Canaries Cruise Part 1: preparations.

I love the anticipation build-up to a holiday, and part of the fun is
all the various preparations and getting ready. So here’s what I’ve
been doing in the few weeks before our Canaries Cruise:

DOCUMENTS
Make sure I have all the tickets and passports. Make a note of
passport numbers in the notes section of my phone. Check all
passports are in date. Check travel insurance is up to date, and
print out the cover note or contact details. Check what currency is
needed and arrange to pick up some notes from bank or post office –
try to get some smaller value notes or coins if possible. There’s
nothing worse than arriving at a foreign airport, needing a one euro
coin for baggage trolley or for tipping porters, when all you have is
a wad of 50 euro notes.

black leather passport holder with the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy logo embossed on it
CLOTHES
Dig out suitcase. Spread all possible clothes and shoes on the spare
bed. Every time I walk past, remove something that is least likely to
be worn. I took a criminal 10 pairs of shoes with me last time I went
on a cruise – not making that mistake again! Choose a hand luggage
bag that will double as a day-bag for shore excursions. Since it
might be some hours on board before the main suitcase appears, I pack
in my hand luggage a T-shirt, pair of shorts, swimsuit and flip-flops
so that I can hit the pool to refresh after the journey. Put one
outfit (crop trousers, top, sandals, underwear) in husband’s suitcase,
so that in the unlikely event of mine going missing at least I have a
change of clothes. Likewise, put one of husband’s outfits in my
suitcase.
EQUIPMENT
Will my phone be enough to take photos, or do I need a camera as well?
Find the various chargers or batteries. iPad and charger –check
there will be wifi on board.  Check what sort of plugs are on board, and pack a suitable adaptor.  Kindle for reading – make sure it’s fully
charged. Possibly a paperback that can be used for leaving on sunbed.
POTIONS AND LOTIONS
Find last year’s suncreams, anti-mosquito sprays and insect repellent.
See if more really truly are needed – best option is to take a half
full bottle and then leave it there to save luggage space on the
return trip. (More room for duty-free goodies!) Same logic for
moisturiser and deodorant. Pack a first aid kit/ medical supplies
with aspirin and paracetemol, plasters, diocalm and rehydration salts,
antihistamines, rescue remedy, arnica cream, alcohol wipes, hand
sanitiser and alka-seltzer. Put any prescribed meds into a weekly
pill box, doubling up if away for more than one week. If any liquids
are going into hand luggage, make sure they are in containers less
than 100ml, in a clear plastic bag.
BODY BEAUTIFUL
A few weeks before departure, do a toning exercise regime. This year
I am doing Jillian Michaels Ripped In 30. Banish pale limbs by using
a self-tanning moisturiser. I like the Palmer’s Cocoa Butter one (£4
from Boots). There are cheaper ones available, but this is the nicest
smelling. And paint finger and toenails – avoid bright reds and strong colours. Soft coral, milky coffee, or a shimmery lilac will look summery and sophisticated.

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