In search of the weird, the wonderful and the instagrammable, millennial 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.
44% of newlyweds on Patchwork 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. Couples are not just using peer-to-peer platforms like ours to ‘crowd-fund’ their honeymoons, they’re also using sharing economy businesses to organise their entire trip.
We think adventurous newlyweds choose sites like Airbnb rather than a traditional hotel because it allows them to experience everything from budget-friendly bell tents, canal boats and beach huts to high-end designer homes.
What’s causing this change of behaviour?
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. Hamish Shephard, Bridebook.co.uk founder, says: “Brexit anxiety means couples are reducing wedding budgets working collaboratively with suppliers to cut costs”. While Love Home Swap say members save 90% on travel costs using a peer-to-peer home rental platform.
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.”
Luxury redefined: Brands like Airbnb have redefined the meaning of luxury with millennial 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.
Life envy: 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.
Patchwork Couples who are leading this trend:
Daley North and Natalie Punter North, both 27 from London
Natalie and Daley used Patchwork to crowdfund a honeymoon road trip from LA to Vegas and stayed in Airbnbs all along the route. This rental was a favourite.
“We booked our honeymoon accommodation through Airbnb. Our favourite was this amazing apartment in downtown LA called the Rosemary. It was so much better than a hotel because we met loads of permanent residents and got insider info on where to go, what’s cheap, fun or free and where has short queues etc. We use Airbnb because we like feeling like we live where we’re visiting – full emersion.”
John and Kristy Husband 27 and 29 from Lymington, Hampshire
“We wanted something very different to celebrate our wedding and start our honeymoon in style. A boat-stay ticked all our boxes. We rented a beautiful boat in Lymington, just a few miles from the wedding venue. It was great to get back to the boat and reflect on our special day, it was luxurious, relaxing and private. Just what we needed.”
Harriet Broadbent-Mchugh 30, Chris Broadbent, 35 from Stockport
Harriet and Chris booked an Airbnb in a vineyard in Paso Robles, California.
“We wanted somewhere secluded and this cottage was just really romantic. We enjoy cooking so it was nice to be able to make our own breakfasts whenever we felt like getting up. We love trying new wines so staying on a vineyard was perfect and the cottage had bikes so we could head off and explore when we were feeling adventurous.”