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Packing anxiety (& excitement) leaving in a week?

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My travel wardrobe is pretty boring;

Black pants or capris.

Black or navy blue cardigan

Black shoes. (A couple pairs of flats and one pair of sneakers if it's a cold trip. Black sandals, black flats if it's a warm one)

Colorful tops.

1 navy blue dress.

Several scarves, in all sorts of colors.

 

You get the picture. Every single thing I bring goes with the black pants and black or navy blue cardigan. And I do laundry frequently.  I'm out there to see the world, I'm ok with being boring but appropriately clothed while I do that.

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On 5/9/2019 at 5:42 AM, Realblonde474 said:

I have found my people!  Sorry to be late to this party/discussion...this is great.

 

Quick question, we have traveled/cruised a great deal but this is our first trip  to Alaska.

 

Regarding our jackets and heavy stuff, I plan to use those vacuum bags.  I did this years ago on a trip to China and it worked great.  

 

Does anyone know if the cruise lines will give me a hard time about my tiny portable vacuum for the bags?  It uses AA batteries and I am bit worried about the Suitcase Police  sending my checked bag to the naughty room on our ship.  Would it be better if I carried this on-board in my carry on.

 

Thanks in advance!

Donna

I'm late to this discussion, too, but wanted to tell you there are compression bags out there that you can squeeze the air out of without a vacuum. I purchased one from our travel agency but have since discovered they are out there online at different vendors.  I plan to use the one I bought for our puffy coats, scarves, etc. for our trip to Alaska next month.  I see you are going to Alaska, too?  This is our first cruise and first time in Alaska.  I'm beyond stressed over packing!  I have a mental list that I keep going through non-stop.  I believe another poster called it "hamster on a wheel"...yep, that would be me.

 

DH is taking it all in stride...says he can ship what he needs to Seattle via UPS.  Sometimes I think he's almost serious.  🤔

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On ‎4‎/‎27‎/‎2019 at 6:15 PM, cruise kitty said:

 

Luckily for me it's not that bad...  We don't leave till next weekend, & I"ll be done by tomorrow.   I seriously think this is just part of my "pregame"  so to say.   We plan these trips so far in advance & I want everything to be "perfect"  which is really ridiculous on my part.   

Well, it is now May 18th...….I think you cruised last month, right? How was it?:classic_smile::classic_smile:

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1 hour ago, Lois R said:

Well, it is now May 18th...….I think you cruised last month, right? How was it?:classic_smile::classic_smile:

Greetings from the middle of the North Atlantic 😁. We don’t return till the end of May.  So far it’s been absolutely wonderful.  Iceland 🇮🇸 tomorrow 

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5 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

Greetings from the middle of the North Atlantic 😁. We don’t return till the end of May.  So far it’s been absolutely wonderful.  Iceland 🇮🇸 tomorrow 

Hi, ohh....you are away for a good long time:classic_biggrin:.....glad it is wonderful. Hope you will remember to come back and post for us when you eventually get home:classic_smile:

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Well ladies, 

I'm a cruiser from Northern California. My hubby and I recently  booked a World cruise on Queen Mary 2. Egad! There are two formal events a week, where it is not uncommon for the ladies to wear a “gown”, men wear tux’s, sports jackets or dinner jackets nightly. I’m a believer in packing light, mixing and matching. Not over packing, you can imagine where my Project Runway Brain is going! More! More! More! So I need to focus, focus, focus on not obsessing. Not to let clothing be more important than the ports we are visiting. I’m like many of you, pack, unpack, edit, then pack again.

 

My mantra is to layer, layer, layer...fly with your warmest heaviest clothing on, including boots or walking shoes. Always pack regardless of where you are going to cruise, one of each - sleeveless, short sleeve and a long sleeve top. In both Alaska and Iceland layers instead of a heavy coat worked fine. In Florida the temp turned a chilly 37* ! I had to wear my fleece gym pants over my skinny jeans!  

 

A large cream colored bamboo fabric scarf is my most important accessory: First it can be used on your lap, over your head, over your eyes, on the flight. Secondly around your neck when it is cold or raining,  it’s great 👍🏻 on the beach! Plus a scarf is easily packed and dresses up any outfit. The second most important accessory I’ve found which works for me is a windbreaker. It can be rolled into practically nothing, packed in your day bag. When the weather changes, take it out again. Get one with a hood.  It even was handy in Hilo over a cotton tee, when those tropical showers can soak you.

 

Finally, in an “emergency”using the cabins hairdryer backwards can decompress the packing cubes.😀

Ciao,

Ann

 

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On 5/10/2019 at 9:35 PM, PandaBear62 said:

I am sailing on the Nieuw Statendamin July, traveling to the Norwegian Fjords and cities Bergen, Skjolden, Alesund, Eidsfjord. Is that what you are doing? I'd love to hear about your packing and your trip!

 

Sorry it has taken me so long to answer your questions.  We took the train to Paris following the cruise and just returned home.

 

The ports we visited were all different than those you will visit.  The Fjords are beautiful! It was quite cool and rainy on our cruise. I layered with a fleece jacket and a waterproof, wind proof jacket (Costco-$19.99 and worth every penny). It was a little windy so umbrellas were useless. You will most likely have warmer weather in July, not sure about rain. I used just a 21 inch rollaboard and washed out some of my tops as well as undies. Gala nights weren’t all that dressy for the most part so I wore black pants and top and added a scarf one night and jewelry the other. Everyone seemed to dress casually onboard and I would see some in the Lido wearing the ship provided robes!

 

Be prepared, Norway is very expensive and that is reflected in the cost of the ship’s excursions. We booked our own with the exception of one port where our adult children opted for the ship’s all day hike to Pulpit Rock.

 

This itinerary is very interesting and beautiful and I’m sure you will enjoy it.

Sharon

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On 5/18/2019 at 12:43 PM, Lois R said:

Hi, ohh....you are away for a good long time:classic_biggrin:.....glad it is wonderful. Hope you will remember to come back and post for us when you eventually get home:classic_smile:

 

Hi there, literally just got home :)  It was one of our best trips ever, but I definitely took too much stuff ;)

sorry this is going to be long, but I'm writing this for my future self to learn from :classic_wink:

Here's my hits & misses:

 

- a thin smartwool buff was probably my number one most useful item,  my usually cashmere scarves were useless in the extreme wind & cold.  That buff saved my face from freeing off, & my hat from ending up somewhere in the Arctic lol.  We both agreed that these are items we will never travel without again.  

 

-the smart wool & wright socks made all my blister protection bandaids rather superfluous, from now on the socks go with me, but that other stuff doesn't

 

-gloves:  again, I gave into form over function by taking a pair of cashmere gloves & stretchy water resistant type that you can use your smart phone with,  only needed the stretchy ones.  

 

- I took four pairs of shoes:  my old tall brown leather ones,  ones that hit just above the ankles, gym shoes, & a pair of birks.  I didn't need the short boots, I thought I'd need a pair to alternate walking in, due to rain & snow, but the old tall pair was fine, kept my legs warm & feet dry.

 

-another winner, a grey lambswool poncho I bought in New Zealand on our last cruise, kept my warm & dry, didn't blow open in the wind.  I also brought an open front cashmere kimono type sweater that has always served me well & a cashmere poncho that were useless in the wind & rain of Scotland.

 

Took too many long sleeved tees to wear under my outer layer (4 in black, one in grey)  3 black would have been fine.  Didn't take enough longer tanks to wear as a base:  I took only two, could have used one more...  we ha laundry on the first 5 days in Edinburgh, but on the driving portion, we didn't, as we stayed in different locations each night, had to hand wash that base layer, with not really enough time to dry as sometimes we didn't get in the room till late, & then were up at 5:30 or 6 the next day.  I din't follow my rule of three of everything & I regret it.  

 

Outerwear:  Best two items:  my puffy down vest & a cheap as heck rain jacket from Costco. I bought one for my husband as well.  They were completely waterproof, but breathable & streachy,  we were able to put them on over our layers & vests, & fit the hood over our wide brimmed hats so we could walk right up to waterfalls & stay dry.   Getting our clothes wet in that in cold of weather would have not only been uncomfortable but dangerous as well.  

 

A miss for me was my wool peacoat, only wore it once, as the lighter layers worked better.  There were lots of days where we actually hit rain, ice, snow & then suddenly it would feel almost summer like & we'd be down to tee shirts. 

 

Another "luxury" item, my double breasted short trench rain jacket, could have totally done with out but darn it, it was cute when in cities, useless in the countryside & islands when hiking. 

 

Took two wide brimmed wool hats for Steve, plus one for sunhat for his fishing trip, it was one wool hat too many, they are stylish, & he wore them all, but from now on it's only two hats each. It's a pain to carry the extra hat on & off planes (we had a total of 5 flights over the last 25 days & one of them was on a prop plane

 

& believe it or not, with all this talk of wet & cold (& even snow!)  I also took a warm weather outfit of linen shorts, a white tank top, & a sheer gauze blouse which I used on the cruise & on land when we had warm weather.  

 

The only single thing that I didn't bring that I wish I had was two bikini bottoms, we sat in the jacuzzi almost every day after we got back from port & I would have liked two.  I normally don't like or trust the jacuzzis on the ship, but it was so cold outside that we always had one to ourselves.  

 

Would have like silk long johns for both of us, I had none, & steve had his old ski ones, which were bulky to carry & had to be machine washed.   I"ll be buying the silk ones for both of us. 

 

Anyhow, sorry this was so darn long :)   Hopefully future me & maybe others will benefit from this.   I really, really feel prepared for next year's Alaska trip, (clothing wise at least)

 

Of course, next May you'll probably get another panicked packing thread from me :)  Happy travels everyone 

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On 5/28/2019 at 1:59 PM, cruise kitty said:

 

-the smart wool & wright socks made all my blister protection bandaids rather superfluous, from now on the socks go with me, but that other stuff doesn't

 

.....

 

Would have like silk long johns for both of us, I had none, & steve had his old ski ones, which were bulky to carry & had to be machine washed.   I"ll be buying the silk ones for both of us. 

 

 

 

I wanted to thank you, by the way, for recommending the Wrightsocks. I have used SmartWool for a while, but I got a pair of the Wrightsocks to try out on my recent trip and I think they are even better. With SmartWool, I can still get the occasional blister after a long and full day of walking, but with the Wrightsocks I had not even a hint of a blister. I just bought two more pair for my upcoming Hadrian's Wall walking trip. 

 

(And I nearly always bring my silk underwear along. I forgot to pack the bottoms on my recent trip. Even though it was southern England, the weather was very cool for the time of year and I could have used them, even though I wasn't really miserable without....)

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So happy the Wrightsocks are working out for people!  Cruisemom42 - it's another thing we have in common now!  I do wear SmartWool, Pistil and REI socks with my Danskos at work everyday, though.  But my Wrightsocks are what I wear with my trail runners and just plain sneakers.  I get the Lows and the Quarters - I don't like the very low Tab ones.  If you want some colors other than the white, grey, black, look on Amazon.  I got my set of 4 neon lows from there.  

 

Since I am one of those with severe packing anxiety, I wanted to mention what happened for my vacation last week.  It was to my friend's beach cottage in Florida, so I didn't need much.  I took off work the day before I flew just to have enough time to not stress about packing.  I told myself that this was such a casual trip that I didn't need much, nothing needed to match, and I could always buy if I needed something desperately.  I didn't have to pack toiletries since I would buy down there and, as part of our cottage sharing setup, leave the leftovers for the next person.  I thought I packed rather sparsely and all fit easily in my carry-on (which I checked because the flights were FULL and I didn't want to battle finding a space 30 rows from my seat!).  I ended up never wearing my capris or my Athleta skirt any evening - everywhere I went ended up with just shorts and a clean shirt.  I had 3 shirts I didn't wear.  I didn't need to buy any clothes, BUT I did - a new long-sleeve rashguard and a really neat Baja Hoodie-style light sweater.  Used the rashguard my last day on the beach to keep from scorching my arms out bodysurfing.  The Hoodie - well, it reminded me of the old surf hoodies from Mexico back in the 60s/70s, and it was sooooo soft.  Plenty of room in my bag for it.  I wore it all day yesterday at home.   

My anxiety level for packing was definitely lower this time.  Maybe it was due to the new meds... 😉

 

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On 6/1/2019 at 8:01 AM, cruisemom42 said:

 

I wanted to thank you, by the way, for recommending the Wrightsocks. I have used SmartWool for a while, but I got a pair of the Wrightsocks to try out on my recent trip and I think they are even better. With SmartWool, I can still get the occasional blister after a long and full day of walking, but with the Wrightsocks I had not even a hint of a blister. I just bought two more pair for my upcoming Hadrian's Wall walking trip. 

 

(And I nearly always bring my silk underwear along. I forgot to pack the bottoms on my recent trip. Even though it was southern England, the weather was very cool for the time of year and I could have used them, even though I wasn't really miserable without....)

 

Hi there, yes, those socks are worth every penny, & now I won't have to pack all the extra foot stuff :)    Off topic,  when we very, briefly stopped at the Antonine wall last month, I thought, boy, I bet Cruisemom would have spent a good deal more time here lol, but we had a castle to see.;)

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Even vacuum bags can have the air squeezed out if you roll or sit on them.

 

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On 4/27/2019 at 1:22 PM, cruise kitty said:

 

The unpredictable weather where we're going makes me want to pack more

 

On 4/27/2019 at 1:34 PM, cruise kitty said:

 It's definitely the weather that has me worried with this one. 

 

On 4/27/2019 at 1:42 PM, cruise kitty said:

 my biggest problem is the pre cruise travel,  on the ship we have lots of free laundry, & I'll pay to get some things washed as well,  I'm just trying to balance out packing light for the driving portion, while having enough clean things to last for the days we don't have access to laundry.   

 

So you have 2.5 weeks pre-cruise, and then the cruise itself.  I'd still use the old formula of pack enough for 1 week and plan to do laundry.  With 2.5 weeks pre-cruise, I would imagine you can easily  find a day or two to do laundry, somewhere around the end of the first week and again just before or after heading to Dublin.  Talk to your hotel staff at the places you stay or if using AirBnb places, inquire ahead if they have a laundry room.  Otherwise, just strike up a conversation with someone in the local pub about where to find a laundromat; locals generally love to be helpful!   If all else fails, take some things you can rinse in the sink and hang to dry.  Lots of the newer technical fabrics dry in no time.

As for the weather, take layers and try to avoid super heavy things that you may never end up needing.   Layers are more versatile...add more for really cold weather or wear fewer for unseasonably warm weather.  If it was me doing this trip, I'd take a couple of pair of "trekking" pants for pre-cruise.  They are lightweight so fine for warmer days, then take 2 pair of leggings or thin (silk or technical fabric) long johns to layer underneath if the chill warrants that.  You can wear the pants multiple times before washing, and they can be hand washed and hung dry if needed.  They often have lots of pockets which is convenient for excursions, so will double as good daytime pants during cruise excursions.  Perhaps add a skort or two in similar, washable fabric for exceptionally warm weather; you can always pair it with leggings as well, or dress it up with a nicer top for casual dinners on board.  Add maybe 2 pair of nicer pants for dressier dinners, a well as a little black dress that can be dressed up or down and that should be plenty for "bottoms." 

For tops, I'd take a couple short sleeved and a couple long sleeved tees in lightweight, washable fabric to layer for pre-cruise and cruise excursions.  Add 2 lightweight/thin sweaters to layer over top as needed.  One additional layer for warmth like a fleece pullover or compressible down vest and a lightweight, waterproof rain jacket plus a hat and gloves.  Add 3-4 nicer tops for cruise dinners and nicer dinners pre-cruise.  Good walking shoes, water resistant ankle boots and a pair of nice sandals or ballet flats that work with both the dressier pants, dress etc. and you should have plenty of combinations to mix and match for various weather conditions and varying levels of dressiness, and should all still fit easily in your one checked bag plus your carry-on or large tote.

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Hi Meg, :classic_smile:….they already cruised and are home again.

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True but it was a nice and thorough suggestion list that could help someone else in the future! Sounds very similar to what I would pack... 

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23 hours ago, Lois R said:

Hi Meg, :classic_smile:….they already cruised and are home again.

 

Thanks, I didn't notice the dates, but this type of itinerary and related packing question is seen often, so hopefully can help someone else planning a multi-week trip with similar weather conditions.  (Baltic cruise, British Isles, Alaska etc.)

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Hi Ladies,   I definitely welcome all tips, suggestions on this thread ( & yes, I'm back & planning next May's Alaska)   This was definitely what I would call more of an "expedition" type trip & I learned a lot....  I made myself (& DH)  a "hard" packing list for next year...  it was a real shift from my usual Rome, Paris, Barcelona type packing mind set.   I feel that I packed for cities & country type hiking  while I should have focused more on the hiking.  :)

 

I don't know if anyone read my long (really long!)  recap of what worked & what didn't,  but I can't say enough about those smart wool buffs....   I'll be investing in a few more of their products for next year's trip.  

 

Meanwhile, I have my birthday trip to San Diego in a few weeks,  we're going to take the train after work, & drink wine all the way there,   no packing anxiety for this one,  I definitely know how to dress for being lazy & drinking wine in a beach town lol  :classic_biggrin:

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7 minutes ago, cruise kitty said:

I don't know if anyone read my long (really long!)  recap of what worked & what didn't,  but I can't say enough about those smart wool buffs....   I'll be investing in a few more of their products for next year's trip.  

 

But....why? How many do you need to pack? I can see two, if one gets wet and you need it to dry, but....more just seems excessive.

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1 hour ago, Hoyaheel said:

But....why? How many do you need to pack? I can see two, if one gets wet and you need it to dry, but....more just seems excessive.

 

Hi there :)   I actually meant more smart wool type products, like their long underwear...definitely don't need more than one buff each :)    they washed & dried over night very easily  

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Ah, ok, thanks for clarifying! We're big fans of the smartwool socks - have all sorts of varieties 🙂 I'm all set on baselayers so haven't researched their options....

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5 hours ago, cruise kitty said:

Hi Ladies,   I definitely welcome all tips, suggestions on this thread ( & yes, I'm back & planning next May's Alaska)   This was definitely what I would call more of an "expedition" type trip & I learned a lot....  I made myself (& DH)  a "hard" packing list for next year...  it was a real shift from my usual Rome, Paris, Barcelona type packing mind set.   I feel that I packed for cities & country type hiking  while I should have focused more on the hiking.  :)

 

I don't know if anyone read my long (really long!)  recap of what worked & what didn't,  but I can't say enough about those smart wool buffs....   I'll be investing in a few more of their products for next year's trip.  

 

Meanwhile, I have my birthday trip to San Diego in a few weeks,  we're going to take the train after work, & drink wine all the way there,   no packing anxiety for this one,  I definitely know how to dress for being lazy & drinking wine in a beach town lol  :classic_biggrin:

That birthday trip sounds wonderful...……...enjoy that wine! And Happy Birthday:classic_biggrin:

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2 hours ago, Lois R said:

That birthday trip sounds wonderful...……...enjoy that wine! And Happy Birthday:classic_biggrin:

 

Thank you!

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On 4/27/2019 at 9:07 AM, Dermotsgirl said:

I'm not a fan of the packing!

 

In order to make it a bit easier, I've devised a master packing list. It's about 4 pages long, and contains everything we might need, based on previous cruise experiences.

 

I print the whole list, then cross out the things we won't need to take.. e.g. winter clothing to the Caribbean.

 

Then I'm left with the categories of things that I need to pack. 

 

It seems to work, as I've never left anything behind.

 

I'm going on a cruise on the 5th of May, to Amsterdam, Scotland, Ireland and Honfleur.  As yet, I haven't made a start. But it's only a 10 day cruise, and now that I'm retired, I have more time.

 

I'm waiting a bit longer to see what the weather forecasts are like, in order to get a better idea of what I need to take.  Easter was beautiful weather in the UK, but it's turned windy and chillier now.

 

For the OP, I'd suggest layers of clothing are the way to go. You could quite literally get ANY type of weather! 

 

 

I bought this rain poncho from Nordstrom last year and ADORE it!  I couldn't see from this description but mine came in a realy little drawstring bag so it takes up almost NO room.  And dries/shakes off really fast.

https://www.amazon.com/Joules-Showerproof-Poncho-Black-Size/dp/B07DVVYHPZ/ref=asc_df_B07DVVYHPZ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=310249230164&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8747555958320247232&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9030895&hvtargid=pla-656925151834&psc=1&tag=&ref=&adgrpid=59843340857&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvadid=310249230164&hvpos=1o3&hvnetw=g&hvrand=8747555958320247232&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9030895&hvtargid=pla-656925151834

 

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