Packing for a cruise holiday can be somewhat stressful, particularly if you’re embarking on a long-haul adventure. Although you’ll have your own cabin to fill with your personal belongings, travelling as lightly as possible leaves room for souvenirs and mementos, especially if you’re not boarding a no-fly cruise.
While the essentials such as passports, phone chargers, cameras and a sturdy jacket are all worthy items to bring on holiday, we were curious to find out what the travel experts prioritised, so we asked them. Here, travel experts reveal their must-have holiday items, wherever you’re heading.
“I believe strongly in travelling comfortably”
Fie of The Travel Chameleon
Image: The Travel Chameleon
Fie believes that the best way to get to know a country is to adapt and travel like the locals do. She told us about her essential holiday items:
“Packing is essential when it comes to travel planning especially when different climates and activities are involved. Either way, I believe strongly in traveling comfortably, and this means bringing along my favourite things whenever a holiday pops up.
“I usually bring along my blue scarf that a friend got for me from Vietnam. It’s become one of the most important items in my packing list because of its many functions. I use it as a blanket when it gets too cold in the airports and airplanes, or to cover my face, protecting it from dust. The blue scarf is also used to cover my camera, whenever we walk the streets.
“Another item on my packing list is my messenger bag, which gives me freedom to snap photos with my camera or shop conveniently. The final must-have item on my packing list is a universal adapter. It helps to have an adapter especially as different countries come with their own socket points. All these items are automatically placed in my bag whenever the travel plan arises.”
“The item I can’t live without on my travels is my Canon G7X camera”
Laura of Travelling Weasels
Laura travels the world full-time with her fiancé, Tanbay (pictured above). As the duo have so much travel experience, we were pleased they told us about their essential holiday item:
“The item I can't live without on my travels is my Canon G7X Camera. It is very easy to use, takes amazing high definition pictures and videos and it has a great battery life. I also love the small size and the weight of the camera, it is very easy to carry it with me anywhere I go and it can store a large number of photos, as well as long videos, making it perfect for a travel enthusiast who loves to document their trips.”
‘I always travel with my CabinZero, a carry-on sized backpack’
Margherita of The Crowded Planet
Image: The Crowded Planet
Whether you’re backpacking or hopping on and off a cruise ship for excursions, a suitable backpack is essential, as Margherita tells us:
“I’ve been travelling only with carry-on luggage for a few years, regardless of the weather and how long I’m gone for. When people ask me how I manage to pack so light, my answer is always the same – I don’t pack much, and I always travel with my CabinZero, a carry-on sized backpack that fits up to 44l inside.
“For example, during my recent trip to Botswana I had to have clothes for all kinds of weather, since we were there in winter and it was fairly warm during the day, but then the temperature dipped at night. On top of that, we were camping, so we needed really warm clothes and thermals to wear at night. My CabinZero was large enough to fit about three outfits, a spare pair of shoes, my toiletries bag, my laptop and even my DSLR and drone! I only ever pack a limited number of outfits and wash them on the road, since it’s easy to find laundromat or laundry services these days.
“Travelling with a small backpack also makes it easier to move around cities, especially when you have to kill time between flights and check ins or check outs. I’ve used a large (80L) backpack for years and I remember ambling around cities with 20 kilos or more on my back, loathing every second. I honestly don’t regret switching to a smaller backpack for a moment – it taught me a lot in terms of practicality and minimalism, and if I find myself needing something I don’t have, I can always find it along the way!”
“A packable down jacket can be used in all seasons”
Natasha of The World Pursuit
For Natasha, investing in a good jacket is essential to prepare for unpredictable weather:
“If there is one thing I never travel without it’s a packable down jacket. A packable down jacket can be used in all seasons, even on cold summer nights and chilly winter days. They are different from regular winter jackets in the sense that they are functional, lightweight and comfortable.
“Companies make down jackets stylish and easily packable these days. I have travelled all around the world with mine and it weighs almost nothing. The best part is these jackets compress down to the size of your hand – perfect for packing in your limited airline luggage space.
“Patagonia makes my favourite packable down jackets on the market. They may be more expensive than competitors, but with the high cost comes great quality with a well-known brand. The Patagonia jacket shell is made from 100% recycled polyester and the fill is traceable goose down. When you’re in cold, wet weather it’s easy to combine with an outer shell to keep extra warm and dry. From Iceland to South Africa, I have never left home without this essential jacket. It makes a great gift that can actually be used year round!”
‘There’s no way you can ever travel without your headphones’
Cory of You Could Travel
Image: You Could Travel
While the sights and sounds of new destinations form a large part of your travel experience, at airports and during long journeys on public transport, some peace and quiet can do you a world of good. Cory told us about her and her partner’s must-have travel item:
“The essential holiday item we simply cannot live without is are noise cancelling headphones. We love our quiet and nowadays, there is noise pollution everywhere. To be able to fly in peace and keep calm during intense, noisy situations, we simply switch our noise cancelling headphones on and listen to our chill music.
“We found them essential on busy beaches, airports, and as already mentioned, during flights. Once you discover the bliss of silence, there’s no way you can ever travel without your headphones. We found them quite expensive, but they pay off in no time. We can now sleep on planes, relax on long train or bus rides and just enjoy our holiday without getting irritated at others who make too much noise. The perfect holiday companion.”
“I don’t leave home without my tea tree oil”
Angela of Chasing the Unexpected
Image: Chasing The Unexpected
Living and working on the road, Angela has a number of must-have holiday items. She kindly shared her top items with us:
“Whenever I travel, I never forget to pack my loyal Nikon D7100 with its array of at least three lenses and my Samsung Galaxy S7Edge to report my trip on Instagram. Technology-wise, I also never travel without my laptop and external hard-drive because these are part of my main job tools. When I’m on the road, on board trains or through airports, or also when I travel to countries with little infrastructure such as Afghanistan, I often need a power bank to keep my phone always charged, so I make sure I have one or two of these in my luggage.
“Work tools are not the only things I can’t travel without. I always carry my previous e-book reader and an old-school paper notebook and pen to take quick quotes when needed. I still find it handier than writing on my phone or tablet.
“Finally, I love my oils and herbs and I don’t leave home without my tea tree oil, and a small bottle or Argan oil for my skin. A bit fussy, I know, but I still manage to pack light!”
One of the benefits of booking a luxury cruise holiday is that many of your essentials are already on board. However for excursions, it’s important to consider what you’re going to bring ashore, whether you’re hiking around the Norwegian fjords, spending a day at the beach or getting lost in a new city.