Cruise Tips: Eight Packing Strategies

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Once your major wardrobe selections are complete and the suitcases are ready, devise a streamlined packing strategy. Here are some suggestions:

·  Make a packing list. Assemble everything on the list before starting to pack, and check items off when they're folded and placed in the suitcase.

·  Just in case is never the case. Resist the urge to toss items that you are almost positive you won't need.

·  Zipper-top storage bags---a packer's best friend. Undergarments and knits take only a third of the suitcase space they normally occupy when they're compressed in these bags.

·  Go mini. Plan ahead and shop for sample containers of favorite toiletries.

·  Guarantee a smooth sailing. To help keep garments wrinkle-free, leave them on their hangers, cover them with dry-cleaning bags, and fold over once before placing them in the suitcase.

·  Use the facilities... If the ship has self-service laundry facilities you can pack lighter and wash clothes midway through the cruise.

·  ...but remember life is short. Use the ship's laundry service instead. It's pricier, but who wants to spend valuable cruise time washing clothes?

·  Share space. Cross-pack your luggage with your travel companion. Chances are if a suitcase is missing, it'll turn up eventually. In the meantime, you'll both have fresh clothing.

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