During wedding season, you might get several invitations to celebrations for your family members and friends. But an invite for a destination wedding comes much less often. When it does and you accept, you probably immediately start dreaming of warm beaches or beautiful city adventures. But as the day approaches, you actually have to start planning for your trip. While it's not quite as fun as the actual travel, knowing how to pack for a destination wedding can prevent some major stress during your trip, according to experts.
"Planning any wedding has its challenges, but planning a destination wedding can offer a whole different set of hurdles. As a guest invited to a destination wedding, you have just as many options to face," wedding planner Edward Perotti, tells Bustle. Besides having to deal with all of the stress that comes with budgeting for the trip and booking transportation and hotels, you also have the added pressure of trying to squish everything you'll possibly need for the big day into a tiny suitcase.
There's nothing worse than accidentally tearing or spilling on your outfit right before attending a wedding — expect tearing or spilling on your outfit right before attending a destination wedding. Without your normal access to other options in your closet, it's very useful to pack a second pair of clothes just in case something happens.
Since size limits for liquid carry-ons can be super annoying, it's tempting to just buy products once you get to your destination. But you're really better off bringing mini sizes of your favorite from home, Jen Avey of Destination Weddings Travel Group, tells Bustle, or just transferring them into TSA-approved containers to transport them. You can never be sure if the stores at your destination will carry the products you prefer. Besides, it's really no fun to drag yourself away from the wedding festivities and exploring the city to go in search of razors.
If you were just traveling a few miles to a wedding, it would be pretty easy to load a gift into a car to transport it. But when you're travelling hundreds (or even thousands) of miles, lugging along the toaster or microwave that the couple put on their registry can be a huge expense. First of all, if you're attending a destination wedding, don't feel like you have to buy a present at all, Perotti says. It's really not expected, given the costs you're incurring just to be there. If you really still want to give a gift, consider having it delivered directly to the couple's home once they've returned. This will give them one less thing they'll have to keep track of, and be a nice surprise once the ceremony has ended.
Just because you're traveling with the purpose of attending a wedding doesn't mean that all you'll be there to do is attend the wedding. Instead, consider what you'll want to explore during any free time you have. "Research some activities to attend so you can pack accordingly," wedding and event planner, Brett Galley, tells Bustle. If you live in a cold city, you might automatically begin packing cozy outfits, even though you'll be jetting off to a beachy location. Taking the time to see what the weather will be like in the new city will help you decide whether to bring that chic coat, or to swap it out for a breathable linen outfit (or even bring an umbrella for a tropical climate).
Once you've checked off everything on your to-bring list and stuffed it into your suitcase, take a moment to relax. You'll be celebrating the union of two people you really care about, plus getting to explore an amazing city.