A Hobby-Focused Honeymoon Is Good for Your Relationship—Here's Why

Relaxing on the beach is nice, but you'll remember a more adventurous getaway forever.

Honeymooners Smiling on Boat Ride
Photo: Getty Images

The honeymoon is evolving: Thirty years ago, most honeymooners planned their trips around sitting on the beach; now, couples are selecting their destinations based on the activities and adventures they'd like to enjoy—and their relationships are benefiting from it. "The experiences you actually partake in make a way more lasting impression than that (fancy) hotel room," says Jim Augerinos, president of travel company Perfect Honeymoons.

Relationship research has shown that couples who partake in hobbies together are happier—both from the consistent excitement of staying active and the new perspective you gain on each other when you try something new. The same rules apply during your honeymoon, both for hobbies that you're passionate about and new activities that you're willing to try. Here, the experts weigh in on why planning a hobby-focused trip can be good for your marriage.

Activities create longer lasting memories.

Our memories might fade a bit over time, but the brain is able to more sharply remember activities that are exceptional or out of our typical routine says Jeremi McManus, a relationship coach and psychotherapist in San Francisco. Laying on the beach for days on end might not stick out in your mind, McManus says, but if we're pushed out of our comfort zone by experiencing a new activity— even one as simple as taking a cooking class, a wine tour, or a challenging hike with a breathtaking view at the end—we can retrieve that memory more quickly and therefore, relive the adventure and the emotions that came with it.

Seeing your partner in a new light offers insights.

In his practice, McManus tells couples, both new and seasoned, to try new experiences to see how your partner reacts in various situations. "The beauty of seeing them in a different environment is exciting," he says, which is the basis for preventing feelings of complacency which oftentimes happen when we fall into regular routines in long-term relationships. On the honeymoon, even if it's not a new activity you're trying, say you're both avid cyclers and you've booked a European biking tour, the act of doing the activity in a new location offers a different perspective on how someone will react to or handle a situation.

Planning together encourages compromising skills.

Not every couple has the exact same hobbies; for example, one person might love adventurous activities and would be open to sky diving while the other wants to go on a wine tour. The honeymoon is often the catalyst for one person to try something he normally wouldn't, says Augerinos. He once planned a honeymoon for a couple where the husband wanted to bike and the wife wanted to drink wine. The compromise was a cycle tour between vineyards in South Africa.

If a couple shares a passion for the same hobby, it makes the destination decision easier, he adds. "They are going to want to go to a place that offers the best experience," says Augerinos.

Overcoming challenges tightens your bond and encourages future challenges.

Experiencing a new activity is exciting, but if the activity is challenging—and something you must overcome together—that can strengthen your connection and enrich your experience. Plus, after accomplishing the activity, you'll feel more confident trying other activities together. Ziplining, snorkeling, doing escape rooms, hiking, biking and cooking classes, all these types of challenges will set the wheels in motion for something down the road, says McManus. What's more, it creates the mindset that "the two of us can take on challenges in the future," he adds

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