Dollar Store ‘Finds’ Specifically For Cruises

Photo Credit:  Nicholas Eckhart on Flickr  CC Lic.

A trip to the Dollar store is always on our “To Do” list before traveling.  It’s an excellent place to get many items we need  (or want).

The original article  (Dollar Store Finds for the Frugal Traveler) detailed items for travel/vacation in general.  This article is specifically for cruisers.

Though many of these items can be found at Walmart, Target etc…  what I’m referring to here are the stores that sell everything for $1 — Dollar Tree, The Dollar Store, Deals, etc…


Space is a valuable commodity in a cruise ship cabin. The Dollar Store has a variety or ‘qualities’ for everything from liquids (shampoo, conditioner, lotion/crèmes) to small items like medication, earrings, etc… 🙂

travel size bottles

These TSA approved containers have ‘secure’ lids.

You can always put these in a Ziploc bag (get these at the Dollar Tree too…) or put a  piece of plastic (grocery bag, etc…) inside the lid before closing it.






These containers wiyth snap on lids come in pack of either 6 or 10 and would be great for small items –  earrings, Advil/Tylenol, wax earplugs,  etc…travel size containerstravel size containers







The variance seemed to be in the quality of the container AND lid.

Cater the quality of your purchase to what you plan to use them for.


Medications:travel size medications

Travel sized medication bottles.  I bought these years ago….the meds were gone a LONG time ago.  I reuse the BOTTLES each year though (remember, medication has expiration dates…. ) I refill these travel size BOTTLES each year with ‘new’ meds from my Costco size stash.



medication containers

Pill organizers are of course for daily meds or vitamins….or use them to pack pill organizer - 3x/dayjewelry – rings or earrings.  Everything stays contained and separated. Cruises are the only time I would take enough jewelry to warrant something like this.








Eye masks are great for that nap – on the plane…or on an Alaskan cruise when the sun never seems to set.  Do you have a red-eye flight?  – great for that too.







ear plugs



Ear plugs come in handy quite often – for flights or if you happen to have a cabin in a noisy area.  I liked this set with the small container for storage – I bought 2 of them as I’m always losing earplugs.  🙂


post its and highlighters



Yes…paper is my weak spot.  I LOVE all the options at the Dollar Tree – post it notes of all sizes and colors, pads of paper for note taking in the planning sessions…or for leaving notes for the cabin steward or other family members.

There are also highlighters for marking the cruise schedule each day.  They have multi-colored packs great for  traveling with teens or on multi-family cruises







Nightlights – especially for interior cabins–though we use them in balcony cabins too


Some people like tea lights for this because they don’t require a plug.  Dollar Tree has those too…



3 plug extenders




Plugs that turn 1 outlet into 3 – an absolute necessity with outlets being in such short supply.





zip ties



Zip ties for luggage placed in the hallway the night before disembarkation.  NOTE:  You only want to use these if you’re headed home at the end of your cruise OR if you have means to get them off.  They are quite effective in  ‘securing’ your bag…but MAY keep YOU out if you don’t have scissors or knife.  🙂





It’s a good idea to wipe down surfaces (doorknobs, remote, light switches, etc..) to disinfect (i.e. Norovirus et al.)  These travel sizes are just the right size. Walmart has packs of these…but they’re packs of 9 for .97.  This is a pack of 15….for .03 more.  Better value at Dollar Tree!  🙂


Hand sanitizer or hand sanitizing wipes for mealtime et al   20170613_142858





antibacterial wipes - travel size


Two different packs – a pack of 40 for $1….or 3 packs of 10 for $1….I actually liked the 3-pack.  They stay sealed (and ‘wet’) until you open them.  It may be a lesser quantity, but I think overall, it’s a better ‘deal’…..unless you have a big family.  🙂








Clips of all kinds come in handy for hanging swimsuits, securing towels on a windy clothespinsbalcony or keeping curtains closed for privacy or ‘dark’ on Alaskan cruises.  The Dollar Tree has clothespins (lightweight and the best value) big plastic clips (3/$1) or  binder clips in the office supply section (3/$1)  I always throw several different clips (variety) into our suitcase.  🙂





Small clothes hamper – lightweight and  collapsible     –or– mesh laundry bags.  These are a great size for the small cruise cabin.



Mesh laundry bags…lightweight…..





flavored water packets

These are nice for any vacation – but we particularly like them for cruises. We don’t spend money on ‘drinks for purchase’ – we drink the tea, lemonade and coffee offered free, then bring these along to flavor the water when we want something different.   Dollar Tree has Snapple and Wylers and sometimes Minute Maid- all very good brands (imho)


WHO takes food on a cruise?  Well…those who may want snacks while in port –(Some ports – Mexico in particular – may not have ‘safe’ water sources…..)  The ONLY food items allowed off the ship in port are items that are pre-packaged (sealed) by the manufacturer.  So yes…I take some snack items on cruises.

packages of peanutshigh protein snacks





High protein snacks –   Dollar Tree has quite a few options.  Now, I personally don’t purchase pre-packaged nuts – I find them to be rancid (nothing to do with Dollar Tree…I feel that way about Walmart bags too) but for those who like them, these are certainly less expensive.

cheese and pretzelssnack-individual sizes




peanuts or snack crackersvariety of snack crackers from Dollar store





EVEN Sugar Free!!!!


SUGAR FREE options!!


 20140718_1911551.jpgThere are many options at the Dollar Tree for organizing your travel paperwork, boarding passes, luggage receipts, tickets, confirmations, etc…  There  accordion files in a 5 x 8 size  are what I’ve used for several years.  They also have PLASTIC pocket folders that work well for this.  They’re durable and hopefully will last through an entire vacation.  🙂


Other items that I didn’t take pics of….I mean there’s just so much!!!

  • magnetic clips/hooks…or just ordinary magnets –  to hang or attach things to stateroom walls (the walls are magnetic btw)
  • lint rollers for those formal night clothes
  • Dry erase boards for leaving notes for steward or other family members.  These would be GREAT if going on a Group Family cruise…buy one for every family and put it in their own personal ‘goodie bag’….along with highlighter, post its, a magnet and night light…???  just some ideas…  🙂
  • On our upcoming Alaskan cruise, I”m going to take some of the Dollar Tree shower caps for covering shoes.  I am expecting rain (and therefore mud….) on our land portion and it will be nice to have a way to cover dirty shoes when we pack to leave.


Happy Shopping!