Cruises are one of the most popular vacation experiences. These adventures on the sea offer opportunities that both young and old alike can enjoy. The benefits of a cruise vacation are many, making this such a popular form of travel.
While you are on your way to various ports, you can soak up some sun on an upper deck, dive into a cool pool, or relax with a book on your own personal veranda. Some may feel the need to stay more active, and for this group of people, the cruise line has unlimited activities available such as swimming, golf, rock climbing, dance lessons or cooking classes. Whatever your interests, you are sure to be catered to.
The only challenging thing about going on a cruise trip is packing. We do like to travel with quite a bit of gear, but we follow some tried and true rules to keep it light so we can make room for the stuff that we know will make our cruise vacation more comfortable and enjoyable. So, how do we pack light?
1. Bring a light suitcase.
Bring a suitcase that is soft-sided and sufficiently lightweight, making it easier to carry and put in any spaces. In addition, you’ll want to look for suitcases with high-quality zippers and a tough exterior.
2. Prepare your carry-on bags with essential things.
Pack essential items in your carry-on bags. These items should include meds or toiletries, cameras, electronic games, jewelry and a bathing suit or dinner attire. So, just in case your luggage gets lost, at least you’ll have some essentials with you. For your checked bags, lay out all the clothes that you think are necessary and roll them to save spaces.
3. Separate clothes by day.
Another way to keep it light is to separate clothes by day. You can do this using packing cubes but large Ziploc bags work too. Why do this, you ask? Because packing by day prevents you from packing too much. But selecting a specific outfit for each day or occasion, you avoid packing stacks and stacks of the same type of clothing item without a plan. It’s also easy to scale back at the last minute to reduce your total packing weight.
4. Pack a small supply of laundry detergent.
If your ship has a self-serve laundromat, pack a small supply of laundry detergent and plan to do a load or two laundries on the ship. Sure, you can buy it onboard, but detergent takes up very little space. This is something you do more now that you have a child, but if the idea of doing laundry on your vacation makes you woozy, just skip it. But remember, not every cruise line offers onboard laundry, so be sure to do your research.
5. Don’t pack all your shoes.
This may be the best tip we can offer, minimize the number of shoes you pack. They’re heavy and shoes are a space killer. If possible, wear your most bulky pair of shoes on embarkation day instead of packing them. Don’t pack uncomfortable shoes, even for formal night. Most cruise ships are huge and you’ll be walking a lot. So, choose carefully ladies and leave those blister inducing stilettos at home. Just pack a pair of high quality, but worn-in flip flops or sandals, 1 pair of athletic shoes and 1 dressy pair for formal nights.
6. Do your research.
Research your cabin’s amenities and toiletries in advance. Chances are, you can leave your hairdryer, soap, and shampoo at home. On most cruises, you can replenish your supplies at grocery or drug stores in port if you run out.