July 15, 2020

What to pack for your honeymoon*

Honeymoon (is that a verb?) with exactly the right things (and hopefully the right person). Today I'm suggesting what to pack for your honeymoon…

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What to pack for your honeymoon*

Take photos, make memories and have fun together – once you’ve packed for your honeymoon (and got married, y’know), that’s your entire mandate. What should you bring to make it as easy as possible? First, forget the minutia of outfits, schedules and accessories your wedding plans have involved. Step boldly away from hair pins and hairspray towards a delicious honeymoon of carbs (carbs!) and just the two of you.Honeymoon (is that a verb?) with exactly the right things (and hopefully the right person). Today I'm suggesting what to pack for your honeymoon – all the extra goodies.*(BYO Spouse)

1. Another set of gold bands

Pack: Mosquito-repelling wristbands (in gold)

Wedding rings promise all sorts of good things, but can they prevent mosquito bites? These DEET-free bracelets are infused with 100% natural citronella, geranium, lavender, peppermint oils and make it easy remain protected even when you forget to use bug spray. Each bracelet lasts up to 15 days – ideal honeymoon length and as convenient as can be.

Tip: If your honeymoon itinerary includes lots of water – swimming/snorkelling/paddling/boat trips/etc – you might consider swapping your brand new wedding ring for a silicone wedding ring. It's ideal for travel, you won't care if you lose it and it's a great idea in a hot climate like Thailand where your fingers might swell.

2. Happy memories

Pack: Waterproof phone case

Worth its (waterproof) weight in gold? With the many ways you’ll enjoy the water while on honeymoon (whether in it, on it or vaguely nearby), this champion little phone case makes sure you’ll capture every minute of your adventure. Want to try kiteboarding? Your phone wants to come too. Have plans for snorkelling, diving or some light kayaking? Snorkel selfies!

3. Sun safety

Pack: A sun hat each

Fairly crucial! For a happy time on honeymoon (and staying wrinkle-free through eternity), you need quality sunscreen at Thailand's latitude – plus a big sun hat, and quality UVA/UVB sunglasses.

For sunscreen, Sun Bum are ‘good guys’ through-and-through – a small company from Florida bringing you totally cruelty-free, as-natural-as-can-be sunscreen in a range of SPFs. Assuming you’re headed straight to the beach or pool, Sun Bum sunscreen has the highest water resistance rating possible (80 minutes, btw). The signature line (for extra-strength sunshine) is so good the lifeguards at Hawaiian Water Patrol use it. Endorsement enough for me.

Tip: Kissy face? Don't forget sunscreen for your lips. I've tried dozens of options and have landed on Jack Black SPF Lip Balm as my favourite. You get a choice of flavours and it stays put.

4. Island Itineraries

Pack: Day-tripper backpack

When you involve water, strong sun, long journeys and/or untold amounts of shopping in a honeymoon itinerary, this bag comes into its own. Throw the 6”-square pack-sack in your suitcase and you have a full backpack ready when you need it – whether you’re sightseeing in Bangkok or headed off to explore Thailand's islands.

5. Back up for hot weather and long days

Pack: Electrolyte drink tablets

This is a purely functional suggestion – 2 ways to save the day in hot weather and on long days. I myself definitely fess up to heat- and hunger-induced meltdowns on various occasions in Thailand (all details of course withheld!).

1. Electrolyte drink tabs – If you’re not used to hot weather, you might find these electrolyte tabs (all natural, no crap ingredients) useful if you start to feel a little ‘wilty’ (a non-medical term used here by a non-doctor). Again, not medical advice, but I wonder if they might be similarly useful for jet-lag and honeymoon hangovers?

2. Energy/granola bars – In a similar vein, how well do you and your person handle acute hunger? If the world starts to end quite quickly – a couple of packaged, sealed snack bars might stave off ‘hangry incidents’ if you’re mid-journey, far from food (or 7-Eleven).

6. Roll the camera

Pack: GoPro HERO and/or Instax camera

Without polaroids, what will your future kids discover in a dusty attic in twenty years? This combo makes your own portable photo booth – and is so much more endearing than a selfie stick. If you're include to something more active – diving? snorkelling? – pack a GoPro.

7. Stranger danger

Pack: Pocket running belt

I stress that, on Koh Samui, neither myself nor my family/friends have experienced theft or pick-pocketing in 20+ years. However, we're prudent people and don't take chances with prized possessions. No huge surprise, I have heard of theft on busy beaches where bags and belongings were left behind while the owners went swimming.

My operating procedure is that irreplaceable items don't leave home, and expensive ones either go straight in the hotel safe or stay with me. Yet honeymooning poses a challenge: you want to swim together – what about your phones/camera/wallets left behind on your towel? Phone/hotel key/credit cards go into a waterproof case, then chuck it in one of these pocket belts. You're officially mobile.If you have more stuff, a dry bag is a good addition for something like a kayak trip or an island-hopping tour.

8. To the beach!

Pack: Quick Dry Beach Blanket

Let’s get you to the beach. While resorts obviously offer plush towels, this enormous beach towel is made from parachute material so it’s super lightweight and packs into its own little sack – ideal if you’re a couple who likes to find your own beach, away from the crowds.

9. Shoreline showdown

Pack: Beach games

For a while, I recommended bringing your own beach tennis set as the Neoprene sets available online are much better quality than anything you’ll find in Thailand (poorly made wooden sets that last as long as a Hollywood marriage). But, they’re big and bulky to pack. Instead? How about your childhood favourite – remember your Aerobie?

10. Dance party

Pack: Waterproof Bluetooth speaker

Toss, throw or backhand a pair of portable speakers into your carry-on for Thailand and ensure every minute of your vacation comes with a soundtrack. Use them in a hotel room while dancing around getting ready to go out, putting on your sunscreen or watching a movie. These speakers offer great volume control so you can fill a room or add just a few decibels to a romantic sunset. With 10 hours’ non-stop music you could almost make it to sunrise on the same playlist.

Whether you’re going low-budget for your honeymoon accommodation or are renting a mega villa and want to dance while you cook, these speakers are the definition of ‘good things come in small spherical packages’. If you like your music, try a vacation with a pair of waterproof speakers and see if you ever travel speaker-less again.

11. *Bonus* Rainy days

Pack: Exploding Kittens and Uno

Of course, I wouldn’t wish a rainy honeymoon on anyone but, in the tropics, there’s always a chance of a quick storm or afternoon downpour. On Koh Samui, storms can sometimes knock out the power for a short while. To save the day, come prepared with at least one packable rainy day game – something to bring to the pool bar as you try the full cocktail menu.

New to Exploding Kittens? This easy card game is highly irreverent but genuinely funny. In addition to guaranteed power-cut hilarity, it’s small enough to throw in your beach bag or backpack, to bring with you to the pool, to sunset cocktails or while you enjoy an after-hours Singha. Play for just 5 minutes at the airport gate or for an hour on the beach. If you’re taking the slow route around Thailand, whether by bus, ferry or with multiple connections, it’s a guaranteed way to make fast friends. Lucky for your coconut-cocktail-consumption, it doesn’t take thought or skill. Just don't fall off your bar stool laughing. It's been done.

What Not to Pack for Your Honeymoon?

Can you leave the laptop behind? While I recommend bringing at least one phone between the pair of you, see if you can do without its internet functions – leaving it in airplane mode for the duration of your honeymoon. Less time texting =  more time for the many romantic things to do on Koh Samui. Ooh. La. La.