Swords of the Caribbean: I hate packing, yes I do, I hate packing, how ’bout you?

This is a beast of a post but it’s informative and detailed and well, some of you asked for this so I hope you like it!  🙂

Packing is the devil.  It causes me the most terrible anxiety that falls somewhere in between being a car with someone who looks like they are about to puke (high anxiety) and waiting for the bus at night (low anxiety).  I’m going to share the details of what I packed for our ten-day honeymoon, explaining what we used and what I didn’t use.  AND OF COURSE, I will tell you ALL ABOUT THE DRESSES!  🙂

WE BROUGHT IT, WE USED IT:

Sunscreen- Like I said in my first honeymoon post, we bought seven bottles and used every last drop in all of them!  We almost had to buy more but the resort prices made us ration our supply and the last few days we used less and less.

Bug spray- We brought two bottles, came back with plenty left but were so relieved to have had some because the bugs got really bad at night, especially on days where it had rained.  And we still ended up with quite a few bites despite the spray!

Swimsuits- I brought five bikinis and one tankini (for the excursion day) for our ten-day trip and I wore them all multiple times!!  My tip would be to bring as many suits as half the days in your trip. Example, 8 day vacation = 4 swimsuits.  That way, you can change suits based on pool, hot tub, and ocean, and you’ll always have something dry to wear!

Mr.Sword took this pic of my pale body trying to catch some rays.

Mr.Sword took this pic of my pale body trying to catch some rays.

Mr. Sword (under my tutelage) brought four pairs of trunks and it was a good thing too because one of his got ruined in the hot tub after a cleaning where they used some type of chemical that wasn’t all dissolved apparently!  Mr. Sword is a minimalistic packer and I think he was shocked to realize he needed so many, but his trunks could double as shorts so he was able to wear them everywhere!

Cover-ups-  I brought four but I suggest bringing more than I did!  One of the strings ripped off my white one the first time I wore it which meant I was down to three until I bought a gorgeous wrap at the gift shop.  I was actually looking to buy a wrap in Chicago before we left but there weren’t many options.  I’m glad I waited because I love that my wrap so much and it will remind me of our Jamaican honeymoon every time I wear it!

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Cover-ups are crucial because they go on and off easier than dresses, they are more inexpensive so you don’t mind getting sand and ocean water on them, and they are extremely light-weight, and not confining at all. I probably wore a cover-up to almost every breakfast and lunch while on the resort.

Shoes- 4 pairs of flip-flops, two cheapo pairs, one nicer neutral pair, and one black wedge pair.  One pair of nude heels that matched almost all my dresses!  One pair of neutral strappy sandals.  One pair of boat shoes/loafer-type things for the days we traveled.  Mr. Sword brought one pair of flip-flops (and wore them constantly), his everyday shoes, and his dress shoes for our fancy dinner.

Water Shoes- Yes, they get their own section because Mr. Sword told me we shouldn’t bother with them but I bought us each a pair anyway (from Target) and we were lucky we had them because to walk up the Dunn River Falls you must have water shoes which means we would have had to buy or rent some while there.

Dresses- I brought ten dresses and wore nine of them plus one I bought while I was at the resort.  I wore a different dress every evening and sometimes two in one day!  And I’m pretty sure I only wore one of my dresses more than once.  Overall, I was VERY pleased with my dress selections and since so many of you asked about them I am going to do my best to give as much information as possible and provide links that may or may not take you to the exact dress.

You’ll soon find out my secret shopping spots are TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  They sort of blend together in my head so excuse me for lumping them together.  Unfortunately they have a quick turnover of merchandise so my guess is most of these dresses won’t be available anymore, but it might be worth a shot!

First up a chambray shirt dress from Old Navy.  Perfect for throwing over a swimsuit and wearing to the spa although I’m wearing it to a restaurant in this photo.

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honeymoon dresses ONE

(Going left to right.)

Long gray dress.  Perfect for our comfy casual first night in Negril.  TJ Maxx/Marshalls.

Coral striped dress with matching cardigan.  Worn for a dinner date.  Loft.  (You’ll see this dress was bought for a different event and worn again on the honeymoon once I start my wedding recaps.)

Spaghetti-strap swimsuit material dress.  Perfect for wearing during the day because it can get wet and dry quickly.  Tommy Bahama.  NOTE: Everything in Tommy Bahama is made for a beach vacation and if I had unlimited funds I would have bought everything in the store!

honeymoon dresses TWO

Navy halter dress.  A bit on the shorter side so it’s best for a really hot day.  Pitya.  (A few years ago.)

Modest white dress originally purchased for my bridal shower in MN.  Great for photos on the beach.   White House Black Market.  Not available anymore but any white dress for a beach vacation is a must-have!

Bright tropical cotton dress.  Perfect for lunch in the sand.  No clue where I bought it but my first two guesses are TJ Maxx and Marshalls!

honeymood dresses THREE

Sexy low-cut bright blue dress.  Worn to a fancy dinner.  TJ Maxx/Marshalls.

The most asked about dress I wore… a coral top with linen bottom.  Great for daytime and evening (if only it didn’t wrinkle so much)!  And big surprise here, TJ Maxx/Marshalls for the win!  I got it a few months ago.  The brand isn’t a name I recognize but maybe it’s still around somewhere??

Jamaican colors dress.  Casual and cool, I bought this from the gift shop at Sandals as a souvenir and I love it!

And finally, my favorite dress of the whole trip and the one I wore to our private candlelight dinner on the beach:

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Maxi dress with stripes on top and floral print on the bottom.  This dress is from a store called 2b and I couldn’t find the exact version but here is something similar.

WE BROUGHT IT, WE DIDN’T NEED IT:

Tennis shoes-  Umm, hiking much on the beach?  Noobs.  We thought we would need walking shoes but they were unnecessary at our resort.

A floppy hat- Wore it once but it was too windy and it kept falling off.  Plus, I felt dumb and no one else was wearing one.  I guess I will forever not be a hat person.  Mr. Sword on the other hand bought a Usain Bolt ball cap the first day we were there and wore it the entire rest of the trip!

A purse/satchel I bought this beautiful Coach satchel to carry around my personal stuff in but never used it, NOT ONCE.  Luckily, it’s great for everyday life so I’m going to hang on to it, but don’t be stupid like me!  You will never carry a purse.  Your hotel room is so close and your husband will have pockets for your camera (and you shouldn’t be bringing your phone anyway!).  For carrying things to the beach, we used an inexpensive thin backpack thingy.

Shorts- As a girly girl and a Northerner with limited hot weather supply, I couldn’t get enough of my dresses!  I tried to wear my shorts one day but they felt way too tight so I immediately took them off.  I did however, wear a skirt one afternoon.

Cash- Obviously you need some cash on you but don’t bring as much as you would normally take on a vacation.  At a Sandals resort everything is charged to a credit card and all you need to know is your room number.  We ended up paying cash for the photos we bought but they prefer you charge everything.  I feel like I can control cash better but it’s nice to know that in the future we don’t have to fly with hundreds of dollars like we did this time!

PHEW!  I’m exhausted.  Does anyone have any additional packing tips or ideas?  What item did you lug around but never use on your honeymoon?

(all photos personal)

Hive, I’m so PUMPED to start my wedding recaps but am still waiting on all of my photographs.  That said, I’m hoping to be back in a few weeks (or less)!  Until then, happy wedding planning!  Bee.back.soon.

XOXO,

Mrs. Sword

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