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I was just going through thousands of photos from our 10-day Eastern Caribbean cruise. On December 28, we started in Fort Lauderdale, Florida and had port of calls in The Bahamas, St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands), Dominica, Martinique and Antigua. RELATED: One Thing I Wish I’d Bought Before Going on a Cruise

We loved all the ports except the Bahamas. That’s because we ended up not going to shore at the last minute due to windy conditions. The captain said the tenders were unsafe for many of the passengers. That was a bummer but what can you do? Safety is paramount so it’s a good excuse for us to go back.

My son’s favorite island was Dominica, which gained its independence from Great Britain in 1978. I learned a lot about 289-square-mile island from watching a show that Princess Cruises had in their in-room digital library. As the show’s host quipped, unlike many of the other island we were visiting, “Dominica is less flip flops, more hiking boots.”

When we arrived in port, we negotiated with one of the many tour guides to take us on a three-hour tour. He found two other couples to join us so he could fill up his van. It worked out great and the price was right. It ended up being $45 per person.

One of the main attractions in Dominica is Titou Gorge, which is a narrow gorge that was formed as molten lava cooled and split apart. Guides take groups for a short swim to the base of a waterfall. I didn’t go because no one else in our group wanted to and I didn’t want to hold everyone up. Plus, the water was apparently very cold and I didn’t really feel like getting all wet.

However, when I was planning to go, I remembered that I’d forgotten to bring a waterproof phone pouch for my iPhone. There’s no sense going on an amazing tour to a waterfall and not being able to document it. My wife always travels with this waterproof phone pouch (though she hadn’t brought it on the tour, not thinking we’d be doing any water activities). Fortunately, vendors all around were selling them but it’s really better to bring your own on a tour or whenever you hit the beach since it’s a vacation essential.

These waterproof phone pouches are inexpensive and are more imperative for those who are spending time at the beach and want to swim. When you use one, you won’t have to have someone stay back with your belongings on the beach because it allows you to keep your phone, money and ID safe while you swim. It might not look super cool (especially when you use the lanyard and wear it around your neck) but at least it will keep your valuables safe, dry and in your possession. As an added bonus, you can take photos through the plastic. I took the photo above while swimming with my wife in Martinique. So if you’re going swimming, or doing any water activities like kayaking, fishing, surfing, sailing, water skiing, boating, snorkeling, tubing or rafting, you can turn your phone into an underwater camera.

And of course, you can still use your phone while it’s in the case, so you can still make and take calls, check your email, send text messages, etc. All in all, a handy little accessory to always throw in your suitcase when you travel.

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