Packing for a cruise

8 Essentials To Pack for Your Next Cruise

Packing for a cruise presents some unusual challenges. You don’t want to overdo it because staterooms on a cruise ship are usually smaller than the average hotel room, and space is at a premium. On the other hand, you may not be able to pick up something that you forgot — stores you visit on excursions may be closed, or the ship may not stock your preferred brands.

Take some time to make a packing list with these eight suggestions.

1. Sunscreen

You’ve been planning for months, searching for cruises from Fort Lauderdale and finding the perfect one, and finally, your vacation is here. Don’t ruin your trip with a sunburn — pack sunscreen with the highest SPF you can find. You may be surprised how much sun exposure you get — even incidental encounters, such as walking on the deck for 10 minutes, can add up.

Buy a separate sunscreen made just for faces if you’re prone to breakouts. You can also find products that do not clog pores. Let your sunscreen do double duty as a moisturizer, and you have one less item to pack.

2. Motion Sickness Products

If you are unsure whether a cruise will make you seasick, it’s best to err on the side of caution and be prepared. Some people opt for medication designed to prevent motion sickness. You can find pills, chewable tablets or skin patches. Others say that acupressure bands are the solution. Whether you use one or both methods, plan ahead to stop motion sickness before it becomes a big problem.

3. Hand Sanitizer

Invest in a couple of small, portable bottles of hand sanitizer to pack with you while you’re on the go. When you’re on a ship with other people, germs may find an opportunity to travel, and you don’t want to let a head cold or sore throat ruin your vacation. With a bottle of hand sanitizer, you’ll be ready to clean up at a moment’s notice. You can find sanitizer in fun scents if you don’t like the smell of unscented products.

4. Medications

Pack your prescription medications in their original bottles when traveling on a cruise. You can bring a daily pill organizer along to keep track of your medication schedule once you arrive. Be sure to pack other over-the-counter items such as antibiotic cream and pain relievers.

5. Light Sweater or Jacket

The temperatures can be unpredictable on your trip. Evening sea breezes and chilly airplanes call for a lightweight jacket, cardigan or wrap. Pack one or two that match several outfits to mix and match as you please.

6. Tote Bag or Backpack

Bring along a lightweight, packable tote for daytime excursions to the beach or port of call. Be sure it’s large enough to stow your flip flops, sunscreen, beach hat and other essentials. A secure pocket for your wallet and credit cards is good if you’re headed to the market. You may be able to find packs or wallets with RFID technology for extra security.

7. Walking Shoes

Whether you plan to hike across an island or never leave the ship, the chances are that you will have plenty of walking to do on your trip. Flip flops are great for the pool or beach, but supportive footwear is essential for spending hours on your feet. Closed-toe shoes offer protection on a hike, and slip-resistant soles are your friend on a slippery deck.

8. Travel Journal

You may think you will remember every exciting detail of your vacation, but once you’re back home, it’s likely you will forget some things. Write down notes and memorable moments so that you can savor them later. What was your favorite meal? What activities did you try? Did you visit places you’ve never been? All of these details create wonderful memories.

A cruise is an excellent way to vacation. If you pack a few essentials and remember not to overstuff your suitcase, you can enjoy your trip even more.

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