When most of us travel, we have a set list of essentials that we are always sure to pack. Everyone has that favorite pair of sunglasses and those couple of easy outfits that always make the cut. For spring break travel, there are almost always a few swimsuits on the packing list. There are a handful of items that may not be on your packing list yet, but should be. Whether you are going to the beach, a Disney park, or on a cruise, here’s a list of travel necessities to make your spring break getaway the easiest one yet.
8 Spring Break Travel Necessities
1Portable Power Bank
In this digital age, some combination of cell phones, smart watches, DVD players, tablets, and laptops are accompanying you on your spring break travels. Never worry about one of them dying with a portable power bank. There are lots of options, depending on your needs.
If you want a backup power supply that could charge up a cell phone in an emergency, bring one of the small chargers that are about the size of a tube of lipstick and can fit in your back pocket. For something with a little more power, bring one that is a little larger and can produce anywhere from four to seven recharges. Something like this is great if you plan on being out and about all day and taking lots of pictures with your phone. These often have multiple USB ports for charging more than one device at a time, and can be easily carried in a backpack.
Whether you are flying or driving, renting a house or staying in a hotel, snacks should be at the top of your list. Good travel snacks are easy to carry, easy to pass out to the kids, and do not make a mess. They should be able to tide you over when you are either stuck in an airport or are two hours into a six hour car ride.
If you are driving, there are not many restrictions on what to include in your snack bag, but you may be surprised by the snacks you can bring in your carry on bag if you are flying. Bread, cereal, cheese, cookies, fresh fruit, and even pie are all allowed in your carry on.
If you are unsure whether your snack of choice will make it through TSA screening, check out their What Can I Bring? page for a list of food items that are allowed in both your carry on and checked bags. You can even snap a picture and send it to AskTSA on Facebook Messenger or Twitter and they will respond whether or not your favorite snack makes the cut.
Buy your snacks before you go and bring them with you. Chances are you can buy them much more affordably at home than wherever it is you are going. Check out your local dollar store for some super cheap travel snacks. Grab some sandwich bags while you are there and use them to portion out items to little ones in the back seat. If you think you have enough snacks, grab one or two more because you can never have too many snacks for a road trip!
Travel Tip: A few great travel snacks no matter where your spring break trip takes you include peanut butter crackers, granola and/or protein bars, red licorice, gummies, cereal, and trail mix.
3Reusable Water Bottle
By now many people already travel with a water bottle or reusable mug. If you are not one of those people, it is time to become one! A travel necessity for wherever your spring break takes you is a good water bottle or travel mug. If you are traveling by air or going to Disney or another amusement park, you can take in an empty water bottle and fill it up at a water fountain.
A water bottle or travel mug is great for road trips too. You can fill it up at rest stops rather than buying sugary juices or sodas from vending machines. Find one that is insulated and your water will stay cold all day. It is way cheaper than buying bottled water – especially when it is so marked up in airports and amusement parks – and it is better for the environment too.
Instead of bringing a separate carry on bag, beach bag, and a bag to carry, get a backpack that can be multipurpose. A great option is a Bubba Essential Bags Backpack. They are made with soft, water repellent fabric like a puffy jacket. No matter how much stuff you cram in, you do not have to worry about the straps digging into your shoulders or things poking into your back because these bags have padded straps and a padded back.
Inside, there is a laptop or tablet compartment, a pocket for your water bottle, a loop to clip your keys or travel hand sanitizer, and lots of inner pockets. The full-sized Bubba backpack can fit everything you need to keep you busy on a layover, for an afternoon at the beach, or for a day in an amusement park. Plus they come in a ton of fun colors from a fun raspberry pink in the classic collection to the cool watermint in the matte collection.
If a full-sized bag is not your style, Bubba sells mini versions of its backpacks. You can wear Bubba’s Montreal mini bag as a backpack, or shorten the straps and carry it like a cute handbag. Like the full-sized version, the mini bags are made with water repellent fabric and have padded straps. The Montreal mini backpacks also have an awesome hidden zippered pocket on the back for your keys, wallet, or passport.
Rather than a trash bag or throwing dirty clothes in your suitcase with all the clean stuff, pack a travel hamper. They come in pop-up versions that fold up flat like a frisbee, or in bag versions that condense down to fit in a gallon bag. When you reach your spring break destination, pop it open and leave it in or near the bathroom to collect everyone’s dirty clothes. It will help to keep things separate and organized.
When it is time to pack up to go home, cinch it closed and stuff it in one of your suitcases or throw it in the car. When you get home, you can drop the bag off in the laundry room rather than having to root around in everyone’s suitcase to find their dirty stuff. Once the laundry is done, fold up the travel hamper and store it in your suitcase for the next trip.
It may not seem like it at first, but a travel pillow should be on your packing list. Sitting in the car or on an airplane for hours at a time is exhausting and uncomfortable, so make things a little more comfortable. Rather than your regular, full-sized pillow, a travel pillow is compact and can be jammed in any carry on bag. This way it is not the end of the world if something happens to it or it gets lost.
There are a lot of good travel pillow options depending on what you like. There are U-shaped pillows that fit around your neck, miniature memory foam pillows, and all kinds of inflatable pillows that are easy to deflate and put away. They are also great for kids to use to nap or while watching a movie. Get each of your kids their own travel pillow and everyone will be happy.
7A Sound Machine
You never know when you are going to end up with thin walls, rowdy neighbors, or across the street from a restaurant that plays loud music until 2:00 AM. Luckily, it does not matter who your loud neighbors are when you have a sound machine on your list of travel essentials. Plug it in, turn on soothing beach waves or the sound of crickets and get a good night’s sleep.
If you are worried about packing an extra thing or you have multiple bedrooms to worry about, download a sound machine app on your phone. There are a number of free apps with different sound options and a timer if you want to set it to turn off in an hour or two once you are asleep.
An item that is probably not on your list of travel necessities, but should be is a corkscrew/bottle opener. It is small, easy to pack, and something you do not realize you need until you do not have one.
Buy an inexpensive but decent combination corkscrew/bottle opener (i.e., something sturdy that won’t break as soon as you try to use the corkscrew, but nothing too large) and leave it in your toiletry bag. When you are at your hotel or rental at the end of the day and one of the adults makes a run to the store for a bottle of wine or a six-pack of beer, you are covered. This way, you aren’t stuck trying to remove the cork from a wine bottle with a steak knife.
WANT TO READ MORE?
Check out this article on FAMILY TRAVEL MUST HAVES FOR TROPICAL TRIPS.
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Photo Credit: Michelle Frick,Unsplash
Sources: TSA: What Can I Bring?