Cruise Packing Tips for Military Members

The good news is that life in the military, or as part of a military family, can often help prepare you for efficient suitcase packing when traveling. There are few travel experiences where you’ll need that ability more than when you’re taking a cruise. Ship cabins tend to be limited in space, so use your packing skills to make sure that you have everything that you need within the confines of your space allowance. Here are some tips to help you get ready for your cruise.


You want to have the documents that you’re going to need for the trip handy at all times, so don’t bury your only copies in the bottom of a large suitcase. Designate a small carry-on bag as the place to keep all of the drivers licenses, military ID cards, boarding passes, tickets for planned onshore activities, passports, itineraries, airline tickets and medical and auto insurance cards that you’ll need for your family.

Consider making second copies of all of the important paperwork that can be stored in a suitcase, just in case you are somehow separated from your smaller bag. You may also want to consider scanning your important documents and emailing them to yourself. That way, if you’re in a pinch, you can get the information you need from any computer with an internet connection.


Most cruise lines have some type of dress code, so be sure that you check it before making any final decisions on the clothes that you plan to pack. Some cruise lines request formal attire in the dining room, some have certain formal nights, and some don’t require anything more formal than “resort casual,” which is usually similar to business casual (golf shirts, casual dresses, no jeans).

Unless you’re going on a cruise that strictly requires nightly formal wear every night, you can probably get by with just one cocktail dress, formal suit, or tuxedo. Casual resort wear is a lot easier to pack and tote around than formal evening wear, so don’t go overboard on the formal attire. Bring at least two bathing suits per person-they don’t take up a lot of space and then you’ll always have a dry one to put on.

Be sure not to forget other important things like prescription medications and chargers for electronic devices.