Travel With Joy owners, Bob and Joyce Bush, have cruised over 30 times and would like to share a few tips with you.
Before You Leave
- Use a check-off list when packing luggage to help prevent leaving important items. Make sure you have all documentation required, as you will not be permitted to board without it.
- Prior to leaving home get plenty of small bills for tipping purposes.
- Pack all medications and jewelry in your carry-on luggage.
- Use plastic bags to hold small items such as medications, liquids, jewelry, and other small items.
- If you’re planning to do a lot of shopping, bring an empty duffle bag or make sure your luggage will not exceed the airline’s weight limit, which is usually 60 to 75 pounds. (Check with your airline prior to leaving).
Day of Departure
- Make sure you get on the same bus with your luggage when boarding for transportation to the pier.
- Don’t be overly concerned with motion sickness. Ships are designed with stabilizers that resemble the fins of a fish and control the side to side motion. Most new ships are large and built so that you hardly know you’re moving.
- Be prepared for a mandatory evacuation drill at the beginning of each cruise. This is required for all cruises. It takes about 30 minutes and then you’re free to enjoy the cruise.
- Cabin sizes vary on most ships. Make the most of your space and use the closets and drawers for your clothes. You can slide your luggage under the bed for the duration of your cruise.
During the Cruise
- There is a charge for alcoholic beverages and soft drinks on board, but in most cases you can purchase a soft drink coupon for about $30.00 for unlimited soft drinks.
- The room steward, wait staff, and crew are there to make your cruise an experience of a lifetime. Remember that your tip makes up the bulk of their salary.
- If you plan to take tours on your own that aren’t cruise ship sponsored, remember the Captain does not know where you are or that you are not on board. Count on the ship to leave the port on time. Always be mindful of the time and be on board as dictated or no less than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled time of departure.
Heading Back Home
- Upon debarkation, use the services of the baggage handlers, who have a special lane and can breeze you through customs. It’s worth the tip! They will also know which bus you should board for the return trip to the airport.
Preparing for Airline Holiday Travel
The holidays have always been a popular time for traveling near and far. Some people travel to see their family and others travel to get away. No matter what category you fit into, here are some useful preparation tips from Travel With Joy.
If you are not sure about you can or should not pack, visit the Transportation Security Administration’s website for up-to-date screening procedures.
- Roll your clothing and fit more items into your luggage.
- Reduce the need for additional luggage by packing outfits that you can mix and match.
- Keep medications, keys, and jewelry in your carryon luggage.
- Place liquid-type toiletry items in zipped plastic bags in case of spillage.
- Don’t pack valuables in your check-in luggage.
- Don’t lock your luggage unless you plan to use locks approved by TSA
- Pack raingear, poncho etc. in your carry-on luggage.
Place nametags (with your name and phone number) on all luggage including carryon items. This way if you should leave something behind or your luggage doesn’t arrive with your flight, it will be easier to reunite you with your belongings. Place the same information inside your luggage in case the luggage tag is lost or removed.
Ship gifts before your departure and save yourself time and frustration. Airport security will open and search these items even if they are gift-wrapped, destroying the best of your intentions. Save yourself time and frustration by shipping the gifts before your departure.
Before You Leave Home
- Print your checklist and check it twice.
- Consider cleaning up before you leave and come back to washed dishes, fresh linen on the bed, and clean laundry to help “extend” your vacation.
- Set up automatic timers so your home doesn’t look deserted.
- Make arrangements for paper and mail deliveries.
- You can suspend mail delivery at the U.S. Post office website.
- Check your flight for delays or cancellations.
- Arrange for transportation to and from the airport. If you are driving your car, make sure that adequate parking is available at the airport. If you are leaving from Baltimore, Minneapolis, Richmond or Omaha click here for information on discounted airport parking. Allow extra time in case of shift changes by airport personnel.
- Check the weather report for your destination.
Getting to the Airport
Plan to arrive at the airport at least two hours before departure for domestic travel and three hours for international travel. You never know when you may encounter a traffic jam or long check-in lines. Allow even more time for busy airports and peak holiday dates.
At the Airport
- Again, check your flight for delays or cancellations.
- Maintain a watchful eye on your luggage and belongings.
- Keep your ID and itinerary handy.
Enjoy your trip! We’d love to hear from you when you return.