The first rule of packing is, don’t over pack.
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This is not a comprehensive list of what to pack, but suggestions from our experience as travellers. Some are specific to cruises and some to European travel but well worth contemplating while you’re hovering above your luggage no matter where you’re going.
- If you’re a couple, divide your belongings evenly between your two suitcases. This will help keep you both under the weight limit and assist in case of a lost piece of luggage.
- Never trust a wake-up call, bring your own travel alarm clock if you tend to sleep in.
- Bring a watch so you don’t have to rely on your cell phone during the trip. Especially if you plan on leaving it at home.
- A small collection of Canadian knick-knacks you can share with locals in the different countries you might be visiting. It’s a great way to make friends on land and on a cruise ship!
- One complete dinner outfit if you wish to dress up for dinner.
- An assortment of versatile clothing. Try to think of a couple of instances you can wear it before you include it in your luggage. Travel is not a fashion show, there is no shame in wearing something twice.
- One pair comfortable walking shoes that you’ve already broken in.
- An adapter or converter for your electronics designed for the country you’re visiting. Be sure to purchase the right one for your technology as some require more or less electricity (Cruise ships will have North American plugs in your cabin, but not many).
- A power bar if you have multiple electronics to plug in (very helpful at an airport).
- A small flashlight.
- Personal toiletries (bar of soap, etc)
- Facecloths, they often don’t have these in Europe (resealable plastic bag to carry in luggage).
- A windbreaker or a light fleece for early mornings or windy/rainy days.
- Money belt to be worn under your clothing. In the money belt place your passport, credit or debit card and some money in case your wallet gets lost or stolen. DO NOT place your valuables in a pocket on your person or in a front pocket of a bag. Pick pockets are professional and know where to look. Under your clothing or in a safe are your best options.
- A password protected copy of your passport, bank details, drivers license, etc… uploaded to your e-mail account.
- Copies of your documents in your luggage (in a separate bag from originals).
- Small note pad and pen.
- Glasses repair kit.
- Sealable plastic baggies.
- Your favorite laundry soap (can wash undergarments in the sink in an emergency!) Tip: Pack this in a ziplock bag or a small cosmetic jar – you won’t need much.
- Earplugs or eyemask for the flight. These can be life savers if you are a light sleeper.
- Change of clothing in your carry-on.
- Headphones for a flight.
- Extra batteries if your electronics require them.
- If you are traveling outside of North America do not count on finding the same brands or quality of products you are used to at home. Bring these with you just in case!
Tip: If you are debating packing it, you probably don’t need it!
Cruise tip: The ship does not have a drug store. If you may require small toiletries or any drugs such as Tylenol etc, you should pack them. The shops on board may have a small selection at best.
…and of course, your passport!
If you start packing early you make it easier to add to your suitcase as you remember things. This reduces last minute panic and makes it less likely you’ll forget anything! Now hopefully you feel a little more prepared but remember, you can always call us for our advice if you’re not sure if you should bring something. There is no such thing as a stupid question and in the case of travel, it’s better to be safe than sorry!