It's true, I'm sitting on an airplane to Mexico right now typing this blog on my PHONE! You know why I'm on my phone? I forgot my computer! I didn't pack it last night so it could be fully charged for me today and then of course I walked right out of the house, half awake, at 3:45am, and left it charging in my living room!
I already planned on writing this blog on how to pack for a destination wedding, as if I was an expert, but obviously things still go wrong. However, because I packed the most important stuff first, the computer is something I can do without. I'll fly back the day after the wedding so I'll get busy editing as soon as I get home. I'd love to have it and work away at the edits on the flights home, but I'll read my 4-Hour Workweek book instead (or sleep)! Things I absolutely couldn't go on without are the things that actually allow me to do my job, like my camera, lenses, batteries, flash, and SD cards! Those are packed and coming with me.
Tip: I'm usually a last minute packer, but for a wedding this far away, I made sure to start 4-5 days in advance! As my mind thought of something I grabbed it!
So here's how I packed!
All lenses/cameras/batteries/SD cards/flash are with me! Meaning, I didn't check them, I carried them onto the plane in a rented pelican camera case. Borrowlenses.com has one you can rent that meets the requirements of a carry on!
Not everything fit so I have my backup camera and some AA batteries in my "purse" , which is actually an oversized tote bag. I was planning on putting my computer in this bag too. I also have a book, my wallet, anti bacterial hand wash, phone charger, chapstick, tampons (just in case), ginger chews for flight sickness, alieve, and a pair of heels that wouldn't fit in my checked suitcase.
Two backdrop stands and two white umbrellas. I wish these could have came with me in a carry on, but size wouldn't allow. I have everything else with me because I couldn't shoot the wedding without those items if my checked bag gets lost. However, I could still do my job if for some reason my checked bag gets lost and I don't have my umbrella and backdrop stands.
Why backdrop stands? I use these as flash stands. They are 7 feet tall, but also break down to a size that will fit in my suitcase. My actual flash stands that I use for a local wedding are too long and heavy. If I buy shorter flash stands then they don't expand very high when in use.
I also have an additional flash in my checked bag.
In addition to all of that, I have swimsuits and underclothes in the inside zipped pocket of my suitcase. I have two pair of flip flops and one pair of heels in the bottom of the suit case, with multiple dresses, shorts, tanks, and workout clothes (I wore my workout shoes to travel in bc they were heavier than the other shoes I'm bringing and the most comfortable) ! It was cold in Montana when I left so I'm also wearing pants and a hoodie, which I'll wear again if we happen to get a cold day in Cancun ;) let's hope not!
Lastly, on the very top of everything in my checked bag, I have another smaller toiletry bag with all my hair products, including a straighter, and all my makeup. This is the last thing I packed because I used it all this morning! Some people like these products to be lower in their suitcase so that their clothes cushion anything breakable, like perfume bottles, but since I packed all my swimsuits and underclothes in the front pocket so all my products are pretty protected.
I'll make any corrections to this if I find I forgot something once I land and get to Mexico, but this is it for now! I hope it helps you a little, even if you learn from my mistakes. Also, give me grace on my grammar and spelling considering I'm doing this in my notes on my iPhone!