There are few reasons to want your wedding weekend to end, but one of them is that you have your honeymoon to look forward to right after. To make sure you enjoy every moment of this epic vacation, you'll want to come prepared with everything you'll need for your trip. And whether you're planning on navigating the streets of Bangkok, Thailand, or hitting some of the world's highest peaks outside Kathmandu, Nepal, traveling like a true backpacker means you'll have room for all the essentials. Here, your ultimate backpacking checklist.
This is a given, but you shouldn't settle on just any old backpack for your honeymoon travels. Luckily there are plenty of smartly-designed options on the market that range in price points, styles, and special features. "Try to select a versatile model that's lightweight, but can also hold all of your necessities and souvenirs," suggests Rafa Mayer, CEO of Say Hueque Argentina Journeys. "Also, keep in mind that weather is unpredictable (especially in Patagonia during the rainy season), so make sure you don't forget a waterproof cover—you'll thank me when you find yourself caught in a downpour halfway through a miles-long trek!"
It's your honeymoon, so of course you'll want to show off your best shoes. However, it's important to consider what kind of footwear you'll need based upon your destination of choice. Start by researching the temperature and terrain you'll encounter to determine what you'll need. "If you're completely lost or don't know where to start, stop by your favorite outdoor retailer and speak with an employee, who will be more than happy to help," says Mayer. "Break them in a few weeks beforehand, otherwise you'll risk some serious blisters."
A Day-After Kit
When your head is pounding from a booze-filled night out celebrating your recent nuptials with your new wife or husband, the last thing you're going to want to do is roam the streets of the foreign town or city you're staying in for Advil. "Pack a small bag with essentials like medication and bandages. Trust me, it will come in handy!" says Nick Romano, founder of GetMeToEurope.com.
Of course, your iPhone probably does a great job, but the memories from your honeymoon are photos you'll want to capture in high quality to treasure forever. "For a momentous trip like this one, it might be worth investing in a high-end model from a reputable brand like Canon or Nikon," suggests Mayer. "But for the sake of space, a compact digital camera is a practical option." If you can, bring a waterproof case and plenty of spare memory cards.
A Selfie Stick
That high-quality camera will come in handy when there's a bystander around to snap a photo of you and your S.O., but what happens when there's not? "In most cases selfie sticks can be annoying and narcissistic but on your honeymoon it's important to get photos of yourselves together," says Geraldine O'Callaghan, Communications Manager at FollowtheCamino.com. "Just be sure to spend most of your time looking at each other and the beautiful scenes around you through your eyes and not through your phone screen."
A Solar-Powered Charger
You might be surprised by how many of your devices require juice (phones, laptops, headlamps, GoPros, etc.). The last thing you'll need is to feel disconnected on your honeymoon of all occasions. "The solar-powered recharging kit made by Goal Zero only weighs a couple of ounces and clips directly onto your backpack, so it can charge up throughout the day," says Mayer. "You can then use it at night to recharge any other electronics that need some juice."
It's extremely important to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially when you're exerting a lot of energy and exposed to the sun. "I remind our clients of this all the time because dehydration can sneak up on you quickly and is a guaranteed way to ruin a perfectly good honeymoon," says Mayer. He recommends the Master Vacuum Bottle from Stanley. "The whole Master Series is fantastic, but this bottle is great because it's steel-lined, vacuum-insulated, and can keep your water cold for up to 100 hours (or hot beverages heated for more than 24 hours!)."
Detergent Pods or Pens
"Pack those little detergent pods that dissolve in the wash,” says Romano. "Backpacking trips are usually budget-oriented, and doing your own laundry is a situation that you might find yourself in." If you don't think you'll need detergent, a good alternative is detergent pens, which can help get a stain out on the fly.
Romano says this is one of the most overlooked items when a backpackers plans their trips. "I guarantee one or both of you will get cold at some point—if you're going in the summer, trains and planes tend to be chilly." Pro tip: A blanket can double as a makeshift picnic sheet for those romantic park lunches. Best of all, most airlines that fly overseas will either give you a travel blanket, or you can buy one on board for as little as $5, he adds.
Headphones are great for all trips, but for this occasion specifically, you'll want the opportunity to enjoy listening to music together. These days, you can find pint-sized speakers that emit high-quality audio at high volumes. The Boom Bit fits right in the palm of your hand and is also clip-on, so you can wear it while you walk or do whatever!
"Backpacking entails a lot of walking, which can cause chafing between the legs," says O'Callaghan, "so pack gym legging or cycling shorts to help avoid this." You'll want to select a pair that's high-quality, long-lasting, and, most importantly, comfortable. Try the Align Pant II by Lululemon. It's made from an extra thin material and has a hidden card pocket that's perfect for storing your key or card.