I try to reduce the amount/size of toiletries.
Instead of bringing along:
-that bulky aerosol can of deodorant
-that big, heavy, bulky container of shampoo
I get those 3.5 ounce (100ml) containers and squeeze the shampoo into one of them.
I get the 3.5 ounce container with a pump sprayer on top, and spray my deodorant, Lysol, and other aerosol liquids into these containers. There is usually a travel size of hair spray for sale in the stores, so I don't have to do this for the hair spray.
I also squeeze Sun Tan lotion into these containers.
Usually, these compact toiletries will last through out the 7 days of my cruise, and they will save me allot of space and weight in my bags.
Make sure you do this if you travel through the airport. You can only travel with liquid items in containers of 3.4 oz (100ml) capacity or less, contained in a Quart(Liter) sized ziplock-style plastic bag. Otherwise leave your liquid items in your checked baggage. There are no liquid restrictions for checked baggage.
Also, organizing the other items in several large 1 gallon+ ziplock bags really helped me. For example:
- Medicines in one ziplock bag
- Important documents in another bag
- Reading matierials in another bag
- Ipod, digital camera and cables, adapters in another bag
- etc. etc.
This really worked-out well for me. When I needed something from my luggage, I was able to find it fast, as a result.
Yes, I understand your packing problems. No matter how hard I try, I always overpack.