Should You Take a Mini-Moon?

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bride and groom kissing inside a vintage red Chevrolet car

If you have any friends who’ve gotten married in recent months or years, you’ve probably heard at least one of them talking about planning a mini-moon. Growing in popularity, a mini-moon (i.e. a short, or “mini,” honeymoon) is a nice solution for couples who want to take a more extravagant trip sometime later on (maybe after they’ve recouped some of their wedding expenses), but still want to celebrate with their new spouse right after the wedding. But what really are the differences between regular honeymoons and mini-moons, and how do you know whether one is right for you?

To satisfy our need-to-know, we asked our friends at Honeymoons.com to give us the scoop on mini-moons. First they tell us about what makes mini-moons so great, and then they share some inspiration for perfect mini-moon destinations that are close to home and reachable with easy, inexpensive flights or drives. So read on for all you need to know about planning this style of short-and-sweet getaway.

Q: What exactly is a mini-moon?

Great mini-moons are everything that perfect honeymoons are: romantic, fun, and unforgettable. They’re just shorter and closer to home, meaning you can fit one in without using up all the sick days from your job, boarding your pets long-term, or coming home to an empty bank account.

Q: Why should a couple take a mini-moon?

Time is money, and the average honeymooner is short on both. If you can’t take two weeks off of work, or just have a smaller budget, a mini-moon is the perfect solution! That’s why it’s no surprise that 3- to 4-night mini-moon trips are becoming more and more popular with newlywed couples. These reasons alone are great ones to opt for the mini-moon experience. But if you aren’t convinced, here are a few others!

Remembering Sweet Honeymoon Moments

A long, action-packed honeymoon is great. But if you’re constantly on the move going from tour to tour, restaurant to restaurant, or even country to country with no time to stop and smell the roses, the different parts of your honeymoon often lump together in your memory. This makes it hard to remember the sweet little moments in between.

With a mini-moon, those simple but romantic moments that really make the trip special are fresh and clear in your minds. And romance is what honeymoons are all about!

Less Planning = Less Stress

As much fun as longer honeymoons are, they can be a pain to plan. And more planning and budgeting means more stress. Booking honeymoon packages reduces the planning you need to do on your own, but whether or not you spring for a package, mini-moons keep planning and budgeting stress to a bare minimum. And after the chaos and expense of wedding planning, and the wedding itself, every couple could use a little less stress.

With mini-moons, you never fall into the trap of an over-expensive, over-planned honeymoon. The honeymoon should be your time to get away and relax, and if you can’t stop thinking about expenses during your honeymoon, the trip may have the opposite effect.

bride and groom in casual clothes holding hands in front of a harbor

Photo Credit || Couple Cups

You Can Get a Free Mini-Moon

The best part about taking a mini-moon is that, since they cost less, a honeymoon registry like Zola makes it possible to fund the entire thing without paying a single dime out of pocket. Using honeymoon funds from your Zola registry, you can accept cash from your wedding guests to spend on flights, gas, dining, activities, and anything else your honeymoon hearts desire. While this is also possible for a longer, more traditional type of honeymoon, with mini-moons it’s even easier to pull off!

Q: Which mini-moon destinations do you recommend?

For honeymoon ideas that fall into the mini-moon category, look no further—we gathered five of our favorite mini-moon destinations below!

Florida

From the Florida Keys and Disney World to the Paradise Coast, Florida is a perfect close-to-home destination with all the tropical fun you can handle. The idyllic islands of the Keys are great for beach bums, the Paradise Coast combines outdoor adventures in the Everglades with chic shopping and restaurants of Naples, and Orlando’s theme parks are ideal for letting your inner child run wild. An easy flight or drive from many locations in the United States, Florida is a tropical mini-moon heaven.

bride and groom on a beach with groom hugging bride from behind

Photo Credit || Limelight Photography

Colorado

For couples that love outdoor adventure, Colorado is a mini-moon gem. The city of Denver is hip, youthful, and surrounded by mountains where you can ski, snowboard, hike, raft, or bike the days away before coming back into the city for romantic date nights that take advantage of Denver’s diverse nightlife scene. Boulder is smaller, with a creative and quirky vibe, and is surrounded by stunning mountain scenery.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans is a romantic wonderland where live music is so ubiquitous, sometimes you don’t even have to go see it—it literally comes to you just walking down the street.

Swing your hips and sip bourbon to the sweet sound of jazz and blues crooners. Dunk sugar-covered beignets into chicory coffee in a romantic garden café. Explore the mystery of the local voodoo culture, and dine on unique Cajun and Creole cuisine like gator and New Orleans po’ boy sandwiches. There’s just nowhere else on earth like The Big Easy!

bride and groom touching noses sitting on a front porch

Photo Credit || Arte de Vie

Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Beautiful beaches, incredible seafood, and a laid-back, old fashioned vibe make Cape Cod a perfect mini-moon. Straight and LGBTQ couples alike will love the fun, funky, and very gay-friendly Provincetown. Other charming little New England towns with an old-timey feel, like cute Hyannis, artsy Wellfleet, and historic Sandwich, are great areas to relax and explore. Expect beaches galore, locally-owned ice cream joints, incredible seafood, and a quiet lifestyle all around.

International Mini-Moon Destination: Cancun, Mexico

For an international destination that’s still close enough to home to be a mini-moon, look no further than Mexico. Popular destinations like Cancun are easy to reach with a relatively short flight and offer beaches, dining, nightlife, shopping, and cultural treasures like Mayan ruins and nature parks all close by. Honeymoon packages at major resorts make planning a breeze, and include all the typical honeymoon goods at an affordable, mini-moon-friendly price.

International Mini-Moon Destination: Montreal, Canada

For couples that seek an international mini-moon and aren’t interested in Mexico, Montreal is as exciting, romantic, and cosmopolitan a city as they come. Local languages include French and English, and local charms include cobblestoned streets, gorgeous 18th-century architecture, a lively international dining scene, and old-timey plazas to romance and share kisses. Relax at a French café, hit up one of the city’s many museums, or visit during summer and explore on foot to soak up the festive atmosphere.

These honeymoon ideas are just a few of our favorite mini-moons. But with a country as huge and diverse as the United States, the possibilities are limited only by your imagination. Find your favorite mini-moon, fund it with a honeymoon registry from Zola, and get ready for the (mini) honeymoon of your dreams!

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