With Spring Break around the corner for many families, it will soon be time to also pack your bags for the trip. Whether you’re going to a tropical cruise, a theme park, or to visit with family and friends, you need to make sure you have all the essentials. Being well prepared means that you won’t have to drop extra money on essentials you need from gift shops, or be stuck without. Follow this easy guide to help you hit the road with all your gear in tow.
Sunscreen should be worn every day, but we often forget about wearing it until we are going away on vacation. If you, and especially any children, will be exposed to the sun, you need to have a good sunblock on hand. I always take at least two bottles with me,so if I run out I won’t have to spend an arm and a leg at a gift shop. I always use sunblock that is sport strength in a spray on format. It’s easy to apply and is quick for impatient kids. Typically these types of sunblock are also waterproof so pool or beach time won’t ruin their protection. Be sure to apply every hour and a half and apply at least fifteen minutes before initial sun exposure. Even if you’re hitting the slopes or spending outdoors in cloudy weather, make sure you are completely protected.
One “Out of Season,” Outfit
I have been taken by surprise by a cold night or unseasonably warm day on a vacation more than once. Spring is typically very chaotic weather wise, so I always pack an outfit that doesn’t fit the season or climate. For example, if I were going to a beach destination, I would bring a pair of jeans and a light jacket. Check weather predictions for the location you’re vacationing to, but always be prepared for the unexpected. No one likes to be too cold or too warm when they’re trying to enjoy an experience.
What are busy items? Busy items can be anything that you or your children like to do to pass the time. No matter how you’re traveling to your destination, you could end up with delays or just a lot of minutes to fill between activities. For me, I like to bring my tablet with me to read or play games on long flights and lay overs. For car trips, my sister packs each of her children their favorite toy, book and always has a DVD in their portable player. As silly as it sounds, even as an adult you might need something to keep you busy, busy items always keeps me from hopping into a gift shop and buying things I don’t need.
A Spare Pair of Shoes
Once on a trip, I packed my favorite pair of reliable sandals, which turned out to be not so reliable. I tripped and ripped apart the fabric of the sandal and cracked the sole rendering them unwearable. I always recommend even if its a pair of flip flops or slip on sneakers to pack an extra pair of shoes. When flying, take the most light weight pair of shoes that you can wear with multiple outfits. In tourist-geared areas, a new pair of flip flops might cost you nearly $10, so make sure you don’t have to shell that out on something you don’t want.
As mentioned before, purchasing items at a gift shop or even a hotel can be extremely expensive. Make sure you have enough toiletries to last your entire trip. I recommend that instead of packing tiny travel sized products to take a full size bottle, bar or can of the products you use. If you’re flying, this is not an option unless you check your bags, but for traveling in a car or on a cruise it is essential. Make sure that you have all your medications full and ready to go. Once I forgot a medication at home and had to have it called into a pharmacy where I vacationed. It was another hefty cost I did not want to throw away on something I didn’t need.
Another packing tip is if you are flying, pack a change of clothes in your travel companion or child’s bag, and pack a change of clothes or two of theirs in your bag. If luggage is lost, then you or your loved one will have a fresh outfit to wear while waiting for it to arrive. A friend of mine lost her bag when traveling overseas, so she had nothing to wear but what she could pick up from tourist shops until her bag arrived. Thinking ahead can make a major headache a little less severe.
The last item I always pack is a camera or at the very least, always have my phone fully charged. Whether its just a quick visit to see family or the vacation of your dreams, spring break can be full of moments that you won’t soon forget. Making sure you’re well packed and prepared can make the trip flow smoothly so you can focus on making memories.