It’s all smooth sailing from here with tips from our expert on packing for a cruise with kids.
Traveling on a cruise is a superb way to see many places while not having to constantly pack and unpack, which makes it a popular choice for families. Between the pool, on-board activities and port excursions, there’s plenty to keep all ages entertained. But by including a few key items when packing for a cruise, you’ll make your vacation that much more memorable.
Preparing for the Cruise
Before you leave home, make copies of each family member’s passport (adults and kids will need their actual passport with them to board all cruises) and other important travel documents such as tickets and confirmation emails. Leave these copies with your AAA Travel Counselor or another contact in the U.S. in case of an emergency.
Make sure your family has a specific bag containing the originals of these essential documents. One person should be responsible for this bag. Bring it with you onboard, even if you leave your luggage with a porter to be brought to your room later. You’ll want to have access to it just in case. Stash your swimsuits in the same bag so you can enjoy some pool time before your luggage is delivered.
How to Pack
Sometimes the key to a good vacation is what you don’t bring. If you’re flying to your cruise embarkation point, pack as lightly as possible. When packing for a cruise, use luggage that’s easy to fit through the sometimes-narrow hallways of the ship and can be easily stored under the bed in your stateroom to maximize space. Many cruise lines also have laundry facilities available to guests, so you can save space in your suitcases (and your sanity).
What to Bring
Apart from the typical suggestions of clothing, swimsuits and everyday essentials, a few items can make your family cruise all the more enjoyable. When packing for a cruise include plastic grocery bags which are ideal for dirty laundry or wet bathing suits. A travel clothesline with Velcro ends can be used to hang clothing until it dries, while over-the-door shoe holders help keep you organized.
Inset photo: Getty