Clothes Folding / Packing Tips

Whether you're going on a cruise, a resort week or a camping trip, you have two things in common. You have to wear clothes (usually), and you want your luggage to be as small as possible. Here is how to achieve your goals.

First, people notoriously overpack. There is probably a laundry on board!! If you really need more socks, you can get them. Your cabin is tiny. Only bring what you really need, and plan clothes that you can reuse. Yes, you probably want a swimsuit. No, you probably don't need 8 extra pairs of socks for a week cruise.

Mid-week before your cruise, look at weather reports. Plan primarily for that weather, with a few emergency items. Don't pack for blizzards in Aruba or monsoons in Alaska.

Next, roll up items that can be rolled. A dense rolled-up tshirt takes up far less space than a fluffy one laid out. Roll up your socks, underwear, tshirts and other casual items. Squish those in to the edges.

For anything that you want flat, like an elegant evening gown, use crisp folds to minimize the number of wrinkles. If you take those items out immediately when you get on the ship, they should be fine. You can also hang them in the shower area to get "steamed" to help remove any extra wrinkles. Most cruise lines offer an iron to help out with the stray problem.

Always remember to pack a carry-on with one day's casual clothes. Your real luggage might not make it immediately to your room - the ship has a lot of bags to deal with! Your carry on will help you make it through dinner without a problem. Most dining rooms understand that the first night might have clothing issues, as luggage wends its way to the various cabins.

The carry-on will also help with the final night, because your luggage will be put out for gathering that evening. You can have your final day's clothes in that bag - and put your PJs in it in the morning, when it's time to leave!

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