After the holidays as we fall back into our routines, it’s hard not to think about our next vacation, especially when the weather is cold and dreary. No wonder the winter months are a popular time to take a cruise. Many cruise lines offer discounts in the winter, and it is a great way to get away from the cold for a little while. If you are planning on taking a cruise soon, consider these few essentials to pack that will make your trip more enjoyable:
If you are escaping the cold on a Caribbean cruise, don’t be overzealous about packing only bathing suits, shorts and tank tops. Breezy nights on the deck or on the beach still get quite chilly, not to mention the freezing air conditioned rooms on board. CruiseCritic.com suggests packing a light sweater or pashmina that matches the outfits you brought. You can also use a pashmina as an extra blanket on board or on a long flight.
You should also check the ship’s dress code as well as your destination. You don’t want to miss out on a formal evening because you only packed shorts.
Instead of taking up all the space in your luggage with outfits you might not wear, consider bringing travel-sized laundry detergent packets and a portable clothesline, so you can do laundry. One of CruiseSavvy.com’s cruise essentials is a plastic or cloth bag specifically for your dirty laundry, so it doesn’t get mixed with your clean clothes or make your room smell like wet bathing suits.
Power Strip and Adapter
According to Allianz Travel Insurance, many cruise cabins have only one or two outlets. If you and your travel companion bring your phone, tablet, Kindle, laptop, camera charger and other electronics, it can be a fight for the plug the whole trip. Bring a power strip, so you can plug in multiple items at once.
You should also consider bringing an adapter in case you have a three-pronged plug or encounter another reason your plug doesn’t fit the outlets.
It is inevitable that something important will get lost or broken while you’re on vacation, so bring some backups. Buying even simple items like batteries and pain relievers on board can quickly eat up your spending money that would be better spent on souvenirs.
For example, your sunglasses can easily get damaged if exposed to a lot of sand and saltwater. Instead of buying a new expensive pair of frames, companies like Revant Optics offer lens replacements for sunglasses you already have. An extra bathing suit is also a good idea, as well as extra flip flops, contact lenses and other essentials.
Thermal Bottle or Mug
Many travel sites suggest bringing a thermal mug on your cruise. It may seem nonessential, but you’ll be glad you brought one. As TravelSense.org states, many cruises offer only small coffee cups and not at all times of the day. This can be inconvenient when you want to walk around the ship with a hot cup of coffee or if you want coffee in your room.
A thermal bottle or mug will keep coffee or water hot for hours. You can even bring tea bags or Starbucks Via packets to mix with hot water in your room.
Over-the-Door Shoe Organizer
This may sound like an odd thing to pack when you want to keep it light, but space fills up fast in small cabins. Hanging a shoe organizer over your cabin door provides a place for small items such as batteries, phone chargers and toiletries. Plus, it organizes all your belongings in one out-of-the-way place.