Six essentials to pack for your honeymoon


Without getting into all the clothes/books/music/swimwear you will want to take with you on honeymoon (I’m sure you can figure those out for yourself!), there are a few things that you really should make sure that you take with you on your travels to make sure that it all goes smoothly.

Travel insurance

At a time when you’re already paying out a lot of cash, travel insurance may just seem like an extra you could do without. But buying travel insurance really should go hand in hand with booking any holiday. Yes, chances are that nothing might happen to you or your husband/wife while you’re away, but you never know what could happen, and it’s reassuring to know that you’re covered in a worst case scenario. I’ve had my baggage “lost” by airlines on two occasions – the first time, I never got my bag back. This was really really upsetting, and though I would have rather had all my clothes back, it was good that I was able to get a nice payout from the insurance company to cover my losses (and so I could replace my clothes). The other time, which happened just a few months later, my bag was delayed in getting to my final destination due to a very short transit time between flights. I had 48 hours with nothing but the clothes I was wearing and what I had in my carry-on bag – having travel insurance meant that I could go out and get myself some clothes to see me through until my bag turned up, and claim back the expense for them when I got back to the UK.

When buying travel insurance, make sure that the policy offers adequate coverage for baggage, money and valuables, as well as for delay and curtailment. I usually check Moneysupermarket to compare policies (and prices) before buying, but in the past I’ve used both InsureandGo and Columbus and been very happy with the service provided. If something does happen while you’re away that you need to claim for, make sure you keep hold of all necessary paperwork and receipts.

Suntan lotion

A bit of an obvious one, but really important. Whenever I’ve had to buy suntan lotion abroad I’ve found it to be a lot more expensive than it would of been if I’d bought it at home – especially as you can often get some great two for one discounts in Boots and Superdrug. Remember also that the sun is often a lot stronger elsewhere, so it’s worth using a higher SPF than usual, and you’ll need to reapply frequently – we were amazed at how easily we burnt when we first got to South Africa, despite being sure to apply suntan lotion regularly, so we had to make an effort to apply lotion more often than we would normally do.

Passport

Make sure that your passport is still valid and has enough months’ validity left on it – some countries require that your passport is valid for at least six months after your stay (you can check whether this is required on the Foreign Office website). Also, make sure that you have enough blank pages – people have been refused boarding because they haven’t had enough blank pages in their passport (for visas etc), so do make sure that you have space in it. If you’re taking your husband’s name when you get married, make sure that your passport matches the name that you book your tickets in – you won’t be allowed to fly if it’s not, so if you want to travel under your newlywed name, you’ll have to apply for a change to your passport in advance of the wedding.

Contraception

Unless you’re planning for a honeymoon baby, then make sure you don’t get caught out without enough contraception. In some countries you’ll have no problem getting a hold of what you need, but in others it’ll be a lot more hassle than it’s worth and there’s really no point in wasting precious holiday time rushing around on the hunt for somewhere that stocks condoms/the pill. I always make sure that I take an extra packet of pills and keep it separate to the packet I’m currently using – so that if I lose the current packet, I’m still fine.

Vaccinations

Okay, so this isn’t exactly something that you can pack…but it is a very important thing to bear in mind if you’re going anywhere exotic (basically anywhere outside of Europe/North America/Australasia). Visit your GP or a local travel clinic at least six weeks before travelling to discuss what you need – in many instances you won’t need much more than Hep A and Typhoid – and be aware that you do now have to pay for some vaccinations, even at your local surgery. You may find that a privately run travel clinic can offer a more competitive price for vaccinations, so don’t be afraid to shop around. It is really important to seek medical advice on vaccinations – it’s really not worth contracting anything nasty while you’re away, and if you’re going somewhere where malaria is prevalent then you shouldn’t hesitate in buying the necessary tablets. I usually opt for Malarone, because of limited side affects compared to other anti-malarials, but they are pretty expensive. Also, in some parts of the world, mosquitoes have become resistent to certain types of anti-malarials, so do make sure that you choose the right one for your destination – again, your doctor will be able to advise you on this.

Back-up cash

It’s really down to you about how you choose to carry your holiday money – and also down to what’s easiest for your destination. But whatever you do, it’s a good idea to take a back-up – whether it’s a few travellers’ cheques that you can cash in if need be, a cash card or a credit card, or just a few notes that you stash away for safe keeping/emergencies. Because the last thing you want to do is spend the whole trip worrying that you’ve got enough cash to see you through – or missing out on that amazing boat trip/meal/elephant ride because you didn’t bring enough with you.

Photo by Andrew Stawarz

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