|by Jamie Beckman||Islands, Romance, Hawaii, Las Vegas, Questions and Opinions, Trip Ideas||0|
Wedding "party," indeed! Vegas, baby, Vegas is the most popular spot in the world to honeymoon, according to new data from Facebook—but it's not U.S. residents who are making it No. 1. International newlyweds most want to live it up in Sin City. That factoid and others were uncovered after the latest round of stat-crunching from the Facebook Data Team.
The social network examined information from users who posted a "marriage event" this year and then checked in somewhere 20 miles or farther from their hometown within two weeks. Voilà: crazy amounts of intel about who's honeymooning where in 2014.
A sample like this isn't comprehensive, of course, but it does provide a voyeuristic snapshot into the romantic-travel plans of a certain social-media-savvy demographic.
Here are some of the more fascinating findings:
After Vegas at No. 1, Hawaii and Mexico are the next most popular honeymoon locales for couples around the globe.
Top destinations for all (international + U.S.) couples:
1. Las Vegas, USA
2. Lahaina, USA
3. Honolulu, USA
4. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
5. Cancún, Mexico
6. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
7. Montego Bay, Jamaica
8. Antalya, Turkey
9. Castries, St. Lucia
10. Gramado, Brazil
Among U.S. couples, Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii, is the No. 1 spot for a honeymoon.
Top destinations for U.S. couples:
1. Lahaina, USA
2. Castries, St. Lucia
3. Honolulu, USA
4. Montego Bay, Jamaica
5. Las Vegas, USA
6. Gros Islet, St. Lucia
7. Playa del Carmen, Mexico
8. Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
9. Ocho Rios, Jamaica
10. Cancún, Mexico
Ever-classic Hawaii is right up there again—in fact, Facebook says, if you zero in on U.S.-only honeymoon hot spots, destinations in Hawaii make up half of them.
U.S. couples traveled a median of slightly more than 500 miles away from home.
Compared with the 70 other countries included in the roundup, the U.S. is almost smack dab the middle, as far as in distance traveled for a honeymoon. Couples from South Korea, Italy, and Qatar traveled the farthest—up to about 4,000 miles for South Koreans. One hundred-plus couples flew more than 12,000 miles away for their getaway—literally halfway around the world. (Sayonara, in-laws!) Facebook says Spanish couples who traveled to New Zealand and Peruvians who traveled to Thailand were a large portion of them.
Only 19 percent of U.S. newlyweds took an international trip.
Why do U.S. couples tend to stick close to home? Romantic-travel expert Susan Breslow Sardone, of About.com and author of Destination Weddings for Dummies, said the reasons could be economic, but the U.S. is no slouch when it comes to bringing the romance.
"We've got a very diverse and interesting country," she says. "So whether a couple wants to honeymoon in a tropical location like Miami and the Keys, ski the great mountains of the Rockies, go camping in the open West, or experience cities with fantastic cuisine like NYC and San Francisco, they don't need to cross an ocean to do it."
Let's keep this conversation going. Like Budget Travel on Facebook and share your honeymoon advice!