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20. Toss in a couple of decorative magnets to mark your cabin door – makes it easier to find down a long corridor of identical cabin doors.
21. Binder clips or clothespins are always handy for playing with or holding back a pesky shower curtain or a towel.
Ranger-roll your clothing – gets more in your suitcase with fewer wrinkles – Here’s a YouTube video with some packing hacks for you.
22. Don’t pack anything breakable in your large bags. They stack them about 5 high when they bring them on and off the ship – crunch, squish! You’ll want to keep your breakables in your carry-on bag instead.
Teach your kids how to pack by making a “Clothes Kid“. Have them lay out an entire outfit on the floor in the shape of a kid from the socks to pants to shirt (plus undies!). Have them make one clothes kid for each day of the trip. Then inspect them and change out items as needed. Once you approve, roll each outfit up and secure it with a rubber band. Then you can instantly tell what clothes have been worn and what hasn’t – sheer GENIUS!
23. Many cruise destinations are to high-poverty areas. Wouldn’t it be fun to bring along small gifts for any children you may meet during your stay? Pencils, toothbrushes, stickers, or little dollar store toys, are all good choices that don’t take up a lot of room.
24. I almost didn’t put this in because this is a double-edged sword. A tablet or iPad of some kind. WiFi at sea is ridiculously EXPENSIVE. Like, you have no idea how expensive it can get. Even if you aren’t doing anything, it will automatically update Facebook and other apps in the background without you even being aware of it. My suggestion is to keep it in airplane mode at almost all times. Then just limit yourself to like 10-15 minutes a day to check important messages or post a couple of pictures. There are also Internet Cafes on shore, but you have to be careful about security for your passwords.
25. A nightlight or small flashlight. Especially in an inside cabin, they are pitch DARK at night and you don’t want to stub your toe.
PS: I’m adding this item in based on a comment from a reader, here is a very clever battery operated nightlight. It won’t take up any of your valuable plugs and these are battery-operated and motion-sensitive. They even use velcro straps to fasten to the bedframe, so you won’t leave a sticky residue. They come in a three-pack, so you could put one under each side of the bed and one in the bathroom. These light up when your feet hit the floor and then the light is muted under the bed, so you won’t disturb the other sleepers. They are tiny and easy to pack – brilliant.
Wish me luck! I think it’s going to be a fun cruise.
As promised – here is the link to the PRINTABLE LIST of the 25 packing items from this post.