The one time you should pack more clothes!

In a travel career spanning more than 30 years, Clean Cruising senior consultant and “cruise master” Martine Hero has picked up a packing tip or two.

And whether her voyage is long or short, to Europe or Asia-Pacific, for work or play, these decades of sailing have equipped the self-confessed cruise addict with know-how to ensure her luggage is shipshape.

MY PACKING STYLE IS …

Definitely last-minute. I rely on a mental packing list I call my “travel packing memory”, which is akin to muscle memory. For at least a week before departure my suitcase is on the floor and I throw things in randomly that I think I might like to take and I then go through it one last time the night before I travel.

MY BIGGEST PACKING MISTAKE …

In my early days of cruising I probably didn’t pack enough outfit changes. You see the same people over and over, so it’s nice to wear something different.

I PACK FOR A CRUISE BY …

Looking at the cruise line and the destination. Every line has its own dress code and you’ll need to research this ahead of time so you don’t feel out of place when on-board.

For example, if I was going on Cunard Line or the Queen Mary 2, I’d have my long frock dry cleaned and ready to go; if I was going on P&O Cruises or Pacific Aria, I’d be checking out what the theme night is and preparing an outfit.

I also think of culture and weather. I take appropriate clothing, respecting the culture of the countries we’re visiting – a sarong or scarf for entering churches or mosques is handy, especially in hot climates when you may be wearing a sleeveless top.

Martine - Clean Cruising

Clean Cruising Senior Consultant, Martine Hero

ON-BOARD ESSENTIALS …

Evening wear – non-iron so I can avoid the self-service laundromat on board – and matching shoes and bling. I pack walking shoes and spray jacket for walks around the promenade deck and sightseeing ashore. Also, a pair of jeans, shorts and black trousers so I can mix and match with tops.

MY LUGGAGE IS …

Colourful! I like to be able to identify my bag from a distance. I also like to have four wheels. My latest suitcase is a Delsey and it’s really durable.

MY GO-TO APP FOR CRUISING …

I use Google a lot to research places on the voyage – how else would I find the best rooftop bars in Barcelona?

MY TOP CRUISE PACKING HACK …

Leave space for shopping! Without baggage restrictions on most cruise ships you’re tempted to throw in more clothes but – as most of my cruises involve a flight to and from the port – I try to keep my weight under 20kg.

Shop till you drop...

Shop till you drop…

WASH BAG STAPLES INCLUDE …

Makeup, deodorant and moisturiser. Then medications such as Panadol and sea sickness tablets. I’ve never used the sea sickness pills, but throw them in just in case. Baby wipes are great for many things.

I MAKE MY STATEROOM FEEL LIKE HOME BY …

Unpacking straight away, putting my suitcase out of sight, toiletries in the bathroom, my nightie under my pillow, and my book by my bed.

I’LL IMPROVE MY PACKING BY …

Decreasing the number of shoes I take. Shoes are my weakness, but when it comes to getting dressed up at night, I seem to use them all! But if I don’t take as many it might also give me an excuse to buy a new pair …

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