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Complete Guide to Easy Packing for Spring Break with Kids


NYC weather has been brutal this winter! Reason why we're already counting down the days until we can ditch this cold and leave the stress of work and school behind. Are you ready to take off, sip on strawberry daiquiris with your toes in the sand while watching the kids splash around in the waves? I sure am! Today I thought I'd share with you my complete guide to easy packing for Spring Break, because traveling with kids can seem scary but it really doesn't have to be complicated! 


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Complete Guide to Easy Packing for Spring Break

Packing. This can be a daunting task, especially when packing for the entire family, small kids included. Thankfully, I've mastered the art of packing for the ultimate spring break trip with kids and I'm here to help you! Here are the essentials you'll need, including packing suggestions that I'm sure you'll find useful. Read on!

Handbag / Carry On

Use an oversized bag as your handbag/carry-on for traveling to your spring break destination. Whether you’re traveling by car, bus or plane, you’ll want to keep essential items easily accessible. In addition, an oversized bag and carryon will work as your beach bag once you reach your destination. No need to bring another! 
I really love this Away for the Weekender. It's so roomy and comes with a detachable, adjustable crossbody strap.
Another great option is this smaller but still fantastic Zip-Top Organizing Utility Tote. It includes a total of seven exterior pockets (including two side mesh pockets) so everything you need is easily accessible, especially when traveling with kids!


Here's what to pack in your handbag / carry on;
  • Airline Ticket(s) for you and the family
  • Cell phone and charger
  • ID (Your driver’s license if you're traveling in the US, or your passport if you're traveling abroad and don't forget to grab the kid's too!)
  • Sunglasses
  • Medications for you and the rest of the family. -- It always helps to bring some Motrin or Kids Tylenol along just in case. Just make sure to carry small bottles and remember TSA’s 3-1-1 rule: any liquids, gels, creams, pastes, and aerosols must be in 3.4 ounce bottles or tubes and fit in a 1 quart-sized resealable plastic bag.
  • Gum -- to use at take off and landing to avoid that annoying ear discomfort
  • Wallet -- always make sure to keep some cash on you in case you run into any issues with credit cards and don't keep all cash in one place. Put some in your wallet and some in a pocket, just in case. I personally like to keep a few bucks in my passport wallet.
  • Reusable water bottle(s) -- just make sure they're empty before going through airport security!
  • Antibacterial gel -- again make sure it's a small bottle that meats TSA rules.
  • Headphones -- make sure you bring at least one pair that connects to a mic outlet so you can use them to listen to movies/music on the plane.
  • A bathing suit and cover-up - in case your luggage gets delayed or lost if you are checking in luggage.
  • Book -- bring your favorite to read on the plane and on the beach!



A Bag For the Kids

Choose a small backpack or easy to carry Cinch Sac for the kids. They can use this as their carry-on for traveling and also use it as their adventure pack when you arrive at your destination. Just fill it up with the essentials they'll need -- snacks, a change of clothes, a favorite toy, coloring books and some crayons -- let them take responsibility for their own stuff and lighten your load. 
  • Snacks -- bring easy to eat snacks in a Cool Zip Snacker. Skip the juice packs since those won't be allowed past security. 
  • Reusable water bottle -- again, just make sure they're empty before reaching airport security!
  • Small pillow and/or blanket -- a life saver especially when traveling long distances.
  • Favorite toy or small stuffed animal -- will keep them busy and comfortable during the trip.
  • Coloring book and crayons -- again, keep them busy!
  • Device and charger -- have them carry their own iPad or tablet and keep them entertained.
  • Headphones -- they can use these to plug into their device or to listen to audio as they watch movies on a plane.
  • Change of clothes -- you just never know what mess the kids will get into during your travels!
  • Bathing suit -- so everyone is ready to hit the beach even if luggage is delayed or lost.

Toiletries

DO NOT bring your entire medicine cabinet with you! Stick only to the essentials to save space and travel easy. Especially if your toiletries will travel in your carryon luggage with limited space. Again, If you’re traveling by plane, remember TSA’s 3-1-1 rule: any liquids, gels, creams, pastes, and aerosols must be in 3.4 ounce bottles or tubes. 
When traveling with the family we love to pack our toiletries in a Fold-Up Family Organizer. It's a convenient organizer that you can hang up wherever you need it. Plus you can easily see what's inside since it includes four interior clear PVC pockets with zip closures. The Hanging Traveler Case from Thirty-One is also another great one to use! It includes two interior clear PVC zipper pockets and two interior mesh pockets. I also like to use smaller options like this Zipper Pouch to separate items by family member or to take needed toiletries with me on the go when hitting the beach.
  • Face wash
  • Deodorant
  • Floss
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush -- don't forget one for each family member!
  • Sunscreen - make sure to protect your skin even if you're not in direct sunlight. 
  • Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner and soap -- If staying for a week or longer you may be better off just purchasing these products once you arrive at your destination and sharing them with the family. You'll probably go through an entire bottle of shampoo before the trip is over anyway!
  • Travel-sized hair products -- again, you might want to buy these when you get there too!
  • Makeup -- only the essentials! Make it easy to carry by storing it in a Mini Zipper Pouch to take on the go.
  • Razor
  • Advil -- again, because you never know!
  • Hair Brush
  • Hair ties
  • Small First Aid Kit -- because you're better safe than sorry
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Tweezers -- for more than just unruly eyebrows! You have no idea how many times I've had to pull splinters out of little hands while traveling.

Clothes for You

Travel Light! Bring separates that you can mix and match, and keep it casual! Stick to a basic color scheme with only one or two statement pieces. Whenever possible pack this all in a small carryon suitcase. This makes for easy travel! Hop on the plane, hop off and ready to go!
  • 3 to 4 swimsuits -- bring along two piece sets so you can mix and match!
  • 1 rash guard -- especially if you'll be out playing and exploring in the sun most of the day.
  • 3 tank tops and/or tees 
  • 2 going-out tops 
  • Sweatshirt / sweater or light jacket
  • 2 going-out bottoms 
  • 2 pairs of shorts 
  • 1 pair of leggings
  • 2 to 3 cover-ups or casual dresses to throw on over your swimsuit 
  • 1 nicer summer dress for going out 
  • Sandals 
  • Water shoes
  • Sneakers and socks -- Especially if you'll be doing a lot of walking and exploring during your trip!
  • 1 set of PJs 
  • Underwear and bras -- at least one set for every day you’re there, plus 1 to 2 extra.
  • Basic, custom jewelry you can wear with multiple outfits
  • 1 small cross-body bag for going out 


Clothes for the Kids

Whenever possible pack this all in one small carryon suitcase or rolling backpack and have the kids be responsible for their own luggage. Also makes for easy travel since you'll be able to roll on to the plane and be ready to go once you land. No waiting for checked-in luggage!
  • 3 to 4 swimsuits 
  • 2 rash guards  -- one short sleeve and one long sleeve. These will be essential if playing and exploring out in the sun all day!
  • 4 to 5 tank tops and/or tees
  • 4 to 5 shorts or bottoms
  • 1 pair of long pants or sweats
  • 1 sweatshirt / sweater or light jacket -- possibly a light rain jacket for added convenience
  • 2 nice outfits for going out -- make sure that they include items that can be mixed and matched.
  • 2 pairs of PJs -- you may need an extra if your kids tend to have nighttime accidents.
  • Underwear -- at least one set for each day you're there and for the kids I always throw in 2 or 3 extra.
  • Sandals
  • Water shoes
  • Sneakers and socks -- stuff the sneakers with 3 or 4 pairs of socks to better utilize space OR have the kids wear their sneakers during your trip/flight and save space in your luggage.

Miscellaneous

  • Beach towel -- although most beach resorts will provide them. Check with your hotel before you go!
  • A portable phone charger -- for long days at the beach or while traveling.
  • Beach hat -- large enough to shield your from the sun
  • Zip-lock bag(s) -- to keep items dry and sand free while at the beach. Also you just never know when you'll need an extra bag to store dirty clothes or some other miscellaneous item.
  • Small beach toys or water toys -- keep it simple and bring just a few that the kids can carry in their own bag or suitcase.
There’s nothing worse than arriving at your destination for Spring Break, unpacking your bags… and then realizing you’ve forgotten to bring an essential -- you toothbrush, favorite bathing suit, or even worst, your phone charger! 
Now you're all set to have the greatest spring break ever, with kids! Happy travels!



Disclosure: We received complimentary products to facilitate this post. 
All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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