You’ve just said “I do” to your person—congrats!—and now it’s time to celebrate your nuptials with the trip of a lifetime, whether it’s a South African safari or a balmy beach getaway. “The honeymoon symbolizes a new beginning of life together filled with intimacy, adventure, and new experiences,” travel expert Dr. Terika L. Haynes says. “This can serve as a catalyst to a lifetime of romance.”
While honeymoons are filled with ample rest and relaxation, all of the prep work you need to do before embarking on your vacation probably feels daunting—especially packing. That’s why we pulled together the perfect packing list for a one-week excursion. We also asked travel experts for their best-kept secrets to pack your suitcase in a more organized manner.
Ahead, everything you need to pack for your honeymoon, plus packing tips to keep in mind.
Meet the Expert
- Dr. Terika L. Haynes is the CEO and founder of Dynamite Travel, a luxury travel and media consultancy. She has 15 years of experience in the travel industry.
- Jessie Ladipo is the owner and chief travel designer for Trips to Cherish, a luxury travel boutique. She’s been working in the travel sector for 12 years.
Essentials You Can’t Forget
From credit cards to passports, this is everything you must bring with you on your honeymoon.
Always make two copies of each important document in case you lose one of the papers or one of your electronic devices. Keep one on hand, whether it’s in your carry-on or purse, and one in your suitcase.
- Driver’s license or a form of identification
- Passport (if you’re heading abroad)
- Converter or adapter (if your trip is out of the country)
- Chargers (for your laptop, phone, camera)
- Luggage tags
- Credit cards
- Cash (for tipping)
- 2 paper copies of important documents: passport, ID, credit cards, travel itinerary, health insurance, travel insurance, and prescriptions
- Paper and electronic copies of your hotel booking confirmation
- Paper and electronic copies of phone numbers of your doctor, sitter, credit card, and health insurance
What to Pack in Your Carry-On
Since you’ll have your carry-on on hand while traveling, it’s the best place to store all of your essentials, especially if your luggage gets lost. For anything not on this list, you can pack it in your checked luggage.
- Form of identification (driver’s license and passport if needed)
- Credit cards (Remember to tell your bank about your travel plans.)
- Cash (or the native currency)
- 1 paper copy of all important documents (see above)
- Prescription medications
- Basic toiletries: face wash, toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant
- A change of clothes (in case your luggage gets lost)
- Cell phone and charger (and an adapter if you’re leaving the country)
- Entertainment: e-reader, books, magazines, and/or a deck of cards
- Travel pillows and sleep masks
Toiletries to Bring
Here is a list of all the toiletries you’ll need to bring with you. Although you’ll want to add a few essentials to your carry-on, pack the rest of your toiletries in a dopp kit and place it in your larger suitcase.
- Medications: prescription medication in original packaging, pain relievers, antacids, antihistamine
- Shower essentials: shampoo, conditioner, body wash, razors, shaving cream
- Hair care items: hair brush, hair ties, hairstyling tools, hairstyling products
- Skincare products: face wash, face moisturizer, body lotion
- Oral hygiene items: toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
- Makeup and makeup remover
- Perfume or cologne
- Nail filer
- Cotton swabs
- Feminine hygiene products
- Birth control and condoms
- Hand sanitizer
Clothing to Pack
Below are garments to pack on your trip for you and your partner, plus the estimated number of each item you’ll need for a week-long stay. Since the climate affects what outfits you’ll wear, add more lightweight clothing for warm destinations, heavier coats for chilly temperatures, and athletic gear for adventure trips.
- Bottoms for her: 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of leggings, 1 skirt, 1 sundress, 2 pairs of shorts
- Bottoms for him: 1 pair of jeans, 1 pair of khakis, 1 pair of dress pants, 2 pairs of shorts
- Tops for her: 4 casual shirts
- Tops for him: 4 T-shirts, 1 or 2 short-sleeve button-downs, 1 or 2 long-sleeve button-downs
- Jackets for her: 1 light jacket or cardigan
- Jackets for him: 1 sports jacket
- Shoes: 1 pair of sneakers, 1 pair of walking shoes, 1 pair of evening shoes
- 8 pairs of underwear
- 2-3 pairs of socks
- Bras: strapless bras, sports bras, regular padded bras
- Accessories: scarves, earrings, necklaces, bracelets, purses, clutches, hats, sunglasses, ties
- Workout attire
Miscellaneous Items to Have
Although we’ve mostly covered everything you’ll need for your trip in the above sections, there are a few miscellaneous items you should throw into your suitcase:
- Plastic bags (for wet or dirty clothes)
- Stain remover pen
- Umbrella or rain gear
- Small backpack or fanny pack for day excursions
- Tote bag for the beach or pool
Location-Specific Items to Grab
Whether you’re headed to a tropical island or a snowy mountain, you’ll need certain items based on the weather and the activities you’ll be doing. Consider bringing the below items with you to make your stay more enjoyable.
- Beach, resorts, or cruises: bathing suits, cover-ups, beach towels, sunscreen, bug spray, aloe, watersports attire
- Safari or adventure trips: binoculars, hiking shoes, flashlight, extra socks and underwear, athletic pants
- Cold weather or ski vacations: heavy jackets, sweaters, mittens or gloves, hats or earmuffs, waterproof snow pants, long underwear, scarves, waterproof socks, boots, ski equipment, hand warmers
Items to Leave at Home
You might be tempted to fill your suitcase with all of your favorite things, but there are a few valuables or unnecessary items to keep at home.
- Expensive jewelry (including your engagement ring)
- Sentimental items
- Work laptops
- Full-size toiletries
- New shoes
- Too many clothing options
Tips to Pack More Effectively
Now that you have a list of every single item you need to pack with you on your honeymoon, here are a few expert-approved tips to pack your suitcase and carry-on in a more organized and effective way.
Do Your Research
Before you start throwing objects into your suitcase, set aside some time to research the destination and the hotel or resort you’ll be staying at. Haynes says doing this will help you identify any specific dress codes you’ll need to follow and familiarize yourself with the types of activities the place offers, so you’ll get a better idea of the attire you’ll need to wear. For instance, if the resort has a fancy dining room for dinner, you’ll want to grab a nice dress or sport coat. If your hotel is by the ocean with opportunities to surf and sail, you’ll want to pack multiple bathing suits.
Book Activities Ahead of Time
After you have a general idea of the excursions, activities, and restaurants that are available, plan a loose itinerary in advance. Not only will you avoid the stress of making plans at the last minute, but you’ll also have a more seamless time packing for your trip. By booking a few dinner reservations in town, a tour of the Vatican, or a surfing lesson, you’ll know exactly how to dress, Haynes notes.
Pack Before the Wedding
Jessie Ladipo of Trips to Cherish recommends packing your bag before you swap vows, especially if you’re leaving town the following day. Since you won’t be in a mad rush to fill your suitcase, you’ll be more likely to remember everything you’ll need. “Packing before also gives you a couple of extra days to add anything you forgot,” she mentions.
Maximize Your Space
You might think you’re saving time by throwing your clothes and toiletries into your suitcase, but you’ll have more trouble finding what you need once you’ve reached your destination. For a more organized method of packing that uses every inch of space, Haynes advises purchasing packing cubes “to compress your items and take advantage of all available space in their luggage.” She also encourages couples to add their outfits to vacuum bags, so you can pack more with less. According to Ladipo, another way to fit more into your suitcase is by rolling your clothes rather than folding them. Not to mention, this technique will avoid unwanted wrinkles.
Since your honeymoon is a once-in-a-lifetime vacation, you probably want to bring all of your favorite outfits and items. But before you know it, your suitcase has exceeded the maximum weight. To avoid overpacking, Ladipo suggests noting how you will use every piece you plop into your suitcase and whether or not it’s practical to bring. “Before you pack that fancy cocktail dress and Jimmy Choos, please stop and think about why you are taking it,” she advises. “Is there a specific occasion? Is it comfortable? Can you walk long distances in those shoes? When in doubt, leave it at home.”