Oh to honeymoon....to dream of honeymoons, plan honeymoons, read about honeymoons. It's glorious and exciting yet can be slightly overwhelming. Thankfully, for all you brides out there (and potential grooms having a nosey around) we have spoken to travel extraordinaire, wildlife fanatic and honeymoon expert Lizzie Pook.
Having written about honeymoon destinations for The Times, Condé Nast Traveller, BRIDES, You & Your Wedding and more, Lizzie kindly took out a moment out of her busy day as Stylist Magazine Travel Editor to fill us in on what travel destinations to look out for, why safaris are all the rage and a little bit about her love for wedding Prosecco!
TDT: So Lizzie, what is it about honeymoon travel that you love?
LP: I think there’s something so exciting about planning the biggest adventure of your life. When else can you be so no-holds-barred about something!? Nothing is off-limits with honeymoon travel. It doesn’t have to be insanely expensive either. I love that sense of occasion, whether you’re camping in a field or cruising around the Arctic.
TDT: What are 2020's top honeymoon destinations?
LP: think Namibia will be huge. It’s such a beautiful, safe, and easy-to-navigate country with some absolutely impeccable honeymoon-worthy accommodation. &Beyond’s new Sossusvlei Desert Lodge should be on everyone’s list and the soon-to-open Habitas Namibia looks really exciting too. If you like big, star-salted skies, sprawling deserts and fascinating wildlife, Namibia would be a great honeymoon choice.
I think Meghan and Harry’s move to Canada will also spark wanderlust in people. Canada is one of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful countries and offers so much honeymoon-wise, from a buzzy Vancouver city-break and wine-tasting tours in the sun-drenched Okanagan valley, to luxury train trips on the Rocky Mountaineer and polar bear-spotting in the remote Arctic town of Churchill in Manitoba.
Finally, I think people are getting more accustomed to the idea of having a cold honeymoon – somewhere like the new (and very striking) Arctic Bath Hotel in Swedish Lapland, or Norway for Northern Lights-hunting and cosy cocktails in front of the fire. Honeymoons no longer have to be beachy!
TDT: Which honeymoon trends do you love?
LP: I love the trend for staycations because, as well as being good for the planet, there’s less exhausting travel involved, yet still plenty of opportunity to have a ‘luxe’ escape. I think a Scottish Highlands road-trip is pretty idyllic, with a stay at the quirky Fife Arms Hotel and plenty of pub lunches. I was also really blown away by the Secret Suite at Gara Rock in Devon – a beautiful just-for-two bolt-hole with an outdoor hot tub, vast sea views and no phone signal!
TDT: What tips would you give couples planning theirs?
LP: Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Although there is a sense of occasion, it is, after all, just a holiday. I know couples who had disastrous honeymoons and they’ve gone on to have very lovely holidays (and marriages) after that. It’s not the be all and end all.
TDT: How long after the wedding should couples honeymoon?
LP: It’s personal preference. You may want to jet off right after your wedding, and that’s totally fine, just be prepared to be exhausted for the first half of your trip (I speak from experience). Obviously there’s a huge trend for mini or micro-moons just after the wedding and then a big, all-out honeymoon when you’ve had some time to settle after the stress and excitement of the wedding and perhaps save some money too. Great idea (and gives you something to look forward too if the post-wedding blues set in).
TDT: You have a passion for wildlife, would you recommend a wildlife trip for a honeymoon?
LP: I think it’s a great option but it depends how into wildlife you are. I’m a wildlife nut, so I had my honeymoon in Canada’s Great Bear Rainforest looking for grizzlies. But for some, this will be the most boring thing in the world. A good compromise is a safari. You’ll get a wildlife fix, plus some incredible accommodation, and plenty of down-time for sprawling in the sun and sipping on something potent.
TDT: Which wildlife destinations would you recommend?
LP: South Africa, Botswana, Canada and Australia (The Kimberley in northwest Australia is one of my favourite places on the planet).
TDT: What are your travel essentials?
LP: Binoculars, books, hiking boots, books, blister plasters, books, sporty swimming costume, did I mention books?
TDT: Now onto weddings Q's...favourite wedding you have attended?
LP: My twin sister’s wedding at Ashley Wood Farm in Tisbury, Wiltshire. It was filled with sun, laughter and love.
TDT: Favourite drinks to sip on at a wedding?
LP: I can drink Prosecco like it’s tap water (which is probably not a great thing to admit).
TDT: And finally, where did you go on honeymoon?
LP: In 2017 we went to British Columbia in Canada, spending time in Vancouver, Tofino (where we stayed at the glorious Wickaninnish Inn) and Whistler before heading up to the Great Bear Rainforest to get off-grid for a bit.
Follow @Lizziepook for more incredible travel inspiration.