An Organized Bon Voyage

 

Travel for me is an easy thing to do…. when I am by myself. If things go wrong I just go with the flow and just brush it aside. But when I am planning a trip for many of us and spending lots of money it adds to the pressure, so I work really hard to make sure that I have every contingency taken into account. It might be that analytical lawyer side of me where I play worst case scenario and make sure that I am ready for anything. So in the process of planning a cruise for 6 of us I learned a few things along the way. I asked for advice from my Facebook friends and I used some travel advice from several well traveled friends and I think I have a comprehensive list.

 

1. Arrive to your destination a day before your cruise departs. With weather and plane delays you just never know what can happen. You are not in control and with so many elements at play, you will want the time buffer. In our case we flew on two different airlines and all of us were delayed for different mechanical and staffing issues causing all of us to come in 5 hours later.

 

2. Pack snacks. Nothing can calm a frustrated and tired person more than a good snack. Flights get long and time zones destroy your inner clock. I usually always have peanut m & m’s and some kind of protein bar with me. This time I took two shoe boxes full of snacks and I didn’t have to worry about the “hangries” {hungry + angry.}

 

3. Motion sickness meds can be your friend. I brought plenty of motion sickness meds, plus sea bands that apply pressure to points on your wrist to take away nausea. Add in some ginger flavored candy to help settle an upset tummy, and I was set!

 

4. Waterproof cell phone case or waterproof cameras. You will not want to miss what you are experiencing and having a camera at your disposal will be worth it. I used a waterproof pouch for my cell phone that allowed me to take my phone in the water with me. If I was smart I would have brought the cord with to hang it around my neck to have my sea pass in it as I needed that at all times and I didn’t have pockets in my swim suit.

 

5. Hanging toiletry bag for the bathroom. Space is limited on cruise ships and nowhere is that more clear than in the bathroom. Being able to hang my bag from a hook and grab everything as I needed it saved precious counter space.

 

6. Pens and post it notes. Because we were in two separate cabins and texting was not an option, being able to leave each other notes became a necessity. It was also great to leave reminders on the door in the morning so I remembered to grab the sunscreen.

 

7. Look for excursions that aren’t with your cruise line. As long as you find reputable businesses you can save money and often are able to do things in smaller groups. We booked one with our cruise line and the rest were with another travel site. I carefully read reviews and made our selections.

 

8. Bring a variety of sunscreens. My boys hate lotion, so I brought lots of the spray sunscreen. But what happened was it was so windy that little if any made it on their skin and the sunburns are the proof of that. I kept reapplying my lotion and only burned on my back, where I might add my husband was in charge of applying the sunscreen. My middle son told me that if I had told him how close to the equator we were he would have applied more sunscreen. Now he has funny patterns on his back where the hit and miss sun screen spray was applied. Lesson learned for him!

 

9. Bring a multi strip power cord. We found two plug ins in our room and while it worked for my husband and I it did not work for our kids. A multi strip would have allowed everyone to get a full charge before heading off the ship.

 

10. Nail clippers and small scissors. We had random things we needed to cut and a scissor is not usually something I travel with, it is now however! A nail clipper is something I always have and it was missing on this trip, and we needed it!

 

11. Travel water bottles and flavor packets. If you are not buying any of the expensive beverage packages you will want to make sure that you are drinking plenty of water. A travel water bottle that you can refill is the perfect fix. Even bring some flavored water packets along to flavor the water for some variety. Some cruise lines allow you to bring cases of water on board, check with yours ahead of time to see if this is allowed. But personally, I would not want to be hauling a case of water on to a ship with all of my other things.

 

12. Walkie talkies. We didn’t bring these and we wish we had. We saw other people using them. But what we did was use the good old fashioned face to face communication methods like, meet me at the dinning room at 4:00.

 

13. Well stocked first aid kit. I had every size of band aid, travel tissues, pain reliever, aloe with pain killer, aloe lotion and with the flu out there I had cold and flu remedies as well.  And yes we used everything.

 

14. Travel laundry items. I usually have a tide to go pen and a small container of liquid laundry detergent. All of which was used. Doing a quick soak and wash of the clothes in the bathroom sink was a way to save the day!

 

15. Swim shoes or sandals that can get wet. Your feet will thank you as you walk over rocks to get into the water. I still have a mark on the arch of my foot where I stepped on a rock.

 

16. Alarm clock. I didn’t need this so much for the alarm, as I used my phone for that. However, I did wake up and wonder what time it was. The only way I knew the time was to walk across the room and look at my phone.

 

17. Call your travel agent before you go and check on any price changes. Often if the price has dropped, you can receive on ship credit which in the case of my cousin saved her $1,000. We weren’t so lucky, but I did call and check just in case.

 

To Joyful, Simplified Organizing,

MS. Simplicity

 

 

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