict the exploration of the city, it would certainly leave couples more time to spend by themselves,” he says.

Awareness of state-wise travel regulations is also important before booking tickets—travellers are expected to carry a declaration form provided on state websites confirming that they have not tested positive for COVID-19 in the past two months or have not been in touch with anyone who has been tested positive. He also advises against choosing destinations that require layovers at a third country as it can be challenging to adhere to cumbersome travel formalities and restrictions.

Also read:

What is slow travel—and how can you be a part of the movement?

13 spots to escape to for a romantic Valentine’s Day weekend in India

  1. Homepage
  2. Lifestyle