“We Can’t Leave Without Them”: Parents Share Their Suitcase Essentials


Wherever it is you’re heading to, packing for a cruise holiday is something of fine art, requiring a certain degree of forward planning to ensure your voyage goes as smoothly as possible. With all the clothing, shoes and other sundries stuffed into your suitcase, space is of the essence, so it’s wise to leave a few things at home so you can maximise room.

But what about the things you can’t fathom not packing? Whether it’s your favourite creature comfort, a tactical snack or something to keep the kids busy, they’re the essentials that take pride of place above everything else in your suitcase.

We got in touch with our favourite parenting bloggers to hear about the things they never leave for a cruise without! If you’re travelling with the family, these helpful hints and tips are there to make things go as smoothly as possible once you’ve set sail.

Stock up on snacks

Rumbling stomachs can often be a nuisance at the best of times, so a few emergency snacks are a good idea on your travels – whoever’s hunger needs sating.

As well as a few other necessities, Maraya from Stuff Mums Like, definitely recommends packing up some things to munch on when you’re abroad: “Any mum that travels knows that there are a few essentials you have to take with you. Mine include a mini first aid kit for emergencies (including band-aids, antiseptic, kids’ Panadol and antihistamines), a change of clothes for you and your children in your carry-on in case of unfortunate accidents, and snacks – so many snacks!”

brother and sister travelling in car

If you’re travelling further afield, Maraya has an excellent tip too: “I always make sure I pack plenty of food I know the kids will eat, just in case of emergencies. Not so much somewhere like the UK or the US, where food is similar, but if you’re heading somewhere in Asia, for example, then chances are you’re going to be caught somewhere where your child refuses to eat the food”.

If your kids aren’t fussy eaters, then try and go the healthy route with their snacks. “Date bars and whole-grain crackers are a saviour when we travel. Check the ingredients list to find good varieties that don’t contain unnecessary ingredients”, says Heidi from Apples Under My Bed. Holidays are about broadening horizons, so why not make it an opportunity for them to try something new when they’re hungry?

Play your cards right

We all know how tedious standing around on holiday can be, especially when you know there’s all manner of adventures out there waiting to be explored. Whether it’s some downtime in the departure lounge or a long train journey, that’s when certain people might start getting impatient.

brother playing a game of cards

Alyson from World Travel Family quells the boredom with a simple pack of cards. “Card games are the first thing we pull out in any situation where waiting is required”, she says, “I have honestly never been anywhere without at least one card game and they’re worth their weight in gold. We’re heading to Everest Base Camp next month, where the mass of our packs will be incredibly important, but you bet those card games are coming too!”

Get crafty with art supplies

If you’re looking to involve your kids in more creative endeavours, then why not bring along some things that let them show off their art skills? It’s something that Jenny from TraveLynn Family swears by.

She says: “I always make sure I have a small bag for crafting with the kids (toddler scissors, coloured pens, plain and coloured paper, paints and glue)”.

children painting in the playground

It seems to have done the trick too: “I’ve taken this bag on sleeper trains across India, to camping holidays in Europe and more recently on our four-month trip traversing Africa in a Land Rover. I always try to limit screen time as much as possible, and I find with the contents of this bag and a bit of imagination, we can enjoy some much-needed quiet time and have fun creating. We also try and find things in nature to use in our crafts such as stones to paint, leaves and grass to sticks”.

Be on the safe side – pack everything

Unsure what items will keep them busy? If you have space, why not bring it all with you? It’s definitely best to err on the side of caution if things tend to get boisterous on your travels.

Andrzej from Wanderlust Storytellers perhaps says it best: “My suitcase gets filled with every possible bribery item!” If you have the right things with you, then making sure your kids are satisfied is easy. Andrzej says: “I am talking about three different types of snacks, toys that take a considerable time to play with (stickers, magnetic puzzles and playdough), not to mention an iPad filled with kids movies and games. We like to keep them comfortable whilst travelling too. For Avalee, our youngest, we always take a sleeping bag together with her favourite sleeping toy, and for Katie and Lily, their comfy headrests. All these things ensure we have a much more pleasant trip as a result”.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this article. If cruising sounds like your kind of bag, then head over to our homepage to view Cruise1st Australia’s full range of cruise deals or give our friendly customer care team a call on 1300 857 345.



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