After months of toiling over linens and floral arrangements and wedding favors (oh my!), the big day has come and gone in a whirlwind of family, friends, and fanfare. Now it’s time for some serious R&R as you and your love head off the honeymoon to decompress and bask in wedded bliss.
With all of the activity in the days before the nuptials, packing for the honeymoon (or mini-moon) is likely the last thing on your mind. With that, we’ve made packing a breeze with our tried-and-true checklist. Read on for all of the ‘mooning essentials for every destination!
There are a few things you’ll need, no matter where in the world your honeymoon is taking you. First, start with your carry-on:
Travel documents: Carry printouts of your airline boarding pass or e-ticket confirmation, train tickets or cruise documents to travel seamlessly by air, land, or sea.
Identification: Depending on your destination, your passports, visas, and/or driver’s licenses are a must. Take photocopies along as well, just in case your wallet is lost or stolen. I always print off a set for my emergency contacts, too!
Currency: Bring credit and ATM cards (only those that you’ll need), as well as money (exchange your dollars for the local currency, if necessary), and traveler’s checks.
Bonus tip: Notify your credit card companies ahead of your forthcoming trip to avoid extra fees or temporary freezes.
Itinerary: Print out your planned vacation stops, as well as any confirmations of hotel, transportation, restaurant, or other reservations. Internet access can be unpredictable when traveling, so don’t assume you’ll be able to access this info once you’ve arrived.
Prescription medication: Never check your meds; instead, keep them on you, and always in their original packaging.
Bonus tip: Consult your physician before traveling to a remote location, as he or she may recommend traveling with common prescriptions that may be tough to come by while you’re away.
Electronics: Your smartphone, tablet, computer, and any other electronics should be carried with you, along with the accompanying chargers.
Jewelry and watches: We know that these shiny accessories can make or break an ensemble, but try to leave your priciest stuff at home. If you just can’t bear to part with your beloved pieces, keep them in your carry-on, and lock them up in your room’s safe (call ahead to make sure you’ve got one) when you’re not wearing them.
Bonus tip: Make sure those new wedding rings are sized right before you leave. I don’t want you losing them in the ocean or pool!
Entertainment: Because the in-flight entertainment will only get you so far, be sure to pack a few good reads, or download some music or movies for your travel enjoyment.
Change of clothes: On the off chance your luggage is lost or delayed, pack a change of clothes that works with the climate in your destination, so you’ll have a fresh outfit upon your arrival. That means shoes, too.
Contact information: Tote a printout of the phone numbers and email addresses of key family members and friends, in case you encounter an issue with your cell phone.
Download the Ultimate Honeymoon Packing List >>
And now for your checked baggage. To avoid over packing, keep your suitcase checklist tight – with wiggle room for some chic date night outfits, vacation keepsakes and, of course, a few sexy surprises:
Toiletries: Stock your kits with toothpaste, toothbrushes, deodorant, razors and shaving cream, as well as contact lenses, solution, storage cases, and glasses if needed.
Bonus tip: Most hotels and cruise ships offer shampoo, conditioner, soap, lotion, and a hair dryer to guests, so check ahead to find out what’s provided, and pack only what you need – in travel sizes, of course!
Hair products: Pack your travel-size gels and sprays, plus brushes, combs, and styling tools for picture-perfect ‘dos.
Skincare products: Your daily regimen – moisturizer, eye cream, etc. – can come with you, but try to boil it down to the basics if possible.
Cosmetics: The same goes for your makeup regimen – keep it minimal, especially for tropical destinations, where clean, glowing skin and a neutral makeup palette is the way to go.
OTC medications: Hope for the best, but be prepared for the worst with a supply of pain relievers, cold remedies, and meds for tummy-related symptoms.
Bonus tip: Hate to say it, but it’s common to get a cold on the honeymoon after the stress of the wedding. Do what you can by taking lots of Vitamin C and immune support the weeks leading up to the nuptials.
Underwear/socks: Since these take up minimal suitcase real estate, pack what you need, plus a few extras just in case.
Bonus tip: Stuff socks inside your shoes to save space and help your footwear hold its shape.
Sleepwear: On those nights you’re feeling frisky, PJs may be the last thing on your mind, but be sure to have a few options to wear while getting your zzz’s.
Athletic apparel: For those gym rats out there, pack a few sets of workout clothes and a single pair of sneakers for any honeymoon sweat sessions. There may also be incredible walks or hikes to checkout at your destination, so you’ll be prepared!
Sunscreen and sunglasses: No matter where your plans take you, it’s vital to protect against the harmful effects of the sun. Make sure you cover any exposed skin with SPF 30 or higher (yes, even in cold climates), and rock those sunnies to keep your peepers out of harm’s way.
Umbrella: A little rain won’t dampen your spirits – but it will dampen your date night ensemble, so tote one of these puppies for when the clouds roll in.
An extra bag: Because you’ll need some room for all those souvenirs and keepsakes you pick up along the way!
Birth control: Unless you’re shooting for a honeymoon baby, be prepared with your preferred form of contraception, and plenty of it, as it may not be readily available.
Lingerie: Ladies, feel free to pack those lacy, racy underpinnings for your love to unwrap on those extra-special nights!
If you’re heading to the beach or cruising the high seas, add on the following for your tropical escape:
Her wardrobe: Pack a variety of easy, breezy shorts, tanks, tees, skirts, and sundresses for days and casual nights, plus at least one pair of pants and a lightweight sweater or jacket for chillier evenings.
Throw in a few fancier outfits for dressy date nights, plus shoes to match. Try and keep the bulky heels to a minimum by choosing the most versatile options—nude wedges, for instance! They’ll be best for the sand, after all.
Finish the honeymoon wardrobe with a couple of wear-with-anything clutches to tote your nighttime wares.
His wardrobe: Keep it simple for daytime dressing with a variety of shorts and tees; for night, opt for casual pants and button-downs, plus a lightweight sweater or jacket to combat chilly temps.
For dressier evenings, pack more formal slacks or khakis and a sport coat. A pair of laid-back loafers and a set of dress shoes cap the vacation wardrobe.
Formal wear: Some resorts or cruise ships will have dedicated formal or black-tie nights, so bring your gowns and tuxes accordingly.
Beachwear: Swimsuits are a must, plus sandals or flip-flops and a tote bag for the beach or pool (bring one to share!).
Ladies, be sure to pack a few cover-ups and sarongs; guys, cover up with cotton tanks and tees.
Extra sunscreen: I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – protect yourself! In the case of beach vacations, you’re better off having too much sunscreen rather than risk running out, as SPF can be hard to find or overly pricey to purchase.
Aloe: You’ve applied and reapplied religiously, but sunburns still happen, so tote some of this cooling gel to help soothe your delicate skin.
Hats: Ladies, pack those wide-brimmed hats for a little extra sun protection (they’re on-trend and easy to find right now!), and fellas, don’t forget those baseball caps and fedoras!
Towels: Check ahead to see if they’re provided. Only pack them if your accommodations don’t offer them—they take up a lot of space.
Tack on these items for your roving Euro trip, wild African safari, Costa Rican jungle adventure or other sightseeing retreat:
Her wardrobe: You’ll want to pack your wardrobe according to your destination’s climate, so know before you go and choose your honeymoon duds accordingly.
Be sure to pack some relaxed daytime outfits so you can explore in comfort; for nighttime dressing, opt for stylish jeans and few dresses for fancy dinners or taking in a show.
His wardrobe: The same goes for you – check the forecast and pack accordingly. Bring casual daytime duds and comfortable shoes for sightseeing, plus a few more formal outfits for night, along with a good pair of dress shoes or boots.
You may want to throw in a tie and sport jacket as well, depending on your evening plans.
Camera: It goes without saying that you’ll want to capture the spectacular sights, so forgo your cell phone and invest in a good camera for high-quality photos (or alternately, register for one!).
Guidebooks: Don’t rely on your gadgets to get you around town, as cell service and internet can be spotty (or non-existent); be sure to take any relevant books, maps, and printed directions to help guide your travels.
Adapters: Be sure to bring the region-appropriate power converters for all your electronics, including your cell phone, tablet, camera, electric shaver, and hair styling tools.
Hiking attire: If your trip involves a scenic climb, pack athletic pants or shorts, a sweat-wicking top to keep you cool and dry, a sports bra (for the gals), and a sturdy pair of hiking boots.
Insect repellent: If you’re cruising the African plains or seeking adventure in the Costa Rican jungle, a bit of bug spray may be in order to keep the creepy crawlies at bay.
Swimsuits: If your destination has a nearby beach or if your hotel boasts an on-site pool or hot tub, make sure you’re prepared with the appropriate swimwear.
If a chilly winter getaway is more your speed, make sure you pack the following to ski in, ski out in style:
Wardrobe (hers and his): Pack clothes for chilly temps (duh). Practicality may trump style depending on the destination and how frigid it is, so use your judgment when it coming to looking chic vs. staying warm. And pack plenty of hats, gloves, and scarves for both day and night.
Outerwear: Bundle up in heavy jackets or parkas and waterproof snow pants while you’re swish-swish-swishing down the slopes, layered over leggings, turtlenecks and thermals.
Don’t forget about those feet – pack thick socks and toasty water-resistant boots to stay warm while sloshing through the snow.
Ski equipment: Goggles are a must, while hand and toe warmers are nice to have. Feel free to bring along any other equipment, but be aware that skis and other oversized items may be subject to additional fees when flying.
Moisturizer: Cold winter air is particularly dry and will draw moisture away from the skin, so keep parched and wind-burned skin hydrated with heavy cream and lip balm.
Swimsuits: Take advantage of your ski resort’s on-site pool, hot tub, or spa services and come prepared with any appropriate swimwear.
From the white sand beaches to the snowy slopes, you’re set for any post-nuptial getaway. Now get to packing… Paradise awaits!
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