Tuesday, June 30, 2015

HOW AND WHAT TO PACK FOR A CRUISE (OR ANY TRIP)


Last week I returned from what might have been the greatest trip of my life. My little brother recently returned from from his LDS Mission to Tampico Mexico, and in less than one month my other little brother will be leaving on his mission to El Salvador, and Belize.  This trip was somewhat of our last hoorah with everyone in my cute little family together before my brother takes off for two years.   
For our trip we decided to go on a cruise. We wanted to check out a bit of Mexico since my brother had just been there so going on a cruise was a fun (and cheaper) option. We went on a Carnival Cruise from Miami Florida that traveled to Key West and Cozumel Mexico. Honestly, it was FANTASTIC! 
Now, since this was my first cruise, I was a little naive about what to pack. So, I headed straight to Pinterest to gain some knowledge and learn some tips. In this post I am going to share with you a few that worked, a few that didn’t, and some of my own that I discovered along the way. 
Check out all the photos from our cruise HERE




One of the most popular packing tips I found was to roll your clothes rather than fold them. I was a bit skeptical at first but everyone seemed to be raving about it. The claims were that rolling clothes was not only a great way to save space, but that it kept your clothes from getting wrinkled. 
After doing this myself I can honestly say that I am completely sold. The space I saved was unreal and my clothes really were so much less wrinkled than normal. You aren’t allowed to take an iron on the cruise ship and they don’t have any there so to help get rid of any potential wrinkles we brought some Magic Wrinkle Remover. This stuff really works and it smells amazing! 
After rolling everything I organized them into outfits and packed them together. When I was packing I wasn’t sure exactly what to bring since it was my first cruise. I ended up packing WAY more clothes than I ever would have needed. While it was nice to have options, it was a bit excessive. I brought all kinds of clothes for every situation. I realized throughout the trip that I kept going to the same clothes. Comfy clothes. It was SO hot during the day, but at night it would get a little breezy. When packing, go for light, airy, and comfy. Bring a few items for chilly nights but for the most part you will want clothes that will help keep you cool in the heat. 
To help keep everything together I packed the outfits into plastic bags. This also helped to keep everything clean and compact. To keep my clothes smelling fresh I threw a dryer sheet into each bag. I also kept the bags slightly open to keep them aired out so they didn’t smell stuffy.   
I was so worried about packing my hats because I didn’t want them to get squished and ruined. I had nearly decided to not bring any until I came across this awesome tip. If you stuff your hats with something (I used socks etc) then it helps your hats keep their shape. This is also another great way to conserve space in your suitcase. 


One of my all time favorite packing tips is for jewelry. Honestly, this tip has changed my life. To pack your necklaces and keep them from tangling, thread the necklace through a straw (as pictured above). Since I have been doing this I haven’t had to deal with ANY tangled necklaces. This tip works for certain bracelets as well if you are worried about them getting tangled. Just cut the straw to the size that will work for you. 
Taking cases or baggies for your sunnies might seem like a no-brainer, but I ALWAYS seem to forget one. This was a super important item to bring to keep my sunglasses protected, especially during traveling and at the beach. 



One of the travel tips I was most interested in trying was for all my lotions, sprays, and liquidy substances. To avoid spills or leakage while traveling you unscrew the lids, put plastic wrap over the opening, and then screw the lid back on. 
The lotion pictured above has the plastic wrap under the lid. This tip worked really well... for a little while. It was a fantastic way to keep everything from spilling or leaking. But over time it got a little messy. After a few uses, the plastic wrap started getting really messy and even began ripping. 

To fix this I started putting the plastic wrap over the top of the bottles and securing with a small elastic band (pictured above). This worked SO much better! I avoided any spills or leaks and everything stayed so much more clean. 
When traveling, especially if you are going on a cruise, space is very limited. Make the most out of your space by using a hanging toiletry kit. I can’t even begin to tell you how helpful this was. The photo below is from my cruise cabin. Both hotels I stayed in also had little hooks in the bathrooms where I could hang my kit. The hanging travel bag I brought is from Mary Kay. It was so convenient on the cruise and rolled up perfectly for travel.  
In the photo above you can see a few bags in the corner. I used old bags from Urban Outfitters (the ones you get when you check out), an old Toms bag and a Skull Candy bag to store all my lotions, sprays etc, and hair tools, (curling iron/straightener). They also made for awesome totes for the beach. The fabric was durable and dried super quick. 


One tip that I really wish I had taken more seriously was SUNSCREEN. I kept reading over and over how important it was to use sunscreen but since I’m not really prone to burning I thought I would be fine. Guys, I seriously roasted. The tops of my thighs were in SO much pain. One day my shoulders were actually bubbling. Not cute. If there was one tip I wish I had listened to sooner it would have been to wear sunscreen EVERYDAY. Not just after you have been completely toasted. 
These are just a few packing tips that worked for me. I hope that some of these work for you. Even if you aren’t going on a cruise, these tips are great for any travel. 
What are your favorite packing tips?
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