Traveling with young kids has a lot going for it, but it does come with some extra added complications as well. Sure, a vacation with your little ones is a great opportunity to spend some quality time with them, bond a little, and share the joy and excitement of exploring the world with your loved ones, but it is important to be prepared.
Taking a cruise with toddlers is a great way to start them off as travelers. A cruise takes away a lot of the stress and worry about traveling with young kids, with plenty of activities to keep them busy, and so much of the organization already taken care of.
But there’s one aspect of traveling with little ones that you still need to think hard about, even if all you plan to do is take a weekend cruise, and that’s packing.
Packing for a cruise can be a tricky business at the best of times, but when you’ve got toddlers involved it’s a whole other story. Luckily, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at our ultimate packing list for a short cruise with your toddlers, and prepare for a relaxing, successful vacation with all bases covered!
Whether you choose a simple papoose or something a little more structured, a good, comfortable baby carrier is a must for toting your little ones around the ship and on shore excursions.
Many state rooms on cruise ships don’t have baths, and bathing your babies or toddlers in the shower isn’t always ideal. Bring an inflatable tub along with you, and not only will bathtime become more bearable, but it can double up as a fun paddling pool as well!
Plenty of ziplock bags
For accidents, messes, or just an over-excited dive into the pool fully clothed, a good supply of ziplock bags should be on every parent’s packing list.
Sleeping in unfamiliar surroundings can be tough for toddlers, and cruise ships are not always the most child-friendly places to sleep. A nightlight can go a long way towards making you kids feel a little more comfortable after dark.
Something that should go without saying, but packing all the medicines and pharmacy items you might need is essential. Most ships will have places to buy things in an emergency, but it is always best to be prepared.
Some facts about traveling with toddlers: some things might not go to plan, and some things will definitely get messy. So always err on the side of caution, and pack a good supply of extra outfits for your kids.
A lightweight stroller
While a baby carrier is great for the ship and for short excursions, if you are heading ashore for a prolonged period you will want a stroller. Luckily there are plenty of lightweight options that won’t break your back, or the bank!
It is a great idea to do a little research about your chosen ship before you start packing, as you might find that the on-board services can take care of some of your needs! Many ships offer a ‘baby concierge’ service, which can provide everything from diapers and bottles to baby food and other essentials, ready and waiting in your stateroom when you arrive! Similarly, if your ship has a good childcare offer you may find that you don’t need to pack as many toys or stuffies, as these will all be taken care of.
Packing well is an art, but it ensures that your first cruise with your toddlers will be a success. With everything prepared in advance, all you’ll have to do is relax and enjoy yourself!