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Travel experts reveal their unlikely packing essentials

Unlikely items you should consider packing

Travel experts unlikely cruise essentials

Posted on

12 Jan 2022

Whether you’re planning a romantic staycation cruise or travelling somewhere a little more exotic, the packing process can often be a painstaking one. From taking enough pairs of socks to meticulously rolling up t-shirts, sneaking in unnecessary items to forgetting necessary ones, it’s easy to overthink the process. Here, we chat to several travel experts on the unlikely items they always pack:

Drawer inserts & fairy lights

A couple of unlikely packing essentials Steph from Cruise with Amber takes on board with her are collapsible drawer inserts from IKEA and a string of battery-operated fairy lights. Here’s why: “IKEA collapsible drawer inserts are a great way to help you organise your belongings in your cabin. If your cabin doesn’t have any drawers, you can use them on the cabin shelves as makeshift drawers. They come in various sizes and the smaller ones are great for organising toiletries or makeup on the vanity unit in the bathroom. The best thing is they are collapsible and lie flat, so they take up hardly any space in the suitcase.

“A string of fairy lights is a useful way of introducing some low-level lighting into your cabin. If you’re sharing with others then turning the cabin lights on in the middle of the night or using the torch on your phone can be quite startling, so a string of fairy lights can help light the cabin in a gentler way. They are also great to use as a nightlight for the kids. Plus, they can add a touch of atmospheric magic to your balcony whilst enjoying a glass of wine at dusk. Just remember not to leave them on the balcony unattended.”


“The thing I pack that would surprise most people is a WineSkin or two,” Bec from Love She Travels told us. “They pack flat and weigh next to nothing but it means I can safely bring home a special bottle of something from the country I’m visiting.

“I first discovered WineSkins in Italy a few years ago and have since taken them with me on subsequent European trips to bring home a souvenir bottle of local wine - they are such a great invention!”

Reusable water bottle & hot drink mug

“Wherever the destination, I always pack my reusable water bottle and hot drink mug when travelling,” Melis from Melis Living explains. “Some people think it’s a waste of valuable space but I like to do my bit to reduce the impact my travels have on the planet! Airports nearly always have water fountains after security, so it saves me money buying water and I like to know I’ve done my bit to help the environment.

Fly swatter

“Some people think this is weird but if I’m travelling to a country with a tropical climate - like the Caribbean, for example - I won’t leave home without a couple of fly swatters packed into my suitcase,” Kacie from The Rare Welsh Bit advised.

“No matter how much mosquito repellent I douse myself in, they always seem to go for me - they must love my blood! Furthermore, I’m not the biggest fan of creepy crawlies and I stay in lots of Airbnb’s and apartments which are often prone to bugs, so it gives me peace of mind that I can keep the critters at bay even when I’m travelling alone.

Cable ties & scissors

“There are a couple of things that might surprise people that I pack,” Victoria from Travel Vixta told us. “I usually pack cable ties and a pair of scissors in a front pocket on a suitcase. I use these to do up the zips on suitcases as I worry about losing the little padlock keys or them failing and coming undone. I never trust those little padlocks as we’ve had one break on us before. Once I reach my destination, I use the scissors from the pocket to cut the tie and open my suitcase.

“I also pack a bag of food in a suitcase. I’m vegan and avoid many ingredients like refined sugar, so I worry that places might not cater for me. If I take plenty of snacks and backup food, then I don’t need to panic about not being able to eat anywhere whilst travelling.”

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