Family vacation has always been a phrase that brings to mind three things:
- the license plate game
- crowding too many cousins in one house
- and sunburns.
We didn’t go on annual trips to far away places every year when I was a kid. Most of the time we went up north to my grandparents homes, our days smothered in varying degrees of relatives and lengthened with day trips to Lake Michigan, where we would haul back half of the beach in our clothes. Vacation was bliss. Vacation was an escape. Now that I’m a parent, I want my kids to see it the same way, which means I have to take on the crappy part of vacation: packing.
Packing is the bane of my existence, especially with two kids, but it is the #1 necessary evil to making a vacation run smoothly. There’s nothing like getting to your destination and having the kids desperate to get out of the van and into the pool, then realizing you forgot sunscreen. So, to avoid the avalanche of whining that you’d otherwise incur, I’ve found that the only thing that helps me avoid forgetting is a great list.
While clothes and toiletries are obviously on your list, you may need to stock up on the other necessities your kids may have used up or outgrown. So without further ado, here’s your
Fluff & Familia Vacation Checklist:
- Sunscreen Buy more than you think you’ll need because it’s better to have extra than not enough! The sun is brutal, and sunburned kids (or spouses) are not fun to hang out with!
- Sun hat / swim hat Little ones who lack in the hair department definitely need a hat, but so do all kids, thanks to the sun’s uncanny ability to fry little noses and cheekies in just an afternoon of exposure. Make sure you have the right size! Noggins grow too, after all!
- Swim shorts, shirts, and diapers Swimming au natural is totally fine in your own home or the tub, but swim suits are a requirement in public places, even for the tiniest of adorable tushies. Don’t skimp on the suits by only buying bottoms for boys- they need protection from the sun over their shoulders and chest too! Oh, and even if you think your kiddo has emptied his body, never risk a code brown at the pool: get a reusable swim diaper (or two!) and prevent embarrassing disaster!
- Tank tops It’s hot and sweaty and sandy and you’ll probably need at least two changes of clothes per day for each kid while on vacation. Make it easy on yourself and pick up some of these Grovia undershirts to keep in the diaper bag as a fresh, cool alternative if little man takes a nose dive into his mint chocolate chip ice cream cone before you can say, “bib!”
- Bug spray Bug bites bite! Don’t spend your vacation miserable and swollen with red itchy welts! Keep those bugs at bay with kid friendly insect repellent. I know it doesn’t smell so great to be doused in citronella, but it’s better than being eaten alive!
Shop up and ship out: you’re ready to go on vacation!