Travel agents talk what is trending after the wedding festivities
By Weam Namou
oneymoon is a concept that dates back to the fifth century in European cultures when time was measured in moon cycles. Couples were provided with a “moon,” approximately one month’s worth of mead which is an alcoholic honey wine. The idea was for couples to drink it together to help form sexual intimacy.
Honeymoons changed over time. In the nineteenth century, couples in Britain spent their honeymoon on a bridal tour, where they visited friends and family who could not attend the wedding ceremony. Many couples in the Middle East, some even in the United States, didn’t even know what a honeymoon was. In modern times, honeymoons became a romantic and even a luxury affair. Today’s couples invest a great deal of thought, time, and money into their honeymoon destination.
As the wedding season approaches, we consulted with a few travel experts on what the favorite honeymoon spots are. Of course, much depends on the couples’ interests, whether they’re looking to lounge on beautiful beaches or have an adventurous or exotic experience. Several other important factors help couples determine their destination.
“It all depends on the season the couple is going and on the budget,” said Amira Bajoka, owner of Rena Travel & Tours which is named after her daughter Rena, a family physician. The travel agency has been in business for 30 years and is located in Bajoka Plaza at 34528 Dequindre Rd. It will open another location this spring between Haggerty and M5 on Maple Road.
One popular resort, for example, is the Caribbean – Jamaica, Punta Cana, and St. Lucia – because they provide all-inclusive trips.
“Honeymooners love all inclusive,” said Cathy Daldin, owner and travel consultant at Shamrock Travel located at 413 S Main St., Rochester and has been in business for more than 29 years. “It takes away any worry about how much it is going to cost when you are there. Many of the all-inclusive options can be adult only resorts. They really like those.”
Daldin said that Hawaii is another popular destination for honeymooners. But while the island’s clear water, tropical sunsets and lavish greenery makes it a really romantic getaway, it is not all-inclusive.
“I have booked many honeymoons to Europe,” she said. “That is an option for people who are more adventurous.”
There are numerous favorite European destinations for newlyweds, some which include Santorini, Greece, a small volcanic island known for its striking sunsets and virgin whitewashed villas; Venice, Italy with its gondola rides through the Grand Canal that sail past historic buildings; and Paris, France, known for its architecture, food, and art.
Bajoka has numerous specials to Rome, Paris, and Greece, but she has a particularly special offer in Rome. She said, “For those going to Rome, we arrange a private audience with the Pope so the couple can meet him personally.”
Daldin says that the more affordable destinations are Cancun/Riviera Maya in Mexico. Punta Cana can be better priced depending on the resort. And before you plan, keep in mind that the recent hurricanes have had an impact on the US Virgin Islands, St. Martin and Puerto Rico.
“I also like to see if they are into staying in the US,” Daldin said. “If so, then I can find something romantic but a place that fits their budget and the activities they like.”
There are many beautiful US cities to explore and enjoy including three in California - Palm Springs, San Diego or Monterey. There’s St. Augustine in Florida and Martha’s Vineyards in Massachusetts.
Bajoka advises couples to come in person to talk about their travel plans because these trips require great preparation and details. She adds, “We’re wholesalers and we’ll beat any price.”
Bajoka also specializes in Christian and other unique tours. In May 2017, she had a trip for couples who renewed their vows at a Church in Israel. December she took a group of fifty people to the Basilica of our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, Mexico, and in May, she’s doing a ten day exploration of the Holy Land.
Regardless of the trip the couples choose to go on, it’s important to keep in mind that how they treat each other while there is what will make the honeymoon memorable. Honeymoons are intended to help the couples relax and have fun, but more importantly, to establish a strong, enjoyable, and lifelong union.