Planning a romantic anniversary trip is not something we all value on top of other commitments. Getting a romantic getaway right is of utmost importance because we don’t get the chance to getaway for roamnce very often.
After the wedding there is a need for down time, hence the honeymoon. Fast forward to having kids and working ya butt off, there is a need for down time and at this stage of your life possibly readjustment to each other.
Yes, for honeymooners that have stumbled across this you may have picked up that I have been married a while and I have two kids. Do not stop reading as you will find this valuable in making plans for your honeymoon. Your honeymoon is an investment in you and for some couples a chance to really get to know one another. You are in love and you have just made your public commitment to each other and now is the time to just be you with your life partner.
For those of you like me don’t stop reading as you need to read this to remember that holiday. Remember being so in love with that pain in the neck who never takes the garbage out that despite using your toothbrush on your honeymoon, you were soo in love why would that bother you. Remember long lunches after making love all morning? Or afternoon cocktails before a quickie before dinner? When was the last time you did that? I admit at least the first three days would be sleeping for me but we would get there. Let’s get you excited about booking another-moon.
Defining honeymoon (which is essentially a time devoted to romance, establishing love and reforming bonds)
According to Wikipedia a honeymoon is defined as ‘the period when newly wed couples take a break to share some private and intimate moments that helps establish love in their relationship. This privacy in turn is believed to ease the comfort zone towards a physical relationship, which is one of the primary means of bonding during the initial days of marriage.’
As couples these days are often having physical relationships before their weddings and some even living together prior, the consummation of a wedding is less the focus that what it has been traditionally. I like the definition where it says ‘helps establish love in their relationship’ remember this is a holiday as a couple not as an individual and making time for romance around your anniversary is a great way to reconnect.
Things to ponder
You want to spend days with the person you have chosen to do life with. The first decision when planning a romantic holiday is to choosing what activities you want to be doing. A bicycle holiday around France but may sound horrible to some but stick with me. Activity based holidays of this nature and in a small group may not sound like the ‘honeymoon’ type of thing to do at all. If you are in a highly pressured role or you find it hard to wind down, following the leader for a few days will enable you to switch off the manager in you and just follow. You will be surprised how quickly you will relax.
Remember, your wedding day and honeymoon are the days that cement your relationship. When times get tough you go back to that day and remember why you picked that person. You remember those tender days of just loving each other. So whether you are planning a honeymoon or you are planning another-moon, the activities are the key to establishing a theme for your emotional stability. If you don’t cope with heat, don’t go tropical. Riding a bike is only appealing to the active and able.
My opinion for whatever it is worth
For the purposes of this blog I’m going to divide my suggestions for a honeymoon into city escape, action and beach escapes. What do you and your partner like to do? Have you sat by a pool for 10 days before with nothing else to do? Perhaps mixing some resort time and some city time is an idea? Whilst I get you need some Maldives time, it is possible to add in some stopovers to add some adventure. So whether you are booking your first holiday full of sweetness and pleasure or you are booking a break to try and find that again, here are my suggestions. (Click on the desired destination for the my pick)
Best City escapes for Romancing
Best beach escapes
Best Adventure romance destinations.
- African Safari
- Barge- Bicycle tour France
- Wine tour Sonoma
- New Zealand walking tour
- Turkey yacht sailing tour
- Alaskan tour
These are all just ideas and suggestions. What you need to ensure you have planned is down time. Romance doesn’t happen without being relaxed. Sex happens, yes, but romance and connection need both people to be relaxed and forget about your normal life. Completely disconnecting from social media and your working life is necessary to show your partner you have chosen them to march forward with. Honeymoon, another-moon we all need time to disconnect and re-connect.
If you have a busy life, which I am guessing nearly everyone does, consider a few days of distraction- activity before hitting a resort. We have found it takes 10 days to really unwind and then the additional 4 of a 2 week vacation are important for re-energising and refreshing. If you are booking your honeymoon for just a week, consider booking activity type holidays for the initial few days.
After my wedding I fell into a heap. I was asleep as we arrived at the hotel (I never sleep in the car) and we checked in and I went straight to sleep. Romantic hey? The same will happen for your first few days away from the kids, rest and sleep are required first. At the time of my wedding I felt horrid about what kind of wife was I going to be? A sleeping wife? Go easy on yourself. Romance can’t be forced and even in all these exotic or romantic locations you can’t make it happen. Instead plan drinks and walks. Plan a meal on a secluded beach or drinks overlooking the Greek Islands. Romance will happen if you sit back and absorb where you are.
Some tradition ideas for you
When we are on ‘date night’ we allow a ten minute debrief on the kids or our jobs and then we try to focus the conversation on each other. At our anniversary we have to pick the things we have achieved in the previous year as what we are most proud of. Try to do this on your honeymoon. You could try a version of ‘would you rather?’ (Yes, my kids love it and I do think it is annoying but keep it out of the nonsense zone and you will be right) For those not aware it is a conversation starting game where you present the audience with a choice between two decisions, starting with would you rather.
Would you rather?
I use this website for some ideas. Click here for would you rather conversation starting questions? Here are some examples taken from their site. As newlyweds you may want to try and guess what your partner is going to answer to each question. Select some deeper questions and some lighter ones.
- Would you rather… the general public think you are a horrible person but your family be very proud of you or your family think you are a horrible person but the general public be very proud of you?
- … be famous when you are alive and forgotten when you die or unknown when you are alive but famous after you die?
- …. lose all of your money and valuables or all of the pictures you have ever taken?
- …..be alone for the rest of your life or always be surrounded by annoying people?
- …. live without the internet or live without AC and heating?
- …. have a horrible job, but be able to retire comfortably in 10 years or have your dream job, but have to work until the day you die?
So you get the idea. This is not an argument starter, it is a reflection of how you are very similar, polar opposite but most importantly a light-hearted game to connect. Accepting your partner’s opinion and valuing their contribution to the conversation is all about connection. Try to make the conversation more intimate by pointing out the things you love and admire in your partner. Create a tradition that you can continue for the years to come. Have conversations that remind you what this person means to you and what you want to achieve with them going forward. If you are at a point where you need to be reminded of that, bring that up in conversation. Remind the love of your life of what you both wish(ed) for and hope(d) for. Cherish the sweetness of it all.
Getting down to romance.
I have identified a checklist of how to make each day count on your romantic break.
- Ensure you are rested. I get cranky if I am tired. Don’t be shy in saying you want to sleep longer. If this results in missing a tour, what is the harm in that? This is a holiday of indulgence, that includes rest.
- Start each day with display of affection.
- Continue to do thoughtful things throughout the day for your partner.
- Gentle tease each other and act playfully. Yes 80 years can do this so you can to.
- Be affectionate. Hold hands, cuddle and kiss.
- Book things in that each of you like. No point in booking a bicycle tour for the entire time without promising drinks and food.
- Try to add some spontaneity or surprises.
Planning a honeymoon is less about the exotic location of your dreams but ensuring that both of you are stimulated. Your senses need to be fed. If your senses don’t like the heat and you find lying by a pool dull, then perhaps a city wandering tour is more for you.
For me romantic escapes need to tick these boxes.
- I don’t want to be hot and I don’t want to be cold.
- Food and drinks
- I want to eat some knock-your-socks-off divine morsels. It could be a whole meal, it could be chocolate truffles. I want to ignite my palette and explore flavours.
- Coffee – the perfect destination must have coffee. Not Starbucks, Barista coffee.
- Wine – wine kept at the right temperature is key. One cannot survive on beers and cocktails alone.
- I want to look out and to see a view that is magic. We like getting up for sunrise and going for a stroll. At the same time we love to watch the sun go down with a cold drink in our hand. Make sure wherever you are there is a vantage point for either of these.
- Big bed. I don’t want to snuggle. Sure we snuggle, but I also need to sleep. When I am sleeping, that’s serious business. Leave me alone and don’t steal the covers or make me hot. Ensure there is a selection of pillow heights and density for optimal comfort.
You may also wish to consider a spa day for added romance ignition.
Remember, holidays sometimes go wrong. Your luggage is lost or that exotic sunshine is days of heavy rain. Your dream of cocktails and dinners is the reality of a stomach bug and days in bed with a fever and cramps. With that in mind, consider mixing it up and having 7 days on an island and 4 at a lodge where you do a cooking class every morning. Instead of 10 days in Paris, Perhaps 3 days in Dubai and 7 days in Paris. The focus of the honeymoon is being with each other. If you end up on honeymoon with dude who goes out every night while you are stuck in the room with your tummy, alarms bells are ringing.
Ensure you have travel insurance and that your reservations can be changed. Whilst being at a resort with families is okay, I would make sure your room is private and peaceful. I would try to eat outside of early dinner times and early breakfasts to avoid the rush and noise. Selecting a more intimate hotel will ensure greater privacy and a more seductive ambiance.
Getting it right
Focus less on the perfect start, the most unforgettable, indulgent holiday of your lives and more on building as a couple and then you will have the perfect honeymoon/another-moon. 5 star hotels will always be there, indulgence in your relationship is the true and perfect indulgence. Forget the Jones and leave them to it. Perhaps a place you can go back to is the perfect honeymoon for you. Perhaps a remote cabin in the forest is your idea of romance. Whatever it is Instagram photos are not the priority, the love of your life is. Now go show him how much he means to you.