I am often asked as to whether or not I have ever created a packing guide or tools. The answer to that is yes, I have and today, while working on a port stop blog detailing Villefranche, I received a few e-mails about this same subject. Consequently, I have decided to insert some helpful packing information and I will finish my post about Villefranche in the not too distant future.
Cruise Ship Clothing advice:
Bring outfits that coordinate with each other. For example a black pair of dress slacks can be matched with a number of different coloured tops for a dressier look that can be worn several times without appearing to be repetitive.
A strappy pair of sandals can look dressy and yet match casual or dressier occasions.
Men can bring one suit and match it with different coloured shirts and ties for a totally different look.
Many banks have a limit on how much money you can take out on your bank card in a week. Check to find out what you cash withdrawal limit is and see if you can increase it. If possible, couples should take two bank cards, and each individual carry one. The same for credit cards. Don't bring all your credit cards, you won't need them.
Bank card (ensure you are able to use the bank card in the country to which you are traveling). Contact your credit card issuers and tell them you are going on a trip and your destination. That way if they see spending in another country, they will not freeze your account. Some credit card companies say they don't need
this type of notice but others do. In January 2023, I was told by my Visa issuer that they did not need to be told that I was leaving the country but a few days after being told that, I arrived in Bagotâ, Colombia, and immediately had credit card issues. All my attempted charges were declined until I could get in touch with the issuing bank and convince them that I really was in Colombia and needing to use my card.
Leave a copy of your passport, itinerary and all credit and bank cards at home. If you lose your cards or passport, it is easier to replace them. Keep a copy of these documents with you in a sealed envelope in your suitcase or carry-on baggage. I also carry photos of them on my phone so it is easier to access for records.
If you are traveling to an area with an elevated risk or threat level, Register as a Canadian Abroad with the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. You can visit their website and complete the process online http://travel.gc.ca/travelling/registration
If you have pets, leave contact information for their veterinarian
A layer of bubble wrap at the bottom of your suitcase does not weigh very much and is very useful for protecting breakable souvenirs for the return trip
A small, collapsible back pack or carrying sac is useful to hold water, sun visors etc. while touring around on a
A hanging toiletry bag saves on space in hotel rooms/cruise ship bathrooms and most have a hanging hook on the back of a bathroom door to allow you to hang the bag.
On overseas flights some airlines (Air Canada for example) provide head phones. Others do not. On domestic and trans-border flights, headphones must be purchased. If you have your own headphones, bring them.
Buy a bottle of water once you pass through security at the airport as it is dry in the aircraft cabin. It can take one to two hours on long haul flights to get water or a drink.
If going on a cruise, binoculars come in very handy to see things from the ship. (Note: I always bring binoculars but I have heard from several readers that they believe that they are too heavy and bulky to bring. Your choice).
In your purse or on your person
Money - keep your money close to you at all times.
Credit Cards (leave a copy of your cards at home or with a contact person you can easily reach. You should also carry a list of the credit card numbers in your checked bag in a sealed envelope – don’t copy the cards, just record the numbers in case you have to have the cards replaced).
- Cellular phone (if you take your cellular phone, buy a plan for the countries you are going to or be
prepared to buy a SIM card for use in the other country). Don't forget your charging cables for
- Medical insurance card or trip medical policy (leave a copy at home as well)
- Identification such as driver’s license
- Any membership cards (hotel and airline reward points etc.)
- Passport sounds so routine you have to wonder who would forget theirs but I hear lots of stories about
passports or identification being left at home.
- Keys to your suitcases or suitcase locks (I prefer combination locks)
- Tissue (you can buy small purse size packets at the dollar store or drug store. Many places overseas
do not have toilet paper or charge for toilet paper
- Small container of hand sanitizer (not necessary, I just recommend it)
- Mask (optional but they take up little room and may be requested in some locations)
· Any prescription medicine (if possible, leave in original bottle or package)
· Any medical notes you may have (diabetic, metal pins in body, pacemaker etc.)
· Other non prescription medications (such as vitamins, antacids, sea sickness or pain relief pills etc.)
· Inoculations record (if required for the country you are visiting)
· Glasses and/or sun glasses/umbrella
· At least two (2) days change of clothing*
· Night wear such as pajamas/shorts etc.*
· If you play cards, you may want to pack a deck of cards
· Toiletries/Makeup (remember, under 3oz for liquids so buy travel sizes or small containers)**
· Pen & note book, travel journal etc. if you plan on keeping hard copy notes
· Jewelry (never pack valuable jewelry in checked baggage)
· Camera and/or video recording device
· Travel pillow if you have a preferred one for use
· Hat or sun visor if going to a sunny destination (get a roll- up hat - they are great)
- Lip balm as long distance flights can be dry
· Maps (if required immediately upon arrival at your destination airport and you won’t have access
* If your checked baggage is delayed you will want to ensure that you have something to wear at night and at least two days worth of clothing. It usually takes one to two days for your lost checked baggage to catch up. If you have a dressy event to go to shortly after your arrival at your destination, ensure that you have the necessary clothing and accessories in your carry-on baggage.
**Toiletries can be placed in both carry-on and checked baggage.
Please note, you will have to decide what you should bring for clothing. Check the average temperatures of the place you are going and pack accordingly. Most people make the mistake of packing too much OR packing items that are not necessary – such as items that do not go well with other pieces of clothing.
· Many budget hotels in Europe and Asia do not provide face cloths. Bring a facecloth that you
can dispose of at the end of your trip. Bring a baggie to put the wet face cloth in if you are going
to be changing hotels.
· Tooth brush, tooth paste, floss
· Soap (if you have sensitive skin or use a specific brand)
· Shampoo & conditioner if you use a specific kind. Pretty much all hotels and ships supply soap,
shampoo and conditioner.
· Hair products (gel, hair spray, mouse etc. if you use these items) I forgot hair spray and spent over $40 on
a ship for a bottle of hairspray.
· Small mirror
· Contact lens supplies if applicable
· Feminine Hygiene products if applicable
· Small first aid kit or at a minimum, a few band aids
· Insect Repellent
· Sun screen
· Make up remover
· Razer, shaving cream
· Nail Care supplies
· Cotton balls and/or Q-tips
· Ear plugs and/or sleeping mask if you use these items
Clothing – Men and Women
This is not a recommendation to bring all these types of clothing, just a general list.
· Under wear Women make sure the undergarments are suitable for your intended
wear (strapless/low back/fleshtone or matching colours etc.
· Socks and/or pantyhose For those with circulation problems diabetic socks or
wear compression socks for those prone to swelling legs on long plane/car trips.
· Sleepwear – pj’s, shorts, t-shirts, robe etc.
Some people have allergies to the soap used in commercial laundry facilities so they bring their own pillowcase.
· Foot wear (shoes, sandals, slippers, running shoes etc.) To eliminate the need for multiple
pairs of shoes, try to bring a pair of casual shoes and one pair that will go with most of your
dressier outfits. Running shoes or comfortable walking shoes for the day to day activities.
Always make sure the shoes you bring are comfortable and not brand new. Blisters on a
vacation are no fun.
· Khaki pants
· Capri type pants etc.
· Swimsuit cover-up
· Flip flops and/or wave shoes
· Tank Tops
· Short sleeved shirts or blouses
· Dress Pants or slacks
· Skirt (one solid coloured skirt can be paired with multiple tops)
· Dress if you like to wear dresses to dressier events
· Long Sleeve dress shirts
· Dressy Blouses
· Evening shawls (it can be cool in the evenings on a ship when the ship is moving)
- Cufflinks if required for dress shirts
· Studs if required for tuxedos
· Jewelry to match the outfits
· Small evening purse
· Slip if required
· Ties and matching puffs
· Power converters for Europe and Asia (cruise ships use both types)
· Chargers for items such as cell phone, cameras, i-pads etc.
· Binoculars (excellent for ship board excursions)
· Gloves and hat if required
· Belts and/or suspenders if required
· Jacket or coat
If you take a small spray bottle of fabric softener mixed with water, it will act as an anti wrinkle spray.
Let me know if you want information on HOW to pack.