One of the best ways to save money on your cruise is to travel lighter. We did an article a few weeks ago about packing less to save money on baggage fees. We used the technique successfully on our next cruise. Our goal is to pack even lighter in the future.
It’s not always easy deciding what to leave home. We’ve got several cruises under our belts and we still have trouble deciding what we don’t need. Over the years we’ve come up with a list of a few things that we have taken in the past that didn’t make it on the following trip.
#1. Formal Wear
On a cruise that has one formal night, completely optional , the amount of packing space that’s taken up with a suit that will only be used for six hours can be put to much better use. On most formal nights, long pants and a nice shirt will have you looking better than most of the guests on your ship. Not only are these outfits good for formal night, you’re likely to get more use out of them on cooler days. We packed a suit for our first cruise. It’s hasn’t made another one since.
This might be a bit tougher for the ladies, but if you can limit the number of shoes you pack, you’ll save a bunch of space in your luggage. We take one pair of flip-flops and one pair of shoes each. Unless you’re a health nut and know without a doubt that you need your running shoes, leave them at home. You won’t use them. The same goes for hiking boots. Even if you’re headed out on a shore excursion, it’s highly unlikely that you actually need boots. Shoes will be fine.
This one is more of a personal preference. As I only pack flip-flops and boat shoes, I have no need for socks. It’s surprising how much space socks can take up in a suitcase, even when they’re tightly rolled. Seven days on the last ship and never once did I say “boy, I wish I had a pair of socks.”
#4. Snorkeling Gear
I had a snorkeling mask made with my prescription in them that I used to carry with me on cruises. It’s another item that will not be making the trip next time. I think in total, over the last three cruises, I’ve used the mask for less than an hour. It’s one of those things I was always sure I would want to have it, but I know the large amount of space it takes up in my bag can be put to better use.
#5. Beach Towels
I’m curious to know how many people pack beach towels for their first cruise. We did. They were still folded on the shelf at the end of the trip. To make it worse, we took such a liking to the towels on the ship, we purchased a couple of them to take home a souvenirs. So we actually took home four large beach towels that had never been used. Leave your towels at home. The ship will provide you with towels for the beach.
That’s a list of five things that we don’t pack anymore. A few more cruises and we’ll have another list just like it. We’re constantly finding stuff we don’t need. It’s a constant experiment. Maybe the day will come when we can head out for a seven day cruise with only one carry-on each. We might have to wait until we qualify for the free laundry services.
Do you find taking less helps keep the cost of your trip down? Let our readers know what items don’t make your packing list any more and help them to cruise on a dime!
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