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  • Writer's pictureCharlotte Garbutt

What should I pack for a cruise?

Updated: Mar 27

A fun-packed holiday!

Well actually I don’t know whether it will be fun packed as we haven’t been yet! It’s been fun packing though… and packing for my holiday is the topic for today’s blog.

This will be our first trip abroad since before the start of the Covid pandemic. As a family, we’ve been risk-averse and have erred on the side of caution and, as the self-proclaimed Hand Sanitiser Queen, tubes of hand sanitiser cream have been packed – the gels had dried out my hands to the extent that I can’t wear my wedding or engagement rings.

As it’s a cruise, we don’t have the usual airline luggage restrictions, but as there will be three adults in the most modest accommodation the ship has, I’m still being mindful of packing with that in mind, even if ‘packing light’ would be a slight stretch of the imagination! Those of you who know me well – from real life or Instagram – will be wondering how many bags I’ll be taking… and with less than 24 hours before we leave home, that’s still up for debate! Colour coordination, a pop of colour, or often head-to-toe colour are all my trademarks. I’ll be packing a selection of cross-body bags in different colours. These will be perfect for hands-free sight-seeing and offer a little more security than a shoulder bag. The detachable straps also afford flexibility as I have the cunning plan of removing them in the evenings to create clutch bags.

There are two formal-dress nights during our week’s cruise to Vigo, Porto, Lisbon and St Peter’s Port, Guernsey. Whilst it was tempting to buy myself a beautiful dress or two, I’ll be re-wearing the two dresses I wore for our two previous cruises. One of these was a day dress from Miss Selfridges which is evening-gown length on 5’1” little me. The other is from the Tammy Girl range and I bought it 17 or so years ago. It’s marked Age 12 and my menopausal 56-year-old body will need assisting into it along with a sharp intake of breath! It’s important to me in terms of the financial impact on the family budget and the impact on the planet not to buy new things with a high cost per wear (CPW). In fact, the dress – that cost me about £15 in 2008 – has a comparatively very low CPW owing to the anniversaries, hen parties and cruises I’ve worn it for over many years.

I did buy two brand-new items just for the holiday: two one-piece swimming costumes. My collection of well-worn bikinis tucked away in the part of the wardrobe nearest to Narnia (and unsuitable for its snowy climate!) were looking even sadder and more worn than the body they were bought for, so it was time to restock. The plain black and plain blue swimsuits will work well as tops for day or evening, so should be more flexible than a two-piece.

Of course, there will be a few Øst London pieces making the journey with us. I’ve also got some second-hand items, including my favourite charity shop skirt, a sundress from more sustainable cotton and other separates like my Lucy & Yak skirt. I’ve only recently discovered Lucy & Yak. They have a fun backstory (Yak is a camper van!) and laudable sustainability credentials – oh and obviously some fabulous clothes! I have my eye on the leopard print skirt for the autumn which will go with all my coloured jumpers and biker jackets.

So wish me luck… I’ll either have packed too much or too little!

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Aug 25, 2023

Have a lovely holiday, and thanks for the Lucy & Yak tip!! 😁

Charlotte Garbutt
Charlotte Garbutt
Aug 26, 2023
Replying to

Thank you! I saw someone in the service station loos wearing L&Y dungarees!

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