The flowers are ordered and your dream dress has been bought; heading off on your honeymoon sounds like heaven compared to the last minute wedding details you’re currently stressing over. Yet, zipping off into the sunset with you new spouse isn’t as easy as it seems.
With everything else you have going on, packing your suitcase for the ultimate honeymoon getaway is probably the last thing you’ll want to do. Take care to pack what you need, otherwise you could end up in Bora Bora with a bikini two sizes too big and a carry on that won’t hold all your souvenirs!
Need some new luggage for your honeymoon? We review some of the top luggage sets to give you the scoop on the best ones.
Let us take on some of that stress for you. We know you have enough to worry about with planning the perfect wedding and making it down the aisle. If you follow this comprehensive packing guide, planning your honeymoon getaway will feel like a piece of cake … one that you don’t have to share!
Do’s and Don’ts
When it comes to packing for your honeymoon, there are a few golden rules you must remember.
- Make a checklist. The book, “The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right” made me a list convert. In it, the author describes how a simple checklist can even save lives by employing them in settings such as a hospital. The concept is so simple AND effective that anyone can do it. I suggest making a honeymoon planning checklist well in advance so that you can simply check off all the items you need. Often times items to add to your checklist will randomly pop into your head. Write them down and add them to your checklist. Your goal is to have a fully functioning checklist that covers all items you want to bring with you!
- Use space saving packing techniques. Everyone has their favorite space saving method when it comes to packing clothes. If you don’t, it’s time to learn what works best for you. Rolling outfits into tight rolls can create loads of extra space. Likewise, packing cubes keep things organized and itemized so nothing gets lost in the shuffle. When packing bulky items for colder climates, vacuum lock bags can help squeeze out some of the extra air you don’t need to take with you. We’ve used vacuum bags from IKEA quite successfully over the past year to help squish all our stuff into one suitcase — even on long trips of 8 weeks or more!
- Check the weather. You may think in a tropical paradise all you will see is sun and sand, but you should still keep your weather app open when packing. You don’t want to be surprised with chilly evenings and no jacket, while trying to enjoy everything your romantic locale has to offer.
- Pack extra essentials. You decide what you feel is essential for such a special trip, but whatever it is you are going to want extra. While you’re trying to enjoy the newfound joys of married life the last thing you want to be doing is shopping for contact solution, or having to pop into the drugstore for some last minute ‘family planning’ needs. 😉
- Choose the right bag. We will cover this more in a followup article, but choosing the right bag is essential for enjoying a flawless trip. If you’re a souvenir shopper, a heavy packer, or just not into lugging a poorly designed bag around this will defiantly matter.
- Know the rules. Before you fly you need to make sure you are up-to-date on all travel restrictions regarding what you can bring on the plane and into your destination country. Check with customs, airline weight limits, and even hotel safe procedures to make sure everything is in place and ready to go.
- Make photocopies. It is so important when traveling in a new country that you print out two copies of both of your passports, credit cards, and drivers licenses. Always carry one copy on your person, while leaving the other copy back in the hotel safe. If you are a victim of theft you’ll have all the information you need to secure a replacement.
- Itinerary. Make sure either a friend or family member has your honeymoon itinerary, that lists all the hotels and contact details whole you are away. So that if there is any emergencies, someone knows how to get a hold of you both.
- Put a little bit of your stuff in his bag and vise versa. One trip my suitcase ended up going on a 7 day cruise without me. This was due to my passport being stolen, so we couldn’t board the ship. It is important to always keep all your important documentation, medication, change of clothes and even a bathing suit in your carry on. Another suggestion is to put half of your stuff in your partner’s bag and half in your bag. That way if a bag does go missing, you will at least have some of your stuff with you.
- Don’t Over pack. Yes, you want to have everything with you to help you have a great time … and look your best. But don’t think you have to pack your entire closet for a week of bliss. Whittle down your checklist to the absolute necessitates and worry less. This will leave you more space for souvenirs, presents, and whatever else you decide to bring back from your journey.
- Don’t leave it until the last minute. We know you have a million things to stress over, but this is one thing you can’t let fall through the cracks. Waiting until the last minute will leave you scatterbrained and packing things you don’t really need. MAKE A CHECKLIST! Then pack in advance to trim down items you have the time to rethink as the trip approaches.
- Don’t let someone else pack for you. Unless you trust this person more than 100%, nobody but you should pack your honeymoon getaway bag. If your family is anything like mine, you can expect a few jokes or pranks, along with some truly questionable packaging choices, if you delegate this task. Treat it as a therapeutic activity to take some time away from the hectic planning and think ahead.
- Don’t overthink. Honestly, you need less stress during the wedding planning rush. Don’t let packing for your honeymoon steal the joy out of the fact you’re going on one!
- Don’t bother with guidebook. There is nothing like reading from an actual book, we love them! But they do take up a lot of space and weight. When traveling, rather than bringing the physical copies try to download digital copies to your tablet or smartphone.
- Don’t Pack Shoes That You Have Never Worn. Trust us, you won’t need them and they take up too much space!
General Packing Tips
No matter what kind of trip you are taking, there is some advice that is always useful when deciding what and how to pack for your honeymoon. We’ve sourced these tips for you to be sure you’re ready for a worry free travel experience. Check them out, whether it’s you’re a seasoned traveler or a first timer to be sure you’re up to date and ready to go.
When packing your bags, leave a little extra room in your suitcase for souvenirs, so that you won’t be scrambling to fit them in at the last minute. Even just a small free pocket can be a lifesaver. Leaving extra space may sound hard, but it is possible when you have your outfits planned out well in advance.
Always plan for different types of weather and activities when choosing your outfits; if you have some rainy days in your itinerary, plan a museum trip instead of that beach day. Remember to pack layers, so that you can always be versatile no matter the temperature.
In a digital world, electronics have become travel essentials for navigating new cities, documenting memories, and keeping in touch with loved ones. Make sure to pack those essentials that you may overlook, like phone chargers, toothbrushes, and other small but indispensable items.
No matter what you pack or how you pack, communicate what you are packing with your significant other. You don’t want to be packing the same thing twice, or find out that you were counting on them to bring along the iPad. Communicating these needs ahead of time will make sure that you have a relatively stress free time packing, and focus on getting ready and excited for your big trip coming up.
When communication fails, it’s always smart to have a backup in place. Make sure someone (not on your trip) has all your flight and hotel information in case of emergency. On your honeymoon, you probably won’t be calling often to check in with friends, but it’s still a good idea to have an emergency contact you can reach, especially when you’re out of the country. Likewise, having backups printed of all your flight and hotel information can be very helpful when dealing with power outages, lost reservations, and other travel mishaps.
Lastly, don’t forget to pack bags to keep your dirty clothes separate from your clean ones. This is a major traveling pro-tip that will ensure your clothes stay looking and smelling fresh.
Packing for a Cruise Honeymoon
Going for an island hopping adventure is one of the most popular honeymoon getaways for its simplicity and adventure. With an organized schedule, top quality room, and exotic locations, it’s a recipe for perfection and relaxation. Taking such a unique trip definitely comes with a few peculiarities when it comes to your packing list. If you’re counting down the days until you set sail, we’ve got the tips you need to make sure you’re ready to board.
Location matters. Your cruise might take you to the icy waters of Alaska or the tropical waves of the Caribbean. Wherever you end up, the fact that you’re traveling by luxury cruise ship is what will impact your packing list the most. It’s important to think about what specific items you’ll need based on this environment.
If you’ve never take a cruise before it may seem daunting, but we’re here to help! We’ve been on more than a few cruiseships and lines to know what works and what doesn’t work.
Choose the right luggage
First, you’ll want to choose the right luggage. Depending on the duration of your cruise and the size of your cabin, you could choose a carry on or checked bag. Making sure your luggage is maneuverable is especially important when navigating narrow ship hallways and ramps.
Most standard size cruise cabins don’t offer a ton of space. The good thing is that after unpacking, you can usually store your suitcase under the bed. We often unpack quite quickly upon receiving our luggage on a ship, so that we have everything neatly tucked away and can immediately settle into ship life!
Unique items for a honeymoon cruise include:
Medicine for motion sickness
You definitely don’t want to spend your time feeling sick to your stomach. If you already know what type of medicine works best for you in these situations, be sure to have some on hand. While they may sell these medications on the ship, it can help to have what you’re already familiar with. Another option are Sea-Band Wristbands. Although I haven’t personally tried them, I’ve talked to many fellow cruise passengers over the years who swear by them.
Whether you’re cruising through hot or cold weather, the sun’s reflection off of the water will still matter. Bringing UV protection in the form of sunblock and sunglasses will keep your skin looking great and keep you from squinting in all your vacation selfies.
Comfortable walking shoes
Lastly, don’t forget to bring comfortable shoes. Many cruise ships are quite massive in size these days, and you’ll likely do a lot of walking from your stateroom to the dining room, casino, bars, and other areas.
On the open water, heels and dress shoes just don’t cut it. Sandals and loafers are the way to go for cruising in style and comfort. Whatever you feel great in and matches the rest of your weather appropriate wardrobe will be perfect.
Wrinkle Free Outfits
Be aware that irons are NOT present in any stateroom, so wrinkle free outfits are highly suggested!
Know the Dress Code
If you plan on heading to the dining room in your flip-flops and shorts for dinner, think again. There is a standard of formality for dress code, and you will likely be stopped from entering if you are not properly dressed. Do make sure you know the dress codes for the cruise line that you have chosen.
Tip: Check to see if your cruise line offer self-service laundromats or full service laundry with pressing.
Packing for a Beach/all-inclusive Honeymoon
Sneaking away to an island resort for an all-inclusive honeymoon is the dream of many newlyweds. If you’ve landed a tropical oasis trip, there are a few packing tips you should know.
Water Bottle and Sunscreen
The obvious suggestions include items to keep you safe and happy on your journey. Bring along your favorite BPA-free water bottle and sun protection accessories to ensure you stay hydrated and ward off any bad sunburn stories. Sure, you might be able to purchase sunscreen on location, but don’t count on finding your favorite natural brand at the right price. Have your favorites on hand and purchase anything else once you arrive.
Since we can assume most of your time will be spent enjoy the sand and surf, you’ll want to take some precautions when it comes to packing electronics. Pack everything you need to capture all the memories you will make, but not anything too bulky or delicate. You probably won’t want your laptops, but a GoPro and an e-reader with a sand-proof case are must have items. You might look into an underwater camera or waterproof phone cases as well.
Recently, spent time at a bath in Budapest and noticed many tourists with their cell phones covered in waterproof cases. Very handy for taking unique and memorable shots!
While hanging out at the thermal baths in Budapest recently, we risked dropping my phone in the water to try and capture a Instagram worthy shot. Although a cool photo, probably not worth the risk. I did however spot a handful of smart travelers using a waterproof phone cases to snap carefree photos all over the pool. Definitely a beach/pool must have.
When you’ve decided on all of the above, make sure you choose a stylish beach tote that is sturdy enough for the trip. Look for totes that are water-resistant and that will fold into a conveniently compact shape for travel and storage.
Keep clothing items rolled to reduce wrinkles on your thin and delicate fabrics. Don’t forget to bring a change of swimsuits as well. You don’t want to be wearing the same thing in every picture! Plus, having an extra swimsuit means you can let one dry while you wear the other. Your beach vacation will be perfect with these few essentials and the love of your life along for the journey.
Packing for a Road trip/City Honeymoon
A road trip can make for some interesting honeymoon stories, and so can a destination city honeymoon. Whether you’re headed out onto the open road or exploring a new city, here are some packing tips to make sure you get the most mileage out of your trip.
In these types of trips, comfortable clothes and shoes are a must. Long hours in a car are never fun if you’ve got on your heels and cocktail dress, so opt for something a little more comfortable. This doesn’t mean you have to get sloppy on your honeymoon. Try some yoga pants or comfortable but cute jeans, and a cozy fleece. You can still look cute and romantic on your honeymoon while maintaining high levels of comfort.
The Right Footwear
You also want to make sure you’ve got the right shoes. City trips are all about walking to the next big sight, so wearing comfortable walking shoes is a must. Driving in the wrong shoes can also ruin your road trip, so save the flats and dress shoes for a romantic dinner, and pack something a bit more sensible for your romantic road trip. Yours and your beloved’s feet will thank you.
Paperwork may not be the most romantic topic, but no one wants their honeymoon adventure ruined by not having the right papers.
- If you are going to be in front of the wheel, double check that your car insurance and plates are up to date.
- If you are flying to a new city, you will want to keep your flight information handy, or maybe even your passport.
Whichever type of honeymoon you are on, road trip or city, maps are essential. But this is the 21st century, so you can usually ditch that outdated fold-up map. Fire up Google Maps and save all your destinations online.
One side note: Google doesn’t always have updated maps. A recent stay in Portugal confirmed that sometimes you do have to stop and ask directions in a foreign country. Google led us astray down a gravel road it thought was the best route, because a new road had not been updated on its system.
Traveling in a car or to a new city can take some time, so be sure to bring something along to help pass the time. Load your car with some romantic tunes; bonus points if you make that perfect mix-tape for you and your sweetie.
Audiobooks are also a great way to share that new bestseller you both are dying to crack open. A city honeymoon is great for bringing along your kindle or e-reader for long bus/train rides. We’ve used Audible in the past with great success. Try them out, you can signup and get two free audiobooks as a trial.
Road trips and city trips are great ways to explore some new and interesting things, so plan out an itinerary ahead of time, so you know the sights and stops you want to see. Make sure to include some interesting sights for the both of you, so that no one feels left out. You will get more out of the trips if you plan ahead, so whether you want to see the world’s largest peach statue or a 19th century cathedral, do your homework ahead of time. It will make your trip extra special. Check out Trip Advisor for travel reviews.
Packing for a Ski Resort Honeymoon
Beaches and cruise ships might be the first thought most people have when they picture an honeymoon getaway, but that doesn’t make them the standard for everyone. If you and your love are looking forward to hitting the slopes and spending your honeymoon curled up in front of a roaring fireplace, your packing needs are going to be quite a bit different than the standard honeymooners.
Skin and Lip Care
Whether its direct sunlight or the reflection from the snow, you can’t forget to bring really good UV protection in the form of sunblock. Skiing all day can bring on chapped lips from the sun and wind, so keep your lips nice and moist with a good lip balm with SPF. After all, nighttime recreation on a honeymoon isn’t much fun if you can’t smooch your partner!
First, you’ll want to be sure your luggage can accommodate the extra bulk of coats and layers you’ll need. If you live in a warm climate, you might not be used to all the gear you’ll want for your adventure. Doing a test pack to see how everything fits ahead of time can save you a big headache later.
As far as essentials, you’ll definitely want all things warm and cozy on this trip. Hat, gloves, and thick socks are all filler items you can use to pad electronics. Or, fill up your boots to create more space. Remember, you can always wear layers on the plane in order to reduce the amount of clothing you have to stuff into your bag itself. With large puffy items such as coats and ski pants, vacuum-sealed bags might be best. They can help squeeze out any excess air and leave you more space for shoes, toiletries, and other essentials.
Just like when you’re planning a trip that involves being on the water, being around highly reflective snow has it’s own unique set of packing challenges. Sunglasses will definitely come in handy for your outings. Also, things like hand warmers, waterproof shoes and clothing, and gloves that you can still take pictures with are encouraged.
As with our tips for other types of honeymoons, if you’re bringing along your camera or cellphone for pictures, make sure you have a weather appropriate case. Something bright and reflective if you drop it in the snow is also very helpful.
Even though it’s your honeymoon, don’t think you have to skimp on the warm pajamas and undergarments. Be sure to pack items that give you warmth and comfort for your daily wear. As always, be sure to pack extras of things you might run out of quickly, such as socks. And if you’re really conscientious, be sure to bring along nourishing lotion to keep the effects of winter dry skin from ruining the honeymoon.
A Note on Lingerie: It may seem strange that we left out what is, arguably, the most important piece to pack for a romantic honeymoon: lingerie! This article is getting a bit long, so we decided to leave that topic for another day and do a separate article on honeymoon lingerie.
We hope you find this honeymoon packing guide useful when trying to plan your own romantic getaway. In the end, what truly matters is that you allow yourself to enjoy the experience and make new memories as a couple. Leave the stressing out and packing emergencies to us. Just take a beat, refer to this guide, and know that your honeymoon will be everything you hope it will be and more!