Congratulations! After months of planning for the wedding, it’s finally time to start your new life together. And what better way to ring in a new chapter than with an indulgent, fabulous honeymoon? Once you’ve picked a destination and booked that honeymoon suite, there’s one big to-do left on your list: packing. Here are 10 indispensible tips for packing well while staying sane.
1. The Early Bird Special
The key to honeymoon bliss is to start planning early—especially if you’re leaving on the heels of your big day. Avoid last-minute stress by investigating your airline carrier’s baggage rules and health and travel advisories for your destination as far in advance as possible (You may need a smaller suitcase or to get certain immunizations).
Recommended Fodor’s Video
Insider Tip: Call your credit card companies and cell phone providers to inform them of your plans so that you can avoid any surprise fees.
2. Play Doctor
It may not be the most romantic thing to think about, but neither is getting sick on your honeymoon with nothing to help you feel better. Stockpile over-the-counter meds will help salvage your vacation should you become ill. Pain relievers, cold remedies, allergy medication, nausea relief, anti-diarrhea meds, sunscreen, aloe, hand sanitizer, tissues, and insect repellent will get you through most disasters. And always keep your meds with you—never check these.
Insider Tip: If you’re headed somewhere remote, you should consult a medical professional to get common prescriptions that may be difficult to find when you’re abroad just in case. And always make sure to get any necessary shots well in advance of traveling.
3. Yours, Mine, and Ours
Hedge your bets in case your baggage is lost by dividing both of your belongings between two suitcases. This way, if disaster strikes, at least you’ll have some of your essentials!
Insider Tip: Another option is to each bring a large carry-on bag of your own essentials and then share one large, checked bag with each of your remaining belongings.
4. A Couple that Weighs Together Stays Together…
When it comes to packing, less is more—as long as you have your necessities. It’s all about balance: packing like a hoarder will bog you down, while leaving behind essentials will mean running to the store and overspending for little necessities. Lighten your load and avoid over-sized baggage fees with a great technique: pack by outfit. Choose one outfit for each day or occasion you have planned as well as a few versatile pieces that can be worn more than once. And when in doubt, remember that laundry is always available!
Insider Tip: When choosing what to bring, pick a color scheme and stick to it. This way, mixing and matching items will be a cinch.
5. The Ring’s the Thing
We know you don’t want to take it off for anything, but sometimes an activity or destination will mean removing your new ring(s) for safe keeping. Make sure to bring something to store them in at the hotel, so you’re not worried about them or stuffing them in your bag as you go. Swimming in the ocean, physical activities (hiking, biking, or even water sports), and traveling to a less developed or far-flung destination are all good reasons to store your ring so that you actually have one to wear when you get back home.
Insider Tip: Bring the box they came in for safe storage and find a secret or hidden pocket in your luggage where only you would know to find them.
6. In the Bag
To maximize your space and avoid wrinkling, roll each item tightly, then pack them snugly on top of each other. For particularly wrinkle-prone clothing, place tissue paper on top of items before you roll to prevent wrinkling. (Don’t ask us why this works, but it does!) Stuff your socks inside of your shoes—not only will this save you space, but it will help your shoes retain their shape. Pack smaller items like underwear, bathing suits, and especially toiletries in clear plastic bags to save space (added bonus: they will be easier to find).
Insider Tip: Pack an extra bag within your bag to bring on daytime excursions and for souvenirs so you can bring a piece of your getaway home with you.
7. Keep Calm and Carry On
Knowing what not to pack in your checked bags is important too. Minimize the chance for potential misadventures by carrying on essential travel documents like itineraries, visas, tickets, confirmations, important contact info, and copies of your passports. Also be sure to hold on to all essential outfits for the wedding if that’s your first stop (your wedding dress qualifies). We also recommend you keep a change of clothes and a bathing suit just in case your bag is delayed, or dare we say, lost.
Insider Tip: It’s also useful to email yourself a folder of all important documents just in case the originals get lost or destroyed. This way you can always regain access to these items no matter where you are.
8. Prepare for Delays
Keep your young marriage a happy one by preparing for unexpected delays. Bring some favorite snacks so you don’t end up stuck scouring the newsstand for something to eat. And always take (or download) a couple extra books, magazines, crossword puzzles, or movies to tide you over for a few extra hours.
Insider Tip: Be sure to bring extra batteries and chargers to keep you and your gadgets energized for the long trip.
9. Camera Ready
Your honeymoon is a milestone moment in your life that should be captured as such. If you don’t have one, invest in a decent camera (or consider registering for one as a wedding gift). Exotic honeymoon locales and precious moments like these deserve better than smartphone photography. And don’t forget the chargers and accessories for your camera like extra batteries and memory cards.
10. Off the Grid
Leave computers and tablets in the room. Your honeymoon is a rare moment in life when it’s just the two of you. Unplug, turn off your cell, and savor every moment together.
Insider Tip: Of course, part of the fun of traveling these days is posting fun photos while you’re on the go. Our best tip is to keep your phone on airplane mode for the whole trip. That way you can only post and share photos while on the WiFi in your room.
Photo credit: Packing via Dreamstime.com