Being on vacation was so great! I enjoyed being away and relaxing. I’ll probably take some time to tell you stories later (like how I climbed a waterfall or why you should never put inflatable climbing things and trampolines on the ocean or even what it is like to be the only thing making light as far as your eye can see), but I think I want to talk about my packing list. This is meant in general for cruises, but it can be adapted for pretty much any vacation. So let’s open the suitcase and take a look! I will also provide recommendations (brands) if these are products I really think you should try!
- Comfortable shoes- These go first in my list. Your shoes are going to make or break your vacation. I took two pairs of sneakers so that way I knew when I needed to walk around, I would be okay. I’ve been in uncomfortable shoes (I took a pair unintentionally), and I felt like death. One of my go-to pairs for comfort are my Skechers. I prefer the ones with the Yoga mat (Goga mat, as they call it), and the ones with elastic laces. They’re comfortable, easy to slip on, and secure. (Find a similar pair on Amazon here)
- Comfortable (and cute) sandals- I took a pair of old sandals that have held up for many years, but they are hitting their breaking point. I wore them once on the entire trip, and they were hurting my feet by 1 pm. So I didn’t wear them again. My other pair of sandals, my Sanuks, were my lifesavers. The soles are made of yoga mats. They are insanely comfortable! (Find them on the website here)
- Water shoes- My water shoes ended up being vital for our shore excursions. They’re pretty cheap and easy to be found. But it was nice not having to go barefoot the whole time. Also, it ended up being required for the waterfall, so I was glad I had them.
- Dress shoes- Cruises like to do nice dinners. I took a pair of dress shoes that were only for certain dinners. Obviously, most vacations do not need them.
- Dinner outfits- Cruises tend to do at least one formal night. In our case, our cruise had two formal nights. Every other night, we were still expected to look presentable. It also felt good being in a little bit nicer of a shirt or even a summer dress.
- Long shorts- I understand that most places are hot, and that it’s easy to think of wearing shorter shorts. However, if you have big thighs like me, it can be difficult wearing shorter shorts. You then have to worry about chafing, thigh sweat, and sticking to chairs. So wear some longer shorts, and eliminate those worries.
- Loose shirts (or clothing)- It’s hot. Tight clothing will just stick to your body even more. Also, if you get sunburnt, looser clothing will give you protection without tearing off or rubbing against all your burnt skin. On that note…
- Sunscreen!!!!!!- I don’t care how pale or dark-skinned you are. Getting sunburnt hurts a lot! For a cruise, you pretty much have to go outside every day at least once. I used sunscreen every day, especially when we were in port, and I still got burnt. (If you know you burn easily, you also might want to pack some aloe vera. Lifesaver!)
- Sunglasses- Sunglasses are your best friends on vacations, especially cruises. We spent a few days in New Orleans before we boarded the boat, and I took an old pair of sunglasses with me. Our first day onboard the ship, I lost my sunglasses after dinner. Fortunately, the next morning, the ship was doing a sale on accessories, including sunglasses. So I bought a new pair and wore them every single day for the rest of the trip.
- Swimsuits- I took 3 swimsuits for this trip. Now, I know what you’re thinking: Kim, that’s a lot. I know. But I think I was pretty much in the water every single day, whether it was the pool onboard or a river or the Gulf of Mexico. I didn’t want to have to worry about my swimsuits still being wet if I needed them. So taking three swimsuits eliminated that problem. I probably could have done with only 2, but definitely more than 1 would be good for a vacation with a lot of water involved.
- Cover-ups- Most dining rooms on cruise ships require more than just swimsuit attire. It’s good to have an option.
- Pajamas and undergarments- I don’t know what you need or what you sleep in, but I felt I had to include them in the list in case you take this packing list pretty literally.
- Light jacket- There were times when we were watching movies on the lido deck where the breeze got a little cold. The jacket helped.
- Toiletries- Again, I don’t know what you need. Personally, I need quite a bit for both my skincare routine and just in general (contact solution, contacts, glasses, toothbrush, toothpaste, hairbrush, hair ties, bobby pins, etc.). Toiletries are pretty important.
- An extra bag- These are useful for lounging on the deck by the pool or for going ashore. I’m the Mom Friend anyway, so I’m pretty much always prepared. Bags provide ways for you to store things you need, and also so you don’t have to carry any souvenirs you buy.
- Water bottle- It is so important to stay hydrated, especially in hot and sunny climates. I know for me, I probably sweat out about 2-5 pounds. I had to drink a lot so I didn’t get dehydrated and suffer from heatstroke or anything else.
- Lastly, spending money!- Personally, I collect keychains from everywhere I have been or some of my friends have been. I knew with going to at least three new places, I would need at least three keychains. Plus any other souvenirs I wanted to buy for myself or my friends would cost money as well.
I had a great time on vacation and look forward to telling you stories about everything I saw, learned, did, and experienced! Hope you enjoy my packing list! Happy travels!