When going on holidays, you may be like me and start packing about a week before.

I drag out my suit-case, put it on the bed in the spare room and start filling it up with clothes and accessories that I know I will need. I mean you don’t want to be caught short do you?

But… little by little I always end up with way too much!
So, let’s go about this methodically with 6 easy steps so you don’t end up paying for excess baggage. Also a lesson I learnt on my recent cruise holiday where I may have over-packed just a bit!!

1. DRESS CODES
Know how many formal nights you will have on the ship so you can pack accordingly. And remember if formal is not for you, you don’t have to do it. There are many alternative and casual eating places on board the ship.

2. COLOUR THEME
Pack clothing that will colour coordinate, add some necklaces or scarves so you can mix and match to get the most outfits possible out of what you have. Believe me your shipmates won’t notice or even care if you wear an outfit more than once.

3. START WITH YOUR SHOES
Do you really need 4 pair of heels and 4 pair of sandals? Probably not, 2 pair of heels and 2 pair of sandals, one light and one dark each is ideal. Add 1 pair of walking or jogging shoes and that should do it.   Oh, don’t forget the socks for the joggers.

4. SEPARATE TOPS AND BOTTOMS
Packing cells pinkA great idea for well-organized packing is packing cells. I always use them and they help keep your case from looking like a 15 year old’s bedroom. One cell for your tops and one cell for your bottoms. Another for your underwear. Actually you could have as many cells as your like, but 3 or 4 should be enough. And if you roll your clothes they will take up less space. When unpacking in your cabin, just move each cell to a drawer or shelf. It’s that easy.

5. BE PREPARED
You never know what the weather will do so pack a lightweight umbrella and poncho in case of rain.
And a lightweight jacket or wrap is always a good idea for strolling around the deck.

6. RECYCLE
If you have a laundry on-board then think about doing it yourself. It’s much cheaper than sending it off with your cabin steward and this way you can pack light and recycle your clothes. The best thing is you don’t end up with a pile of washing to do when you arrive home.

Have fun on your cruise!!

About Julie Shaw