Weddings

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Honeymoon packing pointers

Many couples think that preparing for a honeymoon means bringing with them as many things as they can possibly carry. While this may be a good way to fend off forgetfulness, it also could mean being bogged down with unwieldy bags that cost more money to ship. But couples who pack too little may end up paying premium prices for necessities upon arrival at their destinations. The key is to pack the right blend of items by having a honeymoon go-to list at the ready.

Roughly 50 to 75 percent of the more than two million couples tying the knot in North America every year embark on honeymoons shortly after walking down the aisle. According to the Travel Industry Association of America, the honeymoon accounts for 14 percent of a couple's wedding budget. Couples tend to spend an average of $4,500 on their honeymoons, which typically last a week or more.

Whether you're sailing off on a cruise or flying to a popular overseas destination, there are a number of things you will need to bring along for the trip, and having a list that you can check off will make packing that much easier. There are a number of other tasks competing for your attention close to the wedding, so think about your list early on. A suitcase stocked with what you need won't expire, so you can take care of packing when you have a free moment, then stash suitcases in an out-of-the-way location.

If you take any medications that will need to be brought along, allow yourself ample time to visit the doctor and ask for a prescription renewal so you won't run out while away. Always store these medications in their original packaging so that items checked by customs or airline personnel can be easily identified.

It also pays to know the rules of the airline well in advance. Contact customer service or visit the airline's Web site to determine if there are any baggage weight limits or any restrictions regarding carry-on items. In the wake of increased security measures, regulations regarding toiletries, liquids and other such items may change. Don't be caught without something you need because it was confiscated prior to boarding.

Roughly 80 percent of new brides take their husband's last name after their weddings, but new brides may want to wait until after they return from their honeymoons to officially change their names. This way there will be no hassle when you check-in at the airport or any hold-ups when traveling internationally with a married name that does not match the name on your passport. There will be plenty of time to change your name after the honeymoon.

SIDEBAR: Items to Pack on Your Honeymoon

* Camera and accessories: Bring the camera for capturing all of your memories. But don't forget to bring a charger and extra batteries. Pack an extra memory card unless you will be downloading the photos to a laptop or uploading them to a storage system. If you are traveling internationally, you will need an electrical converter to plug in any electronics.

* Cash: You will need some cash even if you're visiting an all-inclusive resort. In addition, take one or two major credit cards if you do not enjoy carrying too much cash. Only bring what you need because you don't want to face the hassle of canceling cards or replacing the contents of your wallet should something go missing.

* Clothing: Try to pack clothing that can be mixed and matched for a number of different looks. Solid-colored pants, shorts or skirts paired with different tops is an easy way to achieve new looks. Remember to bring at least one dressier option in clothing for a night out at a special dinner. Bring along at least two swimsuits to have one available while the other is drying.

* Comfort products: Items like insect repellent, sunburn soothing cream, aspirin, motion-sickness medication, and more may be very expensive at your destination, so bring these items from home.

* Eyeglasses/contacts: Bring your spare pair of contact lenses or eyeglasses in case your primary pair is lost or damaged.

* Feminine hygiene products: Feminine hygiene products may be unavailable where you are traveling, so don't forget to bring some along.

* Fold-up travel bag: This extra bag can be used to tote items to and from the beach or while sightseeing. It also can be used to carry any souvenirs that may take up too much space in your luggage.

* Hair products: The hotel may provide certain toiletries, but bring along travel-sized hair products to ensure your hair looks good during your trip.

* Phone: Check with your mobile carrier to find out about roaming charges or if you will incur extra chargings making calls or accessing data at your destination. If so, you may be able to purchase prepaid phone cards or negotiate a temporary international rate.

* Sunscreen: Pack some sunscreen so you don't return home from your honeymoon with a bad sunburn.

* Toiletries: Cotton swabs, razors, toothbrushes, shaving cream, and the like are items to bring from home, as they are likely to cost a lot more at your destination than they do at home.

* Work-out clothing: If you plan on visiting the resort's fitness center, pack a pair of athletic shoes and shorts or sweatpants.

* Zipper-top bags: Bring along various sizes of storage bags to store wet swimsuits or for protecting and sorting different items.