Packing for Cruises – 5 Top Tips!

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Packing for a cruise is often quite stressful, particularly if you are flying before embarking on your cruise as you will have a restricted baggage allowance. Many airlines only allow 20kg of check in baggage per person, which is not a lot if you are going on a 14 night cruise. Below are some tips to help you get the most out of your baggage allowance.

1) Pack clothes which are easily adapted to different outfits. Gok Wan is always telling us the importance of having a capsule wardrobe, so why not take his advice next time you go on a cruise? Select skirts, tops and trousers which can be mixed up to create different looks each time you wear them. A great way of getting the most out of a capsule wardrobe is to accessorise! Take statement jewellery, or even a corsage to pin onto a top. This will instantly transform your outfit into a brand new one. Men can also follow this tip, and they may find it helpful to take a simple blazer which can be dressed up with shirt and tie for formal nights, or dressed down with open shirt/smart t-shirt on casual nights.

2) You can wash your clothes! Don’t feel like you have to live out of your case for 2 weeks without washing any clothes, all ships have a laundry service and some even have self service laundry machines. Although you may end up having to pay to get your clothes washed, it will be a lot cheaper than the excess baggage fees you will be paying to the airline if you overpack!

3) Skip formal nights! If you aren’t the kind of person who relishes getting dolled up for an evening meal then simply don’t go to the main restaurant on formal night. You could either go to a less formal, speciality restaurant, or you could order room service! This is where having a balcony comes in really handy as you can eat your meal outside on the balcony with beautiful surroundings, dressed however you like.

4) Make full use of your carry on bag. Most airlines allow up to 10kg of hand luggage on a plane journey – that is half the amount you get for a check in bag, and if you are travelling with a partner, that means you are essentially getting the weight of an extra suitcase for nothing. Use this baggage allowance wisely! As your cases may not arrive in your stateroom straight away, it would be a good idea to pack a change of clothes. You might also want to pack shoes in there, books, your laptop, essential toiletries, and whatever else you can fit in! Remember though that you won’t be allowed to take large bottles of liquids in your hand luggage, and all small containers of liquids should be sealed in a resealable clear plastic bag – that includes things like toothpaste and makeup ladies.

5) Pack everything that you absolutely NEED in your hand luggage. You should plan for the worst case scenario, which is that your case goes missing on the flight to your embarktion port (ignoring other worst case possibilities such as plane crashes etc of course!). All essential medicines should therefore be taken in your carry on luggage. All documents that you will need to get on the cruise ship should also be taken in your carry on luggage, as well as emergency contact details, travel insurance documents and any valuables.

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About Author

Claire Wilde

Claire has worked in the travel industry since leaving college in 1994. One of this blog's most regular contributors, Claire covers cruise news and industry trends.

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