What You Need to Know
COVID-19 has changed life for all of us. If you were planning a wedding, getaway, or honeymoon, though, you’ve felt the pandemic’s effects more than most.
While vaccine deployment is now widespread in the U.S., and most public health experts are cautiously optimistic about the “end” of the pandemic being in sight, most couples are still a little stumped about how to navigate their honeymoon and travel plans. Travel requirements and protocols continue to change so it is more important now more than ever to work with an experience travel professional to help you navigate all the requirements.
This blog covers some options for your honeymoon, how to plan a safe (and romantic) getaway and creative ways to have the experience of your dreams, even during these strange times.
Let’s dive in with some current trends – written with assistance from Tom English.
Is it Safe to Travel?
Recently, the CDC updated its travel guidelines to include the following:
- Fully vaccinated people can travel internationally without getting a COVID-19 test before travel unless it is required by the international destination.
- Fully vaccinated people do not need to self-quarantine after returning to the United States unless required by a state or local jurisdiction.
If you’ve had your vaccines you will find more opportunities opening up to you like cruising! It is possible to travel and to do so safely. Many destinations have lifted their travel bans, restrictions are minimal in many destinations, focusing on continual practical applications for cleanliness to prevent the spread of Covid or Delta Variant by checking our temperature, hand washing, masks and hand sanitizer. For example: I just returned from a trip to Costa Rica – of course mask were required in the airport and on the flight, we were offered hand sanitizer everywhere we went, and for many of the places we visited throughout our trip, we had to first wash our hands before we could enter the resort, tour activity or restaurant. With that in mind, couples planning a honeymoon can do so, just realize that you just need to respect the destination that you are visiting and go by their rules.
5 Creative Honeymoon Ideas for During and After COVID
Even though travel has been reinstated to many popular romantic destinations, the honeymoon you originally planned might not be possible as yet or your preferred destination for instance might require full vaccination to travel and avoid quarantine upon arrival, if you have chosen not to take the vaccine just be prepared to only look at destinations that do not require you to be vaccinated.
Did you put your honeymoon on pause during 2020 or 2021? Here are five creative ideas to get your honeymoon plans back on track: If your honeymoon was postponed and you are now rescheduled to take your trip, please check your passport expiration date now and make sure you are still valid for at least six months past the return date. If you have to renew, start the process now, the Passport Issuing Agency is very backed up, even if you pay the expedite fee, it is all over the board how long it is taking my clients to get their passports back.
Current travel requirements for Sandals and Beaches Destinations
1. Consider a romantic beach vacation
During COVID, many couples opted for spacious, outdoor getaways over packed urban vacations. If you had originally planned to head to a city like Rome, New York, or Hong Kong, now is a great time to consider opting for a Caribbean destination, instead with lots of space to spread out on the beach. Sandals & Beaches Resorts has put in place their Platinum Protocols of Safety – safeguarding the health of their employees and guests. I traveled to Jamaica recently for a first hand experience of these protocols from staff wearing masks, lobby bar stools and pool/ beach chairs are social distanced by groups of two or family count at Beaches, my rooms were sealed upon arrival, buffets were served to me, no self service options, hand sanitizer was plentiful throughout all the resorts I visited.
These destinations generally have less travel pressure, more space to escape the crowds, and plenty of stunning, outdoor locations to explore and fresh air and sunshine are the best medicine. I also suggest to clients to consider springing for upgraded suites with private pools or direct beachfront access.
** I am taking advantage of Sandals Limited Time Offer – “Honeymoon Do-Over” for my clients that did not get to take their honeymoon in 2020 – by booking them at Sandals Royal Bahamian for seven nights and they receive two nights free – ** Restrictions Apply – email me for more info Linda@honeymoonsinc.com
2. Consider two honeymoons
Two honeymoons is better than one, right? We think so! And many of today’s “COVID couples” agree. Many couples decided on a “Mini-moon” to celebrate their marriage while also complying to COVID protocols. What is a “mini-moon”? In short by definition a quick 3-5 night budget friendly vacation closer to home for most of my clients.
Then when it is safe to travel to your bucket list honeymoon destination, circle back to planning your vacation there, take another year to plan, save, and allow the world to return to normal recover from the cost of your wedding then you’ll be ready to head out into the world with more funds, more time, and more freedom.
3. Choose a romantic destination resort and enjoy resort amenities
Again, safe travel is possible choose a resort that has set in place measures to protect guest and employees – check the the resort website you are considering they should have full disclosure of their safety protocols. For the most part, many destinations are requiring all visitors to present a negative Covid test result within 3 days of arrival and complete on line travel authorizations and for those destinations that are not requiring a negative Covid test I still suggest to my clients just for their own peace of mind to take a PCR Test 3 days prior to departure just so they know they were negative at the beginning of their trip, because of Biden signing the executive order requiring all passengers on an inbound flight from international destination to take a Covid test 3 days prior to departure flight back to USA. I also suggest to clients to keep that in mind as they choose their resort and destination – Sandals Resorts is currently including the required Covid test for all their guest on resort – this prevents the guest vacation from being disrupted by having to go find a lab to take the required test 3 days prior to return home. The cost of the test varies by destination – I paid approximately $45 USD for my required test for flight home from Costa Rica last week.
If you’re still a little nervous about going from place to place, you can choose to limit your travel accordingly. Instead of island-hopping or taking trains throughout Europe, choose a dream destination and spend your whole honeymoon there. This is where your travel professional can assist you in choosing the best resort or destination for you.
Destinations such as an-all-inclusive in Antigua. are to-die-for beautiful, staying in one place is a great way to relax, kick back, and make some truly special memories. Try upgrading your room accommodations with a personal butler or a private pool. Relax, reflect, and celebrate married life in paradise.
4. Try something new
We already mentioned that many couples are opting for outdoor getaways instead of urban escapes. What we haven’t talked about is how many couples are using their honeymoons as an opportunity to try something totally new like river rafting, nocturnal nature walks, kayaking in nature parks in Costa Rica for instance.
Instead of focusing on shopping and dining, consider using your honeymoon to learn something that takes place outdoors in a safe, socially distanced capacity. Surfing, diving, zip-lining, hiking, and biking are all outstanding examples and are easy to do from your favorite all-inclusive resort.
5. Adjust your expectations
If you had to cancel, alter, or downsize your wedding or honeymoon during COVID, it’s natural to be a little disappointed. After all, we spend so much time dreaming about these important days, and it’s frustrating when external circumstances outside our control step in to change those things.
Still, these are unique times, and having lived through them will make a great story one day. Instead of dwelling on disappointment about your would-have-been honeymoon, now is time to focus on creating an experience you’ll remember fondly.
With that in mind, get out a sheet of paper, sit down with your sweetie and start dreaming. The Caribbean is an excellent place to enjoy the sun, surf, and sand, try something new, and relax after a tough year. Creating a dream honeymoon is feasible right now – even if you have to get a little extra creative to do it.
The Caribbean: the Perfect Destination for Your Dream Honeymoon
If you’re looking for a place to enjoy some relaxation and recharge time with your new spouse, all-inclusive resorts such as Sandals Resorts, Couples Resorts, Secrets Resorts are made for two people in love and are an excellent option. Are you seeking a more boutique feel then luxury resorts such as Jade Mountain, Hermitage Bay, Ladera, Sugar Beach a Viceroy Resort, Calabash Cove and others might be a better fit for you with bespoke experiences if your budget allows.
While nobody could have ever predicted 2020, it’s a new year and a great time to reclaim control of your honeymoon experience. A word of warning though – don’t wait too long to book as so many resorts are completely sold out for the fall of 2021, forcing many to have to post pone their romantic getaway to dates in 2022 where availability can be found.
What are you waiting for? Book that dream honeymoon now – looking for a romance travel planner? I would love the opportunity to assist you – I worked tirelessly through 2020 helping clients rebook delayed honeymoons, elopements and destination weddings. I help them to navigate whatever the travel requirements are for their destination so you will not be going it alone. I have travelled myself to know first hand what is really happening to better advise my clients.
To get started Email me Linda@honeymoonsinc.com or Call Direct 931-337-0770