Preparing for vacations involves planning, packing, travel, reservations and more. Depending on the type of vacations, planning is easy. For example, a camping trip is easy to plan and pack for. Preparing for a cruise does involve more detailed planning.
If you are going to be travelling internationally, make sure you and your family all have current passports. You may also need immunizations for your trip. Your travel agent can inform you of all the necessary documents you need to carry with you. You can also t the U.S. State Department by phone or search their website for information about your trip. Include the different countries you will be disembarking on, that is, going ashore for day trips, shopping and so forth in.
Make sure your budget includes extra money for items such as gifts, export/import taxes, gratuities, and other unexpected extras. Restaurants on shore are not covered in your travel package unless they are specifically listed in writing. Be sure to tip the waiter or waitress. Generally, it is not necessary to tip on board staff.
The ship’s sick bay is an example of items that are not free. If you have medical insurance, find out if medical treatment received on board is covered. If not, extra funds may cover the expense. The cruise line may not file a claim with your insurance; you may be required to pay upfront and submit a claim for reimbursement. It is best to know the proper procedure upfront. Carry prescription medication with you. Your doctor’s and pharmacy information could prove useful. If you might run out of your medication during your trip, contact your pharmacist to see if you can obtain an early refill. Keep in mind that federal regulations may not permit extra refills of items of certain medications.
Unlike the days of old where everyone dressed in evening clothes for dinner, most ships today do not have a dress code. Plan to pack comfortable clothing for your trip. Check the itinerary for the trip; plan for parties, swimming and so forth. Knowing the size of the cabin will help you trim items you may not need. Ask if irons, hair dryers and other electrical devices are offered in the cabins. If not, ask about the ships electronics. You might purchase an inverter to plug your devices into so you do not have to buy “international” electronics. Ask about laundry facilities on board; you may need to bring coins for the machines.
Plan to arrive at the ship prior to your boarding time. You do not want to spend all day waiting in line. If your ship is scheduled to disembark on a holiday weekend, you could make plans to arrive a day or two early. Be sure to book a hotel room so you can check out, obtain transportation and make it to the ship on time. You do not want to miss the ship because a plane or traffic was delayed.
Once you are on board, enjoy your well-planned cruise. Dance, eat, explore and take plenty of pictures to bring home.