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Western Mediterranean Cruise In the Fall. Afraid of Overpacking.....


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As Matt says, definitely plan on wearing some outfits on more than one day. Let's face it, when you're at home would you wear an outfit just once and then wash it immediately afterwards? Or would you wear it 2 or 3 times before washing? Mix and match outfits make this very doable.

Other than that, you need to take the weather into account. In the Med in October it can be changeable. One day could be warm and sunny, the next raining and the next after that windy and cold. All of which means you're going to need layers, although it shouldn't be so cold that you need to bring winter wear, but an umbrella or rain capes are a must!

Forward planning is your friend when it comes to avoiding overpacking. I find it helps to create a kind of chart. Some people use spreadsheets but I'm not a fan of those so I create a table in Word like this one: 

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That lets me see at a glance what we'll be doing on any given day so I can then plan what days outfits can be doubled up. The trick is to stick to the plan when it comes to actually putting the stuff in the suitcase and resist the temptation to start throwing in extra items at the last minute "just in case".

Bear in mind that port days in the Med will be long and tiring, so plan for comfort rather than style, especially where footwear is concerned. Bring something tried and trusted that you can be sure will still be comfortable after traipsing around a city centre for a whole day. This is not the time for strappy sandals or a brand new pair of sneakers you have not worn before!

Also since a significant part of sightseeing in the Med is likely to involve religious sites, be sure to plan on wearing something that covers shoulders and knees on those days to avoid the very real risk of being denied entry. I witnessed a lady having to go and buy a cover-up from a stall-holder at the Vatican because she was wearing a sleeveless top and they weren't going to let her in!

I hope this helps. Have fun planning and feel free to ask if you have any more questions. ?

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I bought 4 pair of travel pants and 3 travel skirts/skort.  Marshall’s and TJMaxx have lots of them in their active wear section. They fold up into about an 8” stack. 
 

We have a 12 night on Odyssey out of Rome next October (was supposed to be this October but it was cancelled), so I completely get the whole packing thing! 
 

You can also use those ziplock bags that you suck the air out of to compress everything. We’re definitely using those for our Alaska cruise since that requires bulky/heavy clothing. 
 

The pants are similar to these. I have differing lengths on mine. 

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While I can’t be helpful for what to take, some fellow users on this board have guided me on how to take it. 3 words: compression packing cubes. While it might be a bit hyperbolic to say it changed my life, it certainly changed the way I pack! I have this set and recommend them highly: https://www.amazon.com/LeanTravel-Compression-Packing-Luggage-Organizers/dp/B074KQ4C85/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ots=1&ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=tlcompressioncubesrcarhart0319-20&linkId=8bb91f103f8c64afe4bc7207cbf8e4d8&language=en_US&th=1

Easily lets  me pack way more than I used to be able to in the same amount of space.

 

 

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1 hour ago, USCG Teacher said:

While I can’t be helpful for what to take, some fellow users on this board have guided me on how to take it. 3 words: compression packing cubes. While it might be a bit hyperbolic to say it changed my life, it certainly changed the way I pack! I have this set and recommend them highly: https://www.amazon.com/LeanTravel-Compression-Packing-Luggage-Organizers/dp/B074KQ4C85/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ots=1&ie=UTF8&linkCode=ll1&tag=tlcompressioncubesrcarhart0319-20&linkId=8bb91f103f8c64afe4bc7207cbf8e4d8&language=en_US&th=1

Easily lets  me pack way more than I used to be able to in the same amount of space.

 

 

Do your clothes really not get wrinkled when you use these? I have some items that I never take away with me anywhere precisely because they wrinkle so badly in my suitcase. 

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44 minutes ago, FionaMG said:

Do your clothes really not get wrinkled when you use these? I have some items that I never take away with me anywhere precisely because they wrinkle so badly in my suitcase. 

They mostly don’t (certain dress pants & shirts always present a problem!), but I’m a roller, so I think that helps. I lay my pants or shorts down first, then take my shirt and fold in half longways and lay that on top of the pants just below the belt line.  Undergarments/socks lay lengthwise along the top of the shirt. Fold down the belt line over everything else and roll down as tightly as possible. Rinse and repeat. Saves spaces and cuts down on wrinkles. I have to thank Uncle Sam for this one, seabags aren’t the most forgiving pieces of luggage to pack! ?

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  • 2 weeks later...

There are a few good videos showing ways to pack for a trip where clothing is less likely to be mussed or wrinkled…especially my sport coat and dress shirt for formal night. Also, I try to find clothing…in particular shirts and polos…that are made with wrinkle-resistant materials. Just unpack, shake out and hang up.

Luggage choice is also important. Try to find the right bags…roomy, light but strong, with wheels. Rain proof matters, too. So many times I have seen full luggage carts on the pier waiting to be loaded aboard while sitting in a sudden downpour. I have a large bag with four wheels and my carry-on attaches to the top so I can easily roll them with one hand. This is important for me as I always do walk-off at the end of the cruise. The carry-on also has wheels and an expandable handle. Luggage needs to be strong enough to endure being tossed around by luggage handlers, or being on the bottom of the pile on a cart. Remember, you get what you pay for. My friend’s bargain luggage had wheels which snapped off on day one and the zipper jammed. Lesson learned!

Sorry about veering off topic but packing was an easy segue to luggage choice. Have a great cruise!😎

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26 minutes ago, BrianB said:

Rain proof matters, too.

My friend’s bargain luggage had wheels which snapped off on day one and the zipper jammed.

Oh my goodness, yes! My SIL and her family's luggage got soaked through sitting on the tarmac at Miami airport in a downpour. Luckily they were on their way home because everything inside was wet. I admit to not having rainproof luggage but I do usually line my case with a plastic bin liner to help prevent the stuff inside getting wet.

One thing that I am very curious about is that sometimes when I am unpacking after a trip I find sand in my suitcase even if I haven't been near a beach. I just can't figure out how it gets in there.

As for wheels... well, I maintain that every set of luggage wheels comes with a notice attached saying "Bag handlers, please do your best to break me off"! 😆

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Packing cubes! Yes! Love them.

Another tip I have is colors... pack a color scheme, so that you can mix and match into several outfits. I use a website https://coolors.co/ (if that link doesn't work, it's coolors dot co) It works best on a computer, not cell or tablet, although the creator has been working on apps for phones, so maybe that works now. Anyway, if you have a favorite piece, say a patterned scarf, you can either play with the color generator or take a pick of the scarf and select colors from it. You'll end up with a palette. Bring items from that palette to coordinate. It makes for easy clothing choices. Here is a favorite palette of mine from the site:

Coolors palette

Happy traveling... and packing. 😉

~Debbie

 

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