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A beautiful forrest road

How to rethink your COVID honeymoon. Road trips, staycations & more.

Ollie, Co-Founder of Hitchd
Ollie from Hitchd
Jul 20, 20208 min read

When the coronavirus pandemic began, many couples faced terrible disappointments as they were forced to cancel their honeymoons. But now that some countries have been able to get the coronavirus outbreaks under control, couples are starting to get creative with planning their honeymoons.

According to a new search from the home rental site, Airbnb, the travel industry is slowly beginning to rebound in some areas with an emphasis on local economies. Instead of welcoming tourists, Airbnb and other travel companies are looking to help people travel within their own communities.

Some stats about Australian travellers the company found include:

  • Almost half of all Australian respondents want to stay within a day's drive for their first trip.
  • Out of town is the way to go. Most Australians want to head to the beach or the countryside, even though winter is fast approaching.
  • Half of Australians want to visit family or friends for their first trips.

With cities and towns slowly reopening, couples are starting to look local for fun honeymoon ideas that help them relax and celebrate their unions. Whether it's a road trip, a staycation or a domestic holiday, these honeymoon ideas for the coronavirus pandemic pack in tons of fun and romance while keeping partners safe and healthy.

Here's how to make these honeymoons all your own.

A road trip honeymoon

Between a plane, train or car ride, a car ride is still the safest mode of transportation at the moment. You don't have to worry about other people coming in and out of your vehicle, and you can wipe it down every time you enter.

For this reason, many couples are choosing to take road trip honeymoons this year. Even a short hour or two-hour drive gets you away from business-as-usual at home and into a place where you and your partner can relax and enjoy each other's company.

Your Hitchd honeymoon fund will come in handy here as you and your partner map out a route and choose where to stay. Your family members and friends will want to know that you've changed honeymoon plans, so update your site and let them know how you'll be using their gifts.

Create your honeymoon road trip now. Start your registry

Choosing a destination

If you're planning to stay overnight in another town or city, then you need to be aware of what their coronavirus situation is. If cases begin to rise, then you'll want to call off your trip and either reschedule or go somewhere new. Follow news outlets in that area on social media and look for daily updates on cases and deaths.

Keep your destination to a three-hour radius from your home. That gets you far enough away to feel like you're on vacation, but the drive isn't so unbearable that you and your partner argue over who will drive. You can always make stops at parks or hiking trails along the way.

Where to stay

Hotels are always an option but don't forget about vacation rentals. The cost of a hotel room may actually be more expensive than renting a person's home for a weekend.

A private rental also gives you control over who comes in and out of the home and limits potential exposure to the virus. Without other guests or staff members, you and your partner can feel free to take off your masks and enjoy the bathrooms and outdoor spaces without worry.

Before you arrive, speak with your host and ask about how many guests will be in the home in the two weeks prior to your arrival and what their cleaning routine is like. Ask to be updated if anything changes. When you do arrive, do your own cleaning or common surfaces, such as doorknobs, remotes, sinks and toilets. Open the windows to air out the house and try to spend some extra time outdoors.

Driving COVID safe

You know your car better than anything, but for two weeks prior to leaving for your trip, don't share rides with anyone. Keep the windows down while driving for a while to air out the car. This will help ensure that you and your partner aren't sitting with the coronavirus while you drive.

You should also have a disinfectant in your car to wipe down surfaces such as car handles and the steering wheel. Wipe down every time you enter your vehicle and use hand sanitizer before starting your car.

If you rent a car, wipe it down before getting inside. Most car rentals are cleaning their cars when they're returned, but you never know when someone might have been in a rush and skimped on the cleaning job. Use a disinfectant and wipe down the steering wheel, door handles, console and seat belts before driving away.

A staycation honeymoon

Never underestimate the power of a staycation honeymoon. It's a time when couples set their phones to do-not-disturb and leave the chores for another week. A staycation honeymoon can be especially fitting for couples who are essential workers and cannot quarantine for two weeks following a holiday.

A staycation honeymoon may seem less exciting, but it can be a fun way to enjoy some downtime with your partner and further explore your city or town. Here are just a few options to make your local stay more exciting:

  • Try out the fanciest restaurants in town:
    You and your partner might usually skip the nicer restaurants in place of your old favorites, but now's the time to step out in style under some candlelight.
  • Check out local hiking and biking trails:
    When was the last time you explored the local hiking or biking trails around your home? Lace-up your hiking shoes and fill up your water bottle before heading out together.
  • Invest in your favorite activities:
    Love to play board games? Swing by a store and pick out a new game. Like to cook together? Go all out and make a gourmet dinner together. This is about spending time together, so invest in activities that you love to do together and splurge a little.

As with any other time that you're home, wear your mask when going in and out of stores and wash your hands as soon as you get home. Keep six feet apart indoors and wash your mask regularly.

Don't forget to use your Hitchd money to throw an amazing staycation honeymoon. Any dinner or drink gifts can still be used — just update your site — and your airline gifts can be used for gas money. When you write your thank-yous, let your friends and family members know how you spent your gift and how you loved every second of your staycation honeymoon.

A domestic honeymoon

If you live in a country where new daily cases and deaths are low, then it may be safe for you to travel by train or airplane to cities around the country. This is a great opportunity to check out cities and regions of your country that you might otherwise overlook. Even smaller, less popular cities have plenty of activities, and if you and your partner make an effort, you two can enjoy a romantic, relaxing honeymoon.

Domestic honeymoons are great for couples who want to use their Hitchd honeymoon funds without changing the types of gifts listed on their sites. If you've already built your profile, update it with your new destination.

Airport/Train safety during COVID

Your biggest hurdle with a domestic honeymoon is going to be the airport. While most airports are seeing significantly less traffic than usual, it's still going to be hard to keep six feet apart from others at all times.

Because of this, wearing your mask will be key. Wear it while going through security and throughout your flight. Though it may be uncomfortable at times, research shows that wearing a mask severely limits the spread of the virus.

When you sit down in the terminal or on the plane or train, wipe down the seat and armrests as best as you can. This may be difficult while you try to board, so talk with your partner to determine who will wipe and who will take care of your carry-on. Don't forget to wipe down trays and any other surfaces you might touch.

Since you'll be in close contact with so many people for a while, it may be impossible to go for so long without touching your face. Pack extra hand sanitizer and use it if you need to adjust your mask or scratch your nose.

Start your honeymoon staycation. Start your registry

Being COVID-safe at a hotel

You may not be able to stay at an Airbnb or a friend's vacation home, but you can still be safe while staying in a hotel. Before booking a hotel, read through their safety guides and practices — most will post them on their websites — to learn more about what the hotel will be doing to keep the rooms and common areas clean. If you cannot find guidelines, call the hotel for more information — or move onto another location. No honeymoon is worth putting your health at risk.

Whenever you're in the lobby, elevator, hallway or common area, wear your mask and wash your hands when you return to your room. If you're leaving the hotel, use hand sanitizer when you get outside. You'll be touching handles and doorknobs with everyone else, so try to prepare yourself.

Common areas can be tricky at hotels. Fitness centers and lounging areas indoors will be risky because there are so many surfaces, and you'll be sitting or working out in tight spaces with others. Avoid these spaces and instead spend more time at the pool outside. Choose a spot six feet away from others and wipe down your lawn chair before you sit.

Your mask might not match your bathing suit, but you should bring it anyway. Whether you should wear it will depend on how big the pool area is and how many people are around. A large space with few people means a much lower risk of infection, but if more people spread out their own towels, then you'll want to mask up.

Precautions to take on your COVID honeymoon

Even if you and your partner plan the ultimate staycation, you still need to take precautions with your health and that of those around you.

Here are a few COVID honeymoon tips that will keep you and your partner feeling healthy and happy:

  • Pack extra masks:
    You always want to have extra masks on hand in your car, purse, bag or house. Wash them regularly and always keep a few spares lying around.
  • Wash your hands when coming back in from outside:
    Whether you're returning to your hotel or home, wash your hands as soon as you can.
  • Stock up on hand sanitizer:
    When a sink isn't available, give your hands a squirt of hand sanitizer. Leave some carefully packed away in your car, bag and purse.
  • Make your own disinfectant:
    A disinfectant can be kept in your car or suitcase so that you can spray down luggage handles, car doors and steering wheels.
  • Stay or return home if you feel sick:
    Early symptoms of COVID-19 include dry coughing, sneezing, fever and shortness of breath. If you feel any of these symptoms, stay home and contact your doctor for advice on what to do.
  • Try to quarantine for two weeks when you come home:
    Even if you were careful and live in an area with few infections, not everyone is as considerate and cautious. While you may not be able to quarantine with your work schedule, try to work from home if possible. If you can't, wear your mask in your place of work, if it's not already required. At the very least, avoid seeing friends and family members for two weeks.

Follow these tips and you and your partner will feel safe no matter where you choose to spend your honeymoon.

When all is said and done, a honeymoon means spending quality time together. It doesn't matter whether you're making a gourmet dinner in your kitchen together or sitting in a fancy restaurant halfway across the world. What matters is that you take the time together and treasure it.

Your Hitchd honeymoon fund can be used at home or abroad. All that matters is you and your partner get the much-needed alone time that you deserve.

Create your honeymoon road trip now. Start your registry

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