Have you wondered how to pack light, unencumbered by extra luggage and fees? To make certain that you are covered whether it’s a heat wave or a chilly, rainy summer in Europe.
I made the mistake of packing an entire suitecase full of light cotton summer dresses for an unseasonably cold August trip to Europe. I wore them all, but was neither comfortable nor elegant. I borrowed a man’s lumber jacket but was still shivering and disheveled in the rainy streets of Europe. My ability to enjoy the magnificence of the architectural artistic treasures was naturally affected. You’d think I’d learn from my mistake, but on a gorgeous Alaskan Kosher cruise I forgot to check the weather before my trip and wasn’t ready for the heat wave which was clearly predicted on the weather channel.
Now I’m much wiser: before any travel I go online and check http://www.weather.com. You can check up to 10 days of weather forecast and pack accordingly.
So here is my go-to packing list:
- All of your important medications, (if you are super sensitive, despite the massively balanced cruise liners of today, sea sickness may be an issue. An acupressure band or seasickness medications, Advil and a small first aid kit are very handy too). Small containers of toiletries and perfumes, computers, electronic devices and chargers should go in your carry-on luggage. The same applies to a change of clothes, undergarments and pajamas. This is important in case the airline loses or delays your checked luggage as it ensures your essentials are with you.
- Remember to bring socks and a warm but light sweater to throw over your light clothes. This is very useful both on the plane, in the air-conditioned dining rooms or any cool weather conditions.
- A sweatshirt and a pashmina are priceless, as are some super light fabric clothes for the heat.
- Think layering. This will serve you best. You can start with light clothes and pile on more when needed.
- Check out the cruise line’s dress code before your trip as there may be 1 or 2 formal nights and/or a dress code for the dining room.
- For most of the trip your regular, most comfortable clothes will do the trick. Make sure to bring comfortable walking shoes for shore excursion walking tours and always remember sunglasses, sunscreen with an SPF of at least 30 and a sunhat to protect you from sunburn. This will serve you even in the winter since the glare of the sun from the ocean can cause severe sunburn anytime.
- A dress jacket and a little black dress are perfect for the formal night on board.
- If you go for a long trip, accompanied by children, don’t take many changes of clothing but rather hand wash with your stash of laundry detergent. Your clothes will be fresh and dry if you use the balcony of your cabin or the bathroom overnight. All cruise ships also offer laundry services and usually have a promotion one day during the sailing where you can fill a laundry bag and have everything done for one bargain rate.
- You’ll save money and clutter by taking a small amount of the bare necessities, be creative by changing the same two or three outfits around. The best dressed woman on my last trip wore the same two outfits changing blouses and skirts and adding hats and jewelry. Brilliant and creative.