(Family Features) Wedding season is in full swing as many lovebirds resume their wedding and honeymoon plans coming out of two years of pandemic restrictions. With an estimated 4.7 million weddings expected to take place in 2022 and 2023, according to The Wedding Report, newlyweds are eager to celebrate their special nuptials with once-in-a-lifetime trips.
In fact, according to a survey of 1,500 couples by travel giant Expedia, 53% of couples plan to spend more on their honeymoons than originally budgeted, and 59% are interested in visiting a bucket-list destination. Plus, 65% are more likely to add a honeymoon fund to their wedding registry, prompted by the pandemic to prioritize a once-in-a-lifetime trip over traditional registry items.
For travelers planning an unforgettable escape, consider these popular international destinations and find the full list along with itineraries – complete with couple-friendly hotels and activities for two – at Expedia.com.
Straddling the line of beach and big city, Dubai, which is situated along the Persian Gulf within the Arabian Desert, offers a luxurious recipe for romance. As the largest city in the United Arab Emirates, there is much to see and do, including spending days on the beach, shopping, going on a camel safari in the Red Dune Desert, or exploring nearby Abu Dhabi and must-sees like Sheikh Zayed Mosque and Emirates Palace.
Located on the River Seine, Paris is one of the most romantic places in the world to honeymoon. If food is part of your love language, head to where the locals eat like Du Pain et des Idees for bread and pastries or Chez Imogene for crepes. Plus, no honeymoon is complete without a kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower – or views of the iconic landmark from Le Meurice, an Expedia VIP hotel located in the heart of historic Paris – and a visit to one of the many museums such as Musee du Louvre or Musee d’Orsay.
Dramatic volcanoes, lush jungles, pristine beaches, and a wide assortment of boutique-style luxury hotels come together on one of the easiest islands in the Caribbean to reach. A nature lover’s paradise, days can be spent basking on Sugar Beach or on the water. Aboard the Tout Bagay catamaran cruise and tour, you can explore the coast and historical town of Soufriere, take a mud bath in the only drive-in volcano in the Caribbean, snorkel, swim, and see Margot Bay and the twin peaks of the Petit and Gros Pitons.
With otherworldly, dramatic landscapes full of glaciers, volcanoes, waterfalls, and fjords as well as city action, outdoor activities, and spa experiences, the “Land of Fire and Ice” offers a perfect honeymoon smorgasbord. Celebrate your nuptials Icelandic-style with the seven-step ritual for two at Sky Lagoon, located just south of the capital city of Reykjavik, which is also home to Hotel Borg, a 99-room hotel with a full-service spa centrally located near additional attractions. Or maximize your time with a drive around the Golden Circle, a 186-mile route with views of Thingvellir National Park, Geysir Geothermal Area, and the Gullfoss waterfall, three of southwest Iceland’s top natural wonders.
Boasting more than 1,200 islands, the Maldives features a plethora of luxurious all-inclusive properties, most of which are on their own private islands. All the resorts offer aquatic experiences ranging from beginner snorkeling and sea turtle searching to world-class diving with hammerhead sharks as well as spas with everything from over-the-water treatment rooms with glass-bottom floors to private couples’ pavilions and romantic rose petal-filled soaking tubs.