When Trisha (my wife) and I first started planning our pandemic-season wedding, friends kept asking us if we were going to go on a honeymoon. Honestly, we both just sort of laughed each time. I mean, at the time there weren’t widely available vaccines, we have shared custody of an 8-year-old, and (even small) weddings are expensive (and so are honeymoons)—so, really, we figured we wouldn’t be going on a honeymoon anytime soon.
Then, as the last year-and-a-half has done a hundred times, things changed. Suddenly, we were vaccinated, as were most people we knew, and travel restrictions had lifted (or were prepping to) for a lot of the world. So, we started letting ourselves daydream about a honeymoon. Before we knew it, we had used some credit card airline miles to book super cheap flights (we have COVID to thank for that part), and we had secured a (fully refundable) place to stay in Sayulita, Mexico. We stayed realistic about the possibility that it might get canceled—we were so grateful when we were able to run off on a beach vacation for seven days, a few weeks after our tiny wedding. Literally zero regrets (which I realize is, in part, because we lucked out and traveled right in the lull of what now seems to be another pandemic peak).
So maybe you’re planning a honeymoon now, maybe you’re planning a trip close to home, or maybe you’re dreaming of a honeymoon one day when travel opens back up. Regardless, we’ve come up with key tips, a honeymoon packing list, and our best shopping picks on the internet right now.
Take a Honeymoon (or a Mini-Moon)
If you have the option, and it feels safe and plausible, don’t be like me. Wedding planning is exhausting and stressful, followed by tons of feelings. Going back to work right after all that without any kind of decompression is a recipe for grumpiness. Plus, you and your partner deserve a few days to bask in the glow of being newlyweds—whether that’s with a formal honeymoon or two nights at the local Best Western (don’t knock it, the continental breakfast is legit).
Don’t feel like you have to leave the night of, or the morning after, your wedding for a honeymoon. Actually, I recommend you really don’t, especially if there are flights involved. I promise you’ll be so tired post-wedding, that you’ll need a day or two to decompress before you try to hop a flight. But, if you are taking a more traditional honeymoon, aka leaving shortly after “I do,” the last thing you want to be thinking about in the lead-up to your wedding is what to pack in your honeymoon bags. Plus, if you’re like me, tired packing = forgetting to bring underwear. (Ask me about the time I packed frantically, the morning of a trip to Hawaii, and grabbed a scarf, multiple pairs of socks but no tennis shoes, and only one summery dress—that’s the only time in life I’ve packed so frantically. Never again.) This is why today we’ve put together a honeymoon packing list to beat all. It is both practical and fun (because on your honeymoon, you deserve a few frivolous things. I said so).
Hope for the best, pack for the worst
When it comes to all things in life, I am what you might call an over-preparer. I like to hope all things will go smoothly, but I also believe that’s true because I have done everything in my power to make it so. So don’t be surprised when my packing list feels… ahem… long. But as with all things in life, take what you need and leave the rest.
In order to be highly prepared, you’ll want to check the weather before your trip so that you can adjust your honeymoon packing list accordingly—because Greenland and Costa Rica will simply require different items. Either way, here are some absolute essentials for your honeymoon—tropical, cold, close to home, or far away. Happy travels, friends.
The honeymoon packing checklist
I didn’t want you to forget a single thing on your romantic getaway, so here’s our ultimate honeymoon packing list.
honeymoon travel Essentials
This hard-sided luggage from Italic
Trust me when I say that it’s time to upgrade your old luggage from who-knows-when. There is not much worse than being in the airport with a suitcase with a broken wheel and a stuck zipper. This hard-sided luggage from Italic is the answer to your luggage conundrum. It’s plenty roomy to fit a week’s worth of clothes (for warm weather, at least), it fits in the overhead compartment, it comes with packing cubes, an integrated TSA approved lock system, and it has a built-in battery pack to charge your phone on the go. It checks every box. Add this to your honeymoon packing (and shopping) list.
If you haven’t heard of Italic yet, let me introduce you. Italic is a membership-based retail site that offers top-quality goods from the same manufacturers as leading brands for up to 80% less. This suitcase is made by the same manufacturers that create products for some of the biggest names in luggage but at less than half the price. I took this exact suitcase on my honeymoon, and I can vouch for it 100%. Italic carries a lot more than just luggage, you have to check it out—plus, they have a 30-day guarantee on their membership because they know you’ll love it.
Clear Cosmetic Case from CALPAK
This clear cosmetics and toiletries bag has space for all your necessities, plus it looks good. If you’re looking for something a little smaller, I love this simple leather pouch from Italic.
I packed all the things to do my hair on our honeymoon (think: full-sized products and tools). Unfortunately for me, it was so darn hot and humid on our trip that I never even used them. If I had this travel set from T3 on my honeymoon packing list, I could have at least saved some space.
Okay, honestly, this is less of a thing to pack and more of a thing to get started on right now. The Snow teeth whitening kit is amazing because it’s specifically formulated for sensitive teeth, and just a few weeks. Do you need extra white teeth? Of course not. But knowing there is a solution for those of us with super sensitive teeth (yes, it’s a thing) is a win.
I never travel without a first aid kit, and our honeymoon was no exception. Pretty lucky for us, because the brand new shoes that Trisha brought gave her terrible blisters on our first day walking into town–we put the kit to good use.
Travel Jewelry Pouch from The Moonstoned
Your wedding ring(s) and any jewelry you bring to travel deserve to travel safely, and in style. With this adorable jewelry pouch, you get to choose your leather color (black or brown), and your interior velvet color. It’s a pricey option, but it Is. So. Beautiful.
Gold Huggie Earrings from Italic
Another favorite from Italic is all their affordable gold jewelry. These huggies are the kind you can put on and wear all day every day, you don’t even have to think about it. Perfect for your wedding day, and to add to your honeymoon packing list when you’re in and out of the pool/ocean/hot tub each day.
Left: Personalized Engraved Luggage Tag from Shelter Island Paper on Etsy | Right: Embroidered Luggage Tage from Daizy Kay Designs on Etsy
Don’t leave anything up to chance. Get yourself some cute luggage tags.
Left: Tote Pack from The North Face | Right: Metro Backpack from Monos
My preferred carry-on bag is always a backpack. It frees my hands up, and always has room for all the things I need (camera, headphones, books, etc.) These two are both great options. The North Face Tote Pack is a simple backpack with an elevated look with plenty of room for all your essentials. This Metro Backpack from Monos is a dream for travel—it’s got hidden pockets for your valuables and a trolley sleeve so it can hang out right on top of your suitcase.
Wedding Face Masks from Dash of Pride
Public Service Announcement: You should absolutely pack some masks, and if they can be cute and appropriately themed, all the better. Hey, maybe they’ll help you score a free honeymoon treat or two! These wedding face masks from our friends at Dash of Pride are so cute, we loved rocking them on our honeymoon.
Left: Apple AirPods Pro | Right: Mesh AirPods Pro Case from Anthropologie
An absolute must for me, when traveling, is good headphones. I absolutely love my AirPods Pro for work, travel, and every day (like when I vacuum and listen to podcasts). Get them a cute case and you’ll know where they are in your bag at all times.
Left: Tech Organizer from CalPak | Right: Portable Charger from Amazon
Nothing is worse than the sheer disorganization that can come from all the tech we take everywhere with us. Phone charger, camera charger, iWatch charger… eek! Keep it all in check with a cute little tech organization pouch, and snag yourself a travel charger to make life way easier—these are must-haves on the honeymoon packing list.
Left: Leather Fanny Pack from MANDRN Design on Etsy | Right: Please Recycle Fanny Pack from Girlfriend Collective
While I wasn’t initially on board for the fanny pack revolution that seems to be happening the last few years… travel is a time when I am 100% invested. Having a fanny pack on our honeymoon meant a super-easy way to carry phones, keys to our room, my wallet, masks, and more—all while keeping it close to my body, which made me feel a bit safer. These two options are large enough to store your daily outing needs, but stylish enough to be worn with any outfit.
Left: Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Camera w/ 15-45mm lens | Right: Vintage style camera strap from Art Tribute Co on Etsy
I 10/10 recommend investing in a camera for traveling—the memories are once in a lifetime. The new mirrorless cameras, like this one from Canon, are perfect because they’re lighter than their DSLR predecessors, and they take amazing photos. Don’t forget to get a cute camera strap to keep your new camera safe.
Warm weather honeymoon packing list must-haves
Left: After Hours Polarized Sunglasses from Quay Australia | Right: Coffee Run Sunglasses from Quay Australia
Sunglasses are the no-brainer for your honeymoon packing list… right? Well, mostly. When it comes to travel, I like to have good sunglasses that will hold up to the adventures and, ya know, block the sun from my eyes—but I also don’t want to spend a fortune and risk losing or breaking hundreds of dollars worth of sunnies. The answer? Quay. All day.
Cute Bandanas from Madewell via Nordstrom
Ready for my number one travel tip? Always, always, always bring bandanas. They work great for hair accessories, emergency masks, or in the case of our humid-as-heck-honeymoon in Mexico in July… sweat rags. Yes, really.
Left: Cloud packable bag from Baggu | Right: Trixie Retro Honeymoonin’ Tote from Unmeasured Designs on Etsy
If you’re going somewhere with a beach or a pool, I recommend a tote bag. It’s the easiest way to transport all your creature comforts wherever you go. This packable bag from Baggu is a dream, or be extra on-brand with this ‘Honeymoonin” tote.
Dock & Bay Beach Towel via Amazon
Depending on where you’re headed, you might want to bring your own beach towels. This one is super absorbent, quick-drying, sand-free, and compact for easy packing. Yay.
LifeStraw Stainless Steel Filtering Water Bottle via Amazon
Another traveling pro-tip… don’t mess around with the warnings about the water. Lots of places that are popular honeymoon destinations are known for sending guests home with pretty bad belly aches… not that I know from experience. Grab a water bottle that not only keeps your water cold but filters it, too.
Left: Foldable Sunhat from Baggu | Right: Joanna Hat from Brixton
It’s 2021, and we are here for sun protection (and fashion, duh). Don’t go on a sunny beach honeymoon without packing a hat to protect your face.
Left: The Fray Hat Holder from Lindsay Albanese | Right: The Drop Hat Holder from Lindsay Albanese
Someone has finally solved the traveling-with-a-hat-is-so-annoying problem. Check out these TopTote Hat Holders from Lindsay Albanese.
Left to Right: Beach Read by Emily Henry, People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry, To Shake The Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins, The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon
I managed to read a book and a half on our week-long honeymoon, which felt like such a huge win. I always travel with books, but when it came to honeymoon time I knew I wanted some easy reads. These are four top picks for easy beach / poolside.
From Left to Right: The Scoop Top and The Tap Swim Bottom in Seaweed from Cuup | The Malibu Ribbed from Andie | Sunday Top in Zinc and Hi Tide Bottom in Deep End from Left on Friday | Wrap One Piece Swimsuit from Aerie
You’ll want to pack a swimsuit (or six) for your trip. I love a good mix-and-match option (like the Left on Friday and Cuup two pieces), and a perfectly sexy, but still full-coverage one-piece (like these from Andie and Aerie).
Left to Right: V-Back Cover-Up Maxi Dress from Nordstrom | Button-up beach cover-up in linen-cotton from J. Crew | Tie-Dye Maxi Dress from Anthropologie | Beach Bliss Maxi Dress from Nordstrom | Ruffle Trim Dress from H&M
Warm weather travel pro-tip: let your clothes work double duty. Bring items that can function as swimsuit cover-ups, and as a daytime or evening out dress.
Left to right: Italic Aura Highwaisted Leggings in Bright Red | Italic Relaxed Fit Tank in Black | Italic Laine Hooded Windbreaker in Slate
Planning any adventures on your honeymoon? We went on an ATV excursion that was one of the highlights of the trip, I definitely recommend mixing in something a little outside your comfort zone. Packing a few pieces that would work for a hike, an excursion, or an early morning walk to breakfast is a good idea. We love these items from Italic.
Clockwise from top left: Steve Madden Dual Flat Sandal | Original Mareesa Sandal from Teva | Granada Sandal from Birkenstock | Women’s Tree Skipper from All Birds
Comfort and style are the names of the game. You want to be able to walk into town for dinner, or take a short hike to a secret beach, or stroll from your room to the pool and feel cozy 100% of the time. At least one pair of cute shoes and one pair of adventure shoes is what I brought on my honeymoon.
honeymoon bedtime packing list
Left to right: Jayne Pajamas from Adore Me | Silk Teddy from Skims | Not Sorry Lace Teddy from Savage x Fenty | Slip Silk Travel Set via Anthropologie
Bedtime on your honeymoon should be cozy (and cute… duh). So grab some cute lingerie and pajamas, and maybe a silky pillowcase and eye mask to be sure you sleep soundly after days full of fun (😉).
So, APW… did we forget anything? What items are you trying to find for your Honeymoon? Where are you headed on your honeymoon? Let us know all about it!