Packing Tips – How to Pack Three Months of Your Life into a Carry-On
Who knows more about packing for an unpredictable trip around the world than a modern, fashion-loving, captain of a cruise ship? If you’re struggling just with the thought of packing for a week, try packing for three months. We sat down with Celebrity Summit’s Captain Kate McCue as she explained how she packs three months of her life into a simple carry-on.
What Mistake Do People Make When Packing?
Don’t over think it! Don’t assume that you need a different outfit/pair or shoes/etc. for everyday. Look at your day-to-day wardrobe, see what you feel comfortable in and what makes you feel special. Narrow down the key pieces and find a way to combine them for the best result! It’s never a good idea to bring a brand new pair of shoes to “break in” on your vacation, unless you packed Band-Aids!
What Are The Advantages Of Packing Light Even If You Don’t Have Luggage Restrictions on Board?
It’s less stress and much quicker. Traveling with only a carry-on ensures that your bag will never be lost at an airport. No need to wait at an airport carousel hoping your luggage pops out before the ship leaves. All of your essentials are always within reach and right there when you need them.
What is Some Advice For Travelers On How/What to Pack In a Carry-on For Their Vacation?
I have learned the hard way that there are two kinds of luggage: “carry-on” and “lost.” For that reason, I only carry-on. Honestly, I can’t remember the last time I checked a bag. For your main carry-on, go for the soft cases because some overheads can be tricky and you need the option to squeeze round peg into a square hole! For a personal item, try to find a two-in-one bag. My “personal item” is a Lululemon backpack which has a zip on/off front purse so I can use the bag/purse as one piece until I get to where I am going and then it’s bag or purse. Another trick is to slightly over layer for the flight because the temperatures fluctuate so much on a plane and it will save you room in your luggage.
What Do You Pack in a Carry-on For Three Months at Sea?
My philosophy is don’t over think it. Keep it simple and if there is something I am missing I can always find it or a good alternative when I get to where I am going. The latest challenge was going from the autumn Canada/New England itinerary to the warmth of the Caribbean since I love to explore the ports of call. I needed diverse pieces to use in both climates. So, I carry tried and true pieces that are light and can be layered, mixed and matched. “Reversible” is perfect to get more looks out of one piece. If I have to buy something, I look at it like a potential souvenir from that place for me or someone else.
What’s in My Bag:
Everyone who knows me knows that I love shoes. But believe it or not, I actually manage to bring five pairs with me on board. I take what I call my 5 standard “S” shoes — sexy, safe, sweat-worthy, sand-ready and a sensible slip-on pair of shoes:
- Safe(ty First): Lucky Brand black ballet flats
- Sexy: My black patent leather platform Louboutin
- Sweat-Worthy: Nike Free 5.0 trainers
- Sand-Ready: Nude Haviana flip flops
- Sensible Slip-Ons: Red Toms
In Terms of Clothing, Reversible Reigns.
- Lululemon down jacket, vest, dress, swim suit can all be worn inside out and some even front to back.
- Work out clothes.
- 3 pairs of pants that include: 1 pair of black Betabrand dress pants/yoga pants — from office to workout. Skinny jeans are a necessity. I found out they are the easiest to maneuver when I was in China. You don’t have to worry about what they brush against or touch while out and about or while changing. Black Lululemon Leggings and a scarf which can double as a sarong… Came in handy from Fiji to Istanbul, and I can also use it as a blanket on the plane.
My Must-Have Travel Accessories:
• Philip Stein watch, with dual time zone face
• Noise-canceling headphones, because not everyone wants to hear my music and I don’t want to necessarily hear theirs
• Travel pillow
• Ear plugs, in case someone next to me doesn’t have noise canceling headphones
• Standard jewelry pieces are always packed for travel. (Plain gold diamond studs, Alex and Ani bangles, gold ship wheel necklace, bling worthy Swarovski dangle earrings)
• Gummy bears and almonds are my go-to snack packs
• Converted money, especially in low denominations for tips, transportation and snacks
• Electronics: iPad, GoPro, cell phone
• Chargers & adapters
• Extra Photo copy of passport and drivers license
• A book. Hard copy. I am old school like that. I like to feel the pages
• Marbles for my marble mission
• One thing you must take is a smile
What Are Some Things That You Bring That Helps You From Being Away From Home For So Long?
There is a reason why they are called “smart phones.” It’s a one-stop shop that I can’t travel without. It’s not just a communication tool. It is what allows me to see my husband 8,000 miles away on another ship thanks to the Xcelerate internet onboard. It’s access to my family just a FaceTime away. It’s my music library. It’s access to my Instagram account, which serves as my electronic photo album of my favorite people, places, and adventures. It’s my notepad, my number cruncher, my entertainment center, all wrapped up in one.
Follow Captain Kate’s journey aboard Celebrity Summit on Instagram: @CaptainKateMcCue
Check out the Cruise Vacations Blog here
Attend the Travel & Adventure Show on January 11-12, 2017 to book the cruise of a lifetime with Celebrity Cruises!