When it comes to packing, knowing just what to take on a cruise can be a confusing experience if you’re unprepared. There’s often the worry about things you’ll forget to pack, but trust us when we say it’s more relaxed an experience, and sometimes a fun one too, than you might originally think. In fact, making use of the best cruise packing hacks around could put you one step ahead of your fellow guests onboard.

With that in mind, we’ve put together a few of our favourite cruise packing tips right here to help you along.

All about the attire


Packing outfits for your time onboard the cruise ship is half the fun. As you might expect, it’s a good plan to consider how long your cruise is and pack accordingly. When it comes to articles of clothing, less is definitely more. Remember, you could well buy new outfits while on your cruise, plus laundry services and a smart sense of mixing and matching can keep your style fresh.

A couple of formal outfits for dinnertime, some swimwear and maybe some gym clothes are all good additions, but for the most part it’s all about the casual look. We won’t presume to tell you how to rock your style, but we’d definitely advise you take the rolled rather than folded approach to your clothing. Rolling your clothes into tubes instead of folding them is more economical on space, except for the very thickest of garments, and also makes creasing less of a hassle. Shirts and blouses can of course be folded if you prefer to, but keep their collars in mind as space-saving nooks in which to tuck socks, or even looped belts. In fact, a round belt in the collar of a buttoned up and neatly folded shirt is a cheeky little hack that keeps the collar nice and open, ready to wear, while keeping the belt safely stashed.

Jackets often come recommended, even if you use the blazer you’d otherwise save for formal occasions, because it can beat the more feisty of sea breezes during your cruise. As for securing them in transit, many savvy travellers roll or fold jackets into their suitcases inside out, so that the precious exterior isn’t smudged accidentally during the trip.

The little details

The golden rule when packing for your cruise is knowing that less is more. For instance, you could well recline by the poolside with a book, or you could instead enjoy ebooks digitally, which take up less space on a dedicated reader. Of course, you could even go a step further and have one of the free ebook apps on your phone. Better yet, check if your ship has a library and spend a morning browsing the selection available to you.

If you’ve got empty space in your suitcase, think how handy that’s going to be when you find those must-haves onboard or during a shore excursion. Saving space is the way forward, so many cruise lovers invest in special little items to make life easier. For example, consider your cabin or suite’s bathroom facilities. Most are surprisingly spacious, but if you’re travelling with a partner, that space is still at a premium. Bathroom organisers, which look like long, canvas rectangles covered in clear pouches, are fantastic for storing shampoos, toiletries and the like. This way, it’s easy to hang all your hygiene items on the back of the bathroom door.

Similarly, consider that you’ll be at sea alongside hundreds, if not thousands of other cruise guests, and they’ll be sleeping in cabins right beside yours. While modern cruise ships do a superb job of soundproofing, earplugs are tiny and could be just the ticket if one of your neighbours has a teensy snoring problem you’re all too polite to bring up at the dinner table.

As for entertainment, well, your cruise ship likely has more to see and do than you could possibly hope for. That said, consider if the kids really need the toys they’re asking to bring, particularly if they’re bulky. Most will get by with their tablet, designed with space efficiency in mind. As for you, consider a deck of cards in your suitcase. Not only is a card game a brilliant ice breaker wherever you are, but the cards themselves can pull double duty in some surprising ways, from impromptu bookmarks to coasters.

The little extras


If you look at your upcoming cruise in just the right way, you can put together a list of handy little extras that’ll make your journey all the more simple. For instance, coffee and tea on cruise ships are easy to find, but many cruise fans opt for their own travel mug to store that hot morning java. They’re better insulated and designed so you can plod around onboard at your leisure. The more thrifty cruise lovers out there also swear by resealable food bags, letting them save buffet table treats for later on – particularly handy on those occasions when your eyes are bigger than your stomach. Along similar lines, a refillable water bottle can keep you nicely hydrated during your stay and on those all-important port excursions.

For some final thoughts, trust in technology to make your cruise as smooth as can be. Many cruise ship guests opt to take electronic copies of important documents – passports and tickets, for example – just in case of any hassle later on. Likewise, one seemingly obvious packing hack can sometimes speed up getting your luggage once onboard, and that’s simply taking a photograph of your suitcases before departure. With that visual frame of reference, cruise ship staff can have you ready to unpack in no time.

Pack smart and savvy and your cruise could well be a cut above the rest. See what other bright ideas will smooth your cruise as you browse our latest deals, and leave the details to us.

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