The global question: how to pack smart for world cruises?

When choosing from the ocean of possible world cruises, where precisely to go among the seven continents and 200 countries is probably the biggest and most formidable decision. What to pack, however, is a whole other bag of tricks, one which will task you with critically thought-out selections that ultimately mark the distinction between a journey well-prepared and an extended game of “I wish I’d brought/not brought…”

And let’s not forget we are talking about more than one sea to cross – as in, spanning the globe – journeys that can range from 11 to 38 days to full world cruises spanning more than three months.

Imagine you are preparing for one of these weeks-long world cruises – the date approaches, your bags are empty – you must visualise what you will wear, need, and read through a variety of conditions, climates, countries, and ports of call. And unfortunately, the days of packing giant steamer trunks are long gone; most of us are forced to pack sensibly enough to comply with airline baggage restrictions that bookend the ocean journey.

When in doubt: go lightweight

Consequently, you are best off with a smart selection of sturdy, lightweight suitcases and carry-ons that are efficiently packed to maximise fairly limited space. The suitcases should be big enough to fit 10 days of clothing and small enough not to rack up oversized charges at the airline counters. Now, let’s consider what to do with that space.

packing for world cruises is a difficult task!

Aim for smart-casual

Try choosing clothing that can be considered casual luxury – items like skirts and sweater sets or slacks and button-up shirts rather than t-shirts and cut-off denim shorts. This way you’ll have multifunctional outfits that can transition smoothly from poolside to dining table. It’s a good idea to pack something for formal nights on board, but men can often rent a tux and ladies who bring comfortable heels – appropriate for both formal and casual occasions – are taking a step in the right direction of smart cruise packing.

smart casual cruise wear

Pack for all kinds of weather

A wide range of temperatures may accompany your voyage through the climate zones. To prepare for the ups and down, as well as the wet and the dry, pack light layers that can collectively produce warm protection, but individually can layer down so that you are comfortable when the temperatures rise. Instead of bringing a bulky raincoat, just stash a small umbrella in your carry on. Also make sure these layers can be mixed and matched in such a way as to adequately outfit your adventures around the ports of call.

don't forget the sunscreen

Ditch the hardbacks

Even if you are loyal to the old fashioned paper or hard-back novel, leave the heavy books at home and just take one tablet reader, like a Nook, Kindle or iPad. With the extra space and weight you save, you can fill your bag with the great stuff you find in exotic destinations around the globe.

It’s a lot to absorb, we know – but the good news is that during one of these adventurous world cruises you really have to unpack only once. Just make sure that what you do unpack is the stuff that’s practical, casual, comfortable and multifunctional, rather than those single-use (or never-use) bits and bobs that will have you asking, what was I thinking?!

e-books are a must on cruises

Image credits: packing for a cruise by, smart casual cruise wear by, don’t forget the suncream by,ebooks are a must on cruises by . Featured image: the world is in your hands on world cruises by Entrer dans le rêve used under CC license