You’ve done all of the research possible, created lists of excursions to go on with your family and have just days until you’ll board the ship for your cruise vacation.
But, what exactly should you pack for a cruise?
After all, the ships are filled to the brim with amenities (like doctors on board) included to make your life on vacation as stress-free as possible, Judy Perl, the president of Judy Perl Worldwide Travel, tells Yahoo Lifestyle.
Fun fact for first-time cruise goers: You don’t need to bring a towel on your cruise — the ships include those!
And, if you’re going on a specialty cruise to the Arctic or to a Caribbean island, Perl says it’s more likely than not the ship will have parkas or wetsuits for you to use when needed.
Since the ships have the most obvious items that you’ll need on board, it’s important to think of some of the smaller items that also have big importance.
For example, Debbie Isom, a branch manager for the travel agency network Travel Leaders, tells Yahoo Lifestyle that she always recommends her clients contact their cell phone carriers prior to traveling, so they can figure out which international travel plan fits best for their needs (she says a lot of travelers opt for text-only service to save money).
Having luggage that comes with four spinner wheels makes the trip from home to the cruise ship (since vacationers usually have to fly to the ports) easier. If you’re worried about space, try to pack using packing cubes, which customers say can help save money and time.
“They’re easier for the back and for the body in general,” Isom explains.
Brands like Samsonite have the best bang for their buck, Perl says.
To keep important items like currency and identification cards (Isom tells her clients to bring a passport over a birth certificate, in case travel plans change), a money belt and passport holder is crucial.
Since you’re likely going to a more tropical environment than your home state, packing some bug repellant is necessary, too, says Perl.
If you’re worried about spilling a spray on the flight over, there are some fun alternatives like repellent bracelets that work well (and look fun enough to wear all vacation long).
Last but not least on our travel agents’ checklist?
“Bring an appetite for learning and adventure,” says Perl.
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