What to Pack for Spring Break

Spring Break Packing Essentials: Your Vacation Must-Haves

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Does it seem like the longest, weirdest winter ever to anyone else? After so much rain and snow and cold and other unsavory weather conditions, I couldn’t be more stoked that spring has technically arrived (even if it’s still snowing in places)—bring on all the 70-degree days! And as many of you are currently plotting your Spring Break adventures, I thought I’d put together a list of essentials, your vacation must-haves if you will.

Spring Break Essentials: What to Pack for Vacation

Hey, any excuse to shop online, right?

For the Kiddos of All Ages: A Swimmable Mermaid Tail

My seven-year-old cousin Margaret got a Fin Fun mermaid tail for her birthday last year, which prompted me to buy one for my pal Mayhem when she turned eight a couple months later. Since then, Margaret’s cousin McKayla also got her a tail, and I’m looking forward to our summer pool hangs where a full-on flock of mermaids surround me. (Side note: What do you call a group of mermaids? A flock? A school? The things that keep me up at night.) Fin Fun offers pretty much every color and pattern you could want—more than 50, in fact—with adult sizes thrown in the mix, too. And many of them are on sale right now for spring break. If your kid wants to actually swim in the fin, as opposed to just loll about on the beach or side of the pool waiting for her close-up, she will also need a monofin, essentially a flipper that slips into the tail and enables easy swimming underwater. Price: starting at $35

Swimmable Mermaid Tail from Fin Fun
Swimmable Mermaid Tail from Fin Fun

For Your Photo Opps: Sunglass Warehouse Shades

One of the most recurring questions I get via Instagram is: “where’d you get those sweet shades?” And nine times out of 10, they’re from Sunglass Warehouse. Ever since getting LASIK a decade ago, I’ve not been able to step foot outside without wearing sunglasses because my eyes are so sensitive to light (and I prefer polarized lenses when possible). I love me a good set of mirrored Aviators—they make for excellent photos and, a major bonus, these don’t break the bank either!—and thus have a pair in yellow, pink, blue, and purple in addition to the traditional black. I’m loving every pair in this collection of SW Exclusives because they’re stylish and all under $15, too! With as much as I throw my glasses around in my bag, I can’t justify spending an arm and a leg on sunnies. I also love my Drifter square glasses, my purple mirrored lenses with gold frames and these glitter cat shades for festival season. Sunglass Warehouse currently has a 15% off special with free shipping, so stock up for Spring Break now! Price: $13-15

Sunglasses for Spring Break
Sunglasses for Spring Break
Sunglasses for Spring Break
Sunglasses for Spring Break
Sunglasses for Spring Break

For Your Boozy Staycation: A Globe Decanter

We’re not shy about our whiskey consumption, but did you know we also have a prolific globe collection that’s more than 50 deep? So it only made sense that I fused our love for globes and bourbon with this killer etched globe whiskey decanter (plus four matching glasses!) as a Christmas gift for SVV. It stays in his office so I can retreat up there when happy hour rolls around. If you’re staying close to home for this Spring Break (or even if you’re not…), this Royal Decanters set needs to go in your bar. Price: $85

Whiskey Globe Decanter

For Your Baby: Colorful Swimwear

I’m a brand new aunt to a newborn baby girl, and I’ve already been buying her things left and right (I have a closet full of clothing for Charlotte up to 3T and she’s only two weeks old!). Like everything else, Gap has been my go-to—so cheap, especially if you hit it during a sale, of which there are many—and they grow so quickly at that age, you don’t really want to spend much on apparel. Here are a few of my favorite finds this season. Price: varies

 

For Your Toddler: Cute Beachy Clothes

I don’t even have kids of my own yet I spend so much time perusing Mini Boden for my nieces and other children in my life. Whales! Mermaids! Rainbows! There’s SO much cute Boden stuff out there, and it’s surprisingly affordable (you can also get some of their pieces at Nordstrom). All I want to know is: When are they going to make these items for big kids like me?! Price: varies

For Your Teen: All the Pool Floats

Last year, Jade and I brought a dozen or so floats to Grenada for our combined family vacation, and I don’t regret it. Best photo opps ever! And teens love them, too. Here are some of the pool floats I’m coveting this year.

 

For Poolside Moms: These Bathing Suits

I pretty much buy all my clothing from Gap because a) it’s affordable and b) they are always having sales, and I’ve scooped up a couple fun one- and two-pieces for this summer. Here are a few that I’m loving. And if you’re not already using Ebates, get on that right now. I resisted until last year, and I’m not sure why. I’ve gotten $300 in cash back just since the holidays from online purchases; it’s available for pretty much every company I shop through (even many travel brands), except for Nordstrom, and if you install the Chrome widget on your toolbar, it automatically tells you when a site is Ebates-compatible. And who doesn’t love free money, right? Price: varies, though almost all are on sale right now

 

For All Day on the Beach: An Oversized Circular Towel

I feel like with a rectangular towel, I’m always spilling over into the sand. Then last year, I discovered the beauty of circular towels, and immediately was hooked. They fit you, your book and a cocktail. What more could you ask for when you’re kicking it on the sand? Part of me also wants to spring for this flamingo towel, but I’m going to refrain … for now. Target also has some super cute Turkish-style beach towels on sale for just $10. Price: $20

Circular Towel: What to Pack for Spring Break

For Carrying Your Belongings to the Beach: A Tote with Poms

I love a good wicker bag, and I’m glad this trend is returning for a subsequent year (mainly so I can get use out of the three wicker totes I purchased last year!). A bonus if it has a good pom. I’ve spotted some cute ones in both TJ Maxx, World Market and Old Navy this season, but if you’re shopping online, here are a few I’m coveting. If you’re the type who likes to match your kiddo, here’s a pint-sized tote for the mini-me in your life.

 

For Your Listening Fun: Amazon Music Unlimited

What’s a vacation without crafting your ultimate playlist for the drive/beach/condo? I tried Spotify, I tried Apple Music, I wasn’t a fan of either. Then SVV got me hooked on Amazon Music a couple years ago, and I love the easy integration with both our iPhones and our Alexa device, as well as the artist-themed stations (currently playing: Lorde). This music service has saved me from hours of boredom while working on major home renovation projects, and you can try it for free for a month before committing. (I can almost guarantee, though, that you’ll be hooked like me! I’ve yet to find an album I wanted to download that wasn’t available via Amazon Music; I included a few currently in my queue below!) Price: $8/month for Prime members

Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music Unlimited
Amazon Music Unlimitedt

For the Book Worm: Poolside Reads

Admittedly, my reading has waned—though I’m still writing a quarterly book round-up post—but I’ve still read (and am currently reading) some great books recently that would make for the perfect mental retreat on your next vacation. Among them: Turtles All the Way Down, Before the Fall, Reconstructing Amelia, The Great Alone. And if you haven’t read these, a few of my favorites from the past five years: The Nightingale, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry, The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion, You, the Her Royal Spyness series. I’ve gone through several e-readers in the past few years, but this Kindle Paperwhite is above and beyond my favorite for reading both out in the glaring sun and in the dark in my room at night. Price: $119

The Best E-Reader for Beach Reading

For the Aspiring Writer: A Travel Journal

One thing I regret from my travels during my collegiate years and my early 20s is not journaling. Granted, my blog is my journal nowadays, but I really wish I’d been a better note-taker back in the days of pre-digital travel. Bring back the art of journaling, won’t you? Price: $15

 

For Packing It All In: A Sturdy Suitcase

I’m frequently asked if I invest a lot into a set of luggage and if pricey suitcases like Away bags are worth it. I’m not sure what the answer is (and it depends on how much you use it); to this date, I can’t say I have spent a lot on any one piece of luggage—I generally like to drop around $100 every two to three years for a carry-on that’s going to hold up as I’m primarily a carryon-only kind of traveler; I currently am on year three of this Samsonite soft-side bag, though I also have a decade-old Tumi split duffel (my one big luggage investment to date) that I take when SVV and I are traveling for weeks at a time and checking a bag. I am, however, thinking it’s time for my next carryon upgrade and that maybe this pretty rose gold spinner bag is it. Because a bag should also be stylish, right? Price: $90

Rose Gold Suitcase

What are you coveting this spring travel season?

Note: Some of these products are sponsored, while others are affiliate links.

 

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Spring Break Packing Guide
Spring Break Packing Guide
Spring Break Packing Guide
COMMENTS
  • March 21, 2018

    NO spring travel plans, and it’s driving me crazy! Currently trying to convince my husband that a trip to the Republic of Georgia is more important than the house down payment fund.

    I got an Away suitcase for my birthday and I love it!

  • March 21, 2018
    Lyn

    Hi Kristin!!
    Love your blog. This post was particularly well timed as I’m off for the girls spring break next week (can you believe they will be turning 15 (!) while we are there??)

    We’re off to Grand Cayman for our annual family vacation. Can’t wait to dive and put my feet in the sand!

    Hope all is well! Keep writing — I love to see it pop up in my mailbox.

  • March 21, 2018
    Ris

    My husband and I are going to Montreal for a spring break/Easter mini-vay, and I imagine it will be even colder there than it currently is in Pittsburgh!

  • March 21, 2018
    Kathryn

    We don’t have any spring break travel plans. We will be hanging out at home and spending a day at the zoo. We do have beach plans in June so this particular post was great for planning for that trip!

  • March 21, 2018
    Payal

    We’ll be headed to Santa Barbara & San Luis Obispo during spring break. Looking forward to some sunshine and warmer weather.

  • March 21, 2018

    My springbreak destination is always cold and most of the times super snowy, as I love to go skiing , but this year I am gonna go to Ireland for the first time.
    Hope you all have a nice relaxing vacation.

    kiara//https://adventures-around-the-world.blogspot.co.at/

  • March 21, 2018
    Andrea

    Late spring plans for a Utah National Park road trip — we’ve gotten a number of tips from your blog, so thanks!

  • March 21, 2018

    Just got back from a spring break trip but we were in the North Georgia mountains so not warm at all. I could definitely use some warm weather at the beach!

    • March 26, 2018

      Well, I guess you’re going to have to do a little staycationing with bourbon as you won the decanter set 😉

  • March 21, 2018
    Briel K.

    The only spring plans I have are to visit LA in April for some friends birthdays and to see Taylor Swift in LA in May! I’m definitely looking forward to warmer weather though and hopefully be able to go camping a time or two as well!

    Fun giveaway!

  • March 21, 2018
    Sara

    We’re going to Disneyworld!!

  • March 21, 2018
    Ashley

    We’re not going anywhere!! Got plans in June though 🙂

  • March 21, 2018
    Carly G

    Just relaxing at home.

  • March 22, 2018
    marissa

    I’m going to Seattle with my mom!

  • March 22, 2018
    Cristy R.

    Taking my Mama to Savannah for Mother’s Day weekend!

  • March 22, 2018
    carol clark

    A Travel Journal were going to our family to spend time with one another

  • March 22, 2018

    I’m heading to Portugal, Spain and Morocco. I love those sunnies! They’re so cool

  • March 23, 2018
    nadya kotik

    i don’t have a lot of vacation days at my work but I like to go to Philadelphia in April since Boden Clearance Sale is there and we stop by other places along the way. It’s at least a little warmer in Philly than NY in April.

  • March 23, 2018
    Lauren Hodges

    No spring breaks-saving all the fun for summer! I’ll be going to the Holy Land, Colorado, Mexico and Maine in the next 6 months!

  • March 23, 2018
    Jilian Metz

    My daughter (5.5) has been BEGGING for a Mermaid Tail!!

    We headed down to Phx for a few nights over Spring Break – caught a Spring Training game, swam, and hit the Science Center. (Sneaky learning during break!) In May my hubby and I will be heading to Jamaica kid-free!! Otherwise probably just some local hiking camping in AZ and UT.

  • March 23, 2018
    Tyneisha

    I plan on doing quite a bit of relaxing at home so that decanter set would be very nice!

  • March 24, 2018
    Zoe

    No huge travel plans for us this year, I live only a ~20 minute walk to the beach so might as well just stay in town. I could use a nice new towel and I’ve had my eye on those cute circular towels for a while !

  • March 24, 2018

    I’m going to Washington on Sunday for Spring Break. We go every year to visit my dad, and despite how awful the weather usually is at this time of year, we always have a blast. My younger son loves mermaids–he would get such a kick out of that tail!

  • March 24, 2018

    I’m going to Sonoma for my birthday, which is around Spring Break time. We’re staying in Healdsburg, which is such a cute town. We’re going to m-a-j-o-r-l-y splurg at Singlethread one night and I can’t wait!

    • March 24, 2018

      Splurge with an “e” might be more correct 😉

  • March 24, 2018

    This is the moment that we have been waiting for.. springtime. Enjoy your vacations with your family and friends but dont forget the essentials and learn the tips for a healthy trip. It is important we stay healthy while on trip.

  • March 24, 2018
    Nia

    If my allergies ever subside we have plans to spend sometime at the Biltmore to see the gardens in bloom and do some hikes along the Blue Ridge!

  • March 24, 2018
    Ashton Blackman

    My daughter Anna and I are headed to South Carolina to tour Wofford and Furman. We have a haunted Segway tour of Greenville planned and lots of eating in both Greenville and Spartanburg! Thank you for the chance to win!

  • March 24, 2018
    Kathryn Mckenzie

    No spring break plans here, other than some house cleaning and maybe a touch of gardening. Enjoying the last few days of normal temperatures before Florida becomes crazy hot again.

  • March 24, 2018

    My spring plans are to be a cool merman beachgoer in Florida so I can’t pick just one of the 3 as I’ll need all 3 items to complete the transformation. Though to be honest…my wife may steal the tail from me. She’s mean like that.

  • March 24, 2018

    amazing blog….

  • March 24, 2018
    Kayla Klontz

    Our only plans are to spend time together and to celebrate Easter together, birthdays come up right after spring break.

  • March 25, 2018
    Kim Myers

    We are supposed to be having family come from New York for a visit. I think the globe decanter would be a wonderful item to fit in our plans 😝

  • March 25, 2018
    Alicia

    No plans yet for Spring break!

  • March 25, 2018
    Eileen Boyce

    No plans for spring break. All these things are wonderful.

  • March 25, 2018
    Kelly D

    We are just visiting family for spring break, but in the summer we are going to the beach so the Fin Fun Mermaid Tail would be lots of fun.

  • March 25, 2018
    Angela Hendricks

    I plan to stay at home and play with my kids. Maybe weed out our butterfly garden. Ice cream will probably be involved.

    • March 26, 2018

      Well, I hope one of your kids could use a mermaid tail because you just won =) I’m emailing you details now!

      • March 26, 2018
        Angela Hendricksy

        Yay!! Thank you so much!! Not going to lie I’ll be a little envious seeing my daughter or son swimming with a mermaid tail but they’ll love it! Thank you so much! (Wish they had these when we were growing up!)

  • March 25, 2018
    Hollie Jahnke

    My daughters birthday is during spring break so we’ll probably stay at a hotel with a pool and go to a trampoline park.

  • March 25, 2018
    alice Minx

    I homeschool, so we’ll be planning a break after all the other kids are back in school.. we’re thinking LEgoland

  • March 25, 2018
    melanie huttner

    I think the Royal Decanter whiskey set would be perfect for the BBQs I’ll be hosting!

  • March 25, 2018
    Whitney Franklin

    Air Bnb in Nashville for a couple day. Preds game, discovery museum, and good food.

  • March 26, 2018
    Dylan

    I’m not going anywhere for spring break, don’t have kids (ha! nope), and am in the middle of planning a multiple month-long backpacking trip, and I *still* want to splurge on some of these. This post is pure overpacker bait and I love it.

  • March 30, 2018

    Those mermaid tails are so, so cute! Also, my Kindle is maybe one of my favorite travel companions. I like reading real books when I’m home, but being able to travel with a whole pile of books stacked on my Kindle is awesome.

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