Packing Checklist - 'Cause Life's a Trip

Welcome to Packing Checklist! Whether you're packing for an overnight trip or a multi-month excursion, we have a packing checklist to help you plan and prepare for your travels.

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Cruise Packing Checklist

By the very nature of these self-contained floating cities that dock in multiple countries, your packing checklist is going to include some
destination and event-specific items.  In general, you may find yourself making room for snorkeling gear and/or winter coats.

Your Cruise Packing Checklist is broken into categories for you below.  You can also download the printable PDF version by clicking here, or by visiting the PackingChecklist.net Downloads page.

Documentation and Currency

  • Driver’s License
  • Auto insurance cardcruise ship
  • Medical insurance card
  • Passport
  • Immunization records/vaccination certificate
  • Hotel and/or transportation tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information
  • Parking documentation
  • Cruise tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts
  • Shore excursion tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information
  • Dining reservation confirmation information
  • Spa reservation confirmation numbers or receipts
  • Cash
  • Roll of quarters
  • Credit Card
  • Phone card

 Personal

  • Wallet, purse, fanny pack, beach bag, tote, or backpack
  • Water resistant or waterproof wrist watch
  • Jewelry

 Electronics

  • Electrical plug adapter and converter
  • Power strip/extension cord
  • Travel alarm clock
  • MP3/Media player and headphones
  • Mobile phone and charging cable
  • Laptop and charging cable
  • Camera, batteries, charging cable, extra memory cards or film
  • Underwater camera

 Toiletries

  • Specific/specialty shampoo
  • Specific/specialty conditioner
  • Specific/specialty soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Q-tips
  • Hair products
  • Curling iron
  • Comb/Brush
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne/Perfume
  • Make-up
  • Travel sized nail care kit
  • Sun block
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellant
  • Sun tanning lotion
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Prescription medications
  • Glasses, contacts, sunglasses, case, and cleaning supplies
  • Over the counter medications (light first aid kit plus motion sickness medicine)suitcase

 Clothing

  • Swimsuits and cover-ups/beach and pool wear
  • Hat(s) – caps, visors, warm hat
  • Belts
  • Flip-flops/sandals/water shoes/cold weather shoes
  • Walking shoes
  • Dress shoes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Tops – shirts, blouses, sweaters, sweatshirts, pullovers
  • Shorts/Capri’s
  • Skirts
  • Trousers
  • Jeans
  • Dress clothing (suit, tuxedo, dress, pant suit, and accessories appropriate for formal dining)
  • Sleep clothes
  • Workout clothes
  • Light jacket
  • Coat

 Other

  • Sports gear (SCUBA or snorkeling gear, golf clubs, etc.)SCUBA
  • Extra bag to bring home purchases (compact/foldable)
  • Travel guide books, maps, and reading material for lounging
  • List of addresses for postcards
  • Pen/pencil
  • Notebook or journal
  • Business cards
  • Luggage name tags
  • Rain gear
  • Binoculars
  • Wet wipes/antibacterial gel
  • Zip-lock bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Sewing kit
  • Tape
  • Post-it notes
  • Hot hands (hand/foot warmers)

For quick access to all the downloadable and printable pdf packing checklists, check out the PackingChecklist.net Downloads page.

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Cruise Packing

cruise shipPalm trees, steel drums, and tropical drinks beckon as you plan and pack for your cruise.  You can almost feel that warm breeze as you go through your packing checklist. 

  • Sunblock
  • Tanning lotion
  • Swimsuits
  • Sunglasses

Yeah!  You’re ready to go, right?  Well, not quite yet.  There are still a lot of items to mark off that packing checklist.  The list also alters significantly if you choose to cruise the cooler waters of Alaska.  In general, though, there are some items you’ll want to include regardless of your cruise destination.

Documents

Specifically, for a cruise, there are required documents that you REALLY don’t want to forget.  For example, since most cruises quickly leave U.S. waters and dock in other countries, you REALLY don’t want to forget your passport and driver’s license. 

You’ll also need these for your flight and as you embark/disembark the ship in port.  Make sure you collect and carry all your tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information.  

Unique to Cruising

The unique accommodations and self-contained environment on the ship also add some unique items to the packing checklist.  Though many of the ships are like small cities with restaurants, shops, and activities galore, you are still cruising onboard the ship until you dock.  Even when you dock, it’s usually in a pretty awesome tourist location, but it’s not like you can just hop over to Walmart and pick up anything and everything. 

Certainly, prescription medication should be included under the “NEED to pack” category.  Specialty items such as shampoos, conditioners, lotions, and dietary items also fall under this category.

The cruise ship and ports offer most of the items a person might need, but don’t count on them having exactly what you want, in the brand or size you want, or for the price you’d prefer to pay.  A packing checklist can help you determine which items you really NEED to pack.

Cash and Credit

Cruise ships are unique in terms of paying for items during the cruise.  Like many resorts, a credit card is attached to your room key, which you swipe for purchases.  It’s very convenient onboard, but you’re also going to want a credit card and cash for shore excursions and tips. 

You can pay tips with your room key for ship personnel, but cash is a nice option.  You’ll need to tip cab drivers and excursion staff with cash or your actual credit card, anyway.

Destination or Event Specific Items

If your destination has one specific climate, you’ll obviously want to pack clothing and products specific to a warm or cool climate.  Not many folks will pack a parka for a Caribbean cruise, but sun block’s going to make the packing checklist whether your destination is warm sands or frozen tundra.

Think about the shore excursions and activities as you plan, too.  Will you go horseback riding?  You might want to pack jeans.  Are you a SCUBA diver?  Will you rent equipment, or will you pack your own gear?  Are the kids coming on the cruise, too? You might want to pack floaties and waterproof identification bracelets.

Go to the PackingChecklist.net Downloads page for a variety of packing checklists designed for cruising in general, and specific to destinations and events.

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Cruise, Warm Climate Packing Checklist

packing for a tropical cruiseBy the very nature of these self-contained floating cities that dock in multiple countries, your packing checklist is going to include some destination and event-specific items.  For warm climates and tropical beaches, you may find yourself making room for snorkleing gear in addition to a passport, multiple documents, and an electrical power strip.

Your tropical, or warm climate, Cruise Packing Checklist is broken into categories for you below.  You can also download the printable PDF version by clicking here, or by visiting the PackingChecklist.net Downloads page.

Documentation and Currency

  • Driver’s License
  • Auto insurance card
  • Medical insurance card
  • Passport
  • Immunization records/vaccination certificate
  • Hotel and/or transportation tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information
  • Parking documentation
  • Cruise tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts
  • Shore excursion tickets, confirmation numbers, receipts, and contact information
  • Dining reservation confirmation information
  • Spa reservation confirmation numbers or receipts
  • Cash
  • Roll of quarters
  • Credit Card
  • Phone card

 Personal

  • Wallet, purse, fanny pack, beach bag, tote, or backpack
  • Water resistant or waterproof wrist watch
  • Jewelry

 Electronics

  • Electrical plug adapter and converter
  • Power strip/extension cord
  • Travel alarm clock
  • MP3/Media player and headphones
  • Mobile phone and charging cable
  • Laptop and charging cable
  • Camera, batteries, charging cable, extra memory cards or film
  • Underwater camera

 Toiletries

  • Specific/specialty shampoo
  • Specific/specialty conditioner
  • Specific/specialty soap
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Q-tips
  • Hair products
  • Curling iron
  • Comb/Brush
  • Razors
  • Shaving cream
  • Deodorant
  • Cologne/Perfume
  • Make-up
  • Travel sized nail care kit
  • Sun block
  • Lip balm
  • Insect repellant
  • Sun tanning lotion
  • Moisturizing lotion
  • Prescription medications
  • Glasses, contacts, sunglasses, case, and cleaning supplies
  • Over the counter medications (light first aid kit plus motion sickness medicine)

 Clothing

  • Swimsuits and cover-ups/beach and pool wear
  • Hat(s)
  • Belts
  • Flip-flops/sandals/water shoes
  • Walking shoes
  • Dress shoes
  • Socks
  • Underwear
  • Tops – shirts, blouses, etc.
  • Shorts/Capri’s
  • Skirts
  • Trousers
  • Jeans
  • Dress clothing (suit, tuxedo, dress, pant suit, and accessories appropriate for formal dining)
  • Sleep clothes
  • Workout clothes
  • Light jacket

 Other

  • Sports gear (SCUBA or snorkeling gear, golf clubs, etc.)
  • Extra bag to bring home purchases (compact/foldable)
  • Travel guide books, maps, and reading material for lounging
  • List of addresses for postcards
  • Pen/pencil
  • Notebook or journal
  • Business cards
  • Luggage name tags
  • Rain gear
  • Binoculars
  • Wet wipes/antibacterial gel
  • Collapsible duffel or bag to bring home extra items
  • Zip-lock bags
  • Garbage bags
  • Sewing kit
  • Tape
  • Post-it notes

For quick access to all the downloadable and printable pdf packing checklists, check out the PackingChecklist.net Downloads page.

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Why Use a Packing Checklist?

Packing ChecklistIt’s a fair question.  Why use a packing checklist?  Some frequent travelers are comfortable enough to pack without a checklist.  Others are just not “list people” and want to go with the flow.  That’s totally cool.  There are also people who choose to solve quadratic equations in their heads.  This is also TOTALLY cool, but it’s not the norm.  Most of us really prefer to use a packing checklist for a variety of reasons.

Forget Me Not

The primary reason most people use a packing checklist is to make sure they don’t forget anything.  There are NEEDED items, and there are WANTED items.  For the most part, needed items are those that you can’t reasonably obtain after you arrive at your destination.  Wanted items can cross over into this “need” category if they’re excessively or annoyingly difficult to obtain.  You really need to determine what’s worth packing and what’s not.  If they’re all on the packing checklist, at least you have the option of taking or leaving the items by choice. You’re much less likely to forget something if you use a packing checklist to think ahead and review. 

Too, depending on the specific destination or event, there may be “specialty” items needed that might not be necessary for normal travel.  Passports for international travel, confirmation numbers, receipts, registration documentation are all examples of trip-specific needs.  You don’t want to forget these, so it’s best to include at least some mention of them on your packing checklist.

Weight and Size Restrictions

Baggage fees can be very expensive; oversized and overweight luggage costs even more.  We certainly don’t want to spend any more money than necessary on baggage, and depending on your mode of travel, the number of bags, weight, and size may have a maximum cap.

A packing checklist can help you prioritize the “needed” and “most wanted” items to actually carry on your trip.  Even if cost isn’t a factor, most people don’t really want to bother with heavy, excessive luggage.  Space limitations, cost, and convenience for you, the traveller are all factors.  How much will actually fit in the trunk of your car?  

Travelling Light

This is especially important for frequent travelers, but the general trend is to minimize as much as possible.  Use your packing checklist to identify those items that you absolutely MUST take.  Eliminate those items that you could or would obtain AFTER you arrive at your destination.  You can also use your packing checklist as a shopping list either for the items you want to obtain after you arrive or for items that can be purchased as “travel-sized,” “compact,” or “light-weight.”

Ideas

A destination-specific or comprehensive packing checklist can give you ideas for items you might not have considered.  An idea may be as common as a reminder to take sun-block on a tropical vacation or as unique as “hot hands” disposable warmers on an Alaskan cruise.  Just reviewing the checklist can prompt a lot of “oh, yeah” moments.

For quick access to all the downloadable and printable pdf packing checklists, check out the PackingChecklist.net Downloads page.