You’ve tied the knot and now it’s time for your first big adventure together as a married couple. Your honeymoon is a great time to relax and unwind after your journey down the aisle. But as you know from wedding planning, these exciting occasions require some attention to detail. The more prepared you are, the more you can fully enjoy these special moments. Read ahead for the ultimate honeymoon planning checklist for a stress free trip to celebrate the start of your new life.
How to plan a stress free honeymoon
Good travel planning takes more than just a simple packing list. Here’s what to consider when organizing each step of your honeymoon planning timeline.
Decide your destination
Of course, before you can work out any other details, you’ll need to pick a location. Talk to your partner about your ideal honeymoon destinations about seven months ahead. That gives you enough time to book the destination, plus a few weeks to think about your decision. Do you want to relax on the beach or see a new city that you’ve always wanted to visit? Pick a place that you both look forward to exploring.
Do your research
You want to know what to expect when you arrive. Make sure to apply due diligence when researching your chosen destination. For instance, consider the time of year you’re booking your trip. You might not want to choose a tropical location if it’s storm season.
If you’re traveling internationally, it’s especially important to have all of your ducks in a row. Check to see if you need a visa for entry, what currency you’ll need to exchange, and what your transportation options are when you get there. It’s also essential to review the local customs so you can respect, and blend in with, the culture.
Schedule travel and accommodations
Once you’ve made your decision, you’ll want to book your travel and lodging about six months beforehand. If you’re having trouble finding the best accommodations on your own, consider enlisting the help of a travel agent. They may have the ins and outs on aspects like hotel availability that may be harder to find on your own. If public transit isn’t easily accessible, you’ll also want to book your rental car around this time.
Create your dream itinerary
Planning your honeymoon is a little different from getting ready for any other vacation. This trip is about starting your new life journey together on the right foot. Schedule activities a couple of months before takeoff that give you plenty of opportunities to make lifetime memories. Bond over an adventure like ziplining or take a surf lesson. If you prefer a slower pace, look into a guided city tour or visit a local vineyard.
You don’t need to plan every minute of your trip, though. It’s good to have structure, but don’t forget, you want some time to relax after all the work that went into your big day too.
Cross your t’s and dot your i’s
After you’ve checked off the big items on your list, make sure nothing else slips through the cracks. Halfway through your honeymoon planning timeline, review any other little details and form a plan to address them. This is also the time to make sure your passports are up to date and look into travel insurance options.
Start assembling your packing list a month before you leave, so you have enough time to buy anything you don’t already have. All of that research you did at the beginning will come in handy here. For example, if you’re visiting a country with rocky beaches, you may want to buy water shoes. Iron out those needs now, so you’ll have everything you need to stay comfortable.
This is also a great chance to practice making decisions as a team. Review your list together and delegate who is responsible for packing what. If you’re going somewhere warm, you want to make sure at least one of you remembers the sunblock.
Double check all reservations
Between your honeymoon and wedding planning, you have a lot to keep track of. It’s a good idea to confirm everything you’ve booked one last time, also about a month before. This will give you the chance to tie up any loose ends, so you can enjoy peace of mind when it’s time to travel.
The ultimate honeymoon planning checklist
There may be a lot to organize before your honeymoon, but here’s a little help getting you started. Below is a breakdown of all the things you’ll want to plan, pack, and prepare. There may be some items you’ll want to add yourself, based on your unique vacation agenda. But this will at least get you going, and might even remind you of a few details you overlooked. So set up your spreadsheet — or break out the old fashioned pen and paper — and get to listing.
What to include in your honeymoon plan
After all of the time and effort you put into making your wedding day happen, you’re probably an event planning expert by now. As you may have done for the day you say “I do,” you’ll want a chronological checklist that covers all of the details. Your plan should include the following.
- Select your destination and trip dates
- Study your location’s travel requirements and unique customs
- Set a budget
- Book your flights, hotel, and transportation
- Update passports and apply for visas as required
- Research fun things to do and make reservations as necessary
- Get travel insurance and any other paperwork you need
- Check international data requirements with your cell phone provider
- Let your bank know you’re traveling, so there’s no hassle with your credit cards
- Hire pet sitters if needed
What to pack for your honeymoon
When it’s time to decide what should go in your luggage, take a look at your itinerary and see what you’ll need for each activity. You’ll also want to get a sense of the weather forecast for your visit. Pack what you’ll need for each day’s schedule, along with a few back up items in case of the unexpected. Just don’t overdo it to the point where your suitcase is over your airline’s luggage weight requirements. And remember, you may want to leave room to bring back souvenirs. You’ll want to pack the below items.
- Functional and comfortable clothing for adventures
- A few formal outfits for romantic dinners
- An organized file of all your travel documents, such as tickets, identification, and visas
- Credit cards and cash — including local currency for things like taxis when you arrive
- Travel size essentials like soap, deodorant, toothpaste, shampoo, and conditioner
- First aid items like bandages, bug spray, pain relievers, and antacids
- Prescriptions and other daily medications (Keep these in your carry on in case of luggage delays)
- Electronics like your phone, camera, headphones, chargers, and adapters for international trips
What to remember during and after your honeymoon
You’ve made your checklist to get everything ready before your trip. Now think about what’s needed when you get there. Even if you’ve planned down to the last detail, some things may be out of your control. It’s always good to be ready with a back-up plan. A little extra organization will keep things low stress when plans need to shift. And of course, don’t forget there are a few items to wrap up when you return. Here are the last little things to keep in mind for an ideal honeymoon experience.
- Write down contact details for your hotel and any other reservations
- Get a paper map in case wifi disruptions affect your GPS or mapping apps
- Take as many photos as possible to capture your magical memories
- Make sure you know all the local laws and be respectful of regional customs
- Keep a list of emergency contacts and regularly check in with friends and family
- Be adventurous and try as much local cuisine as possible
- When you get back, write a thank-you card to the people who helped you plan your trip
- Share all of your exciting experiences with your loved ones
- Commemorate your unforgettable trip with a photo album or scrapbook
Plan your way to the honeymoon of your dreams
Just like your wedding, your honeymoon should be as close to your personal vision as possible. The sooner you plan, the more likely you are to get the once in a lifetime experience you’re looking for. If you have a thorough checklist as your guide, you can rest easy knowing your trip will run smoothly, so you can focus on creating lasting memories together. Draft your detailed honeymoon planning checklist, so after you’ve said your vows at one of Trademark’s unique venues, you can kick back, relax, and enjoy.