Who said a honeymoon had to be a two week beachside splurge? From staycations and group tours to life swaps and long weekends, Nikki Ridgway rounds up five new ‘moons for celebrating marital bliss
THE MINI MOON
What Taken immediately after the wedding, the mini is a short, brain-off travel fix before a mega vacation later in the year.
Why You’re time and cash poor after the wedding, it’s rainy season in your dream destination, or you simply want to string out the celebrations.
Where Wherever a non-stop, short-haul flight lands: For East Coasters, Turks and Caicos offers one of the speediest door-to-sand transfers in the Caribbean, or hop the new direct flights to Cartagena and add a dose of culture to your beach break. For Cali natives, head south and soak up the Mexican sunshine from an ocean-facing villa in Los Cabos, or disappear between the vines in easy-access Napa or Sonoma.
THE MAXI MOON
What The ultimate au revoir to singledom, maxi-mooners ditch the job, car and apartment and begin married life with a blowout trip around the world.
Why Because a change is as good as a break, but doing both with your beloved is even better. And you’ll be too loved up to notice the 17-hour bus rides.
Where Wherever your hiking boots and backpack will take you. Do a loop around South America from Ecuador to Brazil via Peru, Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Keep it classic and cultured on your own Grand Tour of France and Italy by train, or head east to experience India’s Golden Triangle and South East Asia’s well-trodden path through Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
THE ADVANCE MOON
What The untraditional, upside-down practice of hitting the road before the aisle.
Why For the chance to press pause on wedding planning and get excited about forever with the person snoozing on the lounger next to you/beating you on a hike/map reading on a road trip/leading the bar hop in a new city.
What Without seasonal restrictions, time your pre-moon with a once-in-a-lifetime destination spectacle like Rio’s carnival, Iceland’s Northern Lights display, Botswana's zebra migration and more. Or head to Argentina outside their chilly winter (June to August) and get a culture fix in Buenos Aires, a heavy pour of Mendoza’s great outdoors and adventures in Bariloche.
THE GROUP MOON
What The chance to play house in a luxe private villa for half a week, then invite friends to fill the spare rooms and lounge chairs for the rest of the trip.
Why For the mix of total privacy and celebrations with people you like more than chatty hotel guests.
Where Avoid the sky-high room rates on St. Barts and share a hilltop villa near party-loving Gustavia; go on group surf lessons and nature excursions from your pad in Costa Rica’s Manuel Antonio National Park; or soak up the romance and fine wines in Tuscany in a classic Italian farmhouse.
THE DESTINATION MOON
What Rolling from destination wedding to marital bliss in one location.
Why It’s two trips with one air ticket, you save hours in transit, and you’ll have local knowledge and insider hangouts from day one.
Where Two-hours south of the megaresorts of Cancun, lovely little Tulum is a destination wedding hotspot with beach beauts, knockout restaurants and a chill vibe. Treat your guests to a vineyard wedding in Napa then go low-key on a road trippin’ honeymoon down Big Sur. Or avoid the guest list politics entirely with a far-flung celebration in Auckland followed by island hopping in New Zealand’s Bay of Islands.
Capella Ixtapa, Mexico
With cliffside love nests hanging above the Pacific Ocean, Capella Ixtapa is a dramatic escape for romance and spa time.
Diamonds Star of the East, Zanzibar
An upscale all-inclusive on Zanzibar’s northwest coast, Diamonds has just 11 palatial modern African villas and Indian Ocean views.
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Favorite for living out castaway island fantasies, this rustic retreat has eco-cred, an organic restaurant and pristine beaches.
Alila Villas Soori, Bali
On Bali's less-traveled south coast, Alila Villas Soori is flanked by lush rice fields and crowd-free black sand beaches.
Constance Maurice, Mauritius
One of Mauritius’s most come-hither hotels, expect a floating, lantern-lit restaurant and Indian Ocean views.
Jade Mountain, St. Lucia
On the southwest side of St. Lucia, this is the ultimate honeymoon spot, with open-air concept suites and views of the towering Pitons.
Voreina Gallery Suites, Santorini
Nine-suite sleep just 10 minutes from Fira, with minimalist rooms, a rotating art collection and knockout Aegean views.
Saffire Freycinet, Tasmania
The place to get far away from it all, this architecturally striking lodge has a destination restaurant and spa in untouched Tasmania.
Angsana Riads, Marrakech
A unique collection of six riads dotted across Marrakech, all with stunning architectural details and Atlas Mountain views.