Enjoying all that a cruise offers means that you are getting the opportunity to explore some amazing port cities while also taking advantage of all of the features aboard your cruise ship. But heading out to explore a new city can be a little challenging if you do not have a well-prepared excursion go-bag to grab as you begin your exploration.
Remember that space in your cabin is limited, and no one wants to be schlepping around a huge bag or backpack while on a shore excursion. Select a bag or pack that is lightweight and is either waterproof or can accommodate a waterproof carrier for your electronics and valuables. In addition, a bag that zips or snaps securely can help to discourage anyone from trying to slip items out of your bag in crowded tourist areas such as the beach or at a market. This also helps to prevent accidental spills in crowds or when you set the bag down to access items.
Place some disposable hand wipes, travel sized sunscreen, a few antiseptic wipes, and a few Band-Aids in an inside pocket or in a Ziploc bag for easy access. It is also nice to add at least one chamois towel in case someone spills a drink or needs to dry off from a sudden rain shower. If the beach is on your list of stops, include one chamois towel for each person. These towels can roll up to be smaller than a water bottle and will work as well as a beach towel that would require ten times more space to carry.
If you are traveling with children, a small refillable water bottle for each child can be very helpful. This allows you to divide a large drink among the children for cost savings. In addition, small drinks can be replenished more often keeping the beverages cold and fresh. And an extra hat and a cheap pair of kids sunglasses can be a trip saver as kids tend to lose things in the excitement of exploration.
Finally, include an extra-large bag which can fold into a compact pouch when not in use. This will be a great way to carry an unexpected large souvenir, wet shoes or towels or even to loan to a fellow traveler who is not as prepared as you are. Having this compact but well-stocked bag ready for your shore excursions will save you money and frustration as you discover all that each port of call has to offer.