So, we are going on holiday in a few weeks on a cruise around France, Spain and Guernsey. As you can expect I’m quite excited but also a bit apprehensive. I hate those security machines that beep if you wear metal and you have to go through them every time you come back from a day onshore.
The part I do enjoy though is planning what to pack and the process of packing. It’s one of my skills is packing.
Roll your clothes. You get so much more in and you can see what you have packed when you look in your case. If you don’t unpack properly it’s much easier than going through piles of t-shirts to find just the right one. T-shirts can be rolled easily but so can shorts and underwear. Jumpers can be a bit fiddly but I have seen a great tutorial of folding hoodies into the hood. Then, when you have done, your posh formal clothes can lie on top ready to be hung up as soon as possible.
Bring a small towel. I know they provide them on the ship for the swimming pool but when you want to go ashore it’s great to have a microfibre towel so if you just happen to find the sea you are prepared. These are so small they will easily fit into your bag but are as big as regular towels and dry you well. (Be warned some towels say to pat yourself dry rather than rub and it is strange until you get used to it.)
Obvious but choose wisely what to pack in your carry on. Medications, electronic tablets, laptops, swimming costume, camera all need to be in there.
The medication is in case they leave your bag at port – it does happen.
The electronics are so you carry it and can choose your own level of carelessness with the bag. I’m sure you have all seen the pictures of people throwing suitcases around when putting them on planes. I’m sure it will happen on cruise ships too.
And the swimming costume… while everyone else is waiting for the bags you can go and change into your costume and enjoy the quiet time in the pool until you can get into your cabin. I hate it when the swimming pool is full so this is a good time to go.
When you are packing leave a hole in the middle the same size as your toilet bag (or several small holes if you have lots of toiletries.) Usually your toilet bag is the last thing to go in because you used it in the morning before you travelled. I guess some people have several sets of make up, deodorant, perfume and shampoo but I don’t so I need to put in my toilet bag after getting ready in the morning. If there is a nice space for it, it all shuts better rather than trying to plonk it on top and then do up the zip. Also, you don’t get that funny bulge and all your perfume/aftershave is a bit more protected by the clothes that surround it.
Shoes go at the bottom. Obvious but essential. I have even heard of people taking free shower caps from hotels and using these to hold muddy shoes together and keep everything else cleaner. Then use the empty space to pack underwear and other trifles until you get a flat base to start your rolled clothes.
A toilet bag that hangs up is a must have. Cruise ships are not known for space, especially if you don’t have a suite. To be fair we often go for the cheapest inside cabin and spend money on excursions. Hopefully we won’t spend too much time in the cabin. If your toilet bag can hang over the bathroom door you can store extra things. It’s important not to leave too much out in the bathroom because if you hit a rough patch of sea you will find that stuff ends up on the floor. By hanging your bag over the door it keeps everything contained and safe from sliding around.