Gear Up:Purchase airport friendly gear such as slip-on shoes, clear zip-shut sundries bags and TSA-friendly laptop cases to help speed you through security.
Before you leave home Check Flight Status: Most airlines will text you flight status updates if you sign up on their websites, and sites like FlightStats.com and TripIt.com will do the same by text, on the web and through smartphone apps.
Gather your clothes: Gather all the garments you may need on your trip, then edit down your choices so you don’t overpack—a common mistake. Put back at least half of the items you think you need.
Roll your clothes: Tightly roll softer, wrinkle-resistant garments, like T-shirts and cotton pants, and place them along the base of the bag. Jeans should be rolled, too.
Place folded items on top Next: fold stiffer and/or wrinkle-prone garments like starched cotton shirts and blazers. Layer these folded items over the rolled clothes.
Drape longer pieces like pants and skirts Fold longer items in half: filling the length of the bag with them, alternating waists with hems at the ends.
Add smaller items: Look for nooks and crannies to fill with smaller items, like bras and socks.
Line suitcase with belts: Snake belts around the perimeter of the bag. Then cover the whole pile with a dry-cleaning bag. Thanks to the bag’s slippery surface, folded clothes won’t stay in one place long enough for creases to set.
Choose shoes wisely: Pick three pairs of shoes, like a casual sandal or loafer, sneakers, and an evening shoe –go for styles that can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Wear the heaviest pair en route and pack the others along the sides of your suitcase in resealable bags.
Pack your jewelry: Stow inexpensive jewelry in a seven-day plastic pillbox or a 35-millimeter film canister. Wear any fine jewelry en route to ensure it won’t get lost or stolen.
Do the math on the drink packages: A lot of cruise ships offer drink packages, which sound like a nice, worry-free way to enjoy yourself while onboard
Pack everything you need for your first day in your carry on:The cruise company will generally pick up your checked luggage and bring it right to the ship for you. Convenient, except that you might not get your bag back until late in the evening, so make sure you have a change of clothes, swim suit, prescriptions and any other essentials in your carry on.
Prepare for tight quarters: If you didn’t spring for a suite, you might be surprised at how compact the showers are.
The specialty restaurants are often worth it: Most cruise lines have specialty restaurant that require a slight upcharge of $25–$35 per person
Opt for the late seating: Pick the late seating because many of the excursions won’t get you back in time for the early seating.
Take the excursions: As soon as you book, check out which excursions the cruise line offers
Expect deck chairs to be in high demand While the ship’s at sea: there’s not much to do so everybody tries to stake a claim in the seats closest to the pool.
Bring your own pharmacy: Sunscreen, constipation/diarrhea medication, motion sickness, allergies… Bring all of these medications from home because they cost about 10 times more in the cruise ship’s shop.
Prevent seasickness before it starts: Book a room toward the center of the ship, preferably with a porthole or balcony.
Book your spa package immediately: If interested in getting a spa treatment onboard, book it right away because they fill up quickly.
What to wear: The look on ships tends to be pretty casual, but before you leave, you’ll get a dress code for each night: Expect at least one formal night and one smart-casual night.
Keep your wi-fi expectations in check: Although cruise lines advertise onboard wi-fi, do not expect the same speed or reliable connection that you have at home
Don’t over tip: On many cruise lines, automatic gratuity for your stateroom attendant is built into your bill.
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