Cruise and Vacation Packing Tips & Tricks
The flights are booked, documents in hand, car rented, hotel reserved, cruise ship waiting and you leave tomorrow - time to pack! Here are some helpful suggestions you may way want to use or pass along to fellow travelers.
Packing is not a matter of simply throwing necessities into a bag. Just as important as what you pack is how you pack. With that in mind, here are some general packing tips:
To avoid last-minute anxiety, make a thorough packing list before traveling.
Avoid over-packing. Do not bring things just because they might come in handy.
Pack mix-and-match clothes to help minimize baggage and yet enjoy variety.
Take things that dry quickly, like synthetic fabrics and lightweight cotton.
Iron before packing and then roll - don't fold - clothes.
For bulky items like sweaters, stuff the rolled garment toward the foot of a pair of pantyhose - it makes a tight container that takes up less space.
Leave dry-cleaned items in their plastic bags to help avoid wrinkles.
Hang clothes immediately after check-in to prevent wrinkling. If clothes do wrinkle, hang them in the bathroom while taking a hot shower to steam them smooth.
Consider bringing "disposable" clothing, such as older socks, underwear, T-shirts, and even old shoes. Before departing, donate them or throw them out to make room for souvenirs.
Layering is a great way to make a wardrobe more versatile and accommodate changing weather.
Place anything that could ruin clothes, such as liquid make-up, shampoo, and toothpaste, into a sealed plastic bag.
Camera (small carrying case), film, digital storage card, cell phone charger
Pack a small lint brush and an extra comb or hair brush
Take along your eyeglass prescription in case you lose or break your glasses. Don't forget a spare pair of reading or sunglasses. Consider buying glasses that darken in the sun to eliminate the need for sunglasses.
If you plan to take along items such as an electric razor or hair drier to a foreign country, check with your hotel or cruise line to see if you'll need an adapter.
Even the lightest traveler should bring a day bag. A small backpack can hold your umbrella, camera, book, souvenirs, and whatever else you want to carry while you go exploring.
A security pouch is essential. Worn concealed under clothing, it is the safest place to keep money, travelers' checks, passport, and other valuables.
Don't forget a small "first aid kit" of bare necessities: aspirin, antibiotic cream, cotton swabs, anti-diarrheal, and cold medications.
A small, inflatable pillow is indispensable for avoiding a sore neck on a long overnight flight or train ride.
Packing for a Cruise Vacation
Cruise vacations are casual by day, however, evening attire can vary by ship. Guests on luxury lines may dress more formally for dinner, while other vessels might have a more relaxed atmosphere. Attire should be appropriate for the destination climate, as well.
Swimwear (at least two swimsuits)
Jackets and ties; elegant slacks and blouse or a summer gown if dining is formal
Short sleeve shirts
Sweater or shawl for the evening
Comfortable walking shoes and a day bag or light backpack, for exploring ports of call
Packing for an Alaska or Antarctica Cruise Vacation
Though most cruise destinations actually have temperate climates, while you are cruising in Alaskan or Antarctica waters it will get cold sometimes, so be sure to pack plenty of warm clothing for protection.
Gloves or mittens
Long sleeve shirts
Knitted wool cap or other warmth-retaining headwear
Hair-band to keep your ears warm
Waterproof or quick-drying nylon pants
Scarf or shawl
Packing for an Adventure Vacation
Just because you'll be covering some rough terrain doesn't mean you should bear all the bruises to prove it. Pack clothing to suit the adventure. For instance, if you are going on a tour through areas of varying elevation, pack clothing layers so you can adjust what you wear according to the temperature and terrain.
Comfortable, sturdy hiking boots
Thick cotton socks
Durable nylon trousers, quick to dry and allow your skin to breathe as you perspire.
Packing for a Beach Vacation
Cool, comfortable and casual is generally the rule on most beach vacations. Slightly more formal wear is a good idea for dining and.
Short sleeve shirts
Lightweight slacks or a summer gown for town
Jacket and tie
Sweater for the evening
Swimsuit (at least two)
Extra large beach towel
Sunscreen and sunglasses
A small, portable radio or CD player
Sandals or flip-flops
A good pair of walking shoes
Packing for a City Tour Vacation
Any city tour will almost certainly have one constant: lots and lots of walking! You will want to keep your feet warm, dry, and blister-free, so proper footwear is crucial. Beyond shoes, the proper accessories can also help make or break your experience.
Sturdy, comfortable sneakers or walking shoes
Comfortable trousers, a light casual dress, or other loose-fitting clothing
Shorts (with pockets)
Front zipping light jacket that can be easily removed and tied around waist
A small collapsible umbrella and/or a plastic poncho