If you're jetting off for your honeymoon straight from your wedding reception, you're probably beyond excited, but also a bit overwhelmed. Packing for your big day is stress-inducing enough—there's so much for you to remember to bring, from your wedding dress, shoes, and accessories to your vows, rings, and tips for your vendors. Add the to-do of packing for a weeks-long trip and you might not even know where to begin. Rest assured, we're here to help. We chatted with some of the nation's top honeymoon planners to get the inside scoop on what you should have with you if you're departing for the honeymoon immediately after your reception—other than your luggage, that is.
A valid passport.
First thing's first: If you plan on leaving the country even for a day trip, you'll need a passport that is valid six months beyond your return date. "Most people think their passport is valid until the expiration date, but this is not the case," warns Teresa Belcher, travel agent and founder of Honeymoon Islands, Inc. "Most countries will not permit a traveler to enter their country unless the passport is set to expire at least six months after the final day of travel."
Active credit cards.
Before your trip, notify your credit card company and your bank (for debit cards) that you'll be traveling if it's outside of the U.S., suggests Belcher. This will ensure that they don't decline your foreign transactions—and that you don't have to make expensive (not to mention time-consuming) long-distance calls while you're supposed to be relaxing and enjoying your vacation.
A cell phone.
Unless you're traveling to a remote destination that has a cell phone-free policy, you'll want to contact your cell phone company to help you choose the most affordable plan for making calls, advises Belcher. "The last thing you want is to get slammed with crazy charges because you didn't set up a plan prior to leaving."
Important contact information.
Shannon LeBlanc, a destination wedding and honeymoon expert, suggests writing down a list of important phone numbers to keep with you, including family members, your travel consultant, and the hotels where you are staying. "This is important because we rely on our smartphones too much. If your phone is lost, stolen, or broken while out of town, it will be helpful to have a quick reference written down," she adds.
A copy of your documents.
Even in the age of storing nearly everything on your phone, travel pros recommend having some hard documents to serve as backup in case you have limited access to Internet or, worse, lose your mobile device(s). "One copy should go into a secure place at home and the other should be stored in your luggage or hotel safe," says Belcher. She recommends making two or more copies of passports, flight tickets or confirmation numbers, medical and trip insurance policies, prescriptions, travel visas, and your itinerary.