No matter how often you travel, packing is a tough challenge, even for a seven-night Caribbean cruise. In a recent discussion on our Facebook page about packing for long-haul, more exotic cruises, Ted Ferragut’s posting resonated. “We are off for a 39 day cruise and really want to pack light. But it’s very hard to do.”
I’m with you, Ted. On the eve of departing for a 14-night voyage on Azamara Quest from Bangkok to Hong Kong, I’d been thinking to myself: Is it me, or does packing for a long voyage present even more complications than the norm?
Over on Facebook, Linda Mclendon wrote that I was overthinking it: “Just take enough for seven days.” But wait. I think there’s a difference when it comes to longer haul travel, especially when itineraries like ours span climate zones (that also goes for South American round-the-horn trips between Buenos Aires and Chile’s Valparaiso, among others).
We started out steaming hot in Bangkok; by the time we get to Hong Kong in mid-January, it’ll be chilly.
So I liked Dan Waguespack’s advice. “It will be warm in Bangkok and cool in China. Pack shorts, long pants and stuff you can layer.”
Though I’m a chronic overpacker, the best advice I’d give when packing for a trip like this is to factor in ships’ laundromats or use their laundry services. And there’s an upside: Some of the best souvenirs I’ve ever bought on a cruise came to be because of packing mishaps, like that beautiful sweater I bought in Edinburgh one day when in unexpectedly snowed in May. So leave a little room in the suitcase for unplanned purchases.
Of course, it’s not always that easy to fill in the blanks. On this trip, I carefully left space in the suitcase for potential “necessities” but forgot the one thing that would make purchasing them easier: My debit card to extract cash in local denominations.
And the big shame? It wouldn’t have even take up any room.
What’s your biggest packing mishap? How did you solve it?
Pack like a pro: Check out our 10 Must-Pack Items for New Cruisers.
Need more guidance? Read over our Top 10 Cruise Packing Tips.
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