It’s the end of winter and we’re all dragging our asses trying to get through to spring break (or summer or fall or whenever you finally get that week to yourself!). If you’re planning that family trip, couples’ trip, girls’ trip, or solo adventure, this is the spring break trip packing essentials list you’ll need. From a good carry-on weekender to toiletries to packing your luggage well, bookmark this baby for later.
Then you can move on dreaming about how many beach naps you’ll get in. Or how many museums you’ll see. Or how many hiking adventures you’ll take. Or how many carbs you’ll devour. Le sigh.
- A good weekender bag (preferably with a shoe compartment!)
- Tickets for travel and any events you’re attending
- Electronics: mobile phone, laptop, tablet, e-reader (don’t forget the international data plan if you need it)
- Chargers: for all of the above plus chargers for activity trackers and a portable charger or two (an organizer for these is stellar)
- A gadget tracker (like Tile, and something like Find My iPhone)
- ID (license/ID and passport if you’re going overseas)
- Sunglasses (the cheaper the better in case you, definitely, lose them)
- Medications, birth control, vitamins, and general pain killers
- Gum and mints (especially for the plane!)
- RFID blocking wallet
- Fueling snacks
- Reusable water bottle (empty until you’re through security)
- Antibacterial gel
- Your camera of choice, including a GoPro if that’s your thing
- Condoms, if needed
- Refreshing face wipes for after that dry flight
- Travel pillow
- A lightweight backup set of clothes in case your luggage goes rogue
- A good hanging toiletry bag
- Glasses and/or contacts, solution, and cases
- Portable perfume roller
- Face wash
- Travel-sized shampoo, conditioner, and soap (unless you plan to nab your hotel’s!)
- Dry shampoo
- Hair brush
- Hair dryer and/or straightener/curling iron (only if needed and nobody else is bringing them)
- Bobby Pins, clips, elastic bands
- Feminine hygiene products
- First aid kit (include some moleskin to protect your feet!)
- Travel vibrator
In your luggage
- A fun luggage tag so you can find your bag among the rabble (some are even GPS-enabled)
- An outlet adapter if going to a foreign country
- Packing cubes, laundry bags
- A big hat
- High SPF sunblock, especially if you need a larger bottle (they can be spendy depending on your destination)
- A small cross-body bag for going out hands-free
- Bug spray if you’re going anywhere they lurk
- A crumple-able travel bag to carry purchased items or serve as a beach bag (dry bags are great for this)
- Socks (lots of these if any hiking is anticipated)
- Shoes appropriate for your trip (hiking sandles, flip-flops, VERY walkable shoes. etc.)
- A nice dress that you can wear more than once and that packs well
- A couple of swimsuits and a cover-up, if needed.
- Layers: a thin sweater, a scarf, a pair of jeans (or a few pairs of leggings if you’re like me!), shorts, layering shirts, a few tanks/tees. Athleisure wear is a solid bet for any kind of destination.
- TIP: wear your heaviest and bulkiest items on the plane, especially jackets and coats
Rocking cheap sunnies and a scarf I wore literally every day!
- A good vacay-friendly book (or an audio book!) — don’t forget that local libraries often lend out eBooks and audio books among their collection, which saves on bag space)
- Your student ID card, if that applies. You can sometimes score discounts with this baby
Portable wifi (unless you’ll be unplugging, which is GREAT)
- A deck of cards or card-sized games like Cards Against Humanity or Exploding Kittens
Comments on The BIG list of spring break trip packing essentials
This is a very thorough list! I always make a packing list for travel, because I hate overpacking as much as I hate forgetting things. When deciding what to bring, I like to look at weather forecasts and planned activities, lay out outfits by day, and determine how many wears each item can get.
I also have a packable cooler that fits into a suitcase or backpack for the flight. This is great for roadtrips. I throw some gallon-size ziploc bags in there to fill with ice at my destination, and go grocery shopping.
One thing to keep in mind: If you are traveling internationally and bringing a hair dryer/curling iron/straightening iron, be aware of the voltage! 120V is standard in most of North America, but 220-240V is prevalent in Europe and Africa. If you are travelling somewhere with a different voltage, your products could be destroyed! There are some dual voltage dryer/irons on the market, so if you use those, remember to switch it to the right setting.
Almost all portable electronics (phone, tablet, laptop, cameras, etc.) are made to handle 110-240V (it’ll say so on the plug), so you just need an adapter to plug it in. The last time I went to Europe, my husband and I bought a USB power strip, so we only needed one adapter/outlet to charge everything at once. https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B018XCAQ5K/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
The only other carry-on items I’d suggest are an eye-mask (if it’s a long flight you’ll be much happier able to sleep without your neighbor’s light) and I’m slowly converting to wearing one of the medical masks. Even if you’re not sick, and it doesn’t fully block germs, it does keep some of the moisture in your nose, which helps protect a little, and it keeps you from touching your mouth/nose as much which helps with not getting sick. oh also eye drops!
Wow that’s an exhaustive list!
Add a photocopy of your passport, id and insurance documents deep in your suitcase just in case you lose/get stolen your purse.
Thanx for the great list! I’m certainly adding this to my big ole list of which I keep a copy in each one of my travel cases (I also keep a copy in my email Travel folder). Just a few of the additional things on my list are wash cloths, wet wipes, antibacterial hand gel and binoculars. A can of room spray or air solid if not traveling by plane. When traveling by plane I also bring a small weighing scale. I use it when packing to make sure I don’t go over any weight limits so that I don’t get hit with any surcharges. I also make sure that in each case I bring, in addition to each having it’s own id tag, I also put a nice big piece of paper inside each one (where it would easily be seen upon opening) of my contact info that I would want someone to use in case the bag gets lost and/or if the luggage id tags come off. On my list I also include a section for all the things I need to do to prep my home, etc before I leave. I can pack quickly and never have to worry that I might have forgotten something. I can just concentrate on having a great time!
A packing tip which I wish somebody had given me–if you’re going to drive over mountains, or take a plane, don’t completely fill your shampoo bottle etc. The air pressure changes will cause it to explode all over everything! Put it in a sealed plastic bag for extra security.
For those with a fitness regimen, you can buy water-inflatable barbells. Empty, they flatten down nicely and hardly take any packing space. Then when you arrive, add water till they weigh what you wanted them to weigh, and you can keep your exercise program unbroken.