Cruise Packing Tips and Hacks: How to Pack for a Cruise the Right Way

09 Sep 2021 by Olga Brighton

Travel Information

Cruises are a fantastic way to spend a holiday. Especially after being cooped up indoors for longer than we would like in the last 18 months. It’s a unique experience that offers so much in one travel package. The calming expanse of the ocean and multiple hand-picked locations to explore gives you the best opportunity to see so much on one trip. Unwind, explore new sites and sounds and sample enticing cuisines. And with many cruises offering creative workshops, you can learn a new skill and finish the day off with world-class on-board entertainment.

With so many activities and so much variety, its essential to pack well. Here are some tips and tricks on how to make your cruise packing easy.

Pre-travel essentials: Research Your Cruise Itinerary and Activities you plan to do and Pack Accordingly!

Creating a list or checklist is imperative to avoid forgetting anything. With so many locations and so many activities its important to have an array of adaptable clothes and shoes. You’ll only get that right if you know what you have planned so you can pack smart.

cruise travel hacks

Our top Cruise Packing Tips and Hacks

  • Think versatility and adaptability with clothes and shoes. Top Tip: Most cruises have a casual dress code and some formal nights, so choose versatile items that you can dress up, or layer up if the weather changes. Ensure you pack looser comfy cotton clothes too in case temperatures soar, or you just want to lounge in comfort. Versatile clothes are a must and will help keep packing simple. It’s also likely your cruise will offer a laundry service so don't overpack!
  • Accessories are a perfect way to diversify your look and take a simple outfit up a notch, while taking up minimal space and weight in your luggage. You are likely to get the chance to buy some locally made, artisan items on your trip too – so you can support local economies while looking great.
  • Pack a sarong and shawl. They’re small, light, super-versatile items for a chic look, plus they’ll fit in a day bag and keep any chill breeze at bay. Also good for covering-up if you are in areas where modesty is required – like religious sites, or certain destinations.
  • A Microfibre quick dry towel is a must. It will take up minimum space in your luggage and you can tuck in your day bag if you’re stopping at beach location.

Read also: Covid Travel Apps Guide

  • Pack footwear that you can explore in….for hours. Otherwise, you’ll be kicking yourself if your aching feet mean you miss out on some sites. Leave heavy hiking boots at home unless your cruise definitely includes trekking/hiking Itineraries!
  • Roll don’t fold! Your clothes will take less space and will usually wrinkle less depending on the item.
  • Use packing compartments or cubes o organize your suitcase by type of clothes / items. It makes unpacking and finding and arranging clothes 100 times quicker!
  • Layers are more versatile than bulky clothes. It’s particularly important on a cruise where you are visiting multiple locations and microclimates. And you’re on open seas.
  • Pack just once. Don’t make the mistake of packing items separately over several days. You risk forgetting what you’ve packed and you may need to pack differently depending on your final selection. Lay everything out in one place until you’re ready to pack just once. It will save time in the long run.

Cruise Packing List

With clothes tips covered, here are some more essentials:

  • Travel Insurance - We would say that wouldn’t we? Travel Insurance is essential, especially on a cruise as medical costs on board or emergency medical evacuation can be astronomically expensive. Many travel insurance providers charge you extra for cruise cover, whereas all Globelink Policies cover cruises for free as standard!
  • Prescribed Medication - Carry enough medication for your entire trip and a bit extra in case some gets mislaid. Carry the prescription too in case you need to replace it, or need medical attention while away.
  • First aid kit - For minor holiday ailments, like pain killers, allergy medication, anti-bacteria gel, plasters, small disinfectant cream, indigestion tablets, anti-diarrhea, travel sickness tablets. Include motion sickness medication. Sunscreen is a must have too – especially as sea air will keep you deceptively cool but the sun could be strong.
  • Earplugs are always a good idea to avoid unexpected noise. Especially if you may want an early night, or rest during the day.

Read also: Does Your Travel Insurance Cover Coronavirus?

  • A laundry bag is smart for your dirty clothes. Especially if you don’t plan to use on board laundry services.
  • A refillable water bottle. Its environmentally friendly and ensures you stay hydrated wherever you are. It's cheaper too if you can source safe drinking water.
  • A Book. Often your holiday is the only time you may get to read and relax, so make sure youve selected some great choices to enjoy.
  • An extension lead can be a life saver (in case outlets are sparce in your accommodation). Remember adapters and portable charges so you stay connected.
  • Bags for your shoes. If they get dirty, you can store them without ruining other luggage.
  • An extra bag - light weight and fold away, in case you want to shop during your trip. Or plan carefully and leave room in your luggage for those irresistible purchases.
  • Wrinkle spray! a great investment that will save hassle and avoid that crumpled look during your travels! Another useful item is a simple washing bar in case you need to urgently wash an item of clothing, or for stain removal if you spill coffee, wine, juice of any thing else on your favourite item!
  • Mini Binoculars - Super fun and essential to help you get the best coastline views and each destination as you approach, or pass by.

We hope our packing tips help. Please let us know if you have any other cruise packing tips that could help our community. Wherever you are travelling ensure you follow your government guidelines and those of the locations you will visit. For UK residents this is the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO). Check for full details. Have a great trip!

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