It’s that time of the year again, Spring Break! Time to take that long-awaited vacation, lie on a pristine beach beneath a clear blue sky, and take one week of relaxation away from school and work. But even when everything is beautiful, the smallest imperfection can make one yearn for home and normality. To make your trip more enjoyable, you will want to make sure you pack your warm weather essentials.
Our family has used a 15-year, tried and true vacation packing list for our travels. While it has evolved over the years, every year it remains our go-to, warm weather packing list. As it currently stands, it is tailored toward families with a mom, dad, and two teenagers (a boy and a girl). If you have a baby in tow you will, of course, need to add your baby necessities to the list. It is a general checklist and some items may need to be removed if you are flying and/or driving. Simply cross off the items that don't apply.
As you will see from the packing list, my hubby is quite detailed and meticulous. While I don't always appreciate his crossing the t's and dotting the i's on everything we do and plan together, his packing list is proof in the pudding his prudent persona pays off - we never forget anything when we travel.
Please feel free to right click, copy, and save this checklist for your next vacation. A few weeks before your trip, you will want to refer to the "Things To Do Before Leaving" section and schedule a mail hold and/or search for other items you can check off your list. If you are traveling out of the country, you will definitely want to let your credit card companies know. Mexico, for example, takes VISA and MasterCard almost everywhere. Informing the credit card companies will save you trouble when you are on vacation. Other things to consider prior to your trip...Who will be watching your house? Who will be caring for pets and plants? Did you notify your local police department that you will be away? Did you stop delivery of the newspaper? If the children will miss school, did you notify the office?
Some of the checklist items that may not make sense are the plastic bags and small refrigerator. We bring a few plastic grocery bags to pack dirty/wet clothes on the way home from our trip. Your hotel may have laundry bags you can use instead. The small fridge is a battery-operated fridge we use for long road trips in our vehicle. It is compact and plugs into our lighter and keeps a few beverages and snacks cold.
TRAVEL TIP: DON'T OVERPACK! The airlines are imposing weight limits for a reason. The heavier the luggage, the more fuel you use. This is true for road trips, too. Plan your wardrobe in advance and use shoes, jewelry, etc., that are versatile and can be worn with many outfits throughout the week. When flying to a warmer climate, we layer clothing and wear wind-breakers. Leave behind the heavy jacket or packable down coat.
While you have the list in front of you, skim the checklist to see if everybody has the items they may need. Have the children outgrown their flip-flops from last year? Even small things can be stressful if discovered the day before leaving on your trip.
When you begin packing, have the list on hand and check off items as you add them to your bag(s). This list may appear lengthy, but it makes packing painless, super easy, and best of all, saves you time, money, and trouble in the long run.
Did we forget anything on the list? Do you have any travel tips to share? Please leave a comment and let us know.