Planning a Wedding Abroad - Packing Tips

Packing Tips

1. Climate

When planning to take a trip, particularly abroad, it's important to know the climate of the area you plan to visit. You may think you already know that summer in America is winter 'Down Under' or that it will probably be hot in Jamaica, but that's not enough. Knowing what climate you will be spending your holiday in can make or break the holiday. To get details on the climate and average weather conditions in any particular area, call a travel agent, consult a guidebook or search the Internet for websites that can give you accurate information relating to the specific area and season. Be sure that the information you receive is up to date, as weather conditions may change from year to year. It may be more difficult to get information on more rural areas but it's worth the effort. You may be able to get a good idea from a neighboring city, but if the area is located in a mountainous region, it may pay to call the local tourism bureau.

Why is it so important to know the climate of your destination? There are several reasons. First of all, you may choose to change your plans and pick another site if the climate is different to what you expected. Obviously, the climate affects the items of clothing and accessories you will want to pack for the trip. There may also be medical issues to consider, such as prolonged sun exposure and environmental allergies.

2. Clothes

Packing for a trip can be a tedious and confusing process. This is especially true if you are unfamiliar with the final destination. The process can be even more confusing if you are going to be getting married and attending other events that require a specific type of dress.

Firstly, start off by getting information on the climate of the place to which you plan to travel. This will help to give you an idea of the type of clothing to pack, i.e., summer wear, winter gear, beach clothes, shoes, and so forth. Next, get a sense of the type of clothing you will need. Will the trip be wholly casual? If so, they you'll be fine taking a collection of shorts and t-shirts with a couple of nicer outfits for dinners out or the unexpected invitation. If your trip will contain some formal aspects, be prepared to take several appropriate outfits for the occasion plus one or two extras for the unexpected brunch or cocktail party.

After you have an idea of the type of clothing you will need to decide which pieces to pack. A good rule of thumb is to make a list of everything you think you will need and then lay it out on your bed. Now put half of it back. People always over pack and it is often true that less is more.

When packing, a lack of space is almost always an issue. Here are two tips to reduce the bulk of your clothes and help prevent at least some of the wrinkling that occurs in a suitcase. The first is to use a vacuum-packed plastic storage pack, the second is to roll your clothes rather than fold them. Both methods will save space and prevent you from having to take a larger bag.

3. Activities

When thinking about a holiday away the chances are that you will have planned some activities, from spending the day at the beach to hiking or biking. If you are an adventure junkie, you may want to participate in bungee jumping, rock climbing, skiing or scuba diving. When planning these activities you want to make sure that you will have the time to do the things you want without pressuring yourself to keep to a schedule. It's also important to check that the weather will be conducive to your plans.

If you are planning to participate in any activities that are specific enough to require your own equipment, it is a necessary consideration as to whether or not you will be supplying your own needs or hiring. In some cases, renting equipment may be much easier; providing that it will be readily available and affordable. There will be instances when it would be preferable or even necessary to take your own equipment with you. It's a good idea to check airline and other transportation services for specific regulations and packing tips, as well as additional expenses. You may find that it will save money to use a shipping service such as FedEx or UPS to avoid airport hassles and to save money and transportation issues.

Regardless of the activity, dressing appropriately is very important. Even if the activity is simply strolling on the sand or spending a day beside the hotel pool, taking the right attire can be a crucial factor in enjoying the activity. One of the most important will be comfortable shoes and other appropriate footwear that will make your trip enjoyable.

4. Jewelry and Accessories

If you are planning to get married abroad, then there will be a number of accessories that you'll want to take with you, including some jewelry. Depending on the value of the items, there are precautions you should take to ensure that they arrive at your final destination safely and in one piece.

First of all, you should pack each item in a protective case, preferably one that came as part of the original package. This could be anything from a velvet lined ring box to a hatbox. If the item does not have its own container, it is important that you obtain or make one to transport the item. One wedding accessory that requires special care is the headpiece that will accompany the wedding gown. This can be a veil, tiara, or crown of flowers. The manufacturer or sales person should be able to give suggestions on the best way to transport the item to prevent damage.

Transporting jewelry may be a simple affair if its worth is purely sentimental. Even if the monetary value is low, jewelry deserves to be protected. Be sure to pack it in a carry on or handbag that will be in your sight during your trip. If the jewelry is valuable the same rules apply, however, you should consider taking out additional insurance against damage or loss. This can be obtained through travel insurance or existing insurance on your home or the jewelry itself. Once you arrive at your destination, make use of the hotel safe to protect your precious items.

5. Carry on Luggage

Carry on Luggage is extremely important on any trip but even more so when traveling abroad and especially for the bride and groom to be. As a standard rule, it is a good idea to take a carry on bag onto a plane, even if the rest of your luggage has been checked and stowed away in the airplane's cargo area. The purpose of the carry on is to keep valuables nearby, to store fragile items, and toiletries. It's also a wise idea to pack an extra set of clothes just in case the luggage you've checked is lost in transit. While no one wishes to have to deal with this mishap, it does happen.

In addition to a small bag that can be carried aboard a plane and stowed in an overhead compartment or even under the airplane seat, you may choose to carry on other items, such as a garment bag, sports equipment, or other items that you feel the need to have nearby. In smaller planes, there are often separate compartments that resemble closets to hold passengers' belongings.

There are strict rules about carry on items on airplanes and they are required to meet a specific size requirement. Many airports have measuring systems in place that will determine whether or not the item meets these specifications. If the item is too large, airline policy dictates that it must be checked in with other luggage. There are also restrictions on the number of carry on items each passenger may have. To be safe, check with your airline or other transportation services, such as trains or buses, to learn more about policies and procedures regarding luggage.

6. Visa/Passport

In today's world it is imperative to have a current passport in order to travel between most countries. Passports are relatively easy to obtain, although they do take time to arrive and should be applied for several months in advance. Information on passports and visas can be obtained through the appropriate government office. Be aware that there are certain documents you will need to obtain a passport, so you should check the requirements before going to the courthouse or government office to apply.

Visas may also be required to enter a particular country or to stay for an extended period of time. Applying for a visa may not be a concern for you but it's best to check into it before you find yourself in a sticky situation that could ruin all of your plans.

Before leaving on a trip, you should photocopy your passport and visa. Carry one copy with you and leave one at home or with a trusted friend or family member. Although many agencies say that you should not copy this legal document, travel consultants often recommend it in case the passport or visa is lost during your trip. Having a photocopy may make it easier to obtain a replacement and will most likely expedite the process if there is a record of an existing document.

Finally, you should always carry your passport and visa with you no matter where you go. If it is inconvenient to keep it on your person during certain activities, such as swimming or at your wedding, give it to a trusted friend or family member to hold for you or lock it in an available safe.

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