Destination Couples: How to Avoid the Zika Virus

See expert tips on how to repel mosquitos during your tropical, seaside nuptials.

The recent outbreak of the Zika virus has caused a fair amount of healthy skepticism about the risks involved with traveling to certain destinations wherein the virus has popped up.

Travel Tips
Photo: Carla Ten Eyck Photography

The recent outbreak of the Zika virus has caused a fair amount of healthy skepticism about the risks involved with traveling to certain destinations wherein the virus has popped up. Engaged couples have begun to rethink their well-thought-out destination nuptials and their tropical honeymoons, either scrambling to book another location or find some peace of mind with the precautions each place is taking against Zika. Of course, there are a few methods brides and grooms can employ themselves to help fend off mosquitos that could pass it along. 

Below, RISE (Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment)® details everything you need to know about the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes that could be carrying the virus in destinations where it remains active and shares tips below to help you prepare for your nuptials abroad.

-  Like every couple, Aedes aegypti mosquitoes have their own style. They bite all day and tend to be attracted to your ankles. 

-  Aedes can breed in even the smallest amount of standing water – a bottle cap is enough, which is why it’s important to check for any standing water around your venue.

-  Aedes love to be near people, meaning they actively look for ways to get indoors, including inside your beachfront hotel room, bar, or reception hall. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind leading up to your trip to tie the knot:

-  Provide a packing list. Give tips and tricks to guests so they pack to prevent mosquito bites. Your wedding website is a great channel for communicating this, especially under your “accommodations” tab. A few hints: insect repellents containing DEET are recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and light-colored clothing and long sleeves and pants are must-haves. 

-  Welcome guests in style. You’ve likely planned to provide welcome bags for attendees in their room with both practical and personal goodies. Add insect repellent with DEET to the bags and encourage guests to apply every time they head outdoors and according to label directions. Provide repellent for guests at the venue as well, either as they arrive or in the bathroom.   

-  Check it out before checking in. Reach out to your hotel or venue before you arrive to see if they are working with a licensed professional to treat for mosquitoes. Ask when they’ll be treating for mosquitoes, and when you get there, survey your hotel room and the venue space. Your beachfront destination is the perfect place for Aedes mosquitoes to breed. Have the hotel seal any holes in screens on windows and doors and ask them to remove any standing water.

-  Evaluate your options. While Mexico might have been the dream destination, there are plenty of Zika-free oceanside locales currently available to host your big day. A few alternatives close to home: Hawaii, The Hamptons, and Southern California. Feeling adventurous? Try Bermuda, Chile, or Uruguay!

See some of our favorite proposal destinations around the world, find out tips on taking a cruise after your wedding, and discover what not to do while planning your honeymoon.

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