Well, we would never have guessed it but we’re becoming quite the cruisers. 😉 We’re off again with Princess cruises on a Mediterranean cruise through Europe. We are over the moon excited, as visiting Europe has been a dream of ours for as long as we could remember. (Dancing under the stars in Rome, was one of the things we wrote on the “Before I Die…” wall in San Diego a while back. It may sound corny, but it’s true.) We will be stopping in Spain, Great Britain, France, and Italy. We can’t wait! We leave Phoenix today and head to Philly where we will catch our connecting flight to Barcelona. When speaking about the trip and our port of call in Barcelona to friends and family, this song from the Vicky Cristina Barcelona soundtrack kept popping into our heads and playing over and over. Man, if only all the music from Woody Allen’s films could be playing as we stroll through the streets in Europe. We joked about creating a playlist to listen to while exploring each city. It’s a rather romanticized way to imagine the trip, but we can’t help but feel like it would be the optimal way to experience these places for the first time together. 😉
With each new trip, comes a little more knowledge on how to pack smarter for time away from home. We packed early this time (we know we couldn’t believe it ourselves), and boy did it make things easier. Packing light is always something we’ve aspired to do, but somehow is harder than it sounds. We used to begin packing and before we knew it, we had multiple pairs of shoes, random accessories, and bulky items. We’ll be on an 8-day cruise and then stopping in New York to visit some friends and family before heading back to Phoenix, so wanted to make sure we kept our luggage to a minimum while still bringing all the essentials. Here’s a few tips and tricks we’ve picked up for packing lately…
It’s been a while since we’ve updated our luggage and we are so happy we finally got our hands on these new carry-ons from Away. We’ve been lusting after them for a while, and now we are pretty excited to take them for a spin! (When you start swooning over things like luggage, a shiny washer and dryer, and hey — maybe even a new cutting board, that doesn’t mean you’re getting old, right? 😉 ) Anyway, packing smart should to start with the actual luggage. These are pretty light, which is a major plus when lifting them up in the plane’s overhead compartment and have several different compartments to keep everything from intimates to shoes, to even dirty laundry all separate and in their place. This makes our maybe-just-a-little-too-neat (borderline anal) personalities very happy. They have four wheels and swivel in every direction, which is a major step up from our old carry-ons. It may sound like an obvious feature to look for when choosing a carry-on, but we’ve been distracted in the past with cute duffles, only to get through security feeling like our arms were gonna fall off. Lastly and maybe one of our favorite features, they have built-in chargers and USB ports. Can you say, “game changer”?
PACK VERSATILE ITEMS
Packing versatile items has been so helpful when traveling. It may take a little longer to mentally organize outfits and what pieces can go with what, but in the end we feel like this saves so much space and time. Packing versatile bottoms like black or dark blue denim that can be casual for day and dressed up for dinner at night is always a must in our luggage. For pieces that are more specific like a dress or jumpsuit, change up your shoes and accessories to go from day to night. We found ourselves doing this several times on our last cruise, even though we packed multiple outfits. Done packing? Now think about what you can take out of your luggage. Unless you absolutely love the water, one bathing suit will work just fine. We used to pack multiple, but we would find ourselves going to the pool or beach once a day for a quick dip (sometimes every other day) when traveling. Cruises have formal dinner nights and different events going on daily. Packing one pair of heels for multiple dinners, and one suit with different shirt and tie options has been helpful on saving room. For the most part, it’s pretty casual and we’ll be walking around a ton, so lightweight cotton tops and comfy shoes are what we’ll be reaching for most days.
Click through below to see what we’re packing for our Mediterranean Cruise:
ORGANIZING YOUR SUITCASE: LAYERING + ROLLING
Start with laying your shoes and bulky items on the bottom of your suitcase, then begin rolling your clothes and layering them on top. We’ve heard of the rolling technique for years and it seems like kind of a given, but we didn’t start doing it until recently and now we don’t know what took us so long. Rolling cotton tops, pants, and skirts takes up so much less space than regular folding. Plus, you can get in all those little spots in your luggage that feel like wasted space. Tissue paper has also been helpful for more delicate materials and dressier items. Wrapping and rolling the garment in tissue paper helps it from getting wrinkled during travel. It may feel like an extra step, but anything that saves us time from ironing or a dry-cleaning room service bill is fine with us! When possible, bring sweaters, jackets and hats with you on the flight. You’ll save room, keep your hat from getting squashed in your luggage, and a cozy layering piece with you in case you get cold on while traveling.
What are some of your tips and tricks for traveling?
Follow along with us on instagram the next few days as we explore Europe! Can’t wait to check out the cruise ship and all the beautiful cities!