We’ve already brought you our 20 Hacks To Take The Pain Out Of Packing but sometimes it isn’t about what you put in your case as much as what you take out. The great thing about cruising from the UK is that you can wave goodbye to the restrictions of baggage allowances, packing with gusto and cramming in everything but the kitchen sink. While this is great in terms of outfit options, it doesn’t encourage you to think tactically about what you sling in your case. Let us clear your clouded vision with our list of things you will never need and should never pack.
Whether we’re talking diamonds and pearls or something purely sentimental in value, family heirlooms are often hidden away and reserved for special occasions. A holiday is NOT this occasion.
Over 26 million items of luggage go missing every single year and while the risk of it happening to you is relatively small, it will be a lot easier to bear if said luggage doesn’t contain an irreplaceable family heirloom. Even if you make it to your destination with heirloom firmly in hand, you’ll spend the whole time checking it’s still in the safe or that you’re still wearing it.
Regardless of how beautiful the family jewels are or how suave the watch makes you feel, leave it at home and plan an excuse to wear it when you get back instead.
You’re ready to leave and your smartphone, tablet, MP3 player, camera and camcorder are all present, charged and brandishing new cases. Now step away from the laptop bag.
Unless you are a roving reporter, travel blogger or workaholic leave your laptop at home. Social media bragging is a given and photos are a must but almost everything else you use your laptop for can be done on today’s smartphones.
Leading on from our previous point, leave the guidebooks with the laptop. Baggage allowance or not, city guides soon mount up and take up precious space in your case. Embrace the technological age with downloadable city guides from the likes of TripAdvisor, which can also be used when you are offline; great for avoiding a sizeable data roaming bill when you’re lost on the streets of a strange city without an internet café in sight.
Swiss Army Knife
Let’s ignore the customs and security issues surrounding anything that could be classed as a weapon and instead focus on the practicalities. When was the last time you thought “Dammit, I could really do with my Swiss Army Knife”? Now when was the last time you thought that in between lounging in the pool and sipping Pina Coladas?
Even if you’re planning the most outlandish of shore excursions, the chances of you needing a Swiss Army Knife are pretty slim.
Hair dryers, straighteners, phone chargers, camera chargers…so many plugs and so few holes. Unfortunately power adapters are banned by most cruise lines and many hotels, so leave yours at home and arm yourself with a portable charger instead. Get tactical with charging and make sure that when one gadget is charged, it is unplugged straight away to make way for the next.
Many suggest running a scorching hot shower to let the steam take the creases out of your clothes, while others prefer the rolling technique to avoid creases occurring in the first place. However you go about abolishing creases, leave the travel iron at home. Most cruise lines have long since banned irons on board, leaving you with no choice other than to opt for the steam method or pay for the ship’s pressing service. Those staying in hotels will often find an iron in their room or find that reception has one available if not.
Full Size Toiletries
Unless you need a specialist shampoo or can’t live without your fancy £19 conditioner for a fortnight, leave the full size toiletries at home. Travel sets cost just a couple of pounds and often provide enough bottles for 4 or 5 different products. Save the space in your case and dispense your shampoo, conditioner, moisturiser and even cosmetics into smaller pots.
We will be short and sweet with this one – if your hotel doesn’t provide towels, you need to be booking a different one. Also, while a beach towel serves a purpose when you’re relaxing on the sands of the Caribbean, travel towels are pointless in comparison because they are just too small to dry anything properly.
Water sports are one of the best ways to spend a day but don’t waste precious space by packing your own wetsuit and snorkel gear. Almost all dive centres will provide everything you need, even the small shacks that litter the seafront of the Caribbean. Leave yours at home and save it for hitting the waves of Britain’s beaches instead.
Music is supposed to be relaxing but little is less serene than the sound of a badly played instrument perforating the walls of the room next door. Unless you are planning on campfire guitar singalongs on foreign beaches, leave your instruments at home.