I'm always being asked for "packing tips" so I thought I would share a few with you. First, remember the word KISS....Keep It Simple. Trust me when I say you will not wear many of the items you have packed. I have two packing models that I follow: one for cruises and one for city stays and European trips with the later being much easier to pack for. Cruises require more effort and more clothes because you are participating in lots of different activities during the day that may need various clothing and equipment. We all like to look nice for dinner so we dress up a little each evening. That said, the general atmosphere on cruise ships these days does lean towards more casual than days of old when evening gowns and tuxedos were the norm. Do you even own one of these? Not in our closets!
So, bathing suits and cover-ups, a couple pair of shorts or crops and a few t-shirts for during the day. Add comfortable walking shoes, a hat or visor, sunscreen and a light sweater and your cruise days are covered. A couple of sundresses for evening or, in my case, two pair of black pants and a couple of tops. A little bit of jewelry and one or two scarves changes the look so items can do double duty. Men can stick to two pair of khakis and sport shirts. Add a sports jacket and a tie and you are ready for formal night. I try to pick two colors for each trip and work around that color palette by adding accessories. This goes a long way in minimizing the number of shoes you have to pack which adds bulk and weight. Be sure to leave room in your suitcase for those absolutely, "got to have it", souvenirs!
Regarding city stays and Europe....don't look like a tourist. If you want to fit in and not call attention to yourself, basic black is the way to go. In warmer climates, stick with neutrals like khaki, minimal jewelry and, for the ladies, small cross body bags. No fanny packs. Wear one of those and you might as well wear a sign saying Pick My Pocket!
Pack clothes that require minimum care, roll if you can as that will take up less room. To prevent wrinkles, use dry cleaner's plastic and tissue paper. Both work wonders.
Make a list before you pack so you don't forget anything. Happy packing and have a great trip!
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