Family Travel Hacks & Tips: Bahamas Vacation Edition

 Family Cruises to the Bahamas Make for a Perfect Getaway

By Sherri Eisenberg | Published on May 30, 2023

If you're taking your whole family on a Bahamas vacation, you're probably looking for some family travel hacks to make your kid-friendly trip easier — both on the kids, and on you. While you dream of visiting the Bahamas, remember the reality of family travel also includes a lot of logistics. Lucky for you, these family travel hacks and tips will make your next Bahamas trip an island breeze.

Plan Like A Parent Tips

My number one tip for parents planning a Bahamas cruise vacation with children is to make life as easy as possible for the parents. Trust me, you'll thank me later. Booking a cruise is step one, as cruising is essentially an all-inclusive vacation, at often a more affordable price. The best part? Cruising couldn't be easier. You only have to unpack once, and all of your transportation, lodging and dining are wrapped into one. If you live near a port city that cruises to the Bahamas like one of the many Florida ports; even better. Driving instead of flying to a port can save families thousands of dollars — not to mention the headache associated with flight delays and cancellations. It's both a wise financial choice and one that can eliminate serious travel friction, which is even more important when you have kids along for the ride.

Once the travel logistics are ironed out, dream up what you want your vacation to be like. This is a great opportunity to gather your family for a vacation planning meeting, so everyone feels like they have an input in the trip details. With a loose idea of what the trip will be like, you can pack accordingly. Of course, a Bahamas vacation means plenty of fun in the sun. So, if your kids are the water park type, pack plenty of bathing suits, swim diapers and other necessities (like sunscreen!). Looking forward to exploring small island towns? A good pair of shoes for each member of your family is a must-have. In addition, figure out if you need to bring a stroller onboard. If so, Royal Caribbean makes it easy, but you might need to plan ahead a bit to figure out how you'll pack it.
Another mom tip I have is to pack plenty of snacks. Without fail, traveling with kids means that when they have to use the bathroom or if they want a snack, you couldn't be farther from a restroom or vending machine. A convenient tote or cross-body bag is your saving grace when cruising through the Bahamas. Keep it loaded with snacks — crackers and cookies never fail — so you're ready when the mood strikes on a jam-packed vacation day.

Book Now

Treat your family to a luxurious — and fun! — Bahamas vacation.

Ideas For Making Free Time On Vacation

Taking your kids on vacation is always exciting, and I always get a thrill from seeing my child discover new things. That said, children tire easily, so you should be careful not to overload the itinerary with too many planned excursions. One of my travel hacks for families is to maintain a balance between things to do and free time where anything goes. This can help ensure everyone stays happy throughout the trip.

One thing you should make time for on a Bahamas vacation is a day trip to Exuma to see the island's famous swimming pigs — you read that right. No one is sure whether the pigs washed onshore from a shipwreck or in a storm or whether they were pirate booty that was stashed away on the islands. Today, they swim in the ocean and they're a sight to see when you're visiting the Bahamas. Not only will they amuse the kids and delight you, but it's a video that will live on forever — or maybe even an opportunity for your best family Christmas card photo ever.

If your kids are younger than middle school age, try to stick to the schedule you keep at home while you're on vacation. This includes both eating and sleeping schedules. That may mean parents have to take turns napping with little ones in the stateroom, so pack a good book and be sure to get a room with a balcony so you can soak up the sun during that time. In addition, if your child uses a noise machine with a time-to-wake function, you'll want to pack that, too. You can also ask for a room in a quiet location away from service stations or other loud areas.

Whether you're a single parent or have a partner, one of my favorite travel tips for parents is to make sure you get a little alone time, away from the kids. How can that be possible, you ask? If you travel with friends or grandparents, they can babysit while you take an hour to treat yourself to a spa service or enjoy a romantic dinner. One of my top travel tips for women is to take advantage of the spa services! If you don't have travel companions with you to babysit, don't worry! Adventure Ocean is a great option to keep kids occupied and engaged. The club separates kids into age-appropriate groups for fun activities like arts and crafts and more. Drop kids off at the club for an hour and enjoy some time alone, guilt-free! If your kids really love the club, block out an hour a day when at sea for them to go there while dad grabs a pint at the sports bar or mom reads a book by the pool. This is your vacation, so anything goes!

Of course, spending time together as a family is key on any vacation. I find that it always helps to get my kids excited about new experiences before we leave for vacation. Some kids may be intimidated by the thought of a cruise if it's their first time, so start getting them excited by planning family mini-golf tournaments onboard.
As for port day activities, you can plant the seed ahead of time for the museums or historical sites you'll be visiting. For example, pirate history runs deep in the Bahamas — Nassau was the home base for pirates here for decades. Get your kid's imagination going by reading up on the history and legends of the islands you'll be visiting. You can teach the kids about the tall-masted ships, the types of loot the privateers took from other ships, the lore of buried treasure (which changes the whole tone of a day spent with buckets and shovels on the beach), and maybe even show them an age-appropriate movie in advance of your Bahamas vacation. Once you visit the Pirates of Nassau museum, they'll be so excited to explore more!
Visiting the Bahamas on a cruise is one of the best ways to see this corner of the Caribbean in style.

Enjoy The Amenities Travel Hack

Visiting the Bahamas on a cruise is one of the best ways to see this corner of the Caribbean in style. My final travel hack for families is to enjoy every amenity and luxury available. After all, this is a vacation! So, spend hours lounging by the pool, with a rum cocktail in hand while you watch your kids do cannonballs and shout "Marco!" and "Polo!" Dine at specialty restaurants and catch a show at the theater. A cruise vacation to the Bahamas is an experience like no other, so embrace the island vibe and don't worry about overplanning. The best family vacation memories can't be planned.

Written By

Sherri Eisenberg is a New York City-based travel and food writer who has written about travel for Condé Nast Traveler, Travel and Leisure, Bon Appétit, and The Los Angeles Times and has served as cruise editor for Travel + Leisure and, before that, for Travel Holiday. As senior travel editor of Condé Nast’s Brides, she won the Lowell Thomas Gold Award for best travel coverage in a non-travel magazine. Sherri has been on more than 100 cruises and today she keeps a bag packed at all times so she can hop on a plane — or a ship — at a moment’s notice.

Get Royal Deals, Sign Up Today


Plan A Quick Vacation Getaway To The Bahamas And Key West


Family Vacation Ideas For Cruises Everyone Will Love


Six Secret Finds During Your Weekend Cruise To The Bahamas


Best Food In Nassau: How To Find Local Flavor Fast


Previewing: Promo Dashboard Campaigns

My Personas