Saturday, March 9, 2013

A Few things on our Packing List

Packing for a month-long vacation sounds like it could be a daunting task, but when we rely on our experience, particularly from cruising, it's really not as much as it seems.  I've blogged before about figuring out how many outfits to take, whether to do laundry or not (yes, a must for us), and thinking of the other things you want to take with you.  So for this post, we'll share some of the things we've found to be essential and some we've found nice to have along when cruising.

The first item is a collapsible laundry hamper with handles.  Or in our case, three of these.  We set them up in the closet of the cabin and have one for light clothes, one for darks, and one for socks and underwear.  This separates the clothes when they are ready to be laundered and make it easy to grab a full hamper to take to the laundry room.  And even when we don't do laundry on vacation, we've found these hampers to be handy for packing the dirty clothes for the trip home so that once we are ready to wash clothes, they are already sorted.   The ones we have are the Mainstays Basic Pop Up Hamper from Walmart; they run about $5 each and come in basic colors like red, white, black, and navy blue.

Another item we have found useful on a cruise is the over-the-door shoe holder, but not for holding shoes.  We hang this up over the bathroom door and fill its many pockets with items that we want easy access to but don't want to clutter the very limited counter space in the bathrooms, such as toothbrushes, combs, and deoderant.  Some people like to use these on the outside of the bathroom door to place keys, sunglasses, sunscreen, and such so they are in one place.

When traveling, particularly by air, taking laundry detergent with you can be a bit tricky. You don't want to take a heavy bottle of liquid detergent nor worry about smaller bottles leaking and ruining your luggage. And you don't want to pack powdered detergent and have it be examined by the TSA.  Of course you can always buy some when you get where you're going, but on a cruise ship, that's going to cost you at least $1 per load, assuming the ship hasn't run out of it by the time you're ready to use it.  We discovered a perfect solution a few years ago, the Purex 3-in-1 laundry sheets. Now we understand that these are getting harder to find, so if you have travel plans, you might want to stock up on them before they go away. 

These are just a few of our tried-and-true items that we pack for every cruise. If you have something you can't travel without, share it with us in the comments.

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