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Romantic honeymoons on the horizon

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After Lindsay and Jacob Schwartz’s wedding on March 20, an AJT wedding announcement noted how the couple, after their little outdoor wedding reception in Young Harris, Ga., Had “mini-moon” in a Blue Ridge cabin and was expecting a honeymoon in the near future. The Schwartzes and others in the Atlanta metro area share how they chose to celebrate their honeymoon. AJT also consulted a travel agent for honeymoon advice and Atlanta-based Honeymoon Israel.

Primo plans for Punta Cana

The Schwartze have decided that their honeymoon, now scheduled for August, will be in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. After sifting through numerous photos and reviews online, as well as finding additional perks available to the honeymooners, they booked directly through the Excellence Hotel El Carmen and scheduled their flights through Delta.

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The day after their wedding in 2020, Valerie Kulbersh and Benjamin Myers had a picnic in a park.

They had originally planned a trip to Europe, but Lindsay said: “As the pandemic continued with most countries still not allowing Americans, we decided to stay closer to home.” They both wanted a “primo experience – all the bells and whistles.” A swim-up suite or a private pool was a must, ”she said. The resort they chose is all-inclusive, but they’ve upgraded to the Excellence Club option for additional lounges, a private beach, and additional dining.

It wasn’t until early May, after they were both fully vaccinated, that the couple began discussing when and where they would feel safe to travel. Later in the month, they planned their first plane trip since the start of the pandemic.

“The honeymoon seems to be a crucial part of the process of ‘getting married’ and of the official ‘closing’ of this chapter. It’s about time, and we are so excited to officially feel like ‘the newlyweds’!

Honeymoon one year to date

The pandemic didn’t just affect Valerie Kulbersh’s little wedding on July 1 in her husband’s grandmother’s backyard. But COVID also had an impact on Kulbersh and her husband Benjamin Myers who ended up with a non-traditional honeymoon at his parents’ house in Savannah right after their wedding. Located on the water, Kulbersh said the house has transformed into a cruise ship. Her parents-in-law took the orders for breakfast. The newlyweds had private and romantic dinners on the pier, were served drinks, and even played bingo. Plus, they had custom towel animals waiting for them on their beds each night. At the time, the couple were planning to go on an exotic honeymoon in the near future.

Initially, the couple were thinking of Iceland or the Greek Islands for their honeymoon, but wanted to wait until COVID was behind them, so they could “experience the destinations in all their glory,” said Kulbersh.

Puerto Rico has become a “highlight” for their honeymoon, scheduled for next month, on their first anniversary, Kulbersh said. The location fits their wishlist for exploring culture and history, experiencing outdoor adventures, and relaxing.

Visiting Valerie Kulbersh’s family in Israel was the couple’s first big trip in 2019.

After San Juan, they head to El Yunque National Forest for a day of hiking, then to Vieques Island for some beach time and to visit Mosquito Bay, which Kulbersh says is the ” the brightest bioluminescent bay in the world ”. The couple also wanted to stay in the United States due to COVID-related travel restrictions.

Not having a traditional honeymoon after their wedding, celebrating a year later seemed like a logical conclusion. “Last year seems to have lasted both a decade and gone by in five minutes, so our first anniversary has slipped away. We went ahead with honeymoon plans. That is, with the help of Amy Rosen, Vacation Consultant at Expedia Cruises in Alpharetta.

Honeymoon in Israel

Atlanta-based Honeymoon Israel takes couples with at least one Jewish partner to the Holy Land. Before the pandemic, three trips left Atlanta for Israel each year, including couples from 20 U.S. cities. The last trip to Atlanta was in January 2020 and the last HMI trip was a month later. HMI hopes to resume travel in the fall.

The couples spend nine days exploring Israel with 19 other couples from their city. The trip includes visits to the Western Wall, the Old City of Jerusalem, and the beaches of Tel Aviv, as well as meals with local families and meetings with senior officials and business leaders.

Hilary and Corey Sloane were part of HMI’s last trip to Atlanta, Israel before the pandemic, in January 2020. Hilary said: “While this trip would have been life-changing anytime, we are incredibly grateful to have been fortunate enough. to go. on HMI Atlanta in January 2020 before the world was shut down due to COVID. We have had the past year at home to reflect on our experience and begin to introduce new Jewish traditions to our family.

Courtesy of Honeymoon Israel // Atlanta’s Honeymoon Israel group at Ahava (love) sculpture in Jerusalem last year.

“We also had outdoor and social distance meetings with our HMI cohort that kept us from going crazy during quarantine! I would say the highlight of the trip was having the HMI community at home so we can all be there for each other during a tough year. Also, on my previous trips to Israel, I created my own connection with the country, but this was my husband’s first time. Seeing him discover a country I love for the first time was so special and brought us even closer than we were before we left, ”said Hilary, who recently started working with HMI. “The romantic views, delicious restaurants and beautiful hotels made this a honeymoon experience we will never forget!”

Emerging destinations

Alli Allen, a consultant at Travel Edge in Atlanta, specializes in luxury travel planning.

She said travel counselors are especially valuable lately, as travel now involves carefully navigating COVID testing requirements and protocols, which differ by destination and change often. Travel counselors keep abreast of news, trends and policies affecting travel around the world, “ensuring that the honeymoon is smooth and worry-free,” she said .

Newlyweds can benefit from the flexible cancellation / refund policies currently in place due to COVID’s influence on the travel industry, Allen said. However, Allen still recommends purchasing travel insurance as it covers travelers before and during your trip. “No one wants to be sick or injured in a foreign country, lose their luggage or have to cancel at the last minute, lose their investment in the trip – especially on your honeymoon.”

Alli Allen tracks elephants in Namibia.

To research honeymoon adventures and travel to exotic locations, Allen visits destinations and checks hotels and itineraries in places such as Australia, Europe and Namibia, an emerging travel destination in Southern Africa. .

Allen said follies particularly popular with honeymooners include “indulging in a private pool, staying in an overwater bungalow, enjoying a yacht transfer, or booking a private cooking class.”

Lindsay Schwartz summed up how it felt about honeymoon plans with her husband. “I hope this will be the first of our many post-pandemic adventures together.”

Other newlyweds planning a honeymoon in the coming year might also agree.