Whether you’re cruising to Alaska, the Caribbean, or some other spectacular spot on earth, you’ll probably have to pack some essentials and you may not know what to pack. If you’re wondering how to pack for a cruise, this guide’s for you. We’ve put together some tips for packing for your next cruise, so that you can make smart decisions and have everything you need for your ocean or river adventure.
If you’re cruising to sunny beaches, of course it’s safe to say that a bikini in your bag will likely be a good thing. Likewise, journeying to icy tundra probably calls for the obvious heavy parka. But, despite these givens, what do you take on your cruise and how do you decide what goes? Follow the tips below and you should have what’s needed to stay comfortable and have a great time.
Make Smart Carry-On Bag Decisions
On a plane trip to your cruise departure, and during ship embarkation, you’ll want to have a carry-on bag with you that has essentials in it like any medications that might be needed, healthy snacks, a cell phone charger or back-up battery, your passport, and a light sweater or jacket. It’s also wise to keep a bathing suit, your first night of evening attire, a change of clothes, and your camera in your carry-on in case your checked bags get lost or delayed.
Pack Checked Bags Wisely
For your checked bags, don’t over do it. Pack clothing you know you’ll need, like a bathing suit, underwear, evening attire if needed, a sweater or jacket, and appropriate shoes for activities you’ll participate in. One outfit a day really can be overkill even, which comes to the surprise of many. Consider mixing and matching to cut down on clothing in your checked bags. If you’re cruising with your family, it can be a good idea for each family member to place one or more articles of clothing in another family member’s bag, to save the day for that person in lost-bag scenarios.
Research the Dress Code
Before you pack, look up the dress code for your ship on the cruise line’s website, or inquire with the cruise line via or call your travel agent. You don’t want to pack only casual attire if there will be places and events where dressier clothing is in order. If you don’t have the right clothing, you may miss out on some fun. Similarly, packing fancy clothes when you won’t need them just wastes valuable space in your bags. If you’re not sure what constitutes formal, evening, dressy, dressy casual, or casual attire for your ship, consult with your cruise line or travel agent.
Consider Washing Clothes on Your Ship
You can save a great amount of space in your bags, and not bring as many bags, by doing laundry on your ship if it’s available. Keep in mind that there may be a charge to use washers and dryers onboard, but you might luck out and find complimentary laundry or dry cleaning services. It’s also not a bad thing to wear certain articles of clothing more than once, and you can hand wash bathing suits in your cabin sink.
How to Pack for a Cruise Includes Making More Wise Choices
In addition to these tips, when you’re wondering how to pack for a cruise, consider that your ship will likely not stock your favorite toiletries. If you use certain shampoos and cleansers, pack small bottles of them. Also, you’ll want to refrain from packing some things, so that you have room for any purchases you make and want to bring home. And, of course, dress for where you’re going. This is as simple as researching the locale you’re heading to and paying attention to weather there at the time of year you’ll be traveling. By making smart packing decisions like those we’ve mentioned, you’ll set yourself up for a perfect cruise to remember for a lifetime.