Tuesday, December 11, 2018

What to Wear on a Cruise

Packing for a cruise can be a bit daunting.  You will need casual wear for days and dressy or formal wear for evenings.  Most cruise lines have relaxed their dress code but still require certain attire for the main dining room and special events.

When I first began cruising this was a big concern for me as my style is much more casual.  I don't own any formal wear and I only take 1 small carry-on bag when I travel, so I had to do some research on what would be appropriate.

What I discovered is that casual resort wear is perfect for days at sea or in port and in the evening a nice cocktail dress or dressy slacks and top are more than acceptable.  You will still see people dressed in gowns and tuxedos but I haven't been on a ship that requires it.  Also, there are so many different dining options that don't have a specific dress code and you can always order room service and have dinner on your balcony.

My standard cruise packing consists of - 2 or 3 bottoms usually black slacks/skirts/capris, 5 or 6 print tops, 1 or 2 dresses, scarf, lightweight jacket or sweater, tennis shoes, dressy sandals or flats.  I make sure everything is color coordinated so I can mix and match to make several different outfits.

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I love this warm, lightweight jacket for day trips on cooler days.

This sweater is perfect for cool evenings on deck.

Ultimate Travel Bags for Women

Disclosure:  Please note that this post contains Amazon Affiliate links.  If you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link, I will earn a small commission, at no cost to you.  I am recommending these products because I have used and enjoyed them on my travels.  All opinions are my own.

I travel for work and for pleasure, so my bags are always packed.  I want to be ready at a moment’s notice to go anywhere.  I keep a separate supply of my travel essentials so all I need to do is add clothes and go.  

It doesn't matter if it is a short day trip, overnight at my daughters, weekend with friends, or a month-long holiday, I take the same basic supplies and always have everything I need.
Every great journey begins with a bag

You must have the proper luggage for each type of trip you are taking.

For my short trips and overnighters, I use this  Travel Tote.  It is a fantastic carry-all for planes, trains and automobiles.  It has multiple zippered pockets to help me stay organized, big roomy interior and a great luggage handle sleeve so it doesn't slide around when I put it on my other bags.  If I only carry one bag, it is this one, I love it!

Instead of carrying a full size handbag, I like to use a small CrossBody Bag that easily tucks away under my jacket or sweater.

Next is this fantastic High Sierra Rolling Backpack.  It is by far one of the best bags I've ever used.  I love how lightweight it is but still has plenty of room for storage.  The first time I purchased this was after the handle and wheel broke on my bag while I was traveling in Europe.  Getting around on the beautiful cobblestone streets was quite a challenge.  Even fully loaded, this backpack is light enough for me to carry easily.  I like that it opens like a suitcase and has a double handle to secure my Travel Tote

I also keep this great Folding Day/Backpack with me.  It’s great for day trips or as an additional bag for those times when I need some extra space.  It is ultra-lightweight and folds to the size of a large envelope.  

Last but not least is this spacious, easy to maneuver bag.  It is the largest bag I have but is small enough to use as a carry-on.

These bags are all lightweight and versatile for all my needs.  I have taken them on longer trips and not had any issues at all.  They are outstanding and I don't travel without them!

Monday, December 3, 2018

Little Things Make a Big Difference

I had a wonderful conversation with a man on my flight to Europe recently.  We started talking about where we were going and of course as you talk with fellow travelers the discussion almost always turns to where you have been and what you have encountered along the way.

The experience doesn't have to be extreme for you to develop an overall impression of the place you are visiting.  It reminds me of the old adage - you only get one chance to make a good first impression.  That is certainly true for the international travel and hospitality industry. 

This man had traveled from Germany to the US to give a lecture at a medical conference that was being held at the hotel where he was staying.  After arriving very late at night from his international flight he called room service to have a beer delivered to his room and was told he would have to wait over an hour.  After almost 2 hours and still no drink he went downstairs and collected it himself.  Just that one small request was all it took for this to be an unpleasant experience for him, so much so that he does not stay with that particular hotel brand when he travels and always shares that experience with other people he talks to. 

Anyone who travels on a regular basis knows that it is the little things that can really make a difference - for me it is having food and drink available at off hours.  There isn't anything better than arriving after a long flight and checking into my room to find 2 bottles of water with a lovely assortment of candy, nuts and sometimes even cheese and fruit.  If there is a mini bar or drinks available that is fantastic.  It really sets the tone for my trip be it business or pleasure.

While I understand and truly appreciate getting "special" treatment for being a member of loyalty programs it is even more important to see what effort you make when I am just the average paying customer.  If I can get something to drink and a snack before I go to sleep chances are I'll stay with you again and again. 

Master Packing List for Holiday Travel

Before every trip I print a copy of this list and modify it for climate, duration etc. but as of yet I haven't forgotten anything major without ever checking my bags.  For me, traveling light is critical for an easy, carefree journey and I hope this will help you as well.


ID (Driver License)
Bath Soap/Gel
Debit & Credit Card
T Shirts
Dental Floss
Back Pack
Tank Tops
Water Bottle
Body Lotion
Sunglasses w/strap
Hair Spray
Face Cream
Personal Door Lock
Hair Brush
Hair Dryer
Tennis Shoes
Personal Hygiene Supplies
Sleep/Allergy Tablets
Imodium, Dramamine
Cell Phone & Charger
AC Int'l Adapter
Travel Space Bags
Ginger Tea