Preparing for Your Honeymoon

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The wedding is now over and all you want to do is get away, escape your life, and relax as a newly married couple on your honeymoon. But, the only way to really make your honeymoon as stress free as it's supposed to be, you have to be sure to prepare well in advance for your departure. Whether you're going away for a week or a month, these tips will help you head off to your honeymoon well prepared and carefree.

Medical Preparation
Depending on where your travels take you, it's important to do your research on what type of pre-travel medical precautions you should take, including shots and antibiotics. If you're going on an African safari, you should be prepared to get 4-6 vaccinations before you go and many need to be scheduled months in advance, so keep that in mind. It's also best to have your doctor write you prescriptions for all of your medications, so you can bring them with you in case you misplace your medicine.

Determine what documents you need depending on where you are traveling. It's better to be safe than sorry, so the more documentation you have the better. (Tip: Make two copies of all of them and leave one set of copies in your luggage, one set in your carry-on and keep the originals on you in a money belt). It's also safe to leave your family or friends with copies of these important documents as well, along with your itinerary, hotel phone numbers, and any other information they may need to know. 

Important Documents
-Plane ticket
-Credit and Debit cards (call your banks to tell them you will be traveling so they do not put an alert on your card and stop your funds)
-Write credit and debit card numbers down on a piece of paper and carry it with you in case you lose them
-Health insurance cards

Figure out what type of terrain you will be traveling in and what luggage would work best. Are you just going to carry-on, are you backpacking, or can you take full size luggage? Research your airline and TSA rules and regulations as well if you're traveling by plane, to make sure that your carry-on and checked bags are the correct size and that you won't be charged extra. Be sure to also weigh your luggage before you leave and make sure it is at least 5lbs under the limit in case there are any discrepancies between your scale and theirs. (An easy trick: weigh yourself first, then stand on the scale and have your partner hand you the luggage, take that weight and subtract your weight and you'll know exactly what your luggage weighs). Make sure your luggage has locks on it, is clearly marked with your contact information, has a bright colored identifier that separates your black luggage from all of the others, and also include a copy of your itinerary inside the front pocket- so if your luggage gets in the wrong hands or gets lost on the way over, they will know where your travels were taking you. 

Before you start packing, check the weather of your destination to make sure it's keeping up with its normal averages for that time of year. You never know when fluke weather will roll through, so it's better to do your research first. When it comes to packing, it's best to separate and protect things as much as possible. If you're running low on space, plastic air tight bags that can be found at retailers like REI make it easy to fit more in your luggage. You simply fill the bags with clothing, zip it shut, and compress all the air out, making your clothing lay flatter to give you more room in the suitcase. It's also best to use Ziploc bags to separate other items in your luggage, especially toiletries. Remember that if you're going to the airport, all of your liquids in your carry-on must be in a Ziploc bag and under 3 oz. each. 

Below is also a packing list from yours truly. As I have traveled around the country and abroad, I have continued to add things to the list. You may not need them all or you may need more, but this list is a great starting point. Remember, don't pack too much, you will need to save some room for souvenirs and some shopping items!

-Money belt (to hold all of your important documents)
-Ear plugs
-Neck pillow
-Change of clothes
-Hand sanitizer
-Bug spray
-Wet wipes
-Converter plugs (if traveling out of the country)
-Small notebook and pen (to write down places you want to see or things you want to remember from the trip)

-Laundry bag
-Raingear- umbrella and jacket
-Bathing suit (if needed)
-Accessories (jewelry, bags, scarves, etc)

-Shampoo and conditioner
-Soap/body wash
-Face wash
-Razors and shaving cream
-Eye drops
-Hair ties and bobby pins

And be sure to pack an extra change of clothes and your medicine in your luggage just in case!

Look Your Best
For the ladies, you may want to get your nails done and get your hair cut or colored. Schedule all of these appointments either right before your wedding or between your wedding day and your honeymoon so you're ready to go. For the men, think about what grooming you can do to prepare for your lady as well, so that you can look your best on your romantic getaway. 

It's Okay To Save
We know you're supposed to spoil yourself on your honeymoon, but who says you can't be savvy while on vacation? Feel free to do your research on where the best hidden restaurants are in the area that offer local deals, and don't be afraid to even print some coupons. You know your new hubby will love the fact that you're already saving!

Find a Sitter
Whether it be a for a dog, a cat, your plants, your house or all of the above, it's important to schedule sitters so you know your belongings are in good hands. Having someone get your mail, water your plants, clean your pool, or cut your grass can help take any anxiety or stress off your travels. The last thing you want to worry about is something happening back at home. If nobody is going to be watching your house, set timers on your lights so that it appears as if someone is home at night. 

Prepare a communication plan especially if you are going out of the country and will not have cell phone service. Even though you and your new husband/wife are supposed to be off relaxing on your own, you know your loved ones will want to know you're safe. Be sure to tell them you will check in through email when you arrive or make a slight schedule of when they should expect to hear from you. It will leave them a little more at peace.

One last thing to consider, is waiting a day or two to leave for your honeymoon. While all of that planning will probably leave you wanting to get away as soon as possible, waiting the extra day will ensure that your mind is clear and you won't forget to pack anything important. You'll also get to take your time and say goodbye to your guests that came in from out of town to attend your wedding. No one likes to travel while being stressed, give yourself the extra day and traveling will be so much more enjoyable!

Most importantly, enjoy this relaxing break and your alone time together while you can, you deserve it!


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