Some people are born travelers. They know exactly what to pack, how to pack, and never worry at the end of their trip that everything won’t fit back into the suitcase. And then there are the rest of us. If you’re worried that you’ll have trouble getting everything home from your cruise–whether because of size or weight–here are a few tips to help you manage a last-minute packing emergency as you prepare to disembark from your cruise:
1. Be prepared.
When initially packing your suitcase at home, slide a folded re-usable tote bag into your luggage. It doesn’t take up much space or weight but might be a lifesaver on the way back. You can carry fragile souvenirs or stuff the bag with dirty laundry – either way, you’ll save space in your suitcase and eliminate a few extra pounds. It’s also a super convenient way to deal with last-minute toiletries and other items you gather up as you prepare to leave your stateroom; just drop them in the bag and sort it all out at home.
2. Roll with it.
Believe it or not, tightly rolling your garments can actually free up some space in your luggage. Tuck smaller rolled items into shoes or between the heel and foot of a high heeled shoe. For extra oomph, pack a few SpaceBags: stuff them with clothes, seal them, and then push the air out, compacting the clothes and reducing the room needed for them.
Take out some of the bulkier clothing items and wear them home, like a hoodie or a jacket. Don a tank top, blouse, cardigan, and jacket and that’s four things out of your suitcase. Likewise, choose your footwear carefully and wear home the biggest or heaviest shoes you’ve packed.
4. Have your packages shipped.
While this is likely the most expensive option, depending on your purchase and the way you plan to get home, it could still be the best idea. You could take a chance in putting items in your suitcase but things can break when luggage shifts or is tossed around at the airport. If you carry on some objects, they could still be damaged in transit or prohibited from flying with you by TSA agents at the airport.
5. Heaviest suitcases go first.
When checking in for your flight and getting your luggage tagged, ask the airline staff to take the heaviest bag first. That way, if that first piece of luggage is overweight, you can still grab a few things out of it to repack in your companion’s suitcase and avoid an excessive weight charge; those can be $100 or more!
No one expects to come home with much more than they left home with when taking a cruise but sometimes these things happen. With a little preparation and some fancy packing strategies, it’s possible to get it all home intact and without extra baggage charges.