Home Cruise Preparation How to Pack for Cruising through Multiple Climates

Cruises that take you through multiple climates need extra packing considerations.

Packing for one climate is often a challenge – two can be a downright pain. If you’re going on a cruise that takes you through multiple weather regions and temperatures, however, you need to be prepared for all of it. Packing for warm weather and spending half of your cruise in a chilly destination is a recipe for a miserable vacation. Here’s how you can make sure you have everything you’ll need to handle traveling from warm to cold to anything in between.

Plan ahead

The first thing you need to do is plenty of research on your cruise’s destinations. What kind of temperatures do those locations generally have during the time of year in which you’re traveling? Is it usually rainy, or dry? A mix? Obviously you won’t be able to have a solid guarantee of what kind of weather to expect, but you should be able to have a good ballpark that can guide your planning.

Once you have this information, make a calendar that includes the average highs and lows through your trip. Coordinate the temperature on each day with where you’ll be, so your calendar maps out the expected temperatures during your trip. Use this to determine how many days you’ll spend in what temperature range.

Go warm to cold

Figure out your warm-weather clothes first – even if the warm destinations are on the later part of your trip. There’s a simple reason to plan your luggage this way: Your clothes for high temperatures make perfect lower layers for your cold-weather destinations. Once you have your warm days figured out, you can add thicker layers you can use to bundle up when it’s chillier.

Think layers

If you’re traveling from climate to climate, there’s a good chance you’re going to spend some time in an awkward in-between temperature. When you think about dressing in terms of layers, you can easily take off some clothes if you’re just a little bit too warm. Pack plenty of sweatshirts and jackets that can fit over lighter clothing.

Plan for terrible weather (a little)

Bring a rain coat. Even if you’re spending most of your trip on a beautiful sunny island where it “rarely ever rains,” bring a rain coat. If you’re traveling somewhere where there’s a chance of snow, pack some sturdy boots. Figure out what the worst-case weather scenario is for your locations, and add whatever you’d need if that happened.

Bring the essentials only

Particularly when you’re traveling through multiple climates, you need to make the best use of your luggage space. As you’re figuring out what to bring, nix anything you’re not 100 percent sure you’d wear. Don’t bring along any new outfits you’re not sure about or cool trends you’re sure you’ll try on vacation – if you don’t like it at home, you’re probably not going to like it on your trip. If you’ll have access to laundry, take that into account – pack fewer days’ worth of clothes, and plan to wash your clothes during your cruise. This way, you’ll have plenty of room to bring clothes for all weather possibilities.

Other quick tips

  • Bring along enough sunscreen for every leg of your cruise, even the parts in cooler climates. Heat is not a prerequisite for sunburn, and even cold climates can leave you with sun-damaged skin.
  • If you plan to pick up souvenirs, make sure your bag has enough room for everything. Mailing back items is pricey – avoid it if you can.
  • Anything you can bring that serves double duty will make up space in your bag. A hat that will work in both warm and cold weather, for example, will be useful on your entire cruise.

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