Packing for a Cruise

Smart tips for cruise holiday packing

Editor’s Note: You’ll recall that I recently shared information on my Travel Dispatches series that I’m sharing on Cruiseable. As a follow up, I’m sharing a guest post that’s focusing on some insider packing tips for cruising. Have some tips of your own? Share them in the comments below!

Guest post by Samantha Young
Freelance Travel Writer

If you’ve been toying with the idea of a cruise holiday, there are great cruise deals and values available that allow you to experience a variety of destinations with the benefit of unpacking only once. Whether your style is more luxury boutique river cruise or high-energy mega ship, there are options that cater to all budgets, interests and locales.

A cruise ship is essentially a floating hotel, but as they’re still at sea most of the time cabin space in non-suite setups can be limited for travelers. If you’re wondering what to pack to make your time more comfortable, space and standard amenities will play a large role in what makes the cut.

If you’re not sure what to take, the packing tips below will help make sure you’re prepared for (almost) anything on your seafaring adventure.

Well-Packed Carry-On Bag

1The rest of your luggage may be inaccessible for several hours when you first board. Make sure you have your personal essentials with you in your carry-on bag if you’re not going carry-on only. Prescription medications, sunscreen, or motion sickness pills should make the cut. Plus, if you’re planning to head straight for the on-deck pool, pack your swim gear or a change of clothes so you can hit the ground running.

Thermal Coffee Mug

2For a caffeine fix on the go, a thermal mug keeps your beverages hot while you’re roaming. Plus, sturdy lids help prevent spillages when the sea rolls or gets a little choppy. Bonus: pick one up in a port of call for a take away that’s functional.

Extra Clothes Hangers 

3Cabin wardrobes often have a limited number of hangers, and there may be no other hanging space available for clothes you’d prefer to unpack. If you’re hoping to keep your smarter clothes pristine, pack a few lightweight plastic hangers to keep them wrinkle-free during your journey.

Instant Stain Remover Pen

4Washing and drying clothes may not be an option in the confines of your cabin, and if you’re trying to pack light there’s probably a bit of mixing, matching and re-using of your clothes during a getaway. An instant stain remover makes it easy to clean dirty spots on clothes, plus it takes virtually no space in your luggage!

Ear Plugs

5Cruise ships can be noisy places for some lighter sleepers, which can cause disrupted rest. To be sure that you wake up refreshed and ready for a day of exploration and adventure, pack earplugs to muffle sounds and ensure you get peaceful sleep when you need it.

Sealable Waterproof Bags

6Pack your lotions and creams in waterproof bags to prevent leakages from ruining your clothes. This is a must for most when traveling, but on cruises they’re also handy for protecting things like mobile phones, cameras and passports from accidental sea splash damage.

Image by Roderick Eime via Creative Commons 

While these items may not be essential for hitting the open waters, they will certainly make life on board a bit easier and allow you to spend more time creating perfect holiday memories with your friends, family and loved ones.

For more tips and visual guides, check out Pinterest for cruise packing inspiration!

Tell us: what are your must-have items when cruising?

Samantha Young is passionate writer and traveller who loves to discover new things and experience different cultures.  Her focus is on visiting attractions known for their diversity, and she brings captivating articles about travel and leisure.

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