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.


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.


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

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