Preparing for an 87 night holiday!

On January 6th 2019, I am embarking on an epic (for me anyway) trip and going away from my husband, kids (23 and 24 year old who have both left home) and dogs for 87 nights. I am doing half a world cruise on P&O’s arcadia, a two week cruise on Sea Princess around New Zealand, travelling onto Sydney to spend 4 nights, collecting a hire car and travelling to Melbourne over 10 days before arriving in Melbourne for 4 nights and heading back to the UK on 29th March. I will be visiting lots of places, but before I leave, I wanted to share some useful information of tips to make your stay on a cruise ship easier and to make the cabin homely which I collected from members of my world cruise Facebook group that I set up just after I booked the tripOn January 6th 2019, I am embarking on an epic (for me anyway) trip and going away from my husband, kids and dogs for 87 nights. I am doing half a world cruise on P&O’s arcadia, a two week cruise on Sea Princess around New Zealand, travelling onto Sydney to spend 4 nights, collecting a hire car and travelling to Melbourne over 10 days before arriving in Melbourne for 4 nights and heading back to the UK on 29th March. I will be visiting lots of places, but before I leave, I wanted to share some useful information of tips collected from members of my world cruise Facebook group that I set up just after I booked the trip.If you were going on such a long trip with your partner and leaving your home empty, you would have to consider such things as informing your insurance company or arranging a house sitter, keep the heating on low (if in the winter), have your mail held at the local office, emptying and turning off fridges and freezers etc. Fortunately for me, my husband is staying, so I didn’t have to do any of this.

If you were going on such a long trip with your partner and leaving your home empty, you would have to consider such things as informing your insurance company or arranging a house sitter, keep the heating on low (if in the winter), have your mail held at the local office, emptying and turning off fridges and freezers etc. Fortunately for me, my husband is staying, so I didn’t have to do any of this.

The following are my suggestions to make your holiday more enjoyable.

Magnets – these are handy on a cruise because the walls are steel, so you can use them to attach your daily paper (which has details of activities on the ship) and personal items (photos of loved ones) to make your cabin more homely. I’ve purchased four to start me off and they are of my home town, Bristol. I hope to buy a magnet in each port as a small memento of my trip so will have a few more before I get home.

Magnetic hooks – again, these can go on the wall and are useful for hanging your bag, coat, bathrobe and anything else that hangs and should save you space.

Seasickness tablets or bands – I haven’t ever suffered from sea sickness but I have a fear of suffering seasickness! I have purchased some Sturgeon which I use if the Captain says the sea state is going to be really rough. On a Cruise ship, you know when its going to be bad because seasickness bags get put out by all the lifts!

Travel socket – I’ve got a travel socket that has two plugs and four USB slots. Most cruise ships have only one plug in the cabin, so I always travel with my travel plug. It will also be useful for Australia as I have an Australian adaptor for it too.

Packing cubes – These are a godsend! Even though they look small, they can hold a lot of clothing. In case you’ve never heard of them, here is a link to them on amazon

Waterproof bag – If, like me, you enjoy a bit of snorkelling, swimming or going on a boat, a waterproof bag is a good investment. As well as keeping everything dry, if you take them in the water with you, they act as a floating aid. You can see them here.

Mosquito repellent – on this trip, I am travelling to ‘at risk’ places such as the Panama Canal and some of the South Pacific Islands. Advice from some surgeries (this has been discussed at length on our Facebook group) are to take malaria tablets, but others have been advised to just use a repellent with ‘Deet’ in and to cover up. Because we will be leaving at around 4/5pm, we ‘shouldn’t’ have any problems as mozzies tend to come out in the evening. Of course, it is up to you what you do – I am not advising you either way!

Sunscreen (natural if going in sea – some affect the oceans) – Sunscreen is essential if you are, like me, very white and burn easily! The problem with sunscreen is that it is reported that sunscreen is responsible for bleaching Coral because of Oxybenzone (a detailed article from the Guardian is here). If you are aware of this and you want to swim but not to cause any damage to the sea, there are ways to do this. When I swim in the sea, I tend to wear swim leggings and a rash top (I purchased mine from Coolibar in the USA) and also swim shoes. The only bit exposed is my face, so I always search for a sea friendly brand of sunscreen – there are plenty out there, just search the internet.

Travel blanket – I like to take a travel blanket – nice to have something familiar when travelling and, if on a cruise, it makes a good shawl to go onto the decks in the evening if you fancy popping out for a bit of fresh air.

Cable tidy bag – AI never know where to find my cables so invested in cable bag for all my cables and bits and pieces like batteries (for my cameras), selfie stick and mini tripod.

Torch – In my Facebook group, some people have advised to take a torch as, in the Cabins on Arcadia, the reading light is really low on the back of the bed so is not as effective as it has been designed to be. You also never know when you might need a light!

RFID purse for out and about – protect your credit cards and passport from being copied and fraudulently used. Some countries have prolific pickpockets and it has be know for people to carry a credit card machine around to capture wireless charging.

Travel WiFi dongle/hotspot hub – I managed to find a travel wifi hub which holds a sim card and is unlocked so can be used in any country. At the same time, I found a 24gb data sim from 3 (both on Amazon – the sim was cheaper on Amazon than buying direct from 3). I am hoping this will allow me internet access in port so that I can update my blog and Facebook page. I’m not sure how long it will last, but will report back.

Mini Air Humidifier – Again, another discussion in our World Cruise Facebook group was the dry air and trying to ensure our wellbeing (especially on a long cruise). This mini one had been used by someone in the group and was recommended. They suggested using it at night. You can purchase it with Amazon here.

Water bottle (metal) – With all the worry of pollution in our seas, I wanted to take a bottle with me so opted for a metal bottle rather than a plastic one. I purchased mine from Amazon. I purchased one similar to the one in this link.

I hope these ideas help you when packing for a long trip (particularly a cruise). The next blog will be when I start my holiday and leave Bristol to go to Southampton on 5th January.

If you have any suggestions for essential items for a cruise or holiday, please comment.

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