When planning a honeymoon, there are a lot of options to choose from. We talked with Lonely Planet's book editor, Jessica Cole on their new guidebook, The Honeymoon Handbook, which shares an array of tips and destinations.
ATHLEISURE MAG: Tell us about Lonely Planet.
JESSICA COLE: Lonely Planet is the world's leading travel guide publisher. Along with guidebooks and ebooks to almost every destination on the planet, we also produce a range of gift and reference titles, an award-winning website and magazine and a range of digital travel products and apps. All of them are designed to help travelers discover the world. They'll find destination overviews, independently and trusted reviews on restaurants, accommodation, sights and activities, and practical information.
AM: What is the thought process behind The Honeymoon Handbook?
JC: Getting married is the most socially accepted excuse in the world to throw off the bowlines and plan your ultimate dream trip. But planning such a big trip is a huge undertaking. We know that not all honeymooners want to lie on a beach for a fortnight: more couples than ever before are looking for adventure and activities on their honeymoons. So we made a book full of inspiration, ideas, destination guides and advice for how to plan the trip of a lifetime to set marriage off to a magical start.
AM: The Honeymoon Handbook tackles familymoons, minimoons etc - what trends are emerging in the category?
JC: Unique is the new normal: honeymooners no longer want to settle for a one-size-fits-all package vacation. They want the perfect trip that suits them, which means familymoons and minimoons are becoming more and more popular, along with other unique and custom itineraries. Couples are seeking more experiential activities and adventure for their special trip.
AM: How did you select the destinations that you included in the book?
JC: We wanted to incorporate trips that worked for everyone, no matter what you love and when you want to go. So our destinations cover everything from city fun in frenetic Tokyo to Caribbean island-hopping and tapas-sampling in Andalucia.
AM: Did you conduct surveys from couples who planned their honeymoon?
JC: We know plenty of those, either embarking or just back from their honeymoon trips, and with this anecdotal research we formed ideas about what matters to honeymooners now, which places are becoming more popular, and what activities couples are looking for. We pinpointed trends for romantic getaways to feature the most up-to-date, relevant and practical advice possible.
AM: Did your team travel to the destinations while researching for this book?
JC: Lonely Planet has hundreds of writers out on the road for us, many of whom contributed to The Honeymoon Handbook. These writers know the world incredibly well and are constantly roaming, researching and discovering new places and the latest trends so that we can deliver the best travel information to our readers.
AM: What destinations in this book are your favorites?
JC: Having taken my own honeymoon only last October, I have a very soft spot for Tokyo and the Mount Fuji region! The food was beyond wonderful, and Japan is a beautiful and unique country. It was a culture we had never explored before, which is just what we wanted! Another firm favorite for a different sort of trip entirely is Sri Lanka - it has wonderful beaches, diverse national parks, out-of-this-world landscapes and the friendliest people I've ever met.
AM: Do you anticipate making this book annually?
JC: The title will probably be a one-off, but with every reprint - which might happen once or several times a year - we update the information inside it, so readers can be promised accurate and up-to-the-minute information.
AM: What 3 tips do you feel are essential for couples to remember regardless of their honeymoon spot?
JC: 1. Choose a destination that works for you both - and don't feel you have to cave to others' expectations of what a honeymoon 'should' be. Trust your instincts of what you two will love the best.
2. Mix up your activities - indulge in luxury treats, but don't overlook the budget options - you might find it's the more down-to-earth experiences that will help create memories that last a lifetime
3. Don't be shy! Tell people you're on your honeymoon. You might be surprised to discover how happy others are to make you feel special.
Read more from the Jan Issue