After being cooped up for the last several months romance may not be on your mind. Or ma
ybe it's travel that is most on your mind and you had not thought of lighting a spark as a benefit. Either way as you plan your revenge travel for next year and beyond Romance travel is a term we use in the travel industry to lump together several different kinds of trips. Those that rekindle romance as well as those that help it get started like destination weddings and amazing honeymoons. I choose the picture of bungalows over the waters of French Polynesia above because I think this the picture that springs to mind for most people when they thing about Romance travel. But really there is a lot more to this travel concept than flying across the world to sleep over the water!
Destination Weddings are becoming more and more popular….Imagine saying “I Do” with your toes in the sand on a Hawaiian beach, or in the mountains of Italy as our daughter did (this is a photo of the beautiful abbey in Umbria where she was married)! As Travel Professionals we are well-trained in the legalities and organization of details so that you don’t have to stress over the big day…and neither do your your family or your guests. You can still have input and make decisions about your ceremony details, but leave all those pesky details to someone else. Your friends and family probably wouldn’t be too upset about squeezing in a little trip to paradise either. A number of All-Inclusive Resorts that are known for their Destination Wedding programs offer sharply discounted “preview” packages for the bride & groom to get a chance to actually see the venues and familiarize themselves with a resort before committing to the “big day.
One of the latest trends in Honeymoon/Romance travel is the use of a “Honeymoon Registry”. I can work with the bridal couple to choose the perfect honeymoon and, once the reservation is made, I can set up an online registry through which they can have their guests contribute to the cost of the trip. I recently had a bridal couple who requested honeymoon registry gifts in lieu of traditional wedding gifts and actually ended up raising the funds to pay for 85% of the total trip cost. I provide the bridal couple with cards to send out with shower and wedding invitations and you get an email notification whenever someone gives a “gift” so you can stay up-to-date on those Thank You notes as well. There is no cost for the service (as long as McKee Travel books the honeymoon trip) and the registry can be customized as a landing page on your own wedding website, or linked to your own “The Knot” site as well. I love this idea and think that the experience of travel makes a wonderful gift to give, don't you?
We recently accompanied a family member on his honeymoon to Hawaii along with 12 of their other friends. Was this strange or trendy? A bit of both actually. We were reluctant to do this at first but we were very glad that we did! It was so great after all the rush of plans surrounding the wedding to just get away and spend time with friends and family. We took a cruise around the Hawaiian Islands and it was a great mix of together and alone time for the bridal couple. They felt like this was an ideal way to do their honeymoon and I have to say that for the right couple it really probably is! And it turns out that this is a trend today, one that we expect to see continue and grow in the future. So if you get invited on a honeymoon in the future don't be surprised and don't say no right away.
Maybe your wedding and bridal shower days are behind you….that certainly doesn’t mean your days of Romance Travel are long gone too! One of the fastest growing trends in romance travel is the vow renewal vacation. Couples who have survived raising their own children, multiple job changes, financial ups and downs and all of the little surprises that life can throw at you are deciding to re-commit to each other – and their family – during a multi-generational getaway. Sometimes it is to commemorate a “big number” celebration like a 25th Wedding Anniversary and sometimes “just because” they have managed to still like each other after all the years together. What better way for new “empty nesters” to set the stage for a brilliant life together after the kids have moved on? Vow renewal ceremonies can be as simple and elegant or as large and “loud” as you choose and the whole extended family gets the benefit of spending time together in a relaxing setting while sharing in the joy. I love the idea of a river cruise vow renewal on a river such as the Danube, pictured above. Combining a vow renewal with a trip seems like the right idea to me. In some of these examples the actual trip itself is a group experience and that is right up my ally. I love helping groups of people travel together no matter what the occasion. But even if your group is just you and your main squeeze I stand ready to help you plan a trip that is just right. If 2020 has taught us anything it may be that we should travel and fulfill our bucket list dreams sooner rather than latter. And maybe also that when you do travel in the future that using a Travel Advisor like me is a wise move because you have a real person on your side when things go wrong as well in addition to save you all the hours of planning your trip. Either way I hope you are dreaming of travel and starting to think about making some plans to travel next year and beyond.