I like to keep things simple, including packing, but a cruise to Alaska raises inevitable complications. The weather is varied, and so are the activities, from very outdoorsy to very formal. I aspire to the freedom of one-bag travel. (Did you see this hilarious guest post on one-bag travel some time ago, I still love it!)
On this recent trip, my husband and I had a pretty typical Alaska itinerary:
~ a week on land (Fairbanks to Denali NP to Anchorage to Seward)
~ a week on a cruise boat (Seward to Glacier Bay to Haines to Juneau to Ketchikan to Vancouver)
Instead of showing you the clothes laid out on a bed, here they are on the scene, with a bit of commentary:
FOR DAILY ADVENTURES: a T-shirt layer (brought 4), a long-sleeve layer (brought 2), hiking pants, hiking shoes.
I loved these hiking pants. Lightweight, comfy, look like real pants. Bought them at the last moment and SO GLAD I did, I wore them nearly every day.
I also brought a pair of khaki capris that I wore a couple of times when it was warmer (Anchorage, Vancouver).
GLACIER WEAR: a warm layer, a rain-proof shell with a hood, ear band, fleece hat.
This may seem like a lot but we wore it all. I loved my purple zip front which layered well with my purple rain jacket.
DINNERS: black knit pants, nicer tops (brought 3), sandals.
FORMAL NIGHTS: a little black dress, a wrap, jewelry (for Doug, a suit, dress shirt, tie, good shoes). Some people opt out of formal nights, which is perfectly reasonable. But we enjoyed them. Plus Doug re-wore his wedding suit. And my friends, this was our 30th Wedding Anniversary!
ALSO IMPORTANT: sunglasses and hat, a daypack (the foldable kind with strings), a passport pouch.
Binoculars, camera and recharger, Kindle and recharger.
Insect repellant, a sleep mask (it is never dark!) and Dramamine.
And yes, a purple bandana.
Kayaking at Tatoosh Islands, Ketchikan, AK
NITTY GRITTY: We did laundry at the hotel after our first week. I purchased a package of 3 drip-dry (non-cotton) underwear for each of us so we didn’t have to cart around dirty laundry, and that worked really well.
Also, the cruise people took our bag of formal wear and put it on the boat so we didn’t have to deal with it during the land portion of the trip. (Nice to know that when you’re packing.)
BROUGHT BUT DID NOT USE: a swimming suit, shorts.
ACQUIRED and WORE THERE: an Alaska cap! Alaska T-shirts! A couple extra pounds!
ONE LAST THING: SUNSCREEN: Why didn’t I know about this grownup product before? This stuff has zinc oxide in it, so it is very effective but the tint keeps it from looking white on your skin. It goes on like a lightweight foundation and blended easily into my fair skin.
Have you been to Alaska? Feel free to leave a comment about your experience.
Are you going to Alaska? Lucky you! I hope this helps with your packing and I hope you have a fabulous time!