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BellaOnline's Cruises Editor

Top Five Unconventional Items to Pack

In packing for a cruise, every traveler knows the basics. Different kinds of clothing, extra underwear, toothbrushes, makeup, toys, games, etc. are the obvious items, but the unique nature of a cruise vacation often means that guests will need supplies that they may not have thought to bring from home. And when you're miles away from shore, it's not possible to just run to the corner store and pick up forgotten goods. The following are five items that cruise guests should consider packing, even though they may seem unconventional

First Aid Kit
Though it may seem like a no-brainer, you'd be surprised how many people don't travel with a first aid kit. And on a cruise, you might wish you had one handy. With deck activities, kid's clubs, shore excursions and more, it's always a good idea to be prepared. Make sure to stock medication for pain, allergies, motion sickness, bug bites and common colds along with antacids, a good supply of self-stick bandages, individually wrapped antiseptic wipes, gauze, scissors and tweezers. The ship-board stores sell a few of these items but there's no guarantee that they will be reasonably priced. And trips to the cruise ship doctor can be expensive, even for small issues.

Cruises are usually criticized for being an all-you-can-eat 24 hour buffet. While it definitely is true that food is quite abundant on board, it's also true that it's not always convenient or accessible. Keeping a supply of small snacks in your stateroom can prove very beneficial. Individually wrapped treats like granola bars, fruit snacks, chips or peanuts work perfectly for all situations, whether it's a quick bite while it port or a pacifier for a hungry kid getting dressed for dinner.

Power Strip
The power strip is an ingenious way to turn a small desk or cabinet into a multimedia hub. There typically are only a few electrical outlets in a cruise stateroom, and they fill up quickly, especially if you travel with gadgets that all require charging. Video games, cameras, cell phones, laptops…it helps to have more than one socket.

Extra Luggage
Collapsible duffel bags can be a personal savior at the end of a cruise. While you may have methodically packed initially, packing up at the end of a cruise usually consists of a hurried rush to cram everything into your luggage within 30 minutes. With souvenirs and laundry, you're almost guaranteed to have a problem. Save yourself the chaos with an emergency bag. Just make sure that it can survive a flight home.

Drink Mixes
The easiest way to save money on a cruise is to order water and add a drink mix. Many stores sell individual drink packets that you can quickly stir into a glass or bottle of water. Plus, they're inexpensive and easy to transport.

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