Chick Guide Part II: What to Pack
19 November 2009 | Brisbane, Australia
Part II of
Picture: Your Author Hamming it up on Honeymoon!
Congratulations on packing for the last time for a long time. One of the best things about cruising around the world with your house is that you get to go a lot of different places without having to unpack and repack! However, deciding what to bring on a trip like this can be tough and intimidating but after the last year, I think I can help. Keep in mind that we had a never-ending summer on our trip through the Caribbean and South Pacific. Some places cooled off at night and a couple of islands very far south were even a bit chilly but overall we have been in HOT weather. Also please note that my Style Notes in italics are my own personal opinions are not meant to offend anyone. Take them or leave them as you wish.
Apparel & Accessories:
SWIMSUITS: I cannot over emphasize the importance of swimsuits. You will wear them almost every single day. Bring a variety of shapes, colors, solids and prints. If you do not like your body in a bathing suit, get over it. Remember in ten years you will look back and know how good you looked and you missed it! Also, always maintain deletion rights to any unflattering swimsuit pictures, it happens to the best of them.
Style Note: Tankinis are out. Choose from bikinis or one pieces.
SUNDRESSES: Tied with swimsuits is the importance of the sundress. Nothing is cooler, easier to throw on or makes you look way more put together than you feel. These are great for day or night, over a swimsuit or alone. Again, bring a variety of shapes, colors, solids and prints (long maxi dresses are great for windy times and don't worry you will get used to the dingy exit in dresses).
Style Note: Knit dresses (the soft material used in t-shirts) are best as they do not wrinkle and are easy to wash. Do not even think of bringing anything that must be dry cleaned or ironed, ridiculous!
SHORTS, TEES and TANKS: Bring several pairs of shorts, including at least one pair of longer Bermuda shorts for the few islands that insist on modesty. Tank tops are great as they are cooler but bring at least a couple of short sleeve tees or shirts that cover your shoulders, again for the modest islands.
OTHER CLOTHING NEEDED: Other items I would recommend are a couple of pairs of sweat pants, a few long sleeve shirts, 3-4 cardigans to wear over your sundresses for chilly nights, a light rain jacket, a pair of white jeans, a few swim cover ups and work out clothes. On a technical note, you will also need sailing specific foul weather gear (with any luck you won't need it much).
SHOES: You need a variety of flip-flops. You need casual flip-flops and dressy flip-flops. I recommend a nice metallic-goes-with-everything color for evening. You absolutely do NOT need a pair of heels. Personally, I think women in heels at a beach resort look ridiculous. Being 5'10" I might not understand others insistence on heels, so if you must bring a pair, bring only one. You will also need a pair of hiking shoes, tennis shoes and reef shoes. Typically you will be barefoot, especially on the boat where leaving any mark is highly frowned on by husbands.
Style Note: Crocs are an abomination to fashion. That being said, many if not most cruisers wear them. Personally, I would rather wear nails stuck in the bottom of my feet or hot coals taped to my heels but that is just me. Crocs offer comfort (so I hear) and a non-skid sole but I still think it is the fashion equivalent of strapping dish sponges to the bottom of your feet. Why not just wear pajama pants to dinner?
HATS: Very important, especially if you don't want to come back with a leather face. Baseball caps and visors work best. I started out with the large brimmed fashionable beach hat but this does not work on a boat. It will not stay on and is hard to store.
SUNGLASSES: Again, you will wear these constantly so bring a few pairs. You will need at least one "glamorous" pair and one sporty polarized pair for spotting reefs. Lightweight sunglasses work best as you wear them all day long.
JEWLERY: You just need a little. Bring your wedding & engagement rings but know they will sit in a box much of the time. It is not wise to sail with them as you might catch it on a sheet and lose an important finger, and besides, you will not want to wear them on islands were the per capita income is less than your annual Starbucks tab. A few pieces of costume jewelry are all you really need, a few necklaces, a bracelet or two and some earrings.
Style Note: Most islands will have their own jewelry designers offering amazing bobbles you can't find at home. The price is usually negotiable.
BAGS: You will need at least one large all-purpose beach bag. Other than that a few tote size day bags are great to have. Most likely you will stop carrying a handbag at night and just give your lipstick to your husband. I could never have imagined this at home but out here you just don't need that much.
Style note: don't bring any nice leather bags on the boat, they can mildew and be ruined. You won't need them, trust me.
TOILETRIES: Whatever products you cannot live without, bring a supply that will last your entire trip. Most likely you will never see it anywhere. If you color your hair, it is not a bad idea to get a box of color for emergencies. I once had to go five months without highlights and it was not an attractive situation!
MAKE-UP: You will wear less make-up than ever on the trip. During the day it is just too hot for make-up and at night most have a very natural look. Bring your favorites but I would not waste too much space with it.
HAIR CARE: Bring a hair dryer but know you probably won't use it very often. Most of the time it is too hot and it uses a ton of power. I have learned how to style my hair in the cabin fans and it works pretty well. You do not need a curling or straightening iron or anything like that. You just won't use it. Stretchy headbands, headscarves and ponytail holders are crucial. You will live with your hair up for much of the time.
DAMP RID: This is a must for any boat! You hang a bag of it in your closet and it keeps the inside from getting musty and wet. Your clothes will stay fresh. Bring a lot as you will not see it anywhere and it must be changed out bi-monthly.
Sorry for the long list but I wish I had this info as I prepared to leave. I hope it helps! E