By now I'm sure you know, we are back from our Alaskan cruise! It was truly once in a lifetime & my family and I had so many amazing experiences while we were on the trip! (more on that later though) Today's post is all about what to pack for a trip like this!! Before we left, I searched high & low & couldn't find a great packing list. I packed what I thought I would need and did a pretty good job, but I did wish I had brought a few items & wish I had left a few items home. Today I'm breaking it down for you!

Before I get into what I packed, here's what you need to know about this trip. It was mid/end JULY. We started in Anchorage, then boarded our cruise ship, stopping in Sitka, Juneau, Skagway & Ketchikan before ending in Vancouver, BC, Canada.


Outerwear: Rain Jacket/Fleece Jacket
Tops: Tanks (for layering)/Long Sleeve Tees/Short Sleeve Tees/Sweatshirts
Bottoms: Sweatpants/Leggings/Shorts/Jeans (one pair of blue, one pair of black)
Evening Attire: Dresses (Recommend fall/winter style dresses)/Cardigan/Heels/Black Pants (no jeans allowed in the dining room on the ship)/Blouses
Bags: Backpack/Clutch (for ship)
Shoes: Sneakers/Slide Sandals (for ship)
Accessories: Scarf/Gloves/Hats (beanie & cap styles)/Sunglasses
Miscellaneous: Socks/Undies/Bras/Sea Bands/Camera

*These are the 'can't live without' items on my packing list. Of course, you need jeans, long sleeve tops & undies, but the below few items really made a difference during my trip!

Rain Jacket: My rain coat certainly came in handy on this trip! Not only to combat the rain but also the wind & any other elements we encountered. I recommend a real rain coat, not a trench, if possible. Mine was lined making it extra warm & had a nice big hood to keep me warm & dry. 

Fleece Jacket/Heavy Sweater: Another item I wore almost everyday. When looking up what to wear in Alaska, one article said you need 3 layers: your comfort layer (aka t shirt), a warmth layer (aka fleece or sweater) & your protective layer (rain coat/jacket to protect you from wind or rain). This article stuck with me as I got dressed each day on the trip because these 3 layers truly made up my outfits each day.

Sea Bands: I was super skeptical about how well these would work but they were amazing! During the first couple of days cruising, we had some 'rough seas,' and my sea bands came in handy! (In fact, my grandpa, aunt & sister all ended up buying & wearing pairs as well!)

Cap: I packed both beanie hats & baseball style caps and ended up wearing my caps more than I thought! A cap is a great accessory for the area we were in because it kept my head warm, the wind from blowing my hair around and kept the sun or rain out of my eyes, depending on the day! A cap isn't something I always pack when I go on vacation but for this trip, I would highly recommend it.

Sneakers: I wore sneakers everyday on this trip. We walked, hiked, walked some more, so a good pair of sneakers (or two!) is a must! 

Backpack: The only bag I used during this trip was a backpack...scratch that, the only bag I used during this trip was my sister's backpack. I had brought along my leather backpack which was great for fitting a bunch of stuff but not so great in the rain. My sister had brought a nylon backpack, which was much more durable in the rain & more comfortable to carry around all day, every day. Find a comfy, durable backpack and invest in it!

Camera: I actually wish I had taken MORE pictures. It's funny, I spend a lot more time on my phone when I am bored & a lot less time when I am busy. But looking back, I want the memories from those busy days!! Whether you use your phone or an actual camera, make sure to take lots of photos since this trip is once in a lifetime! Also, if you have the room in your luggage, I would recommend bringing your best camera & largest zoom lens you have available!

*Of course, everything on my list in this post is just suggested, but here's what I felt I could have lived without...

Shorts:  LOL at the fact that I brought 2 pairs of shorts. My shorts never even left my suitcase while on the trip. It was much too cold & even on the ship, people were dressed relatively warm. Instead of the shorts, I wish I had brought a few more pairs of leggings.

Short Sleeve Tees: You can definitely bring short sleeves with you if you are more comfortable in them, but I actually didn't touch my pile of short sleeve tees at all. Instead, I would wear a tank top & layer a long sleeve tee on top. Personally, I would have rather packed additional tanks/long sleeve options than using up space in my suitcase for short sleeves tops.

Umbrella: Our cruise ship was nice enough to provide umbrellas to everyone. They were waiting for us in the closet of our state rooms & boy, they came in handy! If you plan to travel to Alaska, I would recommend checking with your hotel/cruise to see if umbrellas are provided, otherwise definitely plan to pack/buy one.

Glacier Boots: One of the highlights of this trip was definitely visiting and spending time exploring a glacier. I'll be sharing a ton more about each of our excursions next week, but if you plan to visit a glacier during your trip, one thing you don't need to worry about packing is glacier boots. These were provided by our tour company prior to stepping foot on the glacier. Basically, they are boots with spikes on the bottom specifically made to help you dig into the ice you are stepping on & help keep your balance.

Bathing Suit: I would say a swimsuit is OPTIONAL for this trip since there were hot tubs on our ship & they often had people in them. I personally didn't make any use of my bathing suit, so I think this is a take it or leave it kind of situation.


Sweatshirts: Although I did bring a few, I spent a majority of my time wearing sweatshirts on this trip & wish I had packed a few more. I found a sweatshirt to be more comfortable than a sweater or fleece jacket at times and most of my sweatshirts are more oversize than a normal sweater, making them perfect for layering!

Ugg Boots/Slippers: I had mentioned to my family that I had thought about bringing my Uggs & they all thought I was silly! The temperatures were 50's & 60's where we were going. Let me tell you, I wish I had brought them along. 50-60 degrees without sun is pretty chilly. My Ugg boots would have been perfect for keeping my feet warm & are also super comfy to slip on while we were roaming around the ship.

Rain Boots/Booties: I had a similar situation with my rain boots as I did with my Uggs. Being from NY, we thought, how much could it rain?? Let me tell you, in Alaska, it rains a LOT. In fact, one tour told us it rains approximately 300 days per year & where we were was considered to be a part of a rain forest. I would definitely recommend rain boots for this trip if you can find space for them in your suitcase. (Rain booties are a great option as well! They will keep your feet just as warm & dry as a typical rain boot but are shorter around the leg, only coming up about ankle height!)

I hope you found this post to be helpful! If you want to shop any specific items that I brought along, check out the widget below! If you have any specific questions, leave them in the comment section below & I will be sure to get back to you!!

Michelle Paige

Shop a portion of my personal packing list below:

Rain Jacket / Fleece Jacket / Tank Top / Long Sleeve Tee / Short Sleeve Tee / Sweatshirt / Leggings / Shorts / Blue Jeans / Black JeansLong Sleeve Dress / Peep Toe Heels / Off Shoulder BlouseBackpack / Nike Sneakers / Adidas Sneakers / Slide Sandals / Baseball Cap / Sunglasses / Sea Bands