I know. . . I’ve said this before but it needs to be repeated: Don’t plan to leave on your honeymoon immediately. The honeymoon is very special so give yourself a couple of days (or more) to rest. Open gifts, write “thank you” notes, sleep late, rest and just be together. The wedding and reception may cause extreme exhaustion. It’s a big day. When you are fully rested, go for it!
There may be times when you will not need a travel agent. One of those times is NOT when you’re on your honeymoon. Call my award winning, travel consultant friend, Sam Becchetti-Dockter (Mesa, AZ) at 480-838-9447 or click here for more info.
What to pack for the honeymoon?
First things first: Create a packing list. If you prepare this ahead of time you’ll have the confidence of knowing you are unlikely to leave anything important behind. If you have a copy of your vacation packing list with you – or leave a packing list with a trusted friend or family member while on your honeymoon, you’ll have a complete record of any loss. . . heaven forbid. The honeymoon is your time to relax after the wedding – not go shopping for items you forgot to pack.
Find the appropriate size suitcase for your length of stay and make sure it is sturdy and in good condition. Remember luggage locks approved by TSA and ID tags for luggage (inside and out). Try rolling clothes to make more room. Finish with the smaller items that can fill in the holes. If you have a luggage set, pack everything inside your second-largest bag, then put that bag inside the largest bag. This gives you the extra space for all sorts of goodies (souvenirs) you buy while you are on your honeymoon.
Spending time at a honeymoon beach location? Remember your swimsuit, cover-ups, sunglasses and sunscreen. Suntan lotion and mosquito repellent might also be a great idea.
Pack some dressy or semi-formal attire for that very special 5-Star restaurant. Romantic honeymoons often include luxurious dinners at formal restaurants, which may require a dress and a suit and tie. Even if your plans don’t include eating some place fancy, you may still want at least one dressy outfit for other occasions, including dancing, attending a musical or other honeymoon ideas.
A few extras might include candles, flower petals, perfume and, of course, intimates for a honeymoon you’ll never forget. Most hotels have CD players so consider packing a couple of your favorite “romantic” CDs.
If your are traveling outside the United States, remember your passport. Be sure it’s up-to-date. Many honeymoon hotels require it at check-in. If you do not yet have a passport, find a passport facility near you, as the process of obtaining one can be lengthy. Click here for Passport information.
When you purchased your marriage license, hopefully you also purchased a “certified” copy to be sent to you after the minister or wedding officiant files your license with the County Clerk’s office. If not, you can usually request a certified copy when you return. The passport people and the Social Security Administration requires a certified copy of your marriage license to change your name. Depending upon the time of the year, you may not receive the certified copy for 4 to 6 weeks after your wedding. In that case, if you will be changing your name and if you will be leaving soon after the wedding, you should use your old passport with your maiden name for the honeymoon and change your name when you return.
Several days before you leave, check out the latest weather and climate reports. Be prepared. A lightweight but warm jacket, poncho, sturdy walking shoes (I love Teva® Sandals) and a small umbrella will probably be good investments for honeymoon getaways in any climate, especially if you plan on spending a lot of time outdoors. Don’t bother taking shoes or clothes you’ve never worn before. Pack a good hat that protects your face and neck. For the extra sun-sensitive, there is specially-designed clothing that can block out the sun and keep you cool. Wear comfortable clothes for honeymoon travel and be sure to carry necessities in a carry-on bag.
Here is a partial list that might be helpful:
• Have a neighbor check on the house (and collect the mail) when you’re away. Better yet, go online and stop mail delivery until you return.
• Cellphone and charger
• Adapters and converters. Electrical items in foreign countries need both, make sure you have the right one for your destination. Check with AAA. Leave home with everything fully charged
• Digital camera (compare prices), batteries, memory cards, manual
• iPod (compare prices) /MP3 player and headphones, batteries, mini-speakers
• Camera case
• Mini binoculars for sight seeing excursions
• Plastic Zip-Loc bags for wet swimsuits & misc. They’re great for storing things that might leak and take up no space.
• Buy travel insurance, especially if you’re going somewhere exotic with diseases you may not have been exposed to
• Foreign-language dictionary or phrase book
• Journal/notebook and pen
• Maps and directions
• Hotel reservation and FAX confirmations
• Two sets of photocopies of all of credit cards, related medical and/or trip insurance coverage and prescriptions (carry one set with you, leave one in the hotel room)
• Phone numbers for your doctor, house/cat sitter, and credit card companies (in case your cards are lost or stolen)
• Prescription medicine (in the original bottle)
• Massage oil 😉
• Mini-DVD player or DVD-capable laptop and DVDs
• Reading material
• Travel guide(s)
• Address labels for sending postcards or e-mail addresses of friends
• Auto insurance card (you’ll need it if you rent a car)
• Business cards
• Credit Cards ((take only those you’ll need)
• Copy of marriage license
• Copy of medical history, if necessary
• Copy of vacation packing list
• Driver’s license/international driver’s license
• Emergency numbers and embassy address
• Frequent flyer/frequent guest cards
• Paper airline tickets or e-ticket confirmation
• Photo ID
• Pre-paid phone card
• Travelers checks and receipt (keep separate)
• Get foreign currency at your bank before you leave. Check the exchange rates.
• Money belt
• Vaccination certificates, if required
• Consider having your luggage sent ahead so that you’ll only have to deal with a light carry-on bag when you head out for your romantic honeymoon getaway
• Call to see if your hotel provides hair dryers or other such beauty appliances in order to save you some room
• If you forget something, you can buy it there. (And then UPS it home!!)
For an expanded check list, click here.
What to Leave Behind With Family or Close Friends:
• Your itinerary and hotel phone numbers
• A sealed copy of your wills, life insurance-policy numbers
• Photocopies of all credit cards, travel and traveler’s check documents, vaccination document, prescriptions, health-insurance card(s), pertinent financial info, and medical or trip insurance documents detailing coverage and contacts. Also photograph your luggage contents in case of loss. At the hotel, store all this in the main or in-room safe. Leave copies – and your itinerary, contact numbers, and a sealed envelope with copies of your wills and life insurance information – with someone back home.
Carry on at least one bag that contains a full change of clothes, prescription medications, sunglasses and anything else that would completely ruin the trip if it got lost or delayed in flight. Think about the must haves and pack them in the carry-on luggage.
Don’t pack anything valuable – don’t even take it if you don’t really need it – since almost all checked bags are searched these days in the interest of security, and locks will be cut off of bags if they are locked. If you must take something of value, be sure it’s in your carry-on bag or in your pocket. On a trip to Italy, I was told by a Police Officer in Naples to remove my gold necklace – or at least put it inside my shirt out of sight – as theives outside the train station have been known to rip jewelry from tourist’s necks.
If you are flying to your destination, it’s common to get dehydrated while flying, so take a bottle of water with you. Pay attention to the first side-effects of dehydration – headache followed by nausea – and be sure to drink plenty of water, both on your flight and at your destination.
Oh, and one more thing. Anything that is on your person that will set off a metal detector will slow you down, and anything on you or in your carry-on bag that is on the airlines’ list of banned items will really slow you down. Make sure your shoes are not only comfortable but that you can get in and out of them easily and quickly when you go through security. Shoes that are easy to slip on and off are best for flying anyway, since feet tend to swell up in-flight. Check the latest flight rules from the Transportation and Security Administration. Remember TSA’s “3-1-1 Rule.” Most hotels provide shampoo and soap. Just pack one-time-use products like antibacterial wipes and pouches of sun block.
Honeymoons – Almost Everything You Wanted to Know!
A Great Honeymoon Idea
Honeymoon Planning Checklist
Copyright © 2011 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Ceremony. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 455 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: http://www.celebrateintimateweddings.com. Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.
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