Hey, you: the one who's been traveling around with the same bags for the past five-plus years. It's time to let go of that rolling duffle bag with the busted wheel, the beach tote whose unwieldy straps make your shoulder feel like it's going to fall off, the toiletry bag that's … wait, you're still throwing all of your care products into a Ziploc? It's OK, we're here to help you. Having the right luggage not only makes packing easier (and more fun) but also eliminates stress -- by keeping everything neat and organized -- once you're onboard. Treat yourself to the "savvy cruiser" makeover with these bags you absolutely need to bring on your next at-sea adventure.
Photo: Syda Productions/Shutterstock
A good-quality toiletry bag is one of those things you never knew you'd been missing until you have one, and it changes your life. That's why we love this water-resistant, hanging toiletry kit by Sleeko. The attention to detail -- like little elastic loops for toothbrushes and razor blades, separate compartments and a complementary TSA-approved bag for carrying liquids through airport security -- keeps everything intact and easily accessible. It even helps to remind you what to pack. A built-in hook also allows you to conveniently hang it in your cabin bathroom or in the shower (if possible), allowing for more room on your vanity.
Cruising rewards us with the opportunity to visit a number of destinations in one trip, which is why you should invest in an excursion bag that will provide you with comfort and peace of mind, regardless of where you go. The Bobby backpack by XDDesign is that bag. Aesthetically, it's lightweight and stylish -- available in a variety of colors like gray, mint green, coral and yellow. Our favorite features, however, are its water resistance and anti-theft design, which includes "hidden" zippers and pockets, and cut-proof material. While you always should be vigilant when traveling abroad -- especially in congested cities where pickpocketing is prevalent -- this bag offers a little extra protection for your personal belongings and a cute look to boot.
Folding Garment Bag
Formal night fans, rejoice. These garment bags are a handy addition to your packing essentials, thanks to their lightweight, breathable material that keeps clothes crisp and wrinkle-free while also enabling easy portability. The bags are fit for everything from dresses and suits to shirts and blouses, and they have holes for hangers so you can effortlessly transfer them from your suitcase to your cabin wardrobe.
OK, so maybe you don't need this adorable Rebecca Minkoff Leo clutch, but we couldn't resist its trendy yet sophisticated nautical design -- and the fact that it's so versatile, it could match with pretty much any outfit. Besides, every lady needs a good evening clutch for her cruise key card, lipstick, cellphone (for formal night selfies) and other necessities. This one fits it all, and the sturdy canvas material means you can count on it lasting a long time.
Perhaps the most important cruise bag you bring is your carry-on. It's the bag you'll board with -- after you've left the rest of your luggage with the pierside porters -- and likely carry around the ship until your cabin is ready to access (and you can drop it off). That means you'll want something that's lightweight, compact and easy to maneuver. Our answer? This wheeled backpack by Kipling. It weighs less than 5 pounds and can be used as either rolling luggage when you're moving through lines in the terminal, or as a backpack, when you're exploring the ship. The bag's easy-to-access front pockets also are a great place to store all your essentials, including your cruise documents.
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In the wee hours of the morning, under the cover of darkness, they creep. Their flip-flops smack across the pool decks of cruise ships everywhere as they shuffle like a horde of zombies armed with towels, sunscreen and books. If it sounds like a scene from a horror movie, you're on the right track. We're talking about deck chair hogs -- those inconsiderate fellow passengers who rise before the sun to stake out prime poolside real estate, mark it with personal belongings and then abandon it, rendering it useless to others. If you've had enough, we urge you to stand up to these selfish sunbathers and claim the deck chair that's rightfully yours. Join the peaceful revolution by employing the following seven tips for outsmarting deck chair hogs.