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In search of the weird, the wonderful and the Instagrammable, Millennial and Gen Z couples are increasingly rejecting traditional honeymoon hotels in favour of home stays booked through peer-to-peer platforms like Airbnb, Love Home Swap and Beds on Board.
Patchwork honeymoon fund reports 44% of newlyweds using their site are renting and/or swapping homes rather than booking a hotel stay. (up 25% from 2018).The sharing economy has empowered this new generation of newlyweds to build a honeymoon free from the old parameters and redefine what luxury means to them. Olivia Knight, Founder of Patchwork says, "Adventurous newlyweds choose sites like Airbnb rather than a traditional hotel because they allow them to experience everything from budget-friendly bell tents, canal boats and beach huts to high-end designer homes."
Factors influencing the trend:
The cost of UK weddings
Increasing wedding costs combined with increasing financial insecurity means couples are becoming more resourceful and creative with their available honeymoon budgets and holiday home rentals/swaps are a great option.
Adventure seeking millennials
The latest ONS report says over 90% of newlyweds already live together. They've holidayed together many times and want their honeymoons to be a once in a lifetime adventure rather than just another 'fly and flop' hotel on a beach. Jason Ludlow from Beds on Board says "Newlyweds today want something different, they want a romantic, personal and intimate stay but they also want to feel a sense of adventure. We're seeing happy couples booking boat-stays as a way to enjoy a honeymoon adventure in style and create lasting memories."
Brands like Airbnb have redefined the meaning of luxury with millennial and Gen Z honeymooners rejecting large, lavish hotels in city centres in favour of local, intimate, laid-back experience of renting a designer home. House rentals mean couples can save money with DIY breakfasts and picnic lunches and then splash out on Michelin star restaurants.
Instagram addiction and social media snooping means couples can look into other people's lives and homes in a way never imagined before. Life envy can easily be cured temporarily by renting someone's amazing home - even if it is just for a honeymoon.