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Travel hacks you need to know

Ensure your cruise is smooth sailing

Travel hacks

Posted on

15 Nov 2021

Preparing for your next cruise? We asked some of our favourite travel bloggers what helps them to ensure their cruise holiday is all smooth sailing. Here are the travel hacks you need to know:

Before your cruise

Make copies of important documents

Perhaps the most useful point on our list - take photocopies of your passport to pack in your hand luggage and your suitcase. It is worth taking one of the copies with you during outings to act as your ID while abroad and keep your actual passport locked away in your cabin safe along with other precious belongings.

As well as photocopies of your passport, it is also worth scanning other travel documents and emailing them to yourself as Sandy from Eating Covent Garden explains, “Scan travel insurance and holiday bookings then email them to yourself as this will make it easier to retrieve and replace them if they are lost or anything is stolen.”

Pack light but smart

Get yourself organised by making a list of all the items you want to pack and be mindful of space and weight. Lola from Lolita Bonita suggests rolling your clothes to help keep everything neat and tidy as well as being a good space-saving hack. Lola explains, “I always use the rolling technique - it’s never let me down! Also, invest in plastic-free toiletries, most of the time they come in solid form and last.”

This is something Rebecca from Cruise Blondes echoes, “I’ve recently discovered toothpaste tablets which are a godsend when you are only travelling with a carry-on, as they don’t need to be packed in your little plastic bag. Two brands I recommend are Parla and Hello.”

Rebecca also recommends keeping hold of disposable shower caps. “Going on an active or expedition cruise? Save those disposable shower caps from hotels and cruise ships to use for your shoes and trainers when packing - this ensures that your other clothes don’t get dirty in your suitcase.”

Buy an anti-theft bag

No matter which cruise destination you choose, it’s always important to keep your wits about you and stay as safe as possible. “Worried about carrying around wads of cash in busy ports and cities? Don’t wear a bum bag or flimsy handbag, they’re too obvious for a pickpocket,” Kirtsy from World for a Girl explains. “Instead, invest in a good anti-theft travel bag. Look out for features like security clips and reinforced anti-slash fabric. If you’re not into handbags, look out for travel belts, shawls and backpacks with hidden pockets. Whilst they are an investment, they do last for years.”

Learn the local language

If you’re heading to a foreign country, why not spend some time learning basic words and phrases? Brushing up on some keywords before travelling abroad will come in handy throughout your trip as Lola explains, “I have found that learning a little bit of lingo is great. You don’t need to be able to roll into a full conversation about the country’s political state but a ‘hello,’ ‘please,’ ‘thank you’ and ‘can I have a beer, please?’ will go a long way. Not only is it respectful, but it’s also a great way to meet people and make friends along the way.” There are lots of translation apps on the market or you could keep a pocket-sized translator book handy while you’re out and about.

During your cruise

Give your cabin some homely touches

If you’re planning a longer voyage, why not give your cabin some homely touches? “After a long day of exploring, sometimes all you want to do is get into bed and catch up on your favourite shows, maybe with some room service to really complete the experience,” Claire and Laura from Twin Perspectives told us. “For the last few years, we’ve travelled with the Google Chrome Cast. Compatible with nearly all televisions, you simply plug the Chrome Cast into the back of the TV and from there you can cast directly from your phone to the screen. There’s nothing better than lying in a giant bed, watching Line of Duty on the television after a long day of travelling.”

Another way to make yourself feel more at home during your holiday is to try to properly unpack your suitcase, hang up all your clothes and neatly arrange your toiletries. This simple holiday hack will help you feel more organised - plus, you’ll be able to see all your belongings without needing to rummage through your suitcase!

Make use of Google Maps offline mode

Charles from The Barefoot Nomad recommends using Google Maps offline mode. It’s a great option for finding your way around when the internet is slow, mobile data is expensive or if you can’t get online at all. You can save an area from Google Maps to your phone or tablet and use it when you’re offline.

“Most people travel with a smartphone these days but not everyone purchases an out of country data plan or picks up a local SIM card in the country they’re travelling in. That puts them in the awkward situation of not always knowing where they are or where they’re heading to. We always have an offline map of our hometown plus any major city or area we’re travelling to. That way, we’re never forced to rely upon Wi-Fi or expensive cell data. Not only can Google Maps display all the roads and major landmarks but the offline map also contains the location of major attractions as well as restaurants, supermarkets, hospitals and police stations. We’ve used offline Google Maps everywhere from charting our meandering paths through Marrakech’s souks and medina’s to finding a vegetarian restaurant in the Galápagos Islands and even planning our hike in Red Rock Canyon near Las Vegas.”

Pack a sea day bag

If you’re on a transatlantic crossing or a world cruise, you’re certain to have lots of days at sea. Packing a bag specifically for those sea days will make things easier, keep you occupied, save you time and help keep you organised during your time on deck. Some of the essentials to consider are your cruise card (which also acts as your ship ID), a reusable water bottle, a cover-up, sun cream, a change of clothes and sensible shoes.

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