We have not yet ventured on a lavish tropical family vacation. With our kids turning five and eight this summer, we prefer taking vacations that are a few hours (or less) from our house. Maybe when the kids are older we will venture further but, for now, we keep it simple. We pack the Kia to the brim and away we go with everything we need.
Or everything I think we might need.
In preparing for this year’s trip, I looked back at the list I had made last year and all of the items are still on top of my packing list. But these additions really help to make for a successful family vacation.
- Delicates bag-We always stay in a house or condo that has a washing machine. This means I get away with packing fewer clothes. The delicates bag is perfect for swimsuits and other things that might need a bit less abrasive washing than what a rental unit provides.
- White Noise Machine– My husband and I like getting the kids to bed at a somewhat reasonable hour so we can have time to chill. The white noise machine (or get the app on your phone!) will help ensure the kids aren’t distracted by any unfamiliar outside noises. This one is my favorite.
- Magazines- With my kids being pretty good swimmers, I am now almost able to fully relax poolside. I hoard magazines during the year and use my annual vacation to catch up on all the important things. The Royal Wedding, The Bachelor (which I don’t even watch). Like I said, the important things.
- Groceries– I consider this genius. We have Amazon Fresh deliver to our house the morning we head out. That way, all groceries are packed and stay cold/frozen for our drive. It means our Kia is bursting but it’s great to have significantly less in the car on the way back. I also love getting to our destination and not having to go immediately to the grocery store.
- Pop Up Hamper– This one might seem odd but if you have room to pack it, you won’t regret it. It helps me to maintain some sanity if there is one central spot for the laundry to go.
- Blankets from home– Not only is this good to help kids have a cozy nap in the car but it’s nice to have them for cuddles during movies on a simple vacation night.
- Scrub gear– No, not scuba gear. Scrub gear. I make an awesome homemade sugar scrub that is perfect for a day after sun and pool. Pair it with some exfoliating gloves and your skin will feel incredible.
Swim/Pool Gear–Our simple vacation does include a pool, which means that is practically all my kids will want to do the entire week.
- Goggles/Swim Toys- rings that sink for the kids to retrieve, kick boards- these are all things I am sure to pack so my kids stay entertained while I relax.
- Floatie- I also bring a life jacket for my not-quite-five-year-old for when she gets a bit tired. This one is my favorite for kids. Be sure to check out what the pool near where you are staying may already provide complimentary before you pack it!
- Beach Towel Clips- These are super handy to ensure your beach towels stay put.
What is your go-to vacation packing list? I’d love more tips and ideas!