The post-wedding vacation that we have all come to know as the honeymoon was not always part of wedding tradition. Many sources report that the history of the honeymoon lies somewhere in northern Europe, where for a month’s time after a wedding, the newlyweds would drink a wine beverage called “mead.” Mead is made from fermented honey and this is where historians say that the “honey” portion of honeymoon is derived. The time period (a month) was also referred to in this culture as a “moon,” as typically that was the length of the moon phase cycle.

Honeymoons were first related to travel during the bride-by-capture era. Grooms would abduct their brides for a period of one month and take them into hiding. Friends and family were assured of her safe return. However, it was important that no one should find them during this honeymoon period – although, often, the bride’s family would gout out searching. It was the goal of the groom to have her pregnant before the time they were discovered.

In the 1500s and through the Victorian era (late 1800s), the honeymoon began to be seen as the romantic holiday that it is today. During the Victorian era, the bride and groom didn’t get to see each other much during the engagement and the honeymoon was the first time to be alone together. This is how they became known as romantic trips away from the hustle and bustle of life.

During the end of the 19th century, “bridal tours” became popular and were generally given as a gift to the newlywed’s from the groom’s family. Thanks to this generosity, the newly married pair would travel on a trip that lasted from two weeks to several months. With the rise of the industrial era, more and more middle class newlyweds had the opportunity to go on excursions that were once only reserved for the elite. Upon the arrival of trains, planes and automobiles, newlyweds were able to expand the distance of their honeymoon and head out on more exotic trips. This is truly the start of the honeymoon as we know it today.

Today, locations such as Las Vegas, Mexico, Hawaii, Alaska, Disney World in Florida and many Caribbean islands are top honeymoon spots. More than 1.4 million US couples go on honeymoons each year; spending an average of $4,466 (luxury travelers spend nearly $10,000). The average honeymoon lasts 8 days, excluding travel time and is booked an average of 4 months before the wedding date.

If you have a honeymoon in your future, has some great gear that will make travel easier. From personalized luggage tags to make your black bag look different from the next to leather passport covers that keep all your travel documents in order, many of these travel accessories also make purposeful and appreciated groomsmen gifts. Other travel-related groomsmen gifts include toiletry cases and mini-bar to-go kits filled with everything needed to set up a good drink on a trip (you add the liquor!).