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                     Holidaymakers can call on ‘Holiday Preps’ to help resolve packing woes

                   After the pandemic, nearly a quarter of Brits have forgotten how to pack

  • MSC Cruises assembles squad of ‘Holiday Preps’ – travel and organisation pros to offer live 1-2-1 consultations to eliminate packing stress
  • MSC Virtuosa sailings depart from Southampton this summer, meaning no airports and no baggage stress – ideal for the 35% who worry about those extra charges


6 April 2022: Restrictions have been lifted and holidays are on the cards again for travel-starved Brits – but two years of disrupted plans mean our packing skills have plummeted. From the disorganised to the downright daft, MSC Cruises reveals Britain’s packing nightmares, and saves the day with a team of packing pros.


35% of Brits find packing stressful, with one in ten[1] even saying they find it so stressful, they do not want to go on holiday. What’s more, the pandemic has knocked our confidence – nearly a quarter[2] have forgotten how to pack since pre-pandemic times, with this figure almost doubling[3] for parents with three or more children. Full-time students are amongst the biggest worriers, with a third[4] saying they feel more anxious about packing now than they did before the pandemic.


Coming to the rescue, MSC Cruises has assembled a team of super packers. You’ve had holiday reps before, so now it’s time to meet the ‘Holiday Preps’. The team, who are sharing their top tips, comprises of: Emily Norris, the resident family packer; Jeannine Williamson, pro-cruiser and travel writer; Yaya & Lloyd, travel influencers AKA Hand Luggage Only, and Nicola Lewis, the professional organiser. Between them, they are helping hopeless packers prep for their holidays, eliminating the stress so they can get back to focusing on fun. What’s more, guests who book a trip on MSC Virtuosa sailing from Southampton have the chance to book 1-2-1 video consultations with a Holiday Prep for bespoke advice and guidance on what and how to pack for their cruise.


Antonio Paradiso, UK Managing Director of MSC Cruises said: “At MSC Cruises we want to make exploring the world as easy as possible for our guests. Whether it’s providing new and exciting destinations to visit without the need to fly, or assembling a team of experts to give the best tips and tricks on how to pack reducing that pre-holiday stress, we want our guests to get back to the important bit – enjoying their holiday.


There are still a lot of misconceptions around cruise holidays, such as thinking that you have to dress up every night or that there might not be enough to do onboard. At MSC Cruises we want to make cruise holidays more accessible and break down those myths around cruising, and what better way to help guests than right at the start of their holiday with their packing. Whilst there are plenty of opportunities to dress up, there is always a more relaxed option available too so however you want to holiday there is a cruise for you.


With potential packing lists longer than a queue at Stansted, cruise holidays can be seen as particularly tricky to pack for. From formalwear to poolside attire, planning for different climates and excursions with some cruises taking in six different destinations in seven days. There are hundreds of onboard activities from high ropes courses to spin classes, so for tentative packers it’s hard to know where to start. Fortunately, MSC Virtuosa is departing from Southampton from April – November season, so it is airport – and ‘baggage panic’ free – handy for the 35% of Brits who worry about restrictions, so guests can feel prepped for their holiday, whether they are hiking in the Norwegian fjords, basking in Barcelona or simply relaxing in the MSC Aurea Spa.


Research shows we all struggle with what to take on holiday as 60% of Brits admit to being serial over-packers. Two in three women and half of men[5] do not wear all the items they pack and 17% of Brits confess to being disorganised packers – leaving everything to the last minute.

 It’s also a point of contention for holidaying couples, with 25% of married couples arguing over packing too much and another 25% arguing over packing unnecessary items. And the more kids to account for, the more arguments to expect – 64% of those with one child have rowed with their other half over packing, going up to 77% for those with three or more children.

This may be why 33% of parents with three or more kids would be willing to pay someone to pack for them. Fortunately, MSC Cruises’ Holiday Preps service is free…

To request a packing consultation with a Holiday Prep, guests sailing on MSC Virtuosa this year can visit the MSC Cruises’ Facebook page or the MSC website for more details.

 The MSC Cruises Holiday Preps’ tips can be found in full via their Instagram pages here:


MSC Virtuosa offers a range of different cruises this season with all 23 sailings embarking guests in Southampton from the new Horizon Cruise Terminal, from 2-night mini cruises to Guernsey to 14-night explorations of the Mediterranean.


 For more information on MSC Virtuosa click here



                                                                           -ENDS -


Jeannine Williamson, The Pro-cruiser, top tips:

  •  SHOWER POWER: Save shower caps! Put them around all the shoes in your suitcase to prevent any dirt on the soles getting onto other items; wrap up costume jewellery and keep it all together; protect electronics from getting wet or, if you have a fridge in your cabin, put a shower cap around a plate of food to keep it fresh until you want to eat it.
  • DON’T GET BOOKED UP: Don’t pack lots of books and magazines – at most, download them to a device. The busy daily programme of activities, shore excursions, entertainment and never-ending food and drink means there is hardly time to read a newspaper, let alone War and Peace!
  • CAPSULE WARDROBE: It’s very easy to over-pack and end up taking away far too much. Lay out all the clothes, shoes and accessories you plan to take before you go, rather than getting things straight out the wardrobe and putting them into a suitcase. Try to stick to two or three main colour schemes. Put them together as ‘whole’ outfits - and take photos of them a reminder - so you can easily see which tops can be worn with different skirts and trousers and how outfits can be mixed and matched, and accessorised with scarves and jewellery, so they can be worn several times but still look like a different outfit.
  • TINY TOILETRIES: If you really can’t pack light, then buy all your toiletries in travel size on board the ship. That way they aren’t in your luggage, so it weighs less, and you can use them during the cruise and won’t have to bring them all home.
  • LAYER UP: Even if you’re travelling in the height of summer take a variety of clothes that can be layered over T-shirts and shirts, such as long-sleeved jumpers, cardigans, a jacket and lightweight raincoat. Temperatures can fluctuate and it gets cooler at night if you want to sit out on deck with a cocktail. Shrugs or shawls for ladies are also a great idea and the latter take up little room and are easy to roll up in your suitcase. For summer cruises take a sunhat or baseball cap and pack a beanie or similar for winter sailings.
  • WEATHER IT OUT: For Mediterranean cruises take loose-fitting clothing that will be comfortable in hot climates. Natural fabrics such as cotton or moisture-wicking tops are best. Don’t forget wide-brimmed sunhats, sunglasses, sunscreen and insect repellent.
  • WRITE ON: If you like writing postcards from different ports of call get a sheet of peel-off address labels and before you go write the names and addresses of the people you’re going to send postcards to. This saves time writing them on the cards when you’re there, or remembering to take an address book with you.
  • BAG OF TRICKS: If you have a fabric suitcase then line the bottom with reusable plastic bags and pop one or two on the top to cover your clothes when you have finished packing. This will keep your clothes dry if bags are left outside in the rain at the airport or before you board your ship. Once you’re aboard and unpacked they can double up as laundry bags for dirty clothes that you bring home and separate them from other items.