Here at Scrubba we're put together the ultimate, and we mean ULTIMATE, packing list and tips with the help of a few of our favourite travel bloggers. We've covered everything from, a curated packing list, managing your money while travelling, how to pack efficiently, our favourite travel tech and accessories and a few helpful questions to ask yourself before, during and after your packing process. Hopefully we can make the dreaded task of packing a whole lot easier.
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Going on a cruise and not sure what to pack? Want to make sure that you'll have everything you'll need without carrying tons of luggage around and save on the hidden costs of carrying too much or too little?
Packing light and taking along only what you’ll need will save you money and hassle in the long run. Your overall trip will most likely include transits to and from your dock with flights and other ground transport. You don’t want to be dragging excess stuff around with you along the way, paying exorbitant prices for things you left behind or be hit with excess baggage fees at the airport before you even start your vacation.
Carefully planning and choosing your wardrobe wisely is imperative, as most ships require strict dress code adherence, charge an arm and leg for laundry services and if you find yourself having to buy stuff on-board because you didn’t pack it, prices at sea might shock you.
Daytime on board
Apart from when lounging by the pool or working out in the gym, short shorts, singlets and boardies are a no no. During the day, ladies should wear casual longer-length shorts, capri pants, slacks, jeans, casual skirts and dresses for indoor activities while guys can get by with khaki shorts and trousers, jeans, sports shirt or nice tee-shirt.
Appropriate attire will depend on what activities you have planned. If you’re heading out for a paddle, snorkelling, kayaking or other adventure, then casual clothing and swimwear is appropriate, however if you’re opting to explore the port town, sticking to the daytime on board dress code would be respectfully appreciated by local restaurants and shops.
Themed dress codes generally apply after 6pm on-board. These include formal and semi-formal evenings and some casual. The definition of ‘formal’ varies, but ladies can usually get by with something elegant or classy and not necessarily flashy. For men, some vessels have on-board tuxedo hire if the occasion so inspires, however bringing at least one of your own suit and ties will ensure you can comfortably scrub up without too much hassle and it is likely that you will need to. Dress code enforcement can sometimes be lax during the day, but it’s not unheard of to get turned away from restaurants and public rooms on-board during evening hours for inappropriate attire.
Though we’d all love to imagine a full schedule of perfect weather, it’s important to be prepared for an unanticipated splash of rain or breeze. Make sure to bring at least one jacket or sweater and, if required for your destination, gloves, scarf and hat. Packing a few light layers that can be mixed and matched rather than one bulky layer is a good way to maintain versatility in your wardrobe.
Shoes can take up a huge amount of bulk and weight in your luggage, so try to choose wisely, packing one pair of evening shoes than can be worn with all of your formal wear, one pair of sandals that can be worn casually, by the pool or walking around and one pair of sneaker for gym and active days that include lots of walking, etc.
Many cruise liners do not offer self-serve washing facilities and for those that do, you're likely to be spending a good chuck of your holiday time waiting in lines for access. Besides, do you really want to be carrying pockets full of change around on your cruise for the laundry slot machine?
Most liners do provide full laundry services, however this will cost you. Some services require that you pay an extra cost anywhere upwards of $120-200 upfront before you board in order to access laundry services while others operate on a pay-as-you-go system in which you pay for each item you have laundered. Larger items and garments made from delicate fabrics such as wool or silk are more expensive.
Packing a Scrubba wash bag can save you money, time and hassle on your cruise trip (or any trip for that matter). Not only will washing your clothes on-board be convenient and free, but you won’t need to pack as much and be able to reduce your overall luggage, avoiding excess baggage fees in transit (also see Airlines checking out on free check-ins and Heavy restrictions on heavy packing).
Furthermore, the Scrubba wash bag is gentle yet effective enough to use on even your most delicate items, including woolens, silks and formal wear. Just be careful about what detergents you use, making sure to use something appropriate for your fabrics. Click here to see our recommendations.
For information on specific dress codes for particular cruise liners, click here to visit Cruise Line Dress Codes by Cruisecritic.com.
The trend towards increased baggage fees continues with U.S. airliner JetBlue canning free check-ins.
American airliner JetBlue has announced major changes to their previously lenient and flexible baggage rules in response to calls from shareholders to boost revenue.
The once consumer-oriented airline seems to have adopted a more commercial-based philosophy with increased baggage fees and reduced leg room due to extra seats being installed, enabling more passengers on-board per flight, which will inevitably result in tighter restrictions in carry-on luggage.
Prior to new changes, the airline had gained increasing popularity for its customer service, offering free snacks, drinks, in-flight entertainment and generous baggage allowances, however new fee structures means no more freebees when it comes to checked luggage. As of 2015, JetBlue customers will have the option of choosing from one of 3 types of fares: budget, mid-range or premium. The budget fare will exclude any checked bags, allowing for carry-on luggage only while the mid-range fare covers a carry-on and 1 check-in and the premium fare buys 2 check-ins and some extra loyalty points. Just how much these fares will cost has not yet been released.
JetBlue has assured that passengers will still enjoy complimentary drinks, snacks and entertainment included in all fares.
JetBlue is one of the last of the American airlines to jump on board the trend towards increased baggage fees and other airlines are sure to follow. Virgin America and Frontier airlines reduced free perks and increased baggage pricing earlier this year.
Many major airlines in Asia, Australia, Europe and the Middle East already have strict baggage allowance policies, including carry-on weight restrictions.
Want to avoid extra baggage? Pack a Scrubba wash bag. It’ll save you time and money. You won't have to pay for excess luggage and you'll get to walk straight through the arrival gates and out the door while other passengers hang around waiting for their extra baggage.
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Airlines are pulling in the waist line on overweight carry-ons by introducing heavy restrictions on heavy packing.
Come November 25th, Jetstar Australia will drop it's carry-on luggage weight allowance to 7kg. This is a 30% reduction from Jetstar's previous allowance of 10kg, bringing the airline's cabin baggage weight regulations in line with it's domestic competitors Qantas and Virgin as well as several international airlines, including Air Asia, Air New Zealand, Comair, Emirates, Cathay Pacific and many others. Some airlines are even stricter, such as Sun-Air with a carry-on allowance of only 6kg.
Jetstar and Virgin Australia have also announced plans for enforcing new restrictions with baggage officers posted at departure gates specifically dedicated to monitoring luggage being carried to planes. Attempting to board with extra baggage might see travelers slumped with stiff fees upwards of $50 or more or see overweight hand luggage sent down the check-in belt and charged as checked bags.
With feedback from many passengers being positive about the crack-down against excess cabin baggage, more airlines are sure to follow the trend in reduced baggage allowances. Comments from travelers on social media have supported the crack-downs, expressing discomfort and frustration when overloaders take up too much overhead and underfoot space.
To date, airlines in the United States have not applied such strict rules around cabin baggage allowances, however it's easy to get caught out when traveling internationally, as connecting flights in other countries may very well be one of the many other airlines enforcing tighter restrictions and travelers might find themselves paying unexpected fees.
In light of new restrictions, Jetstar has reduced its checked luggage fees to encourage travelers to check their extra weight in. So now travelers can expect to pay slightly less for each check-in bag, but might find they have to check more in due to reduced carry-on allowances.
The best way to reduce your overall luggage is to pack fewer clothes and plan for a few laundry washes during your trip. So why not pack a Scrubba wash bag? It only weights 145g (5oz) and folds up small enough to fit in your pocket.
Click here for more practical tips on how to reduce your carry-on weight at the gate.
For information on general baggage fees across major international airlines, click on Smarter Travel's ULTIMATE GUIDE TO AIRLINE FEES.
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