FOOD & TRAVEL
Spring is just around the corner, and you know what that means, summer is almost here and.it’s time to hit the road, or plan our dreams of hitting the road. And whether you’re dreaming about going or actually going, you need to made a packing list.
If you’re looking for some creative inspiration, a few visuals, or direct links where to buy what you need, why not let us do some of the legwork for you for your spring warm weather cruising?
First and foremost, put your phone (and chargers), identification, passport, all travel documents and necessary medication into your purse or carry-on. You won’t be able to go anywhere if you forget this stuff.
Now, for everything else...
Carnival Cruise Line suggests limiting luggage to a maximum of one bag per person for cruises 3-5 days and no more than two bags per person for cruises 6 days or longer. The aim is for each bag to weigh less than 50 pounds (this helps to avoid extra or unexpecte bag fees if you are to flying to your cruise port city).
Royal Caribbean International suggests also packing a “small carry-on bag that contains travel documents, a change of clothes, bathing suit, workout clothes and any medications you may need” so that you don’t have to wait for your checked bags to arrive in your room before you begin exploring. Use something like this Shake Bag for your carry-on. It will double as a beach bag later, and will also free-up valuable room in your suitcase. This bag in particular is awesome because it carries a ton of stuff, has a mesh bottom that opens by releasing a snap, and allows you to shake out any unwanted sand or debris.
Well, now that we have that figured out, what should you put into your actual luggage? HerPackingList.com is a great resource when planning and packing for ANY trip.
Let’s start with the obvious...swimsuits and coverups. For 3-5 days, take two suits--either two bikinis that you can mix and match in different combinations or one bikini and a one piece (which are totally in style and available in countless adorable looks). I would also pack two cover ups, then one can be airing out or drying while you're wearing the other.
For longer than five days, add one more swimsuit and one more cover up.
You’ll also need sunglasses, a hat or visor, sandals and two beach towels, if they aren’t provided.
For daytime activities that don’t include lounging by the pool or beach as well as for meals, sundresses, shorts, rompers, and blouses are all perfect choices.
All of the above pieces could easily dressed up or down. They could be paired with sandals, wedges, or tennis shoes depending on the activity.
Optimistically, we also suggest packing workout tennis shoes, one pair of workout socks for each day on board, 3-4 sports bras and tops, and 3-4 workout bottoms--all quick-dry or moisture-wicking--as most cruise ships are well equipped with first-class workout facilities and fitness classes. These outfits are helpful because they can also be worn for any off-ship, active excursion or tour.
Since we mentioned shoes...in addition to the tennis shoes and beach/pool deck sandles previously mentioned, you may also want to pack a few additional pairs. Some of us never thought we would see the day, but the Birkenstocks of yesteryear are back and bigger than ever, plus they won’t take up much room in your bag, go ahead and toss them in.
And add a pair of comfortable, casual shoes that can be worn with skirts and dresses, but aren’t necessarily athletic shoes, like these Converse Chuck Taylors.
For evening, try to pack pieces that will work for either casual dinners or more formal activities depending on how you style them, like this Love Stitch Maxi from Nordstrom Rack (that comes in about 100 colors). These are perfect because they’re loose and can be worn with just a soft bandeau bra. Plus, if you’re a little sunburned, they’re light, airy, and incredibly soft. If you want to wear it casual, wear it with a sandal and no jewelry. If you want to dress it up, add an espadrille wedge, a statement necklace, and bangle bracelets.
Some cruise lines will hold 2-3 formal dining nights, plan accordingly and maybe throw in something with a little flash, like this Adrianna Papell embellished gown.
Function over form is a good rule of thumb when packing for trips like this. Instead of packing a bulky handbag, try securing a cross-body bag that will go with most everything you’ve packed, like the Patricia Nash Barcelona Saddle Bag and a wristlet or clutch for dinners.
And…whatever you do...don’t forget your sunscreen!
What are your must have items for a week-long cruise? Do you recommend a specific cruise line for first-timers? What are your favorite activities and excursions? Can you tell us your favorite island cocktail or mocktail? Shout it out in the comments below.