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mom2mybugs

Hi I'm Jane and I'm an overpacker!

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So I just got done reading @Whizbank live blog and she stated that she would pack lighter next time.  I'm now sitting and looking at the suitcase I'm going to have trouble closing today.  Ugh!  So thought I'd share some things I'm going to do for the European cruise this summer (16 days in Barcelona and on the ship) as an accountability post lol.  Please chime in with suggestions and encouragement lol.  I know like the drink pkg we have beaten this to death, but hey, it's fun! 

1.  Royal has amazing storage in their rooms, both interior and outside.I have sailed 5 classes now and fit everything every time.  Majesty had a dinky closet but a great big side table and window ledge.  Others have hidden shelves, ottomans, other closets.   Obviously the longer cruises are a bit more challenging which leads to....

2.  Rewear!  I have favorites that I take on every cruise that I could totally wear over.  Some things I will wash when I get home that I only wore once (or not at all) and they aren't even really dirty.  I get if it's super hot you might have to selectively rewear, but I don't pack that way.  7 days, pack for 9 lol.  Ugh!   Do I need 2 formal dresses? Heck no. Is it ok if people are me in the same outfit twice... Absolutely.    Do I need extra clothes not at all... That's where #3 comes in...

3. Laundry!  I will freely admit I haven't used it in the ship and I won't risk any favorite clothes (I worry about too hot dryers).  But I spend everywhere else...Porters, drink pkg, extra 2 dollars for my favorite 🍷 etc....   A bag of laundry will not kill me to pay for!   And my bathing suits, etc, are wet when I came back...I can hand wash them in the shower.  Now again, with how long everything takes to dry I am not bringing detergent and hanging everything... But a small stain is solvable by a  quick rinse.

4.  Packing cubes....   That was a long thread earlier.  I personally love them but didn't use them correctly.  I was in 3 different places pre-cruise, cruise and post-cruise.  I should have packed the cubes that way rather than every time I wanted an outfit having to go through different ones.  I could have put my pre-cruise two outfits in a bag with a bathing suit and pair of jammies and never opened the rest!

5. Shoes....  Sigh.  I did do better this time.  I wore my tennis shoes on the plane and once again, it wasn't necessary for me personally to have them.  I will just wear my walking sandals on the plane too.  I took my lighter weight sandals this time and didn't fuss with the 3 inch heals I would wear once or twice. I actually packed 2 pairs of flip flops in case one pair broke....omg WHY?  Which leads to...

6.  This next cruise no matter what I'm going with the Rick Steve's packing rule which I never do but am going to start!  I love his travel blogs and YouTube videos and he says "always pack for the expected, not the unexpected".  Ok...I'm a pack for the unexpected....my shoe might break, my phone cord might break, I might spill coffee on my 4 sweaters... All 4!  All the unexpected back-ups come home unused and talking up space.  I'm not traveling to the middle of Africa where I might have trouble getting something!!!! (If you are, you are probably better at packing than I am anyway and not reading this!).  Next time I will truly try and follow this.  Heck I will pack a $100 extra dollars just for things I might need to get and when I don't, take myself out to a nice Cafe somewhere!  

7.  Go with your history and your gut.  Every trip I pack shorts "just in case I feel like wearing them" and workout clothes "just in case I want to work out".  Ok...I've now been on 6 cruises.  Not once have I put on shorts or tshirts (Im a sundress girl) and the only time I've set for in the fitness center is to take pics on day one.  If I haven't used something at home (do I really want that dress) or on a ship, it is just not gonna get used here!  

8.  Compare with the other lovely people in your family.  In March my family brilliantly brought 3 tubes of toothpaste.  Seriously.  We all packed our regular travel kits and we all have toothpaste.  Oh well.  Next time I'm going back to the family ziplocks...1 toothpaste and common shampoo, soap, etc.  And I'm getting slightly better at judging amount we use.  For example, I love using the bath & body works squirt soap better than the bars.  They smell nice and I just like them.  We don't need a whole bottle...I can bring a half-used one and then I have 2 more oz and space at the end of the trip!  Same goes for shampoo, lotion, etc!  

9.  Suitcase stuffing.  I'm a stuffer.  If the suitcase is at 40 lbs and not full, I can stuff just one more extra dress or pair of shoes just in case.  Nope.  The problem is that it takes me forever to fit everything in at home.  I don't have that time on the trip and what happens is I frantically stuff everything in and one day I'm gonna break the zipper.  I have had to buy and check an extra suitcase at Disney before (ok...I could get into souvenir shopping here.  I didn't buy the rum in Nassau because I knew I wouldn't have the space or weight lol).  So next time, things will fit better at the start.  I will do what you are supposed to... Pack and then unpack and take out a bunch you don't need!  Because I don't need the stress at the end of the trip!

So I've now spent time I should have been packing avoiding it but when I get home, this is what's I'm going to re-read before I pack!!!!!! Jane

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Hi Jane, I'm Larry and I'm an over packer as well. After multiple cruises, I continue to slowly whittle down on the amount I bring on vacation trips. With each cruise I continue to reevaluate what was taken and unused.  My wife and I will be at wits end on what to pack as we prepare for a Down under trip consisting of 4 nights in Sydney followed by B2B 12 night cruises to NZ and SP especially difficult due to expected different weather patterns. Our current focus: 1, dress in layers for flexibility  2, 3 pair of shoes per person(sandels, semidress and tennis). 3, planning on using the ship's laundry deal on each leg of cruise as well as a Tide stain stick, 4, One formal attire with extra top for changing as I don't care if people notice. 5, pack for the expected is a great guide as too many times we never used that 3rd or 4th sweater/pants...6, plan to buy some health and beauty products once we get to Sydney and chuck them when we head home. 7. if we do find we forgot something such as a jacket or hoodie we buy them as a souvenir(dual purpose). As a personal challenge I would love to try and pack in a small suitcase but I still value my marriage too much. My wife would remind me every minute of the day what we don't have with us. I will save that for a Transatlantic solo cruise some day. I am always checking the forum for other tips and ideas to make cruise travel easier. Thanks for your thought and ideas.

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1 hour ago, Matt said:

Great info, thanks for sharing this!

Be a good podcast to repeat lol!  

 

1 hour ago, DRLPP said:

 As a personal challenge I would love to try and pack in a small suitcase but I still value my marriage too much. My wife would remind me every minute of the day what we don't have with us. I will save that for a Transatlantic solo cruise some day. I am always checking the forum for other tips and ideas to make cruise travel easier. Thanks for your thought and ideas.

My suitcase is not sma perse....it's still a big enough to have to check one.  I used to have a giant one though that I would fill half way and it was already 50lbs!  I have to admit, since we are not metro/train or otherwise having to shlep luggage (getting picked up from Barcelona airport/dropped at Airbnb and then 1 taxi ride to port) I AM going to have at least one of us bring a carry on suitcase for souvenirs.  That's another thing I could have edited and added in... Souvenirs.  I need to get picky about what "Marie Kondo Sparks joy" vs what is going to be crap taking up my house space lol!!!!   I will just have to go for small jewelry!  When is your trip?  Works love to read a big...I have never been to that area of the world!  Jane

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@mom2mybugs thanks for mentioning my blog. I too packed more for unexpected than expected. 4 night cruise with 2 hotel nights before and I ended up wearing:

Same shirt and jeans days 1+2 including on plane. Wore sneakers since they take up most room. Those I should have left at home. Love my rothy"s and they would have worked everywhere for every occasion. Never even got out the pool sandles. Ended up wearing shorts on way home instead of jeans. So really the jeans could have stayed home. 

Took 2 pairs of shorts, wore 1

Took 2 dresses, did actually wear both in main dining room. They were casual enough to wear during day or during travel too so that could have cut out some other clothes

Took a skirt to pair with shirts but ended up wearing only dresses. Took a shrug to wear in case cold and also to make dress look different each day. 

Took too many shirts since I ended up either wearing the dresses or my swimsuit and cover up.

Took too many undergarments. I could have washed these in sink if necessary

Wire socks with gym shoes and if I didn't have the shoes I could forgo the socks

Took jewelry I never put on. 

Did good with family toiletries though, that was not an overpak. Toothpaste toothbrush some spray in conditioner a small shampoo and conditioner and deodorant. No makeup since I never wear it anyway. 

It was a good learning experience and I'll do better next time.  And, since we aren't going deep into the jungle, I can buy stuff if I forget something that I can't live without (deodorant, I'm talking about you) 

Didn't try packing cubes, but I did pack my leaving outfit in my carryon when I unpacked everything else because of a deep fear of leaving ship in my nightgown 

 

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Jane I am a over packer but getting better. I am down to traveling with just one suitcase now and a carry on. On this trip to Europe I am even going to go with a smaller checked bag.  

I have done many trips overseas and always packed way to much. I am a “what if” person too!  It is not fun traveling around Europe with two suitcases and a carryon even if you are gone for a month. Especially in the summer months. I think in my former life I traveled with large trunks and had a small staff that traveled with me. 

I have realized that if I do not have something I can always buy it. Also rather than bringing lots of different coloured outfits for the evening, I have brought items that I can mix and match but still feel that I am wearing something different. 

I have been know to buy to much when away, but I have made use of the postal service and had things sent back rather than buying another suitcase. 

Packing cubes have been treating me well.

Good luck with packing.

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The only tidbit I can offer concerns Barcelona -- watch out for pickpockets.  In our 2011 Med cruise, our table mates at dinner were robbed as they "protected" their friend who was in a wheelchair.  They lost passports, cash, and credit cards before they even made it to the ship.  Only the gentleman in the chair was untouched, so he ended up loaning money to everyone in his party.  If you've watched Rick Steves, you must know all his security tips...   And what we learned at Southampton is to take suitcases off the ship.  RCI lost my wife's suitcase on disembarkation.   Now we walk off at 630 AM.  I see more and more folks doing that, although the downside is a rushed breakfast.  Have fun!

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As I tend also to over pack I set some rules to myself:

1. Always have a folded duffel bag inside my suitcase so if I want to send extra bag at least I do not need to buy it.
2. Use a travel scale , so at least I know were I am from weight perspective  (well at least for the suitcase , my weight just ignore until the end of the cruise).|
3. I always make sure that what I pack minus things I will leave/consume during the travel will be the weight allowance minus at least two bottle of wines which I would like to carry back with me.
4. After I pack I always take out few items.
5. I always use the wash bag at the middle of the cruise.
6. I always pack more underwear than I need , its easier to buy other stuff if needed, I feel much comfortable to wear new shirt which I just bought than new per of underwear ...
7. I try to bring a few white cotton shirts (the simple ones  that are being sold in 5-6 shirts per package) , I can wear them under the dress shirt and it will allow me to wear the dress shirt again if needed.
8. Always take allot of extra big garbage bags , use them for :  pack things in them ,dirty cloths, wet swimsuit, put them over the shelf and the drawers if they are not looking too clean, wrap bottles of wine before packing them inside the suitcase and many other things.
9. Always take extra zippers bags for small things , I even pack shampoo inside them (always use two just to be on the safe side) , by that I am saving allot of weight .
10. pack a small bag pack for sיore excursions + folded back pack if I want to buy something.

 

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5 hours ago, ChessE4 said:

The only tidbit I can offer concerns Barcelona -- watch out for pickpockets.  In our 2011 Med cruise, our table mates at dinner were robbed as they "protected" their friend who was in a wheelchair.  They lost passports, cash, and credit cards before they even made it to the ship.  Only the gentleman in the chair was untouched, so he ended up loaning money to everyone in his party.  If you've watched Rick Steves, you must know all his security tips...   And what we learned at Southampton is to take suitcases off the ship.  RCI lost my wife's suitcase on disembarkation.   Now we walk off at 630 AM.  I see more and more folks doing that, although the downside is a rushed breakfast.  Have fun!

I have heard Barcelona is awful.  I've decided I will carry copies of my passport but not my originals while we tour.  Still trying to figure out the money belt/underbag as I wear dresses and world never be able to easily get to it!  What a horrible thing to happen to your tablemates!  Ugh! Jane

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4 hours ago, Traveler said:

As I tend also to over pack I set some rules to myself:

1. Always have a folded duffel bag inside my suitcase so if I want to send extra bag at least I do not need to buy it.
2. Use a travel scale , so at least I know were I am from weight perspective  (well at least for the suitcase , my weight just ignore until the end of the cruise).|
3. I always make sure that what I pack minus things I will leave/consume during the travel will be the weight allowance minus at least two bottle of wines which I would like to carry back with me.
4. After I pack I always take out few items.
5. I always use the wash bag at the middle of the cruise.
6. I always pack more underwear than I need , its easier to buy other stuff if needed, I feel much comfortable to wear new shirt which I just bought than new per of underwear ...
7. I try to bring a few white cotton shirts (the simple ones  that are being sold in 5-6 shirts per package) , I can wear them under the dress shirt and it will allow me to wear the dress shirt again if needed.
8. Always take allot of extra big garbage bags , use them for :  pack things in them ,dirty cloths, wet swimsuit, put them over the shelf and the drawers if they are not looking too clean, wrap bottles of wine before packing them inside the suitcase and many other things.
9. Always take extra zippers bags for small things , I even pack shampoo inside them (always use two just to be on the safe side) , by that I am saving allot of weight .
10. pack a small bag pack for sיore excursions + folded back pack if I want to buy something.

 

You do a lot of the same things I do, especially the bag everything!  I swear my shampoo leaks every time.  Thanks for the 🍷 reminder.  I would like to bring back 2-3 bottles...1 from each country we visit!  What do you use to pack them to keep them from breaking? 

I have a set of bags...I don't have the brand with me but I love them.... They roll up super small but you can use them for the beach, dirty clothes, shopping.  Jane

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5 hours ago, KenCP said:

Jane I am a over packer but getting better. I am down to traveling with just one suitcase now and a carry on. On this trip to Europe I am even going to go with a smaller checked bag.  

I have done many trips overseas and always packed way to much. I am a “what if” person too!  It is not fun traveling around Europe with two suitcases and a carryon even if you are gone for a month. Especially in the summer months. I think in my former life I traveled with large trunks and had a small staff that traveled with me. 

I have realized that if I do not have something I can always buy it. Also rather than bringing lots of different coloured outfits for the evening, I have brought items that I can mix and match but still feel that I am wearing something different. 

I have been know to buy to much when away, but I have made use of the postal service and had things sent back rather than buying another suitcase. 

Packing cubes have been treating me well.

Good luck with packing.

I realized when I was dragging 2 heavy suitcases onto the train in Paris that it has to change, but didn't do it the last 2 trips.  This one I'm determined!!! Jane

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34 minutes ago, mom2mybugs said:

  What do you use to pack them to keep them from breaking?  Jane

Last time I planned to bring back bottles, I packed a few sheets of bubble wrap . The ones with the small bubbles that is perforated. They sell it at Walmart in the office/packing section. I wrapped my bottles with that and tape and it held up great during the travel home.

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43 minutes ago, mom2mybugs said:

I have heard Barcelona is awful.  I've decided I will carry copies of my passport but not my originals while we tour.  Still trying to figure out the money belt/underbag as I wear dresses and world never be able to easily get to it!  What a horrible thing to happen to your tablemates!  Ugh! Jane

You can keep the cash you expect to need for shopping or museum admission in a purse with a crossing strap that can't be cut (metal fibers in the strap).  You keep the purse clutched to your body, the zippered pouch with your $$ facing your body.  My wife also keeps her wallet in her purse, although most valuables are in a hotel safe or the stateroom safe.

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Love this post and wish I there was a save feature to refer back.  My hubby is the family over packer.  I have a big list but tend to be the light packer because I don't want to drag the stuff around.  I also found myself spending too much time unpacking and packing while the family had fun.

Last month we did a 7 day cruise then a night in Ft. Lauderdale then a 5 night cruise.  I packed for the 7 night and used the ships laundry.  I still had a few items I didn't wear.  One screw up I did was when I was taking extra stuff out I took out my sneakers that I needed for the All Access Tour.  And I never packed long pants which I needed.  Lucky I could borrow shoes from one daughter and pants from another. 

We use packing cubes and love them.  We also use 2 gallon zip bags and bring wet suits and booze back in them.

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I'm an over packer and it's bad.

I had 2 checked bags, one carry-on and a personal item for our last cruise.  I blamed Southwest, they are an enabler, darn 2 free checked bags!!!

Our next cruise is May 2020 to Europe, we are going three days before the cruise.

We are flying Delta, only one free checked bag.

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17 minutes ago, MicDay said:

I'm an over packer and it's bad.

I had 2 checked bags, one carry-on and a personal item for our last cruise.  I blamed Southwest, they are an enabler, darn 2 free checked bags!!!

Our next cruise is May 2020 to Europe, we are going three days before the cruise.

We are flying Delta, only one free checked bag.

Ok the enabling thing just cracked me up!!!  Jane

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3 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

You do a lot of the same things I do, especially the bag everything!  I swear my shampoo leaks every time.  Thanks for the 🍷 reminder.  I would like to bring back 2-3 bottles...1 from each country we visit!  What do you use to pack them to keep them from breaking? 

I have a set of bags...I don't have the brand with me but I love them.... They roll up super small but you can use them for the beach, dirty clothes, shopping.  Jane

The wine is quite simple , the main thing is not to allow glass touch glass or any hard things in the suitcase .

What I do is to wrap each bottle with nylon bag and make sure they are divided (the park west brochures  are very good wrap materials). I will put one layer of dirty cloths bag on the bottom of the suitcase , put the bottles with some divider like shoes between them and put another layer of cloth above them  , making sure they will not move.
Another option is to use a shoe box (you are going to visit Italy , do not tell me you will not buy at least one per 🙂) , here its even simpler , wrap each bottle, put some park west material between each bottle until they can not move and put the shoe box inside the suitcase.
if for some reason your bottle has a screw cap make sure you secure it with some tape , the only accident I had until now is leakage from such bottles.  from our last cruise we brought 6 bottles of wine , 3 in each suitcase +1 Limonochelo  and two vinegar  bottles  , they all survived.

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4 hours ago, mom2mybugs said:

I have heard Barcelona is awful.  I've decided I will carry copies of my passport but not my originals while we tour.  Still trying to figure out the money belt/underbag as I wear dresses and world never be able to easily get to it!  What a horrible thing to happen to your tablemates!  Ugh! Jane

Passport should be left at the hotel safe , I take cache and credit card , when I travel , I take at least two credit cards , one with me one with the hotel safe , if a credit card being stolen its very easy to block it and I will still have a credit card I can use. You do not even need a passport copy , I do carry driving license , sometime shops will ask a way of identification if you using your credit card , foreign driving license with a picture works perfect. I always carry my wallet in the front pocket , its much harder to take it. Never leave a bags on the floor near you. be careful from the petition  scam , where people try to convince you to sign a petition and and ask for money, just ignore or pretend you only speak some rear  language (they usually  know English , Spanish , Russian, french, German )   . After saying that , which is by the way true for all Europe and many other places, I do not think its that common , I have been to Barcelona many times and traveling almost every second week to Europe , if you keep the basic awareness  to you surrounding (same as I guess you do in your home town)  you should be OK. 

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We pack as much as we can fit and still be under limits. I have a digital fish scale here and found it to be accurate within 1 pound. I tell DW to pack as much as she wants as long as the bags come in under weight. She has become a pro at it.

I just hate extra baggage fees. The longest we have been yet is 23 days. We are doing a 29 day in November though.

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This was years ago when we did a cruise in Europe that started in Barcelona. 

We met a couple who had seen people being denied boarding because their luggage had been stolen in the lobby of the hotel as they were checking in. The passports were in their luggage. 

The cruise compass said to carry nothing valuable in Rome. I'm glad I followed the instructions, the backpack I was wearing had every single compartment opened as I was walking. They didn't take my water or spare car key that I had forgotten was in the pack.

our table companions, almost fell victim to the "baby" ploy at the next port. Some women distracted the parents with a doll while someone else lifted the wallet out of the mom's pocketbook. The daughter saw it and started yelling. 

I loved Barcelona and the other ports, have a great fun and secure time.

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3 hours ago, L454S said:

We pack as much as we can fit and still be under limits. I have a digital fish scale here and found it to be accurate within 1 pound. I tell DW to pack as much as she wants as long as the bags come in under weight. She has become a pro at it.

I just hate extra baggage fees. The longest we have been yet is 23 days. We are doing a 29 day in November though.

What are you doing in November???   I have a simple luggage scale from Amazon that fits in the outside pocket of my suitcase!  Makes things so much easier to have!  Jane

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7 hours ago, Traveler said:

The wine is quite simple , the main thing is not to allow glass touch glass or any hard things in the suitcase .

What I do is to wrap each bottle with nylon bag and make sure they are divided (the park west brochures  are very good wrap materials). I will put one layer of dirty cloths bag on the bottom of the suitcase , put the bottles with some divider like shoes between them and put another layer of cloth above them  , making sure they will not move.
Another option is to use a shoe box (you are going to visit Italy , do not tell me you will not buy at least one per 🙂) , here its even simpler , wrap each bottle, put some park west material between each bottle until they can not move and put the shoe box inside the suitcase.
if for some reason your bottle has a screw cap make sure you secure it with some tape , the only accident I had until now is leakage from such bottles.  from our last cruise we brought 6 bottles of wine , 3 in each suitcase +1 Limonochelo  and two vinegar  bottles  , they all survived.

Thanks @Traveler and @Lovelysmile29.... Both sound easy... If I leave enough room lol!!!!!  Jane

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55 minutes ago, mom2mybugs said:

What are you doing in November???   I have a simple luggage scale from Amazon that fits in the outside pocket of my suitcase!  Makes things so much easier to have!  Jane

mom2mybugs, we are flying to Venice and boarding the Pacific Princess for a 12 night Greece , Croatia ,Sicily and Rome sailing. Then staying on for the following 17 night Med/T-A to Fort Lauderdale. 

Oh, next time you weigh your bags with your scale, check them against what the check in counter says they weigh.

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I guess we were in to "packing cubes" before they were the cool new idea.  Years ago, when our boys were small, we packed outfits for our Disney trips in Ziploc bags. Everything was coordinated and they just had to pull out a bag and get dressed. Super convenient. Might need to go back to that as on a recent family vacation, we had to stop and pick up my 15yr old underwear. He forgot to pack some. 🙄

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