[dropcap letter=”1″] If you’re a smart phone addict, this is the one time it’s OK to admit you’re a total junkie and take it along. Send yourself maps of the resort property, itinerary info and all important flight information you’ll need to know. Save it in your photos so you don’t need the Internet to access these files. 

[dropcap letter=”2″] Plan your travel to and from the airport in advance. People go missing, OK? Seriously. Hate crimes happen to LGBTQ people abroad, especially in island countries where it’s illegal to be a practicing homosexual, so it’s best to book a van or a limo with your hotel where you are staying. Don’t just hail a cab. We’ve all caught that episode of Criminal Minds, right? 


[dropcap letter=”3″] Bring an entire box of sandwich-sized Zip-lock bags. For your smart phone when you’re kayaking. For your ID and money on the beach. For your cash when you’re wind surfing. For your toiletries. For your smart phone when you’re caught in downpour in the rainforest tour. To keep the sand out of your jewelry. To pack up snacks from the nice fruit basket in the lobby. You just never know when you’ll need one, but it’s the best thing in my suitcase always. 

[dropcap letter=”4″]When you’re out and about for the day, make your smart phone’s lock screen’s photo a message that reads: IF FOUND, PLEASE RETURN TO: your name, and the hotel where you’re staying at. (You can make this message on a number of free apps. I love the Studio App.)

[dropcap letter=”5″] Before you travel, hit the medicine aisle and pick up American versions of ibuprofen for headaches; Imodium (any generic with Loperamide in it) to protect you against viruses, traveler’s diarrhea or the frightening Montezuma’s revenge; anti-itch clear gel (some tropical areas have mosquitos that leave enormous welts).

[dropcap letter=”6″] Don’t forget your sunblock and tea bags! That’s right, if you get sunburned, used tea bags feel awfully good on relieving the sting on a sunburn. They can take the sting out of an insect bite too. 

[dropcap letter=”7″] Ask about special events when you arrive. Oftentimes, the front desk staff simply doesn’t have your itinerary in mind and might not suggest the pineapple luau with a Jimmy Buffett cover band happening over at the adults-only lagoon tomorrow night when, in fact, you happen to be the world’s biggest Parrot Head alive. 

[dropcap letter=”8″] Make at least one plan in advance. The idea of having no plans can be quite appealing to the couple who just planned the biggest party of their lives, but to have at least something already handled when they arrive can be nice. What’s even sweeter is when it’s a surprise to one of you, like a couple’s massage. Special tip: Book that massage early, like the first afternoon, before you scorch the skin that hasn’t seen the sun since last year’s beach trip. 

[dropcap letter=”9″] Don’t you dare take your thank-you notes to write on your honeymoon, Martha Stewart Jr. Just … don’t.

[dropcap letter=”10″] Stay in the moment. Try not to plan ahead to when you get back home but simply be in your beloved’s company and enjoy this wedded bliss. Cheers!

Photo: Photo Philosophies