Hello, CKE Readers! Rosalyn Cooper here, Founder and Lead Travel Consultant at Social Butterfly Express. I work with couples, families, and groups of all sizes on planning dream romance and recreational trips, including destination weddings, honeymoons, anniversary trips, girls/guys trips - you name it! I build strong and lasting connections with my clients, so it’s not uncommon for me to be a long-term part of their journeys (both literally and figuratively speaking!) from wedding to honeymoon to family vacations and beyond.
Traditionally speaking, this path starts with the wedding or honeymoon, then my clients head back to reality at home before the travel itch strikes again and we start planning their next trip. But as our “new normal” takes shape - complete with closed borders, travel advisories, and gathering restrictions - couples and families alike are forced to go back to the drawing board on their original plans and get creative with alternatives...and what we’ve seen emerge are modern new twists on traditional romance travel! Step aside, honeymoon, SBE is over the moon for these alternative “moon” trips!
This year especially, we’ve seen a lot of couples who have been forced to postpone or change their honeymoon plans. But postponing the dreamy honeymoon you’ve been planning into next year or beyond doesn’t mean you can’t get away in the meantime! Mini-moons are becoming increasingly popular these days for couples to take as they put off going on their actual honeymoon for a year. Mini-Moons are usually less than a week long to distances typically within a short drive or flight away from home. Your Mini-Moon can be accomplished right in your own backyard! Another bonus - this gives you a really cool opportunity to get a whole new perspective or appreciation for the region you live in.
Social Butterfly Express is based in Cleveland OH, which is just under a 2 hour drive away from one of our favorite Mini-Moon destinations, Belamere Suites in Perrysburg, OH. The short travel time is especially convenient for couples who want to leave for their trip the day after their wedding while remaining somewhat close to home. . Belamere Suites offers romantic private suites that fit all comfort levels. Upon check in, you will receive your keys and garage door opener from the front desk, allowing for a quick check in process to kick off your unplugged, romantic mini-moon. One major plus about Belamere Suites is that there are no windows which means complete privacy (wink, wink!)
Pro Tip: Belamere Suites books up fast and offers reservations up to a year in advance. The good news isyou’re not charged until a week before your arrival date.
Belamere’s most popularly requested suite is The Grand Royal Swimming Pool Suite. This suite comes with your own private swimming pool (perfect for maintaining social distancing), continental breakfast and so much more. Take advantage of adding surprise amenities that will ramp up the romance such as rose petals, candles, chocolate covered strawberries and so much more. Feel free to bring some of your own personal items to make your stay as comfortable and romantic for you and your significant other. You can get out for a date night by dining at one of the nearby restaurants, or since many of those restaurants maintain partnerships with Belamere Suites, you can also enjoy the same great eats in the privacy of your suite with their in-room dining options.
For a short drive west, Belamere Suites is a great option for keeping the romantic flame burning bright!
Pro Tip: Special rates are available for stays Sunday-Thursday.
Some of us are lucky enough to have those friends that we do EVERYTHING with. If you and your bestie fall into that category, you’re going to love this idea! Are you and some of your closest friends getting married around the same time? Have you thought about celebrating an anniversary together with your closest friends? If your answer is Yes, then a Buddymoon is just for you. Buddymoons are all about having the right positive people around you as you celebrate your love, just as you enthusiastically celebrate theirs! This works out great for a small, close-knit group of friends and their significant others. Just like any other group-vacation planning, it’s important to make sure the dates and locations are in alignment with each other’s schedules. Take extra consideration with the itinerary for Buddymoon trips as well. You and your squad may be used to getting together spontaneously and seeing where the nights take you, but for Buddymoon trips, it’s important to have a balance between interactive excursions for the whole group, as well as individual downtime with your significant other.
Pro Tip: Keep your Buddymoon group to a max of three couples to keep it very intimate.
The vision that I see when clients ask about planning a Buddymoon is a small boutique style resort that has less than 100 suites. Welcome home to Jade Mountain St. Lucia!! Jade Mountain is an Adults Only Resort with 79 suites that rise above an exclusive 600 acre beachfront estate, fit for royalty AND a Buddymoon. The sanctuaries on the resort definitely live up to their celestial names - they are OUT OF THIS WORLD! Plus, they all come with private infinity pools with breathtaking views of the mountains. For group excursions, try a private sunset catamaran cruise or explore the rainforest via bicycle. Take your romantic level up a notch by starting your day with a private in-suit sunrise massage. Totally dreamy, right? Jade Mountain is one of SBE's most requested resorts in St. Lucia and I always try to include a special surprise for my clients upon arrival.
Pro Tip: Try to coordinate so your entire party can book everything at the same time. This will help ensure you’re all on the same flight, and in many cases will also allow you to take full advantage of payment plans.
We all know how the song goes “First comes love. Then comes marriage.Then comes baby in the baby carriage”. Babymoons are the latest trend for mothers-to-be opting to take one last trip with their partner before their new bundle of joy arrives. Now, this is a trip that is going to require a bit more careful consideration than usual, especially related to the destination you choose and when you choose to go. Pregnancy symptoms vary by individual, but generally speaking, traveling domestically within your second trimester tends to work out best. Of course before you hit the book button, check in with your doctor to make sure that it's safe for you to travel, and keep them on speed dial.
Pro Tip: Take extra precaution by researching the area you’ll be traveling to and writing down a list of hospitals near your hotel or vacation rental before you leave. You can share this information with your doctor before you leave, and make sure you and whoever you’re traveling with has easy access to your doctor’s contact info.
Now that you’ve been cleared to travel by your doctor, it's time to select a destination. This is the fun part! Road tripping tends to be a great option for pregnant travelers as it allows for you to stop as many times as needed along the way. Grab some extra pillows and blankets that you can use to make yourself comfortable during the ride, and of course, pack your favorite pregnancy munchies to snack on along the way! If you’re thinking of traveling by air, keep the flights short and look for direct flight to avoid layovers. One of our favorite Babymoon destinations is The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina . This beautiful oceanfront hotel is only 21 miles from Charleston, SC, and honestly gives you the same vibe you’d get if you travelled internationally. They most definitely take care of the parents-to-be by offering a Babymoon package that includes a garden-view room, daily breakfast, a massage for the expecting mom and so much more. It's important that couples enjoy this time together and create new memories that they can look back on, and The Sanctuary is the perfect environment for this sacred time together!
Pro Tip: Create special moments by doing a mini maternity photoshoot right on the beach or golf course.
Whichever phase of the “moon” you’re headed for next, Social Butterfly Express would love to help you plan the perfect getaway to celebrate these precious milestones and more! Visit socialbutterflyexpress.com to get in touch, and let’s chat about making your “moon” memorable today!
Social Butterfly Express specializes in 100% custom travel experiences including destination weddings, honeymoons, bachelor/bachelorette parties, anniversary trips, and more! Get your custom quote here, and let us help make your travel dreams a reality!