Honeyteering – Voluntary Work on Your Honeymoon

March 8, 2012


After the months and sometimes years of preparation that went into getting your friends, family and general hangers-on into the same place at the same time, maybe the last thing you’d feel like doing is something worthy for a underprivileged community overseas.

Yet honeyteering, another wonderful neologism for the collection, is already a growing trend in the states and has started to take root in the UK as well. The site Hands Up Holidays, already a great destination for volunteering trips abroad, has a terrific page for newlyweds seeking a more meaningful and worthwhile time after their wedding.

This is not to say that it’s without issues, however. In an interview with BBC News, Rachel Collinson of Raleigh International expressed concern that the trend doesn’t take into account the possibility that such endeavours are not ecologically sustainable:

“We don’t recommend anyone spending less than a month volunteering if you want a community to develop sustainably. You can do more harm than good if you just turn up for a week.”

Usually couples will spend time living with a local family, or are offered private accommodation. Of course, the nature of honeymoons themselves have changed, and it is far more rare for a couple not to have lived together or slept together at some point in their relationship. As Dr Peter Slowe, founder of the volunteering firm Projects Abroad points out:

“It’s not like they’re going on honeymoon and having sex for the first time. They’re looking for a holiday with something special, expecting it to combine fun and relaxation with using their skills to help someone else.”

Accordingly, the travel group Kuoni have seen an increase in interest in such holidays, even if actual bookings remain relatively low. In the interest of scientific exploration they have compiled an infographic detailing what married couples in the UK tend to do with their time after the big day.

Click for larger version on Kuoni site

So are you convinced? Ready to sacrifice your first two weeks of peace and quiet for the greater good? Let us know in the comments.


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