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10 Essential Packing Tips for Your Next Cruise

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Not sure what to pack for a cruise? Luxury Cruise News‘ publisher, Angela Vogel, shares her 10 essential packing tips. Even the most experienced cruiser might learn a thing or two — such as why you might need duct tape.

Packing Cubes: While it may look they take up extra room, packing cubes are actually a stroke of organizational genius, in both your suitcase and cruise cabin closets. And if you are traveling as a family, they can help keep everyone’s clothes separate.

Extra Power: Cruise ship cabins aren’t exactly flush with outlets — I bring a three prong outlet converter, plus a couple of extra chargers. My favorite is Jackerry, which gives a full recharge on one or two devices — it’s larger and heavier, but on a cruise I keep it in my pool bag so I can read on my iPad all day!

Next Issue: Now that you are charged up, read all your magazines poolside without hauling them onboard. If you sign up for the Next Issue digital magazine app, you can get hundreds of magazines delivered to your iPad or other device for as little as $9.99 per month (equivalent to three or four magazines you might buy at the newsstand!).

Over-the-Counter Medicines: Don’t count on the onboard availability of much — if anything — in terms of pain relievers, cold medicine, etc. Bring a little bit of everything just to be prepared — you don’t want to waste precious time in port searching for a pharmacy, because you sure won’t find a Walgreens on every corner.

Tunics: Tunics are the ultimate double-duty clothing item on a cruise. Go from the pool or the beach to lunch and possibly even dinner without having to change. Some of my favorites come from Calypso St. Barth.

Downy Wrinkle Releaser: It was pure genius when they started selling this in travel size. Of course, try to pack clothes that don’t wrinkle for a cruise (there are no irons in the cabins, for obvious reasons), but in case you need a little refresh, this does the trick and smells nice too.

Duct Tape: Don’t ask why — just do it and thank me later. From keeping your towel from blowing away at the pool to keeping a loose drawer from opening and closing all night long, you’ll be glad you have it. And, with fun new patterns, you’re not even limited to industrial gray.

Swiss Army Knife: Pick up a small one to throw in your bag. This is how you’ll cut the duct tape you brought, as well as remove tags from anything new you buy and want to wear.

Plastic Bags: One simple but important reason: Your swimsuits will still be wet when it’s time to pack up.

Scrubba Travel Wash Bag: For long sailings — or even just lighter packing — this cool little bag lets you do laundry onboard. It has a built-in washboard, so all you need is water and a little liquid soap. Plus, it’s small and easy to pack.

Whether you choose a trans-Atlantic sailing or a quick getaway, it’s smart to keep a budget in mind. A big credit card bill is definitely an unwanted souvenir. The lifetime cost of debt can be staggering and charging too much on your credit cards can affect your credit score.

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