5 Cruise Packing Tips For Kids

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Cruise Packing Tips family packing clothes

5 Cruise Packing Tips For Kids

by Junior Editor

Hey, cruisers!

I’m Junior Editor. I went on my first cruise when I was nothing but a wee babe. In fact, my first cruise was on my first birthday. I certainly didn’t do my own packing back then, but now that I’m 13, I’m getting more involved in preparing for my cruises and I have some packing tips coming straight from a kid (teen) perspective.

Kids packing tips

#1: Pack early – grab (or download) everything you’re going to need early for your cruise to avoid stress on the day you leave. I always do this, up to 2 weeks before the cruise. Doing this is your first step towards becoming a master of packing tips. 

I usually carry a backpack with me on embarkation day. It makes it a little harder to pack in advance because I use a lot of the stuff I’m packing in there every day, but I usually get my backpack out and add a little bit to it at a time. 

I also like to use packing cubes to start packing early. You can even pick your own color. My personal favorite is blue. 

Usually I download music & movies before my cruise, since I don’t always have access to a good internet connection onboard. I’m a big anime fan, so I like to download lots of anime on Crunchyroll before I leave. I use Crunchyroll mostly on my mobile device. Downloading music and movies is something you can start long before your cruise to make sure you have plenty of entertainment, especially if you have a long flight on the way to or from your cruise. Some platforms expire downloaded things, so be sure to make sure that doesn’t happen.

Cruise Packing Tips girl sitting in suitcase

Here’s a list of packing tips suggestions for you. 

Packing List

In your backpack:

  • Sunglasses
  • Swimsuit & sunscreen for hitting the waterslides before they get crowded 
  • Hat 
  • Hoodie (layers are great in case it gets cold)
  • Amazon Kindle for reading
  • iPad
  • Headphones
  • Chargers 
  • For younger kids, coloring books, activity books for dinner time, crayons or colored pencils 
  • Amazon Fire Tablet
  • A change of clothes (you never know what might happen)
  • Snacks

Clothes & Necessities: 

  • Shorts
  • T-Shirts
  • Jeans 
  • Formal night clothes
  • Shoes (flip flops, sneakers for sports, and whatever shoes my Mom makes me wear for formal nights)
  • Swimsuits
  • Rash guards
  • Socks
  • Underwear 
  • Toiletries (my Mom handles this)
  • Passport & Boarding documents 

Other Random Stuff:

  • Cruise ducks (many cruisers hide these on the ship as a great souvenir for anyone who finds them. Consider hiding some yourself!)
Cruise Packing Tips mother and baby

#2: Double or even triple-check everything – it’s a terrible feeling to realize you’ve forgotten something, and we don’t want any terrible feelings on a cruise. Make a packing list so you don’t forget anything. No matter how much I do this, I mostly always end up stressing on the morning I leave, but it always helps to reduce or even completely get rid of that. 

#3: Always pack swim clothes – whether the weather is cold or hot, there’s almost always a great place to get wet on a cruise, whether it be a slide, pool, or hot tub.

As mentioned in my last article, rashguards are also great for slides, as you may get burned by the speed of the slide or by the blinding sun. This also helps for not putting on as much sunscreen. (I know you probably don’t like to wear sunscreen, almost none of us kids do)

#4: Don’t overpack – think about what you really are going to need or use, and narrow down your choices using a packing list like the one above. It’s never fun to have to lug around heavy luggage. 

I recommend laying your clothes out in matching outfits. You’ll probably need two outfits per day – one for running around the ship or enjoying time in port and another one for dinner time.

#5: Bring books – something will always change on a cruise, so port days may become sea days, and books are great to have around to lighten up a lazy sea day. I recommend classics such as The Mysterious Benedict Society, Percy Jackson, Harry Potter, and The Wingfeather Saga for adventure lovers such as myself.

Comic books are great too! While not as educational as regular books, they can keep you on the edge of your seat and make you laugh. My personal favorite is Garfield. The Amazon Kindle is a great choice for keeping a small load. (just one tiny tablet instead of tons of heavy books!) For comic books though, I recommend taking paperbacks, as they’re light, and while the Kindle has comic books, they don’t have color. (as of now)

I hope you enjoyed these packing tips!

Until next time, see you on the high seas!Junior Editor

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Sheri and her family are California based cruise content creators focused on providing practical tips and advice to new and seasoned cruisers. CruiseTipsTV’s audience enjoys following Sheri and her family as they travel the world by ship creating travel films. Sheri has visited destinations like Japan, Mexico, Alaska, Europe and the Caribbean, and has experienced 33 cruises on 6 cruise lines. She was named one of Porthole Cruise Magazine’s 10 Travel Influencers Changing How We Vacation in 2018 and 2019. Sheri has been quoted in the New York Times, CNBC, Forbes, Prevention, and Business Innovator Radio. Her YouTube Channel, CruiseTipsTV has over 87,000 subscribers and 17 million views.