Friday

Light Packing for Cruises 101

On a cruise you meet interesting new people all day and night. You go to lots of different activities and need to be prepared. You want to make the right impression, look fashionable, and feel comfortable, but you don't want to pack more than necessary. Some travelers are happiest with tons of luggage, but you're the type who wants to pack a single bag and be done with it, right? Light packing for cruise travel can be tricky, but there are some secrets to be found!
Organization and planning will let you pack efficiently for travel on cruises

How to Pack Efficiently for Cruise Travel

How can one stay fashionable without packing a whole closet worth of clothes? A little planning, flexibility, and smart packing will be your best bet. When you're traveling, you should remember that you should bring only the most important essentials. Things to consider:

  1. Where is your cruise destination? What ports?
  2. What will the weather be like on the trip and at the ports?
  3. What activities will you be enjoying?
  4. What items and accessories do you need for entertainment and comfort?
  5. Do you need multiple changes of clothes/accessories?

Answering these questions will give you much better insight into what to pack. An Alaskan cruise means packing cold weather gear like sweaters, parkas, an extra blanket, wool socks, gloves and scarves, etc. A Mexico beach cruise means swimsuits, snorkels, flip-flops, sunblock, and beach towels. Check to see what items your cruise line will provide to you, what you feel comfortable using (could you be happy renting snorkel gear or beach towels that have been used?), and check to see if they have recommended packing lists available. This is especially important for guided tours in exotic locations. Make sure to list to your tour guide about the gear to bring!

What outfits are best for cruises?

Casual, semi-formal, and formal outfits may be best depending on the activities you'll be taking part in. Are you going to hit the night clubs, the formal dining nights, museums and night-time affairs? Bring perhaps a suit or cocktail dress in a neutral color. You can re-use a formal outfit for another night with the right accessories. A different shirt and tie changes a suit completely; the addition of a shawl or chunky colorful belt will change a dress. Consider bringing a pair of dress shoes and semi-formal shoes as that can dress an outfit up or down as necessary. It's easier to pack multiple necklaces and wraps than it is to pack multiple dresses.

It's easier to bring a pair of dressy heels and a pair of casual ballet flats than it is to bring a dress for every day of your trip.

For excursions, events, and active outings like snorkeling, rock climbing, and hiking, it's best to keep yourself to one set of gear if your goal is to pack light. You can easily clean your gear and hiking outfits, taking extra good care of it to make sure it lasts for the whole trip.

Do your research!

Make sure to check online for pictures of people on that cruise line to see how others dress. Not only with the cruise line have pictures on their website, but you can also search facebook and instagram for the hashtag related to your cruise line and ports. This will let you know how formal you need to dress for formal events, and how casual you can dress for daytime excursions.

What electronics to pack for cruise travel?

Picking the right electronics and entertainment items for a cruise is entirely dependent on your style. If you're a professional or hobby photographer, you're likely not going to want to leave without your DSLR. But if you're not a photography enthusiast, consider using your smartphone instead of bring a separate camera. Most modern smartphones are excellent digital cameras as well. The iPhone X is a 12MP camera with both wide angle and telephoto capabilities, with up to 10x digital/optical zoom. That will allow you to take beautiful destination photography as well as casual selfies, and print them up to 16in x 20in or larger without issue. A back-up battery or two (rechargeable of course!) and a waterproof case will be all you need if casual photography is your goal.

For entertainment, consider bringing a smart tablet in place of a laptop and books. A tablet will double as both a way to watch movies and catch up on your eBooks, as well as let you have access to games and apps to pass the time.

Make sure to bring two sets of chargers and two sets of earbud headphones. They're small enough that packing two of each won't take up a lot of room, and it saves the hassle of trying to find compatible products at your destinations.

These are just a few tips for packing light for cruising the high seas! Planning and organization ahead of time will be your best bet. Just remember that you will have your own cabin, so don't pack so lightly that you're uncomfortable on your trip.
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