More and more couples are recognising their honeymoon as one of the most important parts of their wedding, with many choosing to spend their savings on a trip of a lifetime rather than extra details on the big day.
Honeymoon bookings from Ireland are on the up, as well as the amount of money Irish couples are spending on their first trip as husband and wife, with the average couple spending north of €5,000.
According to Emirates, the most popular honeymoon destinations for Irish couples are sun-soaked resorts in Mauritius, Bali, Thailand and the Seychelles. But if a beach honeymoon isn't for you, there's plenty of other options to choose from.
Beach honeymoon not your thing?
Outdoorsy couples might enjoy a 'glamping' holiday, which could also suit a strict budget, but if you need a bit of pampering why not head off on a relaxing spa break? If you're feeling more adventurous, consider a safari in South Africa, hitting the slopes in the Alps or island hopping on a sailboat around the Mediterranean. If you're keen to do some sightseeing, a city break in historic European countries such as Italy or France could be the perfect romantic getaway.
If you like to have all the facilities and amenities of a luxury holiday at your fingertips, think about booking an all-inclusive resort, which can also help you stick to a budget as you won't have to spend money on food and drink once you arrive. A cruise also offers this benefit, with the added bonus of taking in a number of different destinations.
Those keen to travel around themselves may want to consider going self-catering. This may cost more in spending money but you can find cheap accommodation on sites such as Airbnb.
Whatever type of honeymoon or destination you choose, it needs to suit both you and your partner's tastes, so make time to discuss what you're hoping to get out of the trip and enjoy planning it together.
Don't obsess over online reviews too much; these often don't paint a realistic picture of the destination. You can always ask your travel agent for advice if you're unsure.
From wine tasting to windsurfing, there's plenty of choice for special activities and excursions to make your honeymoon a holiday you'll never forget. Book up activities you definitely want to try out in advance, but leave yourself a few free days for flexibility when you arrive – you might feel like just chilling out after the big day!
Choosing your honeymoon date
The time of year you're heading off on your honeymoon may affect which destination you choose and you should always do your research. Looking for a sun-drenched Caribbean holiday? Then avoid hurricane season in September and October. Travelling around Europe over the summer? Many towns close down in August as locals head off on their holidays.
It's also worth keeping an eye on current affairs, as you don't want to get caught up in problems such as political unrest, a financial crisis or natural disasters.
Just keep in mind that you don’t have to head off on honeymoon as soon as you have married. If you're pushed for time after the wedding, consider a mini-moon closer to home and perhaps a longer break in a few months' time, this gives you a few more months to save up.
For more advice read our 5 tips for planning the perfect honeymoon for advice on planning the trip of a lifetime.