How To Pack Sensibly For A Cruise
It's vacation time and that means you have some planning to do! Cruises can take all of the headaches out of vacation planning with the exception of packing. Spending a week in close quarters means you'll have to think strategically when you're piling everything into your suitcases. Here are 7 tips for packing sensibly for a cruise.
Pack your carry-on bag with all of your essentials: toiletries, medications, a change of clothes, a bathing suit, and flip-flops. When any air travel is involved in a vacation, there's always a chance your luggage will get lost, which can be extremely inconvenient when you're on a cruise ship and it can't be sent to you. In addition to air travel precautions (and even if your luggage doesn't get lost) once you're on board the cruise ship it can take a few hours for your luggage to be delivered to your cabin.
While T-shirts and shorts are great for lounging in the sun during the day, most, if not all, cruises build at least one formal dinner into the schedule where passengers are required to wear suits and ties and cocktail dresses. Since a cruise dictates that you pack light, pack nice clothes made of wrinkle-resistant material (no cotton!) and shoes that can bounce back into shape after being crushed in a suitcase.
Mix & Match
Pack different pieces of clothing that are in the same color scheme or complement each other. Doing this allows you to create many outfits with just a few articles of clothing. This makes packing easy and your suitcase light.
Accessories & Outerwear
Out on the open water, there's no guarantee the temperature will be consistent. Make sure to pack clothes you can layer and light accessories that can instantly warm up a spring or summer outfit. Adding a lightweight scarf and a cardigan to a sundress makes cooler temperatures tolerable. A pair of leggings can go under a skirt to keep you warm without discounting style and they take up little space in a suitcase.
Consider Your Destinations
The simple shoes and clothes you pack for being on the ship may be different from what you'll need when you get to your destinations. Though you may be used to kicking around on board in flip-flops and bathing suits, outdoor activities at your port may require activewear like sneakers and shorts.
If you choose to lounge on deck with books or magazines, consider bringing something you're OK with leaving behind. These will take up space in your luggage on the way to your cruise. If you leave them for someone else to read, you'll have space for souvenirs to bring home. Instead of packing reading materials, consider adding an app to listen to audio books on your smartphone since you'll likely have it with you anyway.
If you want to pack extra light, you always have the option of having your laundry done on board. It can be expensive (getting a pair of socks washed can cost about $1.50) but it might be worth it. Check with your cruise line on prices.
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