After months—or even years!—of wedding planning, your honeymoon is welcome break. You and your spouse need time to relax and connect with each other as partners. While you can certainly do that at home, or in your home country, many of the top honeymoon spots are international. Of course, no matter where you go, there are essentials that you can’t be without. (Hint: birth control and feminine hygiene products are on that list!) But your international honeymoon has some unique must-haves, too, so you get the most out of your time in foreign lands.
Many of these international honeymoon essentials require a little research ahead of time. After all, you’re not just hopping in the car and driving to The Cape! You should familiarize yourself with your destination—enough so you’re not using data to search, “conversion rates near me.” Even a little research ahead of time will ease the stress of international travel, and help you celebrate this next step in your relationship.
You plan to rent a car
Do you and your spouse plan on driving or exploring farther than a few blocks from your hotel? Then you’ll definitely need a map! Even if you bring your cellphones, you may not have consistent data—or roaming might cost a small fortune! And, of course, if you leave your phone in your room, you’ll need another navigation tool.
This international essential can wait until you arrive at your destination, though. You can certainly buy or print out maps before you set sail, but that’s another thing to remember to pack. You can, however, familiarize yourself with the general area ahead of time, by using Google Maps or a similar service.
You don’t speak the language
If your international honeymoon is in England, you won’t need a dictionary. Just brush up on some of the words and phrases that mean something different across the pond—like jumper and football. But if you don’t speak the language of your destination, learn some key travel and conversational phrases. Then, have a small dictionary on-hand to help in a pinch. You don’t need to speak the language fluently, but it will be easier to navigate around and ask the questions you need to ask. Plus, there are lots of benefits to learning a new language!
You plan on shopping
In most cases, you can use your credit card for purchases. Certain credit cards are designed specifically for international travel—so you can reap rewards once you return home. But you shouldn’t rely entirely on credit cards. It’s always good to carry a little cash when traveling, in both U.S. currency and your destination’s.
Bonus Tip: Research exchange rates, so you know what’s a good deal!
As with your dictionary, you can—and should!—wait until you reach your destination to exchange cash. Avoid airports or shops in high-traffic tourist areas, though, as you’ll most likely get a poor exchange rate. Instead, visit a local bank or ATM.
You have lots of devices
Depending on your destination, your cellphone or tablet charging cables might not fit in the outlets. Countries like Canada, Bermuda, and the Bahamas have the same outlets as the United States. But Greece, Italy, and Australia all use different outlets. If you’re not sure what your destination country uses, check out this handy list—complete with details and images of each outlet type. And don’t forget to stock up! After all, you and your spouse can’t share one adapter the whole trip. Have one for each of your phones, and an extra adapter for every two non-phone devices.
The Right Clothes
You planned lots of activities
Packing the right clothes isn’t just a necessity for an international honeymoon; it’s a necessity for any trip. Do your best to pack according to the local season and weather predictions, while considering any planned activities or excursions. For example, pack the right boots for your hike, and the right dress for your romantic dinner.
But most importantly—discuss the overall honeymoon vibe with your partner before packing the rest of your clothes. Aside from the hike and the dinner, how do you plan to spend your days? Some couples don’t leave the hotel room much, while others fill their days with shopping, eating, and exploring. There’s no wrong answer; you just don’t want to pack a suitcase full of lingerie while your partner is packing walking shoes!
Knowledge of Local Customs
You don’t want to look silly
Did you know that you should really keep it down if you’re traveling to London? Or that the OK hand gesture is offensive in Brazil? Every culture has a unique set of customs and social etiquette that you should do your best to follow when traveling. Just like learning the language—you won’t become fluent in their cultural norms. But doing a little be of research can save you from embarrassing yourself. Or worse, offending someone else!
You should always bring these!
Honeymoon or not, you should always have copies of your important documents stashed in your purse, backpack, and luggage. That way, if the originals go missing, you will be able to replace them more easily. Being stuck in foreign country without any identification can be frustrating and even scary! So, before you head out the door, scan those documents, including your driver’s license, passport, credit cards, and any traveler’s or health insurance documents. For the extra-cautious, have copies of your documents and your spouses—in case all their luggage goes missing. (And vice versa, of course!)
Wherever your international honeymoon takes you, packing the right essentials will help you enjoy your travels that much more. Of course, this list isn’t destination-specific—so don’t forget to pack sunscreen if you’re traveling to the Bahamas! But sometimes the excitement of travel makes us forget to think practically, too. We hope this helps you do both.
Where are you going for your international honeymoon? What destination-specific items will you pack?