10 Minutes With: Cox & Kings

Around the World in 8 Questions

No one knows more about the timeless art of travel than Cox & Kings. It is the longest established travel company in the world, dating back 253 years to 1758 when it was founded by Richard Cox in England.

Today, with its new U.S. headquarters in Los Angeles, Cox & Kings is a much bigger place than in Cox’s day. Their destination experts know the ropes better than the rest, creating customized luxury as well as value-driven escorted tours everywhere you can imagine, from Latin America and Europe to Asia, India, Africa and the Middle East. “We know the world so well,” says Thomas Stanley, Centre Head and COO of Cox & Kings, The Americas.

Ask Stanley about the trends in travel and he has plenty to say. For one, people love to seek out what he calls “bucket-list” experiences. Travelers, especially honeymooners, seek out places that they can tick off their must-see dream locations, from experiencing the great wildebeest migration in Tanzania to an upscale cross-country train trip through India.

Trip-goers are also keen on “learning” expeditions, seeking to “do,” not just “see.” This could mean learning to make sushi in Japan or the art of a wine sommelier in Argentina. Finally, couples are also more interested in multi-destination vacations. This means combining itineraries, like India and Bhutan or Peru and Argentina, is more popular than ever.

So, we asked Stanley to guide us through travel tips for the ultimate once-in-a-lifetime vacation: your honeymoon. Read on to learn his secrets for honeymoons extraordinaire, where to go next and how to get the most without spending a fortune.

How is a honeymoon different from a regular vacation?
A destination with a romantic atmosphere is great, but what's most important is venturing somewhere that feels authentic to you as a couple. Planning honeymoon travel involves thinking more about a shared experience. It's definitely more of a collaborative process.

It is key to make special arrangements when possible--a romantic picnic overlooking the Argentinean vineyards, for instance, or a welcome bottle of champagne or suite upgrade upon arrival to a rainforest lodge. This is one of the simplest ways to make a honeymoon different than another trip. A great honeymoon can bond the couple for life.

Does it make a difference to have a travel company do your planning or can you DIY?
Our expert staff of Destination Managers are able to suggest destinations honeymooners may not have thought of. We also have relationships around the world with hotels, tour operators and lodges to help facilitate a great honeymoon.

What are the most luxe destinations for honeymooners today?
The most luxurious are the Seychelles, Maldives and South Africa.

And the most budget-friendly locations?
There are magnificent destinations that don’t break the bank. The most economical right now are Thailand, Bali and South America. Indonesia and Morocco also come to mind. The Galápagos and Peru are easy to get to and very affordable, but still fantastic options for an elegant, adventurous honeymoon.

Let’s play a game. I’m going to name a common honeymoon request. You give us the Cox & Kings spin on it. One: we want gourmet food and being catered to?
What about a honeymoon in India where honeymooners can have private dining overlooking the Taj Mahal?

We’re an adventurous couple, where do we go?
Exploration together is very romantic. I say, escape into the Himalayas for a mountain retreat, or stay at the world’s best hotels in Udaipur. Or, on safari in Tanzania take an air balloon ride (champagne included) over the Serengeti followed by staying at an exclusive villa in Zanzibar?

How about if we want to sunbathe and relax, what do you suggest?
Another great honeymoon idea is sailing a private gulet, an elegant private Turkish yacht, with the couple's own chef and swimming among ancient submerged Grecian ruins.

Briefly take us through what a Cox & Kings staff member will do for travelers?
A Destination Manager works closely with travelers to orchestrate every detail, from itinerary creation and customization to hotel check-ins and managing all transportation. Hands-on care and individual attention is provided exclusively by our staff and local partners--so travelers are free to enjoy their journeys with ease.

We select only the finest hotels, resorts, lodges and safari camps--world-class, award-winning accommodations. Our unparalleled experience and passionate attention to every detail gives guests the freedom to relax and embrace their adventure with total peace of mind.

-- Erinn Bucklan

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