If you book your cruise months in advance you will have plenty of time to keep these things under your radar. If you book your cruise a few weeks or days in advance you may have to speed up doing some of these things, if possible within a short notice.
After booking your cruise vacation, no matter how long until your cruise, make sure you save a copy of your confirmations. Consider making multiple copies of your booking confirmations, airline confirmations, and/or transportation confirmations to ensure you have enough copies in case something goes wrong. You should also keep any receipts or records of deposits/vacation payments. Ask your cruise line or travel agent for confirmations when you pay off your vacation. Also, ask your cruise line or travel agent for some important deadlines that apply to you. These deadlines could be things such as final payment due date, cancellation deadline, or how long you have to digitally check in before embarkation day.
Applying For Proper Government Photo ID:
You will most likely need to have certain documentation or photo id to travel. Ask your cruise line what type of travel documentation you will need to visit a state or country's website to find more information about valid identification. Never assume something will accepted. Always research and check in advance to make sure you have correct documentation needed to travel. Apply for required photo id or documentation in advance. I recommend you apply for these items at least 6 months in advance. If you are applying for a government id or documentation that is known to take a long time to receive apply more than 6 months in advance. Give yourself plenty of time to receive these items and time for processing. Not having proper documentation or photo id could cause you to be turned away from your cruise or to have trouble with a country's customs agents. It is best if you make sure in advance you get the right photo ID or documents to avoid trouble later in time.
- Keep important dates that you have research or learned about in mind and act on deadlines that are approaching.
- Make sure you have all travel documentation & id requirements. If you don't have these things apply as soon as possible.
- Make sure you have secured any transfers, airfare, and lodging that you will need pre or post cruise vacation. Keep a copy of confirmations for transfers, airfare, and lodging as a proof of purchase to try to prevent any problems that may occur with reservations.
- Don't neglect any payments or forget about when your payments are due.
1 Month Prior To Cruising:
- Make sure you are taking care of or have taken care of important deadlines, dates, etc.
- Verify again that you have all of your travel documentation and IDs ready. If you don't you might still have time to apply for what you need. Sometimes there are ways to get documentation expedited for an extra fee. If there is a delay you could risk not having your required items in time to cruise.
- Start writing a packing list and thinking about the items you will need to bring.
- Be checking your bookings online, if your cruise line offers this, to make sure nothing has changed.
The time you start packing is up to you! When I cruise I start by writing a packing list about one month ahead of the cruise. I think about what I will & may need for the entire cruise vacation. About 2 weeks prior to leaving for my cruise vacation I start putting some items in a dedicated corner that will be packed later. About a week before the cruise I have my suitcase out and in my packing corner. One or two days prior to the cruise I put my items into a suitcase and cross them off my list to make sure I don't forget anything.
- Try to stay organized with your packing and create a list.
- Cross items off your list when they are packed so you know what you have ready to take.
- Don't forget toiletries.
- Check your cruise line's website for prohibited items that cannot be packed or brought on the cruise.
One To Two Days Prior To Leaving For Your Cruise:
- Finalize your packing and verify again that you have your travel documentation.
- Don't forget to pack your camera, batteries, and/or a battery charger! I usually start charging my camera's batteries about two days ahead and I also pack a battery charger for during the cruise.
- Have your mail stopped if nobody is going to come by and collect it. You might want to consider having a trusted neighbor pick up your mail & hold it for you while you are gone. If you don't have a trusted neighbor you can try to have the postal service hold your mail.
- Keep packing and thinking of things that you want to bring.
Before Leaving The House:
- Make sure have water faucets off, stove off, appliances off, and valuables secured and hidden.
Note: Some people turn off their water or basic utilities before leaving. If you are one of these people that do this don't forget to follow your routine!
- Make sure you lock all doors and turn on your security alarm, if applicable.
- Make sure you take all luggage, documentation, and anything else you will need.
- Unplug electronics from the plugs incase a power surge occurs while you are gone.
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