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Things you brought but never ended up using?


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I have seen several posts asking about "useful" things/gadgets to bring. I am asking just the opposite: What did you bring that you thought would be useful but never ended up using? I am scheduled to go on a long (100 days+) world cruise. In planning my packing for this long cruise, I am thinking about what "not" to bring to save on weight and space especially for the check-in luggage on the plane. What things do you leave at home nowadays? I plan to do some pre-cruise shopping, but want to get the "right stuff". Thanks.

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47 minutes ago, Funatabi said:

What did you bring that you thought would be useful but never ended up using? ... What things do you leave at home nowadays?

 

Those two questions have some overlap, but they're not quite the same.  Some things are taken as "insurance" in case things go wrong (i.e. Imodium AD).  It doesn't matter whether I manage to go two dozen vacations without needing it.  It really came in handy that last vacation.

 

The area where you can really economize is in clothing.  My wife consistently over packs, because she'll start thinking, "I might want to wear that while I'm on vacation."  At the end of the vacation, while she's trying to cram everything back into her bag, she keeps saying, "Why did I pack ____?  I didn't wear it."  You will have to get your laundry cleaned while on a really long cruise.  I plan to take enough clothes to make it from one cleaning to the next, and cut myself off there.  I handle weather shifts by layering.

 

Also, given the choice between two pieces of clothing, look at versatility ... and how much space each takes up.

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Assuming that your world cruise starts in the US, and that you will arrive at the departure port at least one day before boarding, you will have opportunities to shop for many of needed supplies, such as toothpaste, over-the-counter meds, shaving supplies, deodorant, etc. to last for 100+ days. Does Princess pay for extra luggage allowance on your flight for world cruisers? Some lines do. Can't hurt to ask.

 

You will get more and better answers from experienced world cruisers on the dedicated world cruises board. Someone on that board has posted about a Princess world cruise in 2021, and someone else responded with a link to their previous world cruise blog. Some may share their packing lists.

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4 hours ago, FlyingFlip said:

the area where you can really economize is in clothing.

agree - although we have never cruised for 100 days we have spent up to 3 months in europe. Things we could not live without were those that we could not purchase in Europe (especially meds including OTC meds).

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4 hours ago, dogs4fun said:

Things we could not live without were those that we could not purchase in Europe (especially meds including OTC meds).

 

What OTC meds could you not get in Europe?

 

I have found most things.  Or even better things.  There are several things that I buy in Europe OTC that are either not available here, or are prescription.

 

You may not find the same name brand, so you have to look up the active ingredient.  I needed some nasal spray for congestion.  I typically use Afrin.  So I looked up the active ingredient, went into the pharmacy, showed them that, and they gave me the local version.

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27 minutes ago, SRF said:

What OTC meds could you not get in Europe?

 

I have found most things.  Or even better things.  There are several things that I buy in Europe OTC that are either not available here, or are prescription.

Extra Strength Excedrin - it is the only thing that helps with my headaches. I've tried many brands and none have worked as well as Excedrin. Sudafed is another that I am never without. Melatonin is another.

I have done the same as you - showed the pharmacist the empty bottle & was given OTC med with roughly the same ingredients. However, there are some OTC meds that I always pack - the 3 listed above. And you are correct - there are some US drugs requiring scripts that are sold as OTC meds in Europe.

Edited by dogs4fun
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3 hours ago, SRF said:

What OTC meds could you not get in Europe?

 

I learned the hard way that you can’t purchase lactose pills in the UK.  The pharmacy said it’s because they’re by prescription there.  I have no idea if that’s still the case because I always bring them with me now.

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Things I brought but never used: Games (Yahtzee, cribbage, I even bought a travel scrabble set). Turns out my husband is just not a game player. My mom and I played the ship's Scrabble game one day off South America and did have fun. For my husband, a well-stocked Kindle is all he wants for long seadays.

 

Something that has recently occurred to me, as far as layering and multi-usefulness: Synthetic wicking (knit) shirts can be used as undershirts/longies when it's cold and by themselves when it's warm or hot. I have long-sleeved ones that are also SPF-rated for sunny days and short-sleeved, T- and V-neck, ones. I will be bringing a few of them on our 28-day So.Pacific cruise out of San Diego.

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This will most likely not apply to you, but when we started cruising with kids, we followed several recommendations from fellow Cruise Critic members about what to bring for our toddler aged son. Things like an inflatable tub, a bag of toys, a pack n’ play with our own sheets, etc, etc. Long story short, we didn’t need ANY of these items. Things like the inflatable tub just ended taking unnecessary space in our stateroom.

 

What we have learned when packing for any cruise is to create a “must have” pile and a “maybe” pile. Most of the time, things in the “maybe” pile stay behind.

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Can’t think of anything I took but never used, but then I only take clothes, medications, documents and my camera.

 

Oh, unless we count Mrs Gut, always take her, but can’t always find much use.

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Thanks for the replies. I should have been a little clearer on what I was thinking of when I posted this. I plan to bring/buy things I need like meds, toiletries, and other things like nail clippers and hair trimmer needed on a long cruise but not a a shorter one. Many necessities I will buy locally. I posted this thinking of what unnecessary  "things" like gadgets or travel goods ended up taking up space, such as door and ceiling magnets (which people rave over) as well as over-the-door shoe holder, shower organizer,  plastic folding-boxes, desk-top organizer, etc. to store things.

 

Packing fewer clothes and doing laundry more often is a good idea. Layering is also a good idea. Also not bringing games too. They sound like fun but I was thinking that the ship probably has some available if I get in the mood to play. I am still narrowing down my selections. 

 

I don't live in North America so I don't qualify for the cruise line's baggage service. 

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43 minutes ago, Funatabi said:

I posted this thinking of what unnecessary  "things" like gadgets or travel goods ended up taking up space, such as door and ceiling magnets (which people rave over) as well as over-the-door shoe holder, shower organizer,  plastic folding-boxes, desk-top organizer, etc. to store things.

We pack none of the above - we pack only what is absolutely necessary.

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I remember looking into my suit case thinking, " where should I put theses so I don't forget them".  Awwww brilliant!  I stuffed them in the pockets of a pair of jeans.  The next day my wife asked if I packed the magnetic hooks that she purchased, " I'm sure they're here some where" After  I received a tongue lashing, we gave up the search. Upon returning home and unpacking they fell out of the jeans I never wore.  I looked around the room to see if my wife was present and casually kicked them under the bed. 😉

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14 hours ago, dogs4fun said:

Extra Strength Excedrin - it is the only thing that helps with my headaches. I've tried many brands and none have worked as well as Excedrin. Sudafed is another that I am never without. Melatonin is another.

I have done the same as you - showed the pharmacist the empty bottle & was given OTC med with roughly the same ingredients. However, there are some OTC meds that I always pack - the 3 listed above. And you are correct - there are some US drugs requiring scripts that are sold as OTC meds in Europe.

 

Excedrin® Extra Strength’s combination of active ingredients –  Acetaminophen, Aspirin and Caffeine 

 

Just take a Paracetol (Tylenol in Europe) and an aspirin. 😄

 

Sudafed (Pseudoephedrine) is readily available most places.

 

Melatonin might be an issue.  But I do not use it.  I am not a fan of messing with pituitary hormones.

 

MANY drugs that need a prescription in the US are basically over the counter in most of the world.  You may have to convince the pharmacist that you know what it is for and why you want it.  I have had prescriptions in Europe, but they are really just a note to the pharmacist from the doctor, so you get the right drug.  They do not collect them or mark them.

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11 hours ago, *Miss G* said:

 

I learned the hard way that you can’t purchase lactose pills in the UK.  The pharmacy said it’s because they’re by prescription there.  I have no idea if that’s still the case because I always bring them with me now.

 

Interesting.

 

 

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Basically, 90% of the "useful things to bring" are things that aren't needed. People swear by bringing all kinds of organizational nonsense and things they will never use.

 

As said, bring all of your toiletries, OTCs, etc. I highly doubt anyone is filling up their bag on these things, unless you are bringing massive bottles. Even if that stuff is available for purchase, you are going to spend an arm and a leg on the ship. Even at port, you will likely spend more, and waste time. I can get generics at Walmart for far cheaper.

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1 hour ago, Joebucks said:

As said, bring all of your toiletries, OTCs, etc. I highly doubt anyone is filling up their bag on these things, unless you are bringing massive bottles. Even if that stuff is available for purchase, you are going to spend an arm and a leg on the ship. Even at port, you will likely spend more, and waste time. I can get generics at Walmart for far cheaper.

Definitely a consideration - for those meds I use I will continue to pack them as I detest wasting time when traveling. I want to ensure that I have on hand what I know works for me.

Edited by dogs4fun
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1 hour ago, LoriPhil said:

Never understood bringing a dirty clothes hamper... we just keep a large plastic bag on closet floor which is perfect for dirty clothes.  

 

We take one of the spring ones, that folds flat.  It sits in the closet, upright, full height, and open.  Easier to drop dirty clothes in.

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58 minutes ago, dogs4fun said:

Thanks - I will stick to what works for me.

 

I am mainly teasing.

 

I was more just wondering what you had not been able to find.  Excedrin is a mix that would not likely be available except as that product.

 

I carry OTCs with me.  But not a lot.  And have purchased the local version at times, as needed.

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