Leaving Lakeland for a Summer Vacation - Packing List and Tips

Summer Vacation! Is there anything better? Florida was made for summer vacations! I was a lucky kid whose mom was a teacher which meant she was just as ready as us to have some adventures! Lakeland’s central location made it easy for us to visit lots of places – Crystal Springs, Adventure Island, the beach. When we stayed close, we loved going to Kelly Recreation’s Gandy Pool or Imperial Lakes to swim.

Poor Dad always had to work, but once a summer we would leave town WITH DAD and have a family vacation! One year we went to my Dad’s boss’s ranch somewhere in Florida. They had horses and cows and pigs, and the cutest, grumpiest black cat you’ve ever seen. That’s the year I forgot my suitcase. I was 9 and I had to share clothes with my brother and my mom. Talk about humiliating! No pictures please!

I’ve since learned my lesson and double check everything before putting it in the car. Mike is a great packer, too, which has made me a little lazy as of late. This summer, though, I’m traveling with my three-year-old to visit my parents – all by myself. I decided to make a list so I can dutifully check it off and travel with some peace of mind.

Summer vacation packing starts with the obvious – sunscreen. You need regular lotion sunscreen, face stick sunscreen, and aloe for night. Next you need an excessive amount of beach towels, a beach blanket, a beach umbrella, beach toys, bathing suits, sun hats and sunglasses.

When packing clothes, it greatly depends on what exactly you are doing so I put together a loose itinerary. Travel day, 1st day is pool and fancy dinner, 2nd day is beach and grilled dinner at the house, 3rd day is sightseeing and a casual dinner, etc. Then I lay out the clothes I need for each day, and pack them in that order. This also allows me to find my clothes with ease instead of digging through my suitcase to find that black shirt! (*Pro-Tips – use an undergarment bag to keep them all together; roll your shirts and dresses to keep them wrinkle free!) I use the same strategies for kid’s clothes.

Next, I go through the medicine cabinet to grab some Tylenol, Neosporin, and Band-Aids. I also clean out my purse because that sucker will be the main bag the whole time and we need all the extra space we can get! Toiletries get packed the day we leave (otherwise I will inevitably forget my toothbrush), as well as shoes and the phone charger. Don’t forget the phone charger!

When finished, I should have beach bags, clothes bags, toiletries bags, and a bag for the car filled with toys and snacks for the trip. My checked off list will give me confidence to travel with some peace of mind.

Are you a list person when packing, or do you just throw it all together 5 minutes before you leave? I’d love to hear your tips on packing! Leave them in the comments on our social media!

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