Your toothbrush. Your laptop charger. At least one change of underwear. These are things you mustn’t forget to pack wherever you’re going – and however you’re getting there.
But when going on a cruise, there are a few items specific to the experience that no traveler should leave out of his or her suitcase. Here are five essential items for cruises that should become part of your list of cruise packing tips.
1. A clock
Most of use our phones to tell the time nowadays. In fact, this is an increasing trend, even among older generations. According to a YouGov poll, 23.5 percent of 35- to 54-year-olds and 10.5 percent of those 55 years or older don’t own a watch. Out of those who do in those age brackets, 55.3 percent and 50.5 percent don’t actually wear them, respectively.
Don’t make this mistake on a cruise. There’s a good chance your phone’s clock won’t work properly, or you may end up turning it off to avoid costly roaming rates. You’ll need some way to keep track of the time and know when to make your way down to events. Pack a clock or a wristwatch.
2. Bug spray
On your cruise, you’re likely to be visiting any number of strange and exotic locales. While they will make for great photo ops and unforgettable memories, they can also be hazardous to your health.
For instance, some of the ports you get off at may be in countries with epidemics of yellow fever, which tend to be concentrated in Latin America and, particularly, Africa, where 90 percent of the world’s cases of yellow fever come from. Yellow fever can be deadly, and is spread by infected mosquitos. If it’s a risk, it will likely be outlined in the cruise’s vaccination requirements, but if you want to make doubly sure, pack bug spray. Life’s too short to spend it resisting an itch.
3. A lanyard
Wait, a lanyard? Those things people hang around their necks when they go to science fiction conventions? That’s right – it’s one of the more essential items to have on hand when hitting the high seas.
Most cruises nowadays operate by giving their guests ID cards, which cruise-goers then use to do everything from get on and off the boat, get in and out of their rooms and even make purchases. That means dropping your key card overboard, misplacing it or otherwise losing it will leave you stuck outside your room – or, at worst, left behind at a port while the ship sails away!
Avoid this ordeal by attaching the card to a lanyard around your neck. That way, you’ll always have it with you, and you’ll immediately know if it has gone missing.
4. Towel clips
One of the joys of going on a cruise is going out onto the deck, unfolding your lawn chair and basking in the hot rays of the sun. Of course, this idyllic image leaves out the fact that you’ll be sailing across the ocean at quite a speed – and with the wind that comes with it. To make sure your towels and other items aren’t blown overboard, bring along towel clips to fasten them to your chair.
5. A small bag
You could decide to pack everything you have in your checked luggage, then wait for it to arrive at your room. And 99 percent of the time, this wouldn’t be a problem. But it’s that pesky 1 percent of the time when your luggage is lost or delayed, or its arrival otherwise impaired, that will impress upon you the importance of having a smaller bag to carry on.
Pack the bag with a change of clothes and a few other essential items. That way, if anything happens, you’re covered for a little while at least. It also means you’ll have something to carry items around in when you take a stroll off the boat.