How to Prepare for Your Overseas Cruise Vacation
After all the months spent searching for the perfect European river cruise or ocean cruise vacation, you’re finally ready to begin packing. Chances are at this point, you’re so caught up in anticipation that you probably could use some help remembering a few basics.
Spending just a little extra time getting prepared will pay big dividends once you’re on your way.
In addition to remembering all your important travel documents and packing enough clothes, you’ll need to complete a variety of other essential, but less obvious, tasks. To ensure that you spend more time enjoying and less time worrying, consider following the tips below from our experts:
1) Make sure your house and pets are looked after
It’s always wise to let your neighbors know that you are going out of town, as they can keep an eye on your property while you are away. If you are a pet owner, make sure you’ve made arrangements to have your pet fed, walked and let outside, if necessary. It’s also a good idea to NOT post on social media that you’ll be gone. That not only lets your friends know your house will be empty, but it lets the thieves know it as well. Wait until after you return to talk about your trip and post those trip photos.
2) Call your newspaper and credit card company
Most newspaper delivery services will allow you to suspend your service while you are enjoying your cruise. If you wish to catch up on local and world events when you return, ask a friend or neighbor to pick them up along with your mail.
You should also phone your credit card company and let them know where you will be traveling to. Otherwise, they may think your card was stolen and put a hold on it, potentially limiting your access to funds while you’re away.
3) Purchase an international cell phone plan and exchange currency before leaving
Sometimes, for as little as $5 a month, you can buy an international mobile phone plan which will allow you to make and receive calls, send text messages and pictures. This way staying in touch with your loved ones back home will be a breeze. Most cellular companies also have “cruise” plan, so you can purchase a small data plan to use while at sea on the ship.
Purchasing currency in advance in the United States for the countries you will visit, can sometimes mean a better exchange rate. You can do this through your local bank or online through a source we recommend Buy Currency. Luckily, at most of the ports you will stop at, you’ll have access to various ATMs around the city which will allow you to take out money with any debit card. (American Express is not always available)
4) Make copies of important documents
It’s every traveler’s nightmare to realize that their passport has been stolen. However, in the event that this does happen to you, having copies of this crucial document can make it easier to get a new one at the closest US Embassy or Consulate.
Also, don’t forget to make a copy of your cruise itinerary for your close family & friends. In the event they need to get a hold of you, they’ll know where you are in your vacation.
5) Pack medication and other valuables in your carry on
Occasionally when flying into the city that your cruise leaves from, your luggage may be lost or delayed. Make sure that you have your medicine with you so you can access it whenever you need to. And although the probability of valuable items like laptops or cameras being stolen or damaged isn’t very high, it’s never smart to take a chance by leaving them in checked luggage.
6) Purchase electronic adapters
Picture this scenario: you are grabbing a cup of tea at a family owned Vienna shop. You figure that since you have some down time, it’s a good idea to charge your camera. You plug the charger into the wall and the battery isn’t juicing up. Don’t let this happen to you. Each country has unique voltage requirements so it’s crucial you remember to buy voltage adapters for cameras, phones, razors, or hair styling equipment before you leave on your cruise. Any nice luggage shop or electronics store carries these items.
If you haven’t booked your ocean or river cruise yet, consider contacting one of our knowledgeable travel advisors here at CruiseExperts.com. We’re happy to help answer any questions you have and provide you with more information about incredible travel opportunities and itineraries. Looking for a Last Minute Deal? Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join our Inner Circle.
Julie joined the CruiseExperts.com team in 2013 as the Marketing Coordinator. She’s lived in Visalia, CA for neaqrly 30 years and is a wife and mother of two adult daughters. She holds a Communications/Marketing degree from the University of Illinois (Go ILLINI!) She has been involved in advertising, marketing, public relations, fundraising development, and event planning throughout her career. “I’m thrilled to work with the CruiseExperts.com team! And I love to travel. Put those together and I have the ideal job!”