What to pack when taking a world cruise or other extended journey

Packing your suitcase for a long weekend might sound easy but what about packing your bags for 100-plus days at sea or another extended journey? The experts at Cruise Specialists, which is North America’s leading world cruise travel agency, provide their advice on what to pack for that trip of a lifetime.

“One of the questions we are asked most often is, ‘What should I pack?’ Our specialists and hosts have been on countless journeys around the world and are leading experts when it comes to providing advice to ensure travelers’ dream trips are as carefree and enjoyable as possible,” said Annie Scrivanich, Senior Vice President, Cruise Specialists.

Below is a list of top tips from the experts at Cruise Specialists to prepare for a world cruise or extended vacation:

Pack for all kinds of weather

If you are going to be navigating through a variety of climates, from hot and humid to cooler, pack light layers that can collectively keep you warm when the temperatures dip. Avoid bringing a bulky raincoat. Instead, stash a small umbrella in your carry on or disposable ponchos.

Photo Courtesy: Visit Vallarta

Dressy attire

If your journey will require formal or dressy attire, choose shoes that can be repurposed with multiple outfits to save suitcase space and consider bringing a selection of accessories to create a different look and add an extra touch to outfits.

A collapsible sweater bag with shelves is useful to hang in a closet and hold several items that you don’t want to squish in drawers.

Proper paperwork

Before you leave home, make sure you have proper paperwork with you. First and foremost, do not forget your passport. Also, it is important to check on any visas that may be required for the countries you are visiting. It is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain those in advance.

Bring some copies of your passport and ID, along with charge cards and visas, just in case the originals get lost.


Make sure you have enough of your regular medications to last for the duration of your journey, along with some extra. Pack a small supply of your favorite over-the-counter medications such as pain relievers and cold medicines. Consider a small first aid kit with band-aids, antibiotic cream, allergy treatment, etc.

Buy travel insurance

Many healthcare plans do not provide medical coverage abroad and travel insurance also covers hotel stays, flights and other expenses when a trip is delayed or disrupted as well as lost luggage reimbursement.

Also, emergency medical evacuations from a foreign country typically cost tens of thousands of dollars. A travel insurance policy that provides air evacuation benefits can potentially be a life-saver.


Be sure to remember memory cards for your camera to hold all those vacation photographs.

A power strip to provide extra charging outlets can be extremely useful and don’t forget the power adapter if you’ll be traveling to places that don’t use the same voltage as your home country.

In addition to all the necessary chargers and cables for your devices, consider bringing a small portable power bank for your cell phone that can easily fit in a purse, backpack or pocket.

A night light can be handy to help you find your way around unfamiliar accommodations at night.

Bring your own water bottle

Staying hydrated is very important and bringing a reusable water bottle can save money and ensure you’ve got water available when you need it. It’s important, though, when traveling to other countries, to ensure that the water source you are using is deemed safe. When on a cruise, you can simply fill it up before leaving the ship.

Consider a house sitter

Consider arranging a house sitter to look after your home while you are away or simply having someone pass by and check in on your property from time to time.

Other things to consider

Depending on your cell phone service provider’s international roaming charges, it may be best to bring along an international calling card to keep those calls home more affordable.

A small, framed picture of loved ones can bring a sense of home to your temporary accommodations.

Arrange for a courier service to pick up your bags to deliver them to the ship and at the end of the voyage send them home.

“It might seem a bit overwhelming thinking about all of the things you need to do and pack before an around-the-world vacation,” said John Lovell, CTC, President of Travel Leaders Network and Leisure Group.