Tuesday, April 6, 2010

How to pack light for a cruise

A very popular topic, on a cruise forum I frequent, is packing light. This comes up every time someone writes about airlines losing their luggage and they not seeing their luggage again until they return home.

The best way to avoid this problem is to pack light enough to take everything in a carryon. My husband and I have several sized carryons and just returned from a 10 day river cruise using my backpack and (2) 20" rolling bags which fit perfectly in the overhead bin on the way there (and we checked on the way home.)

If we were taking a large ship cruise, I suspect we would trade one of the 20" for a 22" rolling bag since my husband would add a jacket and we'd both add bathing suits, shorts and sneakers. But we no longer take 'formal' clothes, and, over the years, we have developed an extensive wardrobe of quick dry clothes.

So how do we do it?

My backpack holds our meds, my camera, binoculars, reading material. I also pack my purse in my backpack so I have only two carryons. We take clothes that can be mixed and matched and never take anything that won't be worn more than once. We also are prepared to do laundry in the bathroom sink.

Packing list for me:
*(2) pairs of quick dry cargo pants - wear one, pack one
*gortex jacket - wear
*sweatshirt/sweater/vest - wear
*hiking/walking shoes - wear
*(1) pair of black, dressy polyester pants
*(2) blouses to use as 'jackets' over
*(5) quick dry shirts that do double duty by wearing solo during the day and under one of my blouses to dress for dinner
*several scarves to dress things up for dinner
*pair of black flats
*socks, underwear....enough to get through a few days and I wash as we go
*old t-shirt that I sleep in and then trash when we leave

Packing list for my husband:
*(2) pairs of quick dry cargo pants - wear one, pack one
*gortex jacket - wear
*sweatshirt/sweater/vest - wear
*hiking/walking shoes - wear
*(2) pair of nice pants for dinner
*(5) long sleeved shirts which he wore during the day and then would dress one up with his nice pants for dinner
*pair of black shoes
*socks, underwear....

We both wore everything we took and didn't feel like there was anything else we should have brought.

BTW, at least one of our rolling carryons can be expanded. If necessary, I expand it for the trip home.


Sally Wessely said...

Do you take a computer? You give such great details, I just wonder how you take the notes for your blog. Do you blog as you go?

diane said...

Thanks for taking the time to comment on my blog.

No, I don't take a computer. I don't want to add to the weight of what I am traveling with.

I keep a journal and then write my blog posts when I return home. I never write about where I will be going or while I am traveling as I don't want to 'advertise' there's an empty house.

Micki said...

Love it. I admire you so. One gal wrote tips for packing light. Never mentioned underwear (12 day cruise), shoes etc. Yours sounds more doable.

diane said...

Micki, Thanks for writing. Glad you found my post helpful.