Luggage, Travel, Vacation

The Carry-On Challenge: How to Pack Light Every Time (PT 2)


Challenge No. 2: A Week on a Cruise Ship

Shorts, bathing suits and tank tops are easy enough to pack, but the most common sticking point for cruisers is formal night. How can you get a tux or an opulent ball gown into that teeny little carry-on?

Luckily, these days you don’t really have to. Many cruisers opt to skip formal night altogether and head to the buffet or order room service instead. But if getting gussied up for formal night is as much a part of your dream cruise as ocean breezes and fruity cocktails, you’ve got options. Men can pay to rent a tuxedo on some ships if they want to dress to the nines — but on many cruise lines you can get by with nice slacks and a jacket (a tie is preferred, and easy to squeeze into a carry-on). Bring multiple ties to change your look if there’s more than one formal night.

For the ladies, think little black dress. If there are a couple of formal nights on your cruise, save space by wearing the same dress twice with different scarves, shawls, jewelry or other accessories. Choose shoes that can also go with sundresses or other less formal outfits at dinner the rest of the week.

“Bring tops that can be dressed up or down. I change into a fresh top for dinner that I pair with a skirt, and the next day I re-wear the top (still mostly clean) out touring in port. That way, I’m not bringing two entirely separate outfits for each day. And I re-wear the skirts, shorts, slacks, etc. with different tops throughout the cruise. Travel-size Febreze or similar is great when you want to re-wear a not-all-that-dirty piece again.”