You are cruising for your vacation and now you have committed to getting off the Cruise Ship and heading out onto dry land, how will you spend your day?
Will you be shopping or touring or going on an adventure? Will you be headed to a Zipline? Cave Tubing or maybe even snorkeling?
One thing is for certain, no matter what you do, you need to plan ahead, and take a few things with you when you venture off the ship to have the best experience you can.
We visit and tour every Port of Call.
OF course, we love seeing new places and learning about the cultures, and the kids love adventure.
With this in mind, it’s like an opportunity is knocking on our cabin door each time we reach our destinations.
So what is the well-packed shore excursions bag for cruisers including inside?
It’s my own version of what we pack when we get to our destinations.
Truly made to help you make your own bag before you reach your port of call.
Here’s what we pack in our bags to hit each Port of Call with all high notes.
Now we are sharing what we believe is a well-packed shore excursion bag for cruisers.
What Kind Of Back For Shore Excursions
Bags are truly a matter of taste and preference.
DO you like shoulder sacks or do you prefer backpacks?
We honestly prefer to have our hands-free, and quite often that comes from a habit of holding our younger children’s hands.
Freedom to shop and use both hands, and pick items up without adjusting bags, so our answer is easy- a backpack, here’s why.
Bags Matter – We have Used Quite A Few In Our Travels
It’s quite simple, you will be off your home away from home for just a bit, so you need a few basics, but what should you take?
First and foremost invest in a great backpack, one that is slash-proof, heavy-duty, and has many inside pockets to keep yourself organized.
After many bags, backpacks, brands, etc., we decided on at least one.
Our choice is a PacSafe Backpacks because the ones we chose are splash-proof.
Further, they have reliable zippers, many pockets inside, and RFID protectors.
Maybe one of the biggest selling points are both the comfortable and adjustable straps.
Still not sold? There are multiple outside pockets, yet keep things in them.
I have had the best luck with this brand when traveling.
You simply need a bag that you can carry, that is comfortable, not bulky, and has several pockets in order to keep things compact yet organized.
Shore Excursion Bag For Those With Medical Problems
Next, plan for mini-emergencies. In our situation, our son has many illnesses, as well as allergies, so EPI Pens were the first thing we tossed in our bag.
Additionally, Latex Free bandages, and a mini medical pack, that included Acetaminophen.
Whatever medicines you need to get through a day have them with you.
Trust me, after our trips to Italy, the Caribbean, Mexico, France, Ireland, Germany, etc, you have to have your medicines with you! We learned the hard way!
The Free Packing List!
At the end of this article, make sure to download my Well Packed Shore Excursion Bag Packing List for Cruisers, so you are able to remember everything you will need! (scroll to the bottom it’s free for the taking!
Items That Everyone Should Have in Those Shore Excursion Bags
Pack that bottled water.
We made sure we got ours on the Cruise ship before we left, we filled our bottles, and took them with us for the day.
Everyone carries a bottle in the outside pockets of our bag.
However, we did find on the Caribbean cruise ports that we could purchase bottled water in the one Duty-Free Store.
In fact, it was only $1 and chilled, but this was the exception.
Make sure to pack your sunglasses.
Water and sun glare go hand in hand.
Don’t scorn your eyes, wear eyewear.
Additionally, when in open dune buggies, or trams when touring local towns, dirt will be blocked from your eyes as well.
Bright sun can lead to headaches, so be prepared.
While we wore goggles on our Dune buggy rides, getting there in some cases was worse than the ride.
We were often in open trams being delivered to the point of dune buggy pick up or Polaris pickup.
A Hat – tropical sun is warm and you will burn easily.
It is super important that you bring a hat along to shield the top of your head and face from too much exposure.
And of course don’t forget your Towel (Carnival & Holland America provides these in your room, no extra charge unless of course, you don’t return them).
If you don’t return those towels, well, upwards of $22 each!
However, if you are beach-bound, or doing any activity that involves water unless the excursion already states they provide towels (read the fine print, and don’t overhaul items!)
We generally wore athletic shoes as we were hiking and visiting ruins, but flip flops fit quite easily into the backpacks without taking up space.
Make sure you pack either Repellant for Mosquitoes or find bands or tags that repel.
We tried a few brands of bands and stickers, both failed our needs and we did get a bite or two(Ouch).
ID & Phone Issues
In your bag, have a way to carry your IDs from the ship(Sign and Sail) as you need these to enter again, and don’t forget your passports(if you are out of the country).
Also, it is advisable to take a picture of your passport on your phone just in case.
Alternatively, you could use the Passport App if you so desire.
We additionally made sure we wore both a watch and used our phones, but remember to go into your phone settings and change your phone to maintain the time you have on the ship.
Settings —>General—>Date & Time —>Set Automatically (turn this off)
Otherwise, your phone will automatically turn to the countries/island’s time and your chance of missing your ship(trust me, we learned quickly through a mistake)
Spend. Power. Memories.
Pack Plenty of money($$$) 1’s for tips for anywhere you might be going(you can always break bills in the Casino on your ship) and make sure to have bigger bills.
DO know that Credit Cards are not accepted everywhere.
A camera or your phone, whatever you are using to grab those photos.
This leads me to the next item.
Don’t forget a portable charger, as you may drain your phone.
Disconnect WiFi, BlueTooth, and Data, but, keep a charger with you still.
This is my Nomad charging cable, it is rough, rugged, and always gets the job done. It is also a globetrotter, lol.
A Well Packed Shore Excursion Bag For Cruisers
Just Little Extras For Your Shore Excursion Bag
I always had one zip bag with us, carrying anything important and it kept things dry, however, the better backpacks are waterproof or at least water-resistant anyway.
Chocolate melts in the heat, gum gets gooey, so your best bet is hard mints if you are looking for something to enjoy.
Most of our adventures offered food, we just could not all eat like our son had food allergies so we passed on the option.
We also realized that we would only be off the ship for a while and had been eating so much a bit of non-eating was a welcome change(this was us, though, it may not be how everyone feels)
Packing a bag ahead makes the day go easy, as everything you need is at your fingertips.
You will see everyone you are around with some sort of bag, remember, that if you pack a heavy bag, you have to lug it, so pack wisely.
Will you need towels or flip-flops?
Just consider your days’ itinerary and then pack.
There was not a day that went by on the excursions that we were not thankful to have thought about our bags ahead.
Pack It Ahead Of Time
If I can offer one other piece of advice it is to unpack your bag as soon as you get in, and repack it immediately!
Why? Because once you are back on the ship, you are busy, and the night’s activities will definitely get ahead of you and your best set intentions.
Grab the Free Printable List Right Here
The ports of call roll in, early each day, and that little bit of sleep may leave you needing some much-needed items that are in your room! Here’s to lavishly living shore excursions out loud, and being a cruiser with a well-packed shore excursion bag! ~Dana
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