Your honeymoon should be an extra special and romantic trip of a lifetime. To make sure you don’t spend it worrying about what you’ve forgotten to pack or (even worse) discovering that you can’t go at all, here are the top 10 tips for a stress-free honeymoon.
Passport to paradise
Even if you’ve been practising your new signature in your married name for months, don’t forget that your passport and tickets both have to have the same details. As it can be tricky to change the information on your passport in advance of the wedding, brides will probably have to travel under their maiden name just one last time. Make sure there are at least six months left before the passport’s expiry date as some countries won’t allow you in if there is less time left.
Health and happiness
If you’re flying off somewhere exotic, you won’t want illness to ruin your honeymoon, so get any vaccinations you need for your destination well in advance. Malaria tablets usually have to be taken before you fly, so don’t leave it until the last minute. And if you’ve got a repeat prescription for any regular medication, check you’re not about to run out. If you’re heading to the EU, the free European Health Insurance Card will cover some medical expenses, so apply if you don’t have one and check yours hasn’t expired if you do.
Paperwork in order
Filing essential documents is hardly the most exciting bit of the honeymoon, but having all the details of your reservations, flights and travel insurance together in your hand luggage, along with some cash in local currency, will prevent hiccups en route. Put in a copy of your wedding certificate too, and let someone at home keep duplicates of everything, as well as your passport information page, just in case.
If you’re flying straight off after saying “I do”, it’s worth getting everything sorted in advance, unless you want to spend the night before the wedding – or worse, the night after – throwing things into a bag. Aim to pack the bulk of your honeymoon gear around a week before the wedding.
You’ll want to look your best on honeymoon, but packing all your most glamorous outfits isn’t always the right answer. Tempting though it is to take half a dozen pairs of heels, you’re unlikely to need them on safari - and always research the weather at your destination to make sure you have clothes to suit.
Save some space in the case for some new lingerie or a bikini to knock him dead – after all, it is your honeymoon. You could also consider packing some massage oil, candles for a romantic bath - and don’t forget to include your garter to remind him of the wedding night.
Honeymoon memories will last a lifetime, but if you want to capture every detail, don’t forget your camera along with the charger/adapter (or spare batteries) and a memory card/film with plenty of space. If you’re planning to snorkel or dive, it’s worth getting a waterproof camera too; it’ll be cheaper at home than buying one at the beach.
If you’re heading to the sun, whether that’s on a sunlounger or skiing, don’t leave without plenty of suntan lotion and aftersun so you’re not too sunburned to enjoy the trip. And even if you’re hoping for a chilled-out, low-maintenance escape, if you can’t live without something at home you probably won’t be able to while you’re away either - whether that’s straighteners, bronzer or having 12 lipglosses to choose from.
His & hers honeymoon
Perhaps you’re looking forward to lying on a beach all day, but he can’t wait to try his hand at all the watersports on offer. Or maybe you’re planning to hit the shops and museums while he’s hoping for lazy days chilling out in a bar. Nothing spoils a romantic mood faster than an argument about how to spend your days on honeymoon. Discuss exactly what you both want from the trip before you go. And don’t forget to compromise – a little.
The post-wedding plan
When you jet off on your honeymoon, the wedding organisation doesn’t quite end there. So you can relax and enjoy yourselves, make a plan for someone at home to tie up any loose ends, from taking the suits back and looking after the presents, to posting off any final payments.