Packing for your upcoming trip can be exciting and overwhelming all at the same time. I always start early with making a list of everything I should pack. Then I pack, take everything out of my bag, and repack with less stuff. The luggage always seems large until you’re using your body weight to zip it closed. Haha No matter your process, below is a list of 7 things people usually either don’t think to pack, forget to pack, or just don’t know they should be bringing with them at all. Read on to see how helpful these items could be on your next trip.
1. Back-Up Medicine From Your Doctor
This section will cover the vaccinations you should get before you leave for your trip, things to avoid eating to avoid illness, and what medicine you should be asking your doctor for.
- Before our international honeymoon, we visited our general practice doctor to receive vaccines. Several of the countries we visited required different medicines. Not every country will require vaccines, but take a look at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Travelers’ Health page to see if the country you are visiting requires or suggests vaccinations.
- Ask your doctor if there is an additional prescription they can give you that would ease a bad stomach bug, should you get one. You don’t want to spend your honeymoon sick in and out of the bathroom.
- Unfortunately, if you are going out of the country, sometimes your belly isn’t used to the food in other regions of the world. In some countries, the tap water is unsafe to drink. So, keep in mind, if you can’t drink the sink water, you also probably can’t eat fresh washed fruits and vegetables, any cold desserts, and any beverages with ice or with a water base. A small mistake of having a salad at lunch could make you very ill. Hubby and I both got the extra back up prescription for stomach issues, and it did come in handy when he got food poisoning in Thailand. It’s always great to be prepared.
- There are probably drugstores, but unless you speak the language, it will be hard to read labels and challenging to communicate with the pharmacist. Who wants to spend their honeymoon tracking down a drugstore?
- Drugs from where you live are very different from where you are traveling to. I had a common cold when we visited the UK. I went to the pharmacy and picked up over the counter cold medicine and it was so strong it made me feel far worse with a heavy case of nausea. Try to bring the meds you need when you travel.
2. Cheesy Honeymoon Clothes
During our engagement, I received several shirts and canvas bags that said something along the lines of “honeymoon”, “Honeymoonin”, “Wifey & Hubby” or “Newlyweds”. I was all about wearing a cutesy cheesy shirt for the occasion—however, if the graphic tee is not your style, consider these factors…
- This is the only trip in your life where wearing a “honeymoon” branded shirt is 100% true. Live it up!
- Your hotel, restaurants, shops, and activities may provide you with special freebies or discounts because they see you are celebrating.
- Anyone who sees it will congratulate you, which will further the celebrations!
- You and your spouse can get something matching which will make for adorable pictures.
3. Special Lingerie
You may bring something cute to wear to bed on a regular vacation, but on your honeymoon it’s a special milestone in your relationship and deserves something a little more special.
- Reserve lingerie you receive during the engagement (bridal shower or bachelorette gifts) for this trip. Pack something brand new that your spouse has never seen you in before.
- Pack something different that you typically hadn’t worn at home. This enforces that it’s a special occasion.
- Pack as many unique pieces as possible. After all, it is your honeymoon and your spouse will be thrilled with each new night’s outfit.
- If you took a sexy boudoir photo shoot that you are gifting to your spouse on wedding day, surprise them on the honeymoon by wearing those pieces.
- Don’t forget to buy a piece you can wear under an outfit. Whether it’s a daytime outfit, or an evening look, when you finally go to change your spouse will be totally surprised such a sexy piece had been on you that whole time. SURPRISE!
- Don’t worry about how much space you are taking up in your luggage on undergarments. It’s your honeymoon, and lingerie doesn’t take up that much space.
4. Laptop or Another Way to Back Up Photos
I plan to write a full post on travel tech but wanted to touch on this topic a bit in this post. On the cruise when Hubby and I got engaged, we had a video of our proposal on a SD memory card. By the time we got home, that thing was GONE! So sad. We couldn’t remember who packed it, if we even removed it from the safe, or if we dropped it somewhere. We wrote the cruise company and never heard back. Such a tiny memory card was probably thrown away. Hence the urgency in backing up your photos and video as you go along. On our six-week honeymoon we captured 15,000 photos! That’s a lot of photos (not even including video)! Each day, we were using two cellphones, a Canon DSLR, and a GoPro to capture our priceless memories. It’s a tedious task to back up photos and video every day, but it is so important when on a special vacation.
- I know it’s a bit cumbersome, but pack your laptop in your carry-on. Every day before bed, just plug in your camera and back up all the photos and videos onto your computer or onto a cloud storage system.
- Pack an external hard drive. The one we packed was 1 terabyte.
- By doing this, you also avoid the nightmare scenario I listed above where we lost the piece of tech that our memories were stored on. Say you took photos on your phone and lost it. There go your photos! But let’s say you backed up your phone and had them on your computer, the cloud, or a hard drive—it’s a lot harder to lose everything.
Once you back them up, you can choose to remove the photos and videos from your phone or camera to free up some storage space (you should only do this if the back-up is on the cloud or a third device though!). Can you imagine if we hadn’t brought along our laptop? We would have been deleting photos along the way to clear up memory. I wouldn’t have been able to decide which photos were most important to us. I liked them all! Otherwise, some devices do have a lot of memory nowadays, so you may choose to just empty your phone memory before your trip starts. The main point is to back up your photos on multiple devices, or even the cloud, each night.
5. Backpack Cooler
A few years ago, we were perusing CVS Drugstore and found a backpack cooler. At the time, I had never seen one of these before, so we bought it. To this day, it’s one of the best random things we ever purchased! It’s perfect for the beach, hiking, and traveling, and you could even take it grocery shopping. There are so many uses! We take ours every time we do outdoor activities or go on a road trip. It’s even traveled internationally a few times (Okay, just Canada!). We couldn’t have taken this larger bag on our six-week honeymoon around the world (not to mention that most cities were still in winter), but if you were going to one warm destination, then it may be nice. For instance, in Thailand, it was so hot we were constantly purchasing ice cream to stay cool. It would have been nice to have our backpack cooler with ice cold beverages.
6. Portable Roll-Up Backpack
On our honeymoon, we did a bunch of trips around town and also trips outside of town. Since we would be away from our hotel for long durations of time, we had to pack everything we needed for the day in one bag. We did not want to lug around something heavy, so we invested in a portable lightweight backpack. Ours zipped up really tiny when not in use, then unzipped to a full-size backpack with substantial space to hold the daily essentials: bottles of water, phones, camera, travel documents, valuables, sunscreen, lip balm, a change of clothes, and the souvenirs we would purchase that day. I recommend a backpack that is waterproof and has two side pockets for water bottles. These are similar to the bag that we brought with us:
PRO TIP: You can hold a lot in a 20L bag. Upon check-in for many international flights, your checked bag and carry-on are both subject to dimension and weight verification. If you decided to use this bag as a carry-on, you can hold a lot more inside the bag than a traditional wheeled carry-on.
- Samsonite hard shell carry-on: 8.4 lbs
- Samsonite soft shell carry-on: 8 lbs
- Outlander portable backpack: 0.5 lbs !!
7. Various Sizes of Resealable Plastic Bags
Small plastic bags are something everyone overlooks when traveling, but there are so many uses for them:
- Put your carry-on toiletries in a large gallon size bag to make going through airport security easy.
- Put your checked bag toiletries in another gallon size bag so air pressure in the plane doesn’t burst open a liquid bottle onto your clothes. Nothing like opening your bag to find soiled clothes. I’ve had this happen with a perfume once, and although my clothes smelled nice, they had those water stain marks all over them. I had to rewash everything before I could wear them. Luckily that trip was to my in-laws’ place with a full-size washer, but imagine if I had been in a foreign country how difficult that would have been.
- Waterproofing is another great use. Important documents such as passports, itineraries, and reservations should be protected. We did an excursion at Niagara Falls once and totally waterlogged our passports because we hadn’t protected them in baggies. You can also protect clothes or shoes from water if stored in plastic resealable bags.
- Bagging individual outfits is especially great if you pack by outfits versus category of clothing. You can pack a bottom, top, and undergarments in each bag (this will work better for women with smaller clothing, but for men you can purchase larger bags).
- Baggie categories of clothes similar to how I do with compression packing cubes. You would use large resealable bags and sort by categories such as tops, bottoms, and undergarments into a bag each. Don’t forget to squish all the air out of the bags to achieve the same compression effect.
- You can pack on the go snacks for day trips. Sandwiches, trail mix, chips, cookies, and fruit are all perfect in sandwich-size bags. When we travel, we usually find a grocery store and purchase full-size snacks then baggie it ourselves. It is so much cheaper than buying snack sizes. Pro Tip: on a cruise, baggie up snacks before you get off the boat. You can go to the buffet and pack something, or even do free room service. You should have no problem exiting the ship but note that they may not let you back on the ship with outdoor foods, so eat that on land.
- You can also use the baggies to get ice from your hotel ice machine (if the water is potable of course) to keep in your cooler backpack for the day.
- When traveling internationally, there is a likelihood that amenities found very commonly in the United States are rare overseas. Paper towels and resealable plastic bags are two of those items.
- Overall, I suggest you pack a small stockpile of all different size resealable bags. You will find even more uses for them. They always come in handy when we travel.
To recap, the seven items listed below will help you with feeling well, looking your best, capturing the memories, and packing smart! Some of these are small things that make a big difference, so don’t forget them in your packing lists!
- Backup medicine from your doctor
- Cheesy honeymoon clothes
- Special lingerie
- Laptop or another way to transfer photos
- Backpack cooler
- Portable roll-up backpack
- Various sizes of resealable plastic bags
DISCLAIMER: Any brands listed above are not sponsors.