The MANual: Honeymoon

Packing Light Is Packing Right

Packing for your honeymoon is not terribly different from packing for any vacation for two: it kind of sucks, but you need to give it some thought. A good packing strategy eliminates the annoying and tedious-to-fix problems that bedevil most people on vacation, so invest a little time before you leave for paradise.

A couple of overall principles to keep in mind:

Pack as Little as Possible

Obviously this will depend on your destination–a beach honeymoon probably requires less than a ski honeymoon, for instance–but there are solid reasons to keep your luggage light:

  • It’s easier to carry and to move through the airport, security and customs;
  • It’s less expensive. Airlines have charged for checked bags for years, and some have even started charging for overhead cabin storage.
  • You’ll feel less encumbered, more adventurous. This is how you should feel on your honeymoon.

Take as Little Technology as You Can

You don’t need a laptop, because you don’t need to be checking your email, surfing the web, working on your novel or putting together your totally fire mixtape. If you have a bunch of books you want to read on your Kindle, download the Kindle app and read them on your phone. If you’re a photographer, leave most of your equipment at home: take one camera, at most two lenses, and an extra memory card. But that’s all. Your attention should be on your wife, not on the photos.

Put everything you’re taking into three categories: the things you need to actually get to your destination, the things you’ll need once you’re there, and the things you can probably buy there, if need be.

Honeymoon

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THE THINGS YOU NEED TO GET THERE

Collect and separate all the stuff you need to actually reach your destination: passports, I.D.,  your plane tickets, hotel and car reservations, credit cards and cash.

  • ID: Passports if traveling outside the United States or Puerto Rico, visas where applicable, or driver’s licenses if staying stateside.
  • Tickets: if you print them out, remember where you put them; if you didn’t print them out, remember where you stored them on your phone.
  • Credit cards: just bring the one(s) you’re going to use. Pick one that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees (and send the card issuer a travel notification online);
  • Cash: though ATMs are everywhere these days (and you’ll get a better exchange rate with them than you would elsewhere) you might want to bring some back up just in case. Keep in mind that airport cash exchanges will probably cost you more to exchange your currency.
  • Hotel and car rental reservation numbers: you can probably you can also store these on your phone, but just in case your phone dies or you can’t get WiFi, have them in an old-fashioned printout.

THE THINGS YOU NEED ONCE YOU ARRIVE

Clothes:

You may plan to be naked your entire honeymoon, in which case you don’t have to bring any clothes at all. But chances are you’re going to want to leave your suite once in awhile and see what’s what, and that will require you put something on.

Our advice here is going to be pretty broad, and that is, again, to take as little as possible. Don’t worry too much about dressing sharp: no one is going to care how you look except your wife–and she should be so in love with you at this moment that she thinks you look incredible no matter what you have on.

You don’t need a new t-shirt or pair of shorts for every day you’re going to be away. You don’t need a suit or a nice pair of pants, unless you have planned something specific that requires them. All that careful thought about your appearance that went into the wedding and reception can go out the window for the honeymoon. Except for underwear. You do need to pack enough underwear.

Drugs:

Not the recreational kind–you should leave those at home (besides, you’re going to be high on love: You don’t need no powders or pills, baby). No, we’re talking about the kind of prescription or over the counter drugs that you are taking and the absence of which might cause anxiety, discomfort or even sickness.

If we’re talking about prescription drugs, make sure you have enough to last you for your entire trip–and then pack a little extra, just in case you decide to stay longer, you get caught in a hurricane and can’t leave when you planned, or you’re abducted by the local separatist group and held for ransom.

Photocopies of everything:

Passports, visas, IDs, medical insurance, plane tickets, hotel and car rental numbers, emergency contacts, prescription info. Keep it separate from your luggage once you arrive. If you lose any of these important documents during the trip, having the copies will make things much easier for you in the long run.

Condoms:

Because there will be plenty of time to make babies later.

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THE THINGS YOU CAN PROBABLY GET ONCE YOU’RE THERE

Obviously, this depends on where you’re going.

If you’re going to a major city, you’ll be able to get most everything you need, or variations thereof. The only reason to take stuff from home in this case is the possibility that those things will be more expensive at your destination. And even then, it might not be worth what you might have to pay for extra baggage. So do the math beforehand.

If you’re going somewhere more remote, or plan to live ruggedly, then you’ll need to figure out what will be unavailable at your destination and bring it with you. But again–only bring the kind of stuff that you absolutely must have.

Look through everything you’ve packed, and leave behind anything that fits into this category.

Bottom Line

Packing light is packing right. Take some time beforehand to figure out what you absolutely need to bring with you. Remember, there’s really only one thing you need for this trip: your wife. (And the underwear. Don’t forget the underwear.)

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