If you’re like me, you know that there’s nothing quite like the experience of planning a trip. Especially the exhilarating feeling you get when thinking about all the places you’ll see and time away. This time of year, those of us who choose to cruise are snatching up great incentives and promotions when we book. Did you know the months of January – March are commonly referred to as “wave season” because of the large number of people who book great deals on cruises in the early part of each year? But though there are deals to be found, it pays to be aware of the potential pitfalls involved in this type of travel so you can avert them and enjoy a fun-filled and relaxing trip.
Follow these tips for smooth sailing into cruise season and beyond:
A watchful weather eye: An 85-degree day at the port of your destination does not necessarily mean that the weather back home will be as sunny. This time of year, severe winter weather can hamper travel. Make sure you check the weather outlook before you go and make wise decisions about your trip.
Plan for adequate time between your flight and your cruise: Whether it’s inclement weather or a delay of your own, make sure you plan enough time between when you leave home and your ship’s departure date. Perhaps arriving a day early in the city from where you will be leaving makes the most sense to prevent delays.
Carry on the necessities: Be sure to pack a carry-on bag with the necessities you don’t want to be without (change of clothes, swimsuit, essential toiletries, medications) in the event that you get on your cruise but your luggage doesn’t make it to your destination before your cruise departs.
Secure important documents: Since your cruise could be making multiple port calls, it’s important to have your passport or your photo I.D. handy. Make copies of these and all other important travel documents before you leave. Leave one set of copies with family and take a few copies with you in case you lose one of them.
Wash up: Falling ill on a vacation is never fun, especially if you are at sea. With the Center for Disease Control already noting the severity of the 2013 outbreak as one of the worst flu seasons in recent years 1, it’s important to take precautions to keep from getting sick. One of the most basic and effective means of doing so is washing your hands on a regular basis, both on and off the ship. Hand washing is effective in helping to avoid the flu, common cold, Norovirus and other airborne bugs.
Don’t go overboard (with food, drink or sun): While you are on vacation, it’s easy to indulge. Going back for seconds and thirds is easy to do – especially on a cruise where food buffets are abundant. The same goes with alcohol, which, in addition to physical sickness, can often be involved in other accidents that could require medical attention. Too much sun can also add to your travel woes. Sometimes overindulgence leads to sluggishness and getting sick. Be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat and stay hydrated and eat smaller portions to stay healthy.
Listen to your body: If you are feeling sick before leaving for your cruise or while you are sailing, don’t ignore your symptoms. See a doctor for the best advice and course of action for travel. While this certainly isn’t a full list of everything you can do to prepare for your cruise and stay healthy while cruising, it offers a good start. Do you have cruise travel tips you’d like to add to our list?