How to pack for a Cruise

When packing for a cruise, think light. Some cruises limit the number of bags you can take on board and if they don’t, you may wish they had when you start unpacking in a state room. There are a few essentials though and don’t trust yourself to remember them; make a list of what you need, check the items off as you pack them and check them off again when you pack to come home.

Important things first:

Make three copies of your tickets, passports and itinerary as well as your health/trip insurance papers. Put one copy in the bag you carry, one in the bag that will be checked and leave one with a person at home whom you can easily contact.

Pack any prescription medicines that you take regularly. Do not take them out of the bottles that they came in from the drug store. Also, be sure to take a supply of any over the counter drugs you may need. Although most cruise ships have OTC medicines, they might not have the brands you prefer.

Take your driver’s license and auto insurance card if you think you will be renting a car.

Don’t forget your glasses (an extra pair if you have one is also a good idea) and your sunglasses. If you wear contacts be sure and take not just the lenses but enough cleaning supplies for the length of your trip.

If you are taking a cell phone along be sure to take the charger and a current adapter if you have one. Since some cell phones can’t be used in foreign countries, it is advisable to pick up an appropriate phone card, too. Buy a phone card even if you are not taking a cell phone along.

Hopefully, you won’t need to lug a laptop but if you do again don’t forget the charger and current adapter.

Sunblock, a trip length supply of your favorite moisturizer, band-aids, antibiotic ointment and medicinal spray are always good ideas.

A small sewing kit for unexpected wardrobe emergencies can be an outfit saver.

Now for the not quite essentials:

If it’s a warm weather cruise, take a sweater or jacket that goes well with your daytime and off the ship clothes and one for more formal on board events.

If it’s a cold weather cruise, a pair of light thermal underwear can make the difference between turning blue and enjoying your trip.

Whether it’s warm or cold, take at least one pair of shoes with skid resistant soles after all you will be on a ship.

Go through each outfit you plan to wear and make sure to take all of the required items. Try as often as possible to combine items to make multiple outfits. The same pair of pants can be worn for both day and evening wear by changing the shirt and accessories worn with it.

And, remember, you are going to be living in a small space with all your belongings for the whole time you are away. You will enjoy the whole cruise more if you can live in a relaxed, uncluttered environment and packing to come home will be so much less stressful the less you take. After all, it is a vacation.