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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
What are you coveting this spring travel season?
Note: Some of these products are sponsored, while others are affiliate links.