9 Reasons to Pack Duct Tape on Your Next Cruise

Colorful Duct Tape

It's been said that duct tape fixes everything but a broken heart. So it's no surprise the multi-purpose adhesive is at the top of many cruisers' packing lists. Packing duct tape can help you combat wardrobe and luggage malfunctions, and fix minor cabin quirks such as clingy shower curtains or window drapes that won't stay in place. It can even act as a First Aid remedy.

Packing duct tape might also save you money. Why buy overpriced beach towel clips when you can tape your towel to the deck chair? (Just don't use it as a chair-hogging mechanism.) And drop that lint roller from your shopping list; duct tape does the job just fine.

Bring an entire roll, or save room in your suitcase by wrapping only the amount you think you'll need around a sharpie or expired credit card.

Bear in mind: If packing duct tape to use in your cabin, make sure it's okay with your cruise line. Some ban adhesives on doors and other surfaces, as they tend to leave behind a sticky residue. Cruise lines usually list these guidelines on their websites, but you can always call if you're unsure.

If you're a sucker for vacation hacks that help you stay organized, here are nine reasons to pack duct tape on your next cruise.

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1. Remove Lint

Want a lint roller that serves more than just one purpose? Duct tape is your answer. With the sticky side up, wrap one round of tape around your hand. Remove hair, lint and other particles from your clothes by gently dabbing your clothing. Remember to take caution with especially delicate items.

Cruise Ship Porthole with Curtains

2. Seal Curtains

If you're easily awoken by light, don't want to know when the sun rises or happen to be cruising in Alaska or the Baltic when the midnight sun never sets, duct tape can be your best friend. Carefully place a few pieces around the drapes where light might peek through and prepare to sleep in. Don't forget to set your alarm clock.

3. Fix Broken Luggage

Whether the airline roughed up your suitcase or your bags were lovingly worn to begin with, your baggage is bound to get nicks and holes if you cruise enough times with it. Prevent any belongings from falling out by bandaging the holes up with some duct tape. You can even add some flair by using fun colors and prints. For other bags and backpacks, we recommend taping rips and tears from the inside.

Sandals on the Beach

4. Repair Sandals

Okay, so it's not the most stylish look. But if you're in port and one of your sandal straps pops off, the last thing you want to do is walk around barefoot. (You can only last so long clenching your toes around the loose strap in hopes the sandal will stay on your foot.) Duct tape can fix broken sandals in a pinch so your feet are safe until you can obtain new shoes.

5. Mend Torn Hems

Torn hems are easier to fix than you might think. If the hem unravels on your jeans or blazer, simply attach a small piece of tape underneath the fold. No one will ever notice. Again, remember to use a soft touch with delicate fabrics.

Sandals on the Beach

6. Make Your Luggage Standout

We've all been there: waiting for your luggage at the carousel while antsy flyers hover around the conveyor belt like Black Friday shoppers ready to bust through a department store door. To make your bag stand out among the mob scene, use duct tape to mark an "X" or create a tag around the handle. Again, you can get creative by using a variety of colors and prints.

7. Keep Your Shower Curtain at Bay

It's one of cruising's more unsettling forces: the relentless, creeping, clinging shower curtain that repeatedly attaches to your legs for a tingly embrace. Instead of making yourself crazy battling an inanimate object, showering with the curtain open or avoiding the bath altogether, use duct tape to keep the curtain at bay.

Towels on Cruise Deck Chairs

8. Hold Towels in Place

Beach towel clips are cute and all, but they're a waste of money if you have duct tape on hand. When you're heading to the pool deck for some vitamin D, toss some duct tape in your tote bag. Use a couple of small pieces to attach your towel to the deck chair, and you'll never have to worry about your towel sliding down or falling off again.

9. Heal Blisters

Cruises require a lot of walking. You can easily spend an entire day walking around in port or finding your way around a ship. But all this walking can take a toll on your feet (even more if you wear heels on formal night). If you start to notice blisters and aren't able to get your hands on antibiotic cream and bandages right away, we have another solution: duct tape. Duct tape works best when applied before blisters form, but if you're too late, place a small piece of paper or tissue over the wound and then cover with duct tape. This will protect the area until you can get the First Aid products you need from the onboard shop.

--by Gina Kramer, Associate Editor

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