International honeymoon travel requires some extra planning to ensure that your time is spent on making happy memories, not stressful ones, so here are six tips for a smooth honeymoon.
1) Get your documents together.
Travel to any country outside the United States and its territories (Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands) requires identification to board an international flight and enter the country. While each country’s requirements are different, you might need:
- Passport or proof of U.S. citizenship
- Proof of onward travel or a return ticket
- Tourist card
Be prepared to present a photo ID along with the above documents (driver’s license, non-driver’s ID, government identification card).
If you don’t have a passport, start the application process at least eight weeks, but preferably three months, before your departure. Your destination may require that your passport be valid for at least six months after the date you enter the country.
If you will be taking your husband’s last name, travel under your maiden name so that the last names on your passport and your airline ticket match. When you return home, mail a certified copy of your marriage certificate with a Passport Amendment/Validation Application to receive a new passport with your married name.
2) Cover your financial bases
Do a few quick things before your trip to travel in financial safety and confidence:
- Alert your financial institutions to your travel plans so that activity on your debit or credit cards won’t trigger a suspected fraud freeze.
- Research the conversion rates and fees on your cards, and be sure that the cards you plan to use are accepted in your destination countries.
- Plan to have a day or two’s worth of the local currency on hand for emergencies.
3) Visit the Doctor
Visit your doctor several weeks before your departure to check on all required vaccinations and immunizations. You can consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s site for a list of each country’s health requirements.
It’s a smart idea to create a personal medical information form to keep with your passport. List any food and drug allergies, current medications, previous surgeries, health insurance carriers, and other important facts that you might not recall in the face of an emergency so far from home.
Pack a good supply of over-the-counter pain relievers and medications in your carry-on bag, including allergy and cold remedies and anti-diarrhea and nausea medications. Don’t forget hand sanitizer, sunscreen, lip balm, and insect repellent.
4) Learn about your destination before you go
Google is your friend! Spend some fun time together learning more about your destinations, maybe even add a few key words and phrases to your vocabulary with Google Translator.
What are the must-see attractions? Which restaurants and bars do you have to check out? What are the roads and driving conditions like? Are there any danger zones in the region that you should avoid? The U.S. State Department’s Country-Specific Information Pages provide helpful safety and cultural information.
5) Pack accordingly
Learn your airline’s baggage policies and be sure to leave room in your luggage for gifts and souvenirs that will be coming back home with you. If you pack your clothing with a one-outfit-per-day strategy, keep your color schemes simple, and add a few versatile pieces to mix and match with several outfits — you’ll save a lot of suitcase space.
Remember to pack all the chargers needed for your camera and electronic devices along with extra batteries and memory cards.
6) Spread the word
Let people know you’re honeymooners. Not only will it explain the glow that surrounds you, it could even bring you some wonderful upgrades and freebies. Hotels might bump you up to a better suite, bartenders will probably buy you a round of drinks, and restaurants often whip up special desserts when it’s known that newlyweds are in the house!