You’ll never be more ready for an unforgettable holiday after the build-up to your wedding and the excitement of the big day. Let’s face it – as much as a wedding is a celebration of you as a couple, more often than not it becomes a delicate balancing act of family and friends!
But beyond the opportunity to catch your breath, a honeymoon stands for so much more.
It gives you the chance to explore your new identity as a married couple. To reflect on the life-changing commitment you’ve made and all the feelings that go with it. And perhaps most importantly, a honeymoon provides you with the opportunity to set the tone for the beginning of your marriage.
If a rush of flights and sights on a whistle-stop tour is the opposite of what you have in mind, perhaps you should consider slow travel for your honeymoon.
You may or may not have already heard the term; but what exactly is slow travel? And why is it gaining popularity amongst newlyweds and travellers in general? Here’s how this global trend is opening up a whole new world for couples to explore.
What is slow travel?
To quote a much-used idiom, slow travel is taking the time to stop and smell the roses. With slow travel, the focus is not so much on fitting as much as you can into the time you have but rather connecting with the places you visit. The idea is to authentically explore your destination and get to know the people, history, food and landscapes.
Practically, it’s trading planes for trains, boats, bikes and boots.
Like the slow food movement, slow travel has sprung up as a response to the frenetic, consumer-driven fad that preceded it. It’s a form of responsible tourism that considers the ethics of travel and opts for a version that’s less damaging to the planet.
More than anything else, it’s a decision to travel mindfully; to be present in the moment and open to an authentic experience.
Why choose slow travel?
As honeymoons have evolved into a multi-billion-dollar industry, you may find that cookie-cutter packages don’t, well, cut it anymore. These days, couples are choosing honeymoons that are more about a unique travel experience – something memorable that they can tell stories about for the rest of their days.
This quality over quantity approach allows newlyweds to focus on intimacy and relationship building over hustling through a checklist of popular tourist sites.
How to pull off a slow travel honeymoon
Local is tops in this trend. Choose locally owned accommodation over big hotel chains. The same logic applies to restaurants and shops – favour the little guys over franchises.
Next, consider your mode of transport. Wherever possible, avoid flying, as this has the biggest carbon footprint. Investigate other methods of getting around, such as trains or boats – these could become the unplanned stars of your adventure! There is something undeniably romantic about being nestled up in the private world of a cabin with your beloved as you take in the passing scenery.
While exploring, instead of hailing the nearest Uber, find out whether you can walk to your next destination or hire a bicycle. You never know what magical experience you might stumble on by immersing yourself in an area this way. Perhaps you’ll make a new friend of the local you stop to ask for directions or discover an incredible coffee shop that isn’t in any of the tourist guides.
The perfect slow travel destinations for your honeymoon
Dhow trips in Mozambique
Explore the clear turquoise waters of the Indian Ocean by Dhow – a traditional Arabian boat. As you follow ancient Arabic trade routes through the islands of Mozambique, you’ll be immersed in the fascinating history. Plus, you’ll get a taste of the local culture and plenty of time to snorkel and swim in the deliciously warm waters.
Transylvania by bike
As you traverse country roads and take in the pastoral landscapes, you’ll have the opportunity to revel in the pristine medieval architecture that abounds in Transylvania. You’ll be able to explore UNESCO World Heritage Sites, churches, castles and rural villages, and of course stop for a bit of local cheese and wine.
Go on a walking safari
Explore the African bush on foot. As you surround yourself in sounds and smells of the untamed wilderness, this experience may provide you with the opportunity to get up close with wild animals in a way that being in a vehicle wouldn’t. A walking safari gives you the chance to learn about the eco-system from its very roots, to track animals, and see where they eat and rest up close. If you are not keen on walking; horse, boat, bike and hot air balloon safaris are also all options.
Tour Switzerland by train
Sit back and relax as you wind your way through the Swiss Alps by train. Take in the pristine lakes and idyllic mountain villages as you chug your way along the picturesque Alpine passes. You will enjoy unrestricted views of the remote valleys and gorges that are not reachable by any other method.
It’s possible to start your journey with a day trip between St Moritz and Zermatt on the Glacier Express and build on other train journeys through Switzerland for a lengthier honeymoon by rail.
Experience the Wild West on a cattle ranch
At Badger Creek Ranch in Colorado, USA, you can enjoy an exclusive, boutique ranch experience. Here, you can embrace your inner cowboy, wrangle cattle on horseback and learn about green ranching. In your spare time, you can hike in the nearby National Forest, and enjoy bird watching and fishing with your spouse.
As you can see, slow doesn’t mean boring. It can mean the difference between a once-in-a-lifetime experience and just another vacation. The slow travel trend is ideal for honeymooners who want a bit more out of their experience and are happy to take life at a leisurely pace for a little while.