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Cruise Shopping at the Dollar Store

Hi friends! Cruises are my favorite way to vacation, I love that you can see different countries without having to worry about hotels, rental cars and food, its all factored into one price! Yes, cruises can be very expensive but one way that we are able to help with that is by shopping ahead of time at our local Dollar Store! The Dollar tree has so many great items to make your cruise more comfortable as well as has some really great “life hacks”! Here are some of my favorite Dollar Tree items for cruising!

I also have an Excel Vacation Budget Template on my Etsy shop for $5 if you are wanting to save and keep your vacation budget in order!

Door decorations

Walking down the ships hallways and seeing doors decorated is so fun. I love seeing creative ways people decorate their doors either for the location of cruise (Caribbean) or for a birthday, anniversary or Holiday. The doors are magnetic so its super easy to hang decorations without having to worry about ruining the finish.

Dry erase boards and markers

Just like the doors being magnetic so are the walls of your cabin! The dry erase boards at the Dollar Tree have magnet strips on the back. My husband and I love to leave reminders for ourselves for the next day or fun notes to our room attendant.  

Thank you card for your room attendant

Speaking of room attendant, they work SO hard cleaning all of the rooms and taking the time to learn your name. On our last cruise we saw our room attendant on the other side of the ship and he still greeted us by name. It totally made our day that he took the time to remember our names! We always take the time to leave a hand written thank you card.

Pump hand soap

The cruise ship will only have bar hand soap and I personally like to wash my hands with liquid soap, so I pick one up and keep it in our cabin bathroom.

Dish detergent

If you get the drink package you will want to wash out the travel cup that they provide and wash it out every night. The Dollar Tree carries mini brand name dish detergents like Dawn and Palmolive.

Instant coffee packets/ powdered creamer

On Royal Caribbean only the SUITES have coffee makers so if you are like me and like MULTIPLE cups of coffee throughout the day its helpful to have instant coffee and powdered creamer to keep in the room.

To go coffee cups

The Dollar Tree has really great to go coffee mugs that are perfect for your instant coffee mentioned above or if you want to fill it up from the buffet and take it back to the room with you!

Shower caps

Shower caps are not only good for keeping your hair dry, deep conditioning treatments in the shower but also from protecting your clothes! When packing I always cover the bottoms of my shoes with shower caps to keep the dirt off of my clothes in my suitcase!

Sunscreen and Aloe Vera

I didn’t realize how expensive sunscreen was until I became an adult and found it for over $8 a bottle! The dollar store is a great way to pick up bottles of sunscreen and Aloe Vera which are very important after full days in the sun!

Medications

Just like sunscreen, medications can be very expensive. I love buying basics like antacids, anti-diarrhea medicine, Ibuprofen, cold, cough drops and sleep medicine at the Dollar Tree! You never know what is going to come up on the ship and you want to be over prepared!

Antibacterial wipes

Antibacterial wipes are VITAL for a cruise! I always wipe down all of the door handles, remote, and counters and to use after activities or being around animals in port, great to keep one in your tote bag and one in your room.

Laundry bags

Laundry bags are great for collecting seashells, you can rinse off all the sand and they dry quickly.

Laundry detergent

The Dollar Tree has the perfect size bottles of laundry detergent. I always hand wash some clothes that I want to wear multiple times or get dirty in port.

Clothespins

Clothespins are a must have if you are hand washing any clothes or for drying swimsuits.

Towel clips

Right next to the clothespins are large towel clips, these are great for clipping your towel to the beach chair at the pool or in port to make sure it doesn’t blow away!

Pop up hamper

The pop up hampers at the Dollar Store fold flat in your suitcase and make it very easy to keep the dirty clothes separate. On our last cruise my husband rolled his eyes at me for bringing it but half way through he admitted to how helpful it was not just having a pile of dirty clothes or your dirty clothes mixed with your clean clothes in your suitcase.

Hangers

The closet will have a handful of hangers but that is never enough for my husband and me. We always bring extra hangers, you can’t beat 8 for $1!

Nightlight

At night the cabin rooms get pitch black, to avoid waking everyone else up in the room if you have to go to the bathroom a nightlight is a great way to give enough light to go without waking everyone up! 

Glow sticks

Most cruise ships have a glow sticks night for kids but man oh man are they expensive. Instead stop at the Dollar Tree and pick up your own to bring! They have wands, necklaces and bracelets. Even if the ship doesn’t have a glow sticks night you can even make it a family tradition to pick a night to wear glow sticks around ship and your kids will feel like the coolest kids on the whole ship!

Flip flops

I’ll be honest, Dollar Store flip flops aren’t the best quality or the most comfortable but they are great for the shower in the room or just hanging out in the room. I wouldn’t walk around in port with them or anywhere too far though.

Garment bags

This was a major score! I never knew that the Dollar Store carried garment bags but they do and the quality is surprisingly good! They are perfect for formal nights.

Vacuum storage bags

We are going on an Alaskan cruise and am a little bit concerned about how I am going to pack all of our heavy clothes into two suitcases, it’s not like the Caribbean where you are packing sun dresses that don’t take up much space. I am going to be stocking up on these storage bags, especially for my big down winter jacket.  

Earplugs

Earplugs are a must on a cruise, especially if you are sharing a room with extended family or friends, you never know if they snore or if your room is close to the engine room.

First aid supplies

Accidents or scrapes happen, need I say more. A first aid kit is always handy!

Goggles

Goggles are super fun for the pool or beach, the beaches in the Caribbean have crystal clear water and the fish and shells that you can see swimming is absolutely beautiful!

Your turn!

What are some of your favorite Dollar Store items to bring on cruises?

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