What do you pack and take when you’re not going on a cruise? Well, that depends on the type of trip you are taking, where you are going, and how you are getting there.

One of my hobbies is ballroom dance. I recently decided to go into ballroom competition. This is not cruise travel. Additional, it requires specialty clothing. For this kind of travel the rules change somewhat.

The items required for competition include gowns, special shoes, makeup, and jewelry. The gowns for ballroom dance, no matter their style American or International, tend to be somewhat fragile, and extremely voluminous. It is not uncommon for these gowns to have feathers attached, crinoline petticoats, fishline in hemlines, lots of rhinestone crystals, and a variety of elastic straps. The inside of these gowns often have bodysuits – think bra and underwear attached.

This means these outfits take up room – lots of room. Since there is a certain fragility to these gowns, you cannot automatically just roll them up and put them in a suitcase. A hanging garment bag is a much better choice. But it is not a good idea to check them, but carry them on if at all possible. The reason you want them as carry on is you don’t want to chance losing them – makes sense. They are expensive outfits and not that easy to replace. Its not like you can go to a corner store and purchase them.

The shoes worn for competition are not regular street shoes. These shoes are often satin outside, with suede soles. These are not made for street wear. Wearing them out on a street will ruin the suede bottoms. Additionally you may need to take specific jewelry as required to go with the outfit. Where makeup is a normal part of most women, depending on your regular routine, for competition you may need to bring a wider variety.

In addition to taking the clothing required for competition, you will need to take other clothing for those times you are not in your competition outfit. All this means when getting ready for a competition, I have to rethink some of what I take. In addition to the clothes I need for dancing in, I also need clothes for travel to and from the competition, clothes for dinner or any other outing I may have. But in this situation, the most important clothes are those I need for dancing. So those are the items I do my best to take as carry on. Since I have to wear something on the fly/travel, I will have something to wear for non-dancing times.

When you’re not just taking a cruise, you may need to rethink what you take, and how you pack it ie. what goes in carry on.