In a relationship, you are offered the luxury of experiencing two honeymoon phases. The one being in the beginning of your relationship, when you've got butterflies in your stomach and a smile on your face that simply cannot be removed. And the second, the moment you've solidified your love for your partner and are now embarking on a celebration of a lifetime.

And while we love both of these exciting times, we're here to help you with everything you need to know about the latter. Plan your extended tryst with our extended answer guide on the 15 questions you have about your honeymoon.

Rome Italy

What is the history of a honeymoon?

There are actually two different versions as to how the word "honeymoon" came about.

The first version dates all the way back to the 5th century and it described the act of newlyweds drinking mead (honey wine) - which was said to have aphrodisiac properties, during the first moon of their marriage.

The second version says that it was first used in 1542 and comes from the Old English words, hony moone. "Hony" (honey), refers to the lifetime of pleasure experienced by newlyweds, and "moone" (moon) refers to how fleeting said-pleasure would actually be, just like the moon that changes phases so frequently.

In the latter, the word "hony moon" carried negative connotations and cynicism, and was said to be a warning to newlyweds about their seemingly perfect love story.

Additionally, the notion of the honeymoon wasn't always as luxurious as it is today. In fact, in Britain during the 19th century, a honeymoon meant that newlyweds would take the time to visit their family and friends who could not attend their wedding. It was only in the late 1800's that the honeymoon we know today, came into fruition.

Why do couples go on a honeymoon?

Luckily, the cynicism attached to the word "honeymoon" is no longer, and today, newlyweds enjoy this time for a number of reasons:

  • It's the perfect way to relax and get some much-needed alone time (and pampering) after planning a somewhat stressful wedding
  • It's a time for newlyweds to connect more intimately
  • It's a celebration of a couple's love for each other
  • It's a time to explore somewhere unknown as couples enter the new phase of their life together

couple in Paris

What are some of the most romantic locations for a honeymoon?

This of course depends on your personal taste, but some of the most romantic locations for a honeymoon are:

  • Bora Bora, French Polynesia for its its crystal-clear waters, mountains, and colourful fish. It was also named one of the best islands in the world.
  • Paris, France aka the city of love, that has rendered many a couple speechless due to its architecture, food, and art.
  • Venice, Italy is immensely popular for its romantic gondola rides, gorgeous canals, and rich history.
  • Harbour Island, Bahamas wows every time with its incredible beaches and pink sand, and is also a favourite among many a celeb such as Mick Jagger and Bill Gates.
  • Cape Town, South Africa is the perfect combination of beach and city, and is surrounded by mountains as well as wild landscapes. It also gives you the chance to go on a safari!
  • Santorini, Greece is a small island known for its incredible sunsets and beautiful whitewashed cubiform villas.
  • Cappadocia, Turkey is a dream location with seemingly endless landscapes, and offers couples the chance to view the city from atop via a hot air balloon.
  • The Maldives is a luxurious location that has secluded resorts, and amazingly crystal-clear waters that meet beautiful white sand.

And if you're looking for a gorgeous local getaway within the U.K. you should consider:

  • The Lake District, which is England's biggest national park and a magical location full of towering mountains, lakes, and stone cottages.
  • The Scottish Highlands, a location of rolling mountains, waterfalls, and castle ruins, and is a spectacular spot for newlyweds.
  • Causeway Coast, which can be found in Northern Island, boasts beautiful coastal villages and ancient castles, as well as gorgeous nature that'll add even more passion to your honeymoon.

couple drinking wine

How many days should I enjoy my honeymoon?

This solely depends on you and your partner, taking into account your budget, how much time you will get off work, and your personal preferences, but the average honeymoon lasts around 10 to 14 days.

How much should I be spending on a honeymoon?

There is no rule that dictates how much you should be spending on your honeymoon, and this should be decided against your budget and needs.

For a budget-friendly honeymoon you could be looking at around £1000, and this could include a week in a beautiful cottage in Cotswolds, including all expenses besides spending money.

For a medium-sized budget, around £5000 can get you a stunning two-week honeymoon in Thailand, all inclusive (excluding spending money).

For a more expensive and luxurious honeymoon, you could be looking at around £15,000 for a one-week getaway, all-expenses paid, in Bora Bora (excluding spending money).

Who should pay for my honeymoon?

In a traditional sense, it is the groom who should be paying for the honeymoon, as the wedding costs usually fall on the bride and her family. But today, the cost of a honeymoon usually falls on the couple who equally split the costs.

Additionally, the bride and groom could ask for donations or money as a wedding gift from their guests to use towards their honeymoon budget. This is partly because these days, newlyweds tend to move in together before their wedding, meaning that they're not so much in need of household items as wedding gifts.

Should I go for an all-inclusive honeymoon package?

This depends on you and your budget and personality. An all-inclusive honeymoon package is a great idea for a number of reasons. By opting for a package, you'll be able to leave all the details to the company providing the deal, and you can simply enjoy your honeymoon relatively stress-free.

What's also handy about an all-inclusive package is that it allows you to know your budget beforehand, making planning a bit better, and sometimes you can find really great deals that may even save you money.

On the flipside, if you're more of a go-with-the-flow type of couple who don't want everything planned out to the T, choosing to plan your honeymoon yourself is a great way to feel more in control of your itinerary. You could also choose cheaper options according to your budget and preference.

Do I have to change my passport before my honeymoon?

Having a valid passport is essential if you'll be traveling.

If you have (or plan to) legally changed your name, you will need to get a new passport from the HM Passport Office, and you can do this up to three months before your wedding ceremony. Your old passport will then become invalid while your new passport will be valid from the date of your wedding ceremony.

It's also important to know that some countries may not issue visas for post-dated passports (a passport that is issued by not yet valid).

How far in advance should I plan my honeymoon?

To be absolutely safe, it's advised to plan your honeymoon six to 12 months before your wedding day. If you're planning a destination wedding, allow more time to plan.

The earlier you start planning, the more organised you'll be, but then there's also the factor of plans or circumstances changing in which case you should consider travel insurance.

Additionally, some flight carriers and websites don't allow you to book flights more than one year in advance, in which case your chosen flight's price may fluctuate once confirmed.

woman on safari

What should you do on your honeymoon?

Absolutely anything you want! A honeymoon is a time for you and your partner to have a blast. So whether you're both avid hikers or adventure-seekers, or perhaps feel like spending a week in the spa, enjoying your time together is the only prerequisite of a honeymoon.

How long after your wedding should you celebrate your honeymoon?

This depends on a number of factors. Perhaps you've just celebrated a summer wedding in London but your chosen honeymoon destination in Cape Town, South Africa is in the middle of winter. For that reason, think about weather conditions in your chosen location before booking anything.

Then, your work also has an influence on when you can take your honeymoon, as perhaps you don't have time-off for the next few months, or maybe you work a seasonal job.

Another thing may be your finances. Perhaps you've just spent a hefty amount of money on your wedding day, and would need to take some time to save up for your dream honeymoon.

But, essentially, there are no rules as to when you should celebrate your honeymoon, and you can do so when the time is right for both of you.

Do I get (paid) time off work for my honeymoon?

Unfortunately, in the U.K. you do not get any additional time off work for your honeymoon. That means that you'll need to plan your romantic getaway during your vacation days.

How can I save money on my honeymoon?

It's all in the planning! Make sure to map out your details and plans beforehand, considering all costs before you actually confirm anything. Research and compare different travel sites, hotels, travel agents, and deals to find the one that best fits your budget.

You could also save on your honeymoon but choosing to celebrate it during an off-peak season, and by visiting cheaper countries such as Portugal, Vietnam, Croatia, Turkey, or Mexico.

Additionally, use Google Maps to check the distance from the airport to your hotel as well as the distance to the sights that you are hoping to see. Using taxis may get pricy, and it would be great to save costs on transport.

Where can I get inspiration for my honeymoon?

There are so many websites and platforms for you to find honeymoon inspiration. Consider Pinterest, Instagram, The Knot, bridal magazines, wedding blogs, and other wedding websites that will give you insights, tips and tricks, as well as inspiration for your lovely getaway.

What's the best time of the year to go on a honeymoon?

This all depends on what you're looking for as well as your budget. As previously stated, if you choose to go on your honeymoon during an off-peak season, you'll be able to save money and perhaps beat the big crowds. But you may also not be able to enjoy the full experience, as some tourist attractions may be closed during that time.

The weather also plays a big factor, as if you're looking for a summer or a winter honeymoon you would need to plan your dates according to that.

A little handy guide for those planning to visit:

  • Bora Bora: The best time to visit is May through October because of the perfect weather.
  • The Maldives: This island experiences monsoon season around May through October, so perhaps you want to avoid those dates.
  • Thailand: You can expect sunny skies and super summer days in Thailand from November through April.
  • Southern Italy and Greece: May through September is prime time for locations here, as the flowers are blooming and the weather is fantastic.

So, to those who've just tied the knot, we wish you endless happiness and tons of fun preparing your honeymoon of a lifetime!