Packing for little kids? (Alaska in May)

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#1
48 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
I need some help with what to pack for my little ones. We're going to Alaska May 8-15th with a set of grandparents. My oldest will be a month shy of 3yo, the youngest will be 11mo old.

I've been looking at the average temps online, but was hoping some experienced Alaska cruisers could help me a bit more. Will they need winter boots or just sneakers? Which is better, a raincoat with layers or something heavier? Should I get a "weather shield" for our stroller? (Still not sure on which one to bring...either a BOB Revolution single or a Joovy Caboose ultralight with the jump seat for the older child, but neither one can really sleep in it.)

Any kids packing tips and suggestions for what to wear or bring for them are VERY welcome! I really don't want to overpack, but at this point I probably would because I'm not sure what to expect but want them to be comfortable. Thanks!!
#2
3,523 Posts
Joined Apr 2008
For the 3 year old - layers like you would do for the adults. Our usual "uniform of the day" was jeans, long sleeved t-shirt or turtleneck, flannel shirt, and medium weight water-resistant jacket with a hood, and hiking boots. We went in early September. I think some kind of boot would be a good idea - especially if the toddler is one who manages to find (and stomp in) every puddle along the way. Mittens too just in case it's chilly.

It may be rainy so I think I would go with some kind of rain shield for the stroller. My sons are in their late 30's so they didn't have the nice strollers like they have now.

Basically pack for all kinds of weather - it'll probably be changeable in May.

You're going to love Alaska. The scenery is absolutely gorgeous.
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#3
Toronto
3,517 Posts
Joined Feb 2007
Originally posted by CCH828
I need some help with what to pack for my little ones. We're going to Alaska May 8-15th with a set of grandparents. My oldest will be a month shy of 3yo, the youngest will be 11mo old.

I've been looking at the average temps online, but was hoping some experienced Alaska cruisers could help me a bit more. Will they need winter boots or just sneakers? Which is better, a raincoat with layers or something heavier? Should I get a "weather shield" for our stroller? (Still not sure on which one to bring...either a BOB Revolution single or a Joovy Caboose ultralight with the jump seat for the older child, but neither one can really sleep in it.)

Any kids packing tips and suggestions for what to wear or bring for them are VERY welcome! I really don't want to overpack, but at this point I probably would because I'm not sure what to expect but want them to be comfortable. Thanks!!
A lot of it will depend on where you're from. If you're from a warm weather climate, it will feel a LOT colder than if you're from a cold weather climate.

I'm from a cold weather climate, and even I was running around to all the shops in our first port, trying to find a warm fleece for ds6 - in early August.

For children the age of yours, I'd bring both a rain proof winter coat and a fleece jacket with layers.
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#4
48 Posts
Joined Apr 2010
Thanks! Yes, we're coming from a pretty hot location. (Just moved to California.)

Keep the suggestions coming!
#5
Southern CA
2,074 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
Honestly layers work. But this year Alaska broke records on cold. Stress warm clothes in May. They have perma frost. You are going to encounter a tad more frozen Alaska than normal.
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Jeanne
Just done a lot of cruises and have more planned.
#6
Montgomery County, Maryland
3,986 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
I got my son one of those thin long sleeve under shirts - like you see the soccer players wear.
Over that he will wear a long sleeve t-shirt.
We are also packing a fleece & a weather resistant jacket
hat, mittens, tennis shoes

(We plan on buying a sweatshirt souvenir, so we will have that as well.)
#7
Southern CA
2,074 Posts
Joined Aug 2005
You will have no problem finding sweatshirts. Alaska has them all over. Actually they do really well offering up very affordable warm weather stuff. To their benefit if too cold people will stay on the ship.
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Jeanne
Just done a lot of cruises and have more planned.
#8
Central Iowa
1,088 Posts
Joined Jul 2008
We were in Alaska in mid June and it was a cold, wet week.

We usually travel with layers of fleece and outer waterproof jacket. We all have fleece zip jackets, and fleece tops with base layer polyester tops that we can add, as well. Be prepared to pile on the layers and peel them off randomly through the day depending on weather, proximity to glaciers, and elevation if you are on excursions. Don't leave home without fleece hats and mittens/gloves for everyone. The nice thing about fleece is that it is light and packs small, and also dries quickly if it gets wet.

Waterproof shoes rock, if you can afford them for your child. We've had really good luck with the waterproof Keen shoes, my daughter had a pair last winter that lasted all winter, and has the same style in a larger size that also laster her all winter, including lots and lots of walking and a spring break hike to the bottom of the Grand Canyon. Of course for the budget minded, just pack foot sized plastic bags and make your child weam them over the socks, under the shoes when it is wet. Redneck gore-tex - hey it worked for me when I was a kid.

Winter gear is on sale everywhere so now is a good time to shop, try REI and any outdoorsy gear stores. They have the cutest stuff for kids!

Do make sure you can find what you need well before you go so you can shop online as needed - I'm from Iowa and you can't find gloves/mittens anywhere here at this time of year.
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