Summer Weekend Getaways: a Family Packing List

packing list for summer warm weather vacation with kids

When the warm air and sunshine arrive, long weekends aren’t far behind. We love hitting the road for a quick getaway with the family! It’s a great way to unwind, reconnect and have some fun in the sun. It can also be a daunting task to pack for your entire family for just a few days; sometimes it feels like you need just as much stuff as when you go away for a week.

To help make packing less of a chore, we’ve put together a packing list of all the essentials you’ll need for fun in the summer sun. You won’t need all this—think of it as your master list and pick and choose the items your family will need.

Bright-coloured clothes for the kids

We all know we need to remember to bring clothes for everyone on your trip—but it’s a good idea to choose brightly-coloured clothes for your kids if you’re going anywhere busy or crowded so you can easily find them if you get separated. Try to get the same colour for all your kids, too. Some of the main clothing essentials include:

  • Shorts
  • T-shirts
  • Sundresses
  • A pair of pants and a sweater (just in case)
  • Jackets
  • Pajamas
  • Bathing suits
  • Undies and socks

Remember a spare pair of shoes for everyone

It’s tempting to try and get by on one pair of shoes per kid, but having a spare pair just in case anything happens to your main pair is handy. Depending on your outing, bring along:

  • Running shoes
  • Sandals
  • Dressy shoes
  • Slip-ons

Don’t forget toiletries

Nobody wants to go with un-brushed teeth for 3 days! (Okay, maybe the kids do.) Try to remember to bring along these essentials:

  • Toothbrushes & toothpaste
  • Shampoo & conditioner
  • Brush & hair elastics
  • Soaps and creams
  • A mini first-aid kit with bandages, antibiotic cream, medicines, etc.

Sun protection is key!

We don’t go anywhere in the summer without really good sunscreen. Pack some for the grown-ups and one made just for your little ones. Our personal favourites right now are mineral sunscreens that use only zinc oxide for broad-spectrum UVA and UVB skin protection, like AVEENO® Baby. Their new SPF 50 mineral sunscreen is great because it’s free of all parabens, phthalates, dyes and fragrances, and won’t sting the eyes of your little one. Some other things to remember:

  • Sunglasses
  • Big, wide-brimmed hats for everyone
  • Long-sleeved shirts
  • Lip balm with SPF

Pack a bag for the car with entertainment & healthy snacks

Long car rides with little ones can be a bit of a challenge. But if you’re well-stocked with games, crafts, books and snacks you likely won’t hear ‘Are we there yet??’ a whole bunch of times. Here are some suggestions:

  • Books
  • DVDs
  • Easy crafts (like pipe cleaners!)
  • Toys & stuffies
  • Crayons & colouring books
  • Refillable water bottles
  • Healthy snacks like fruits, veggies and dip, crackers or pretzels, etc.

Bring any baby/toddler gear you can fit

This obviously depends on where you’re going and what you need, but it never hurts to be well-prepared with baby things. Babies do so much better when they have their comforts of home. A few things to remember include:

  • Stroller
  • Bibs
  • Sippy cups & bottles
  • Pack n’ play
  • Monitor
  • Swim diapers
  • A stuffy, lovey, soother, or anything else they like at bedtime to help with sleeping in a new place

Remember the extras

Finally, don’t forget the little things! Here are some extras we like to bring with us wherever we go:

  • Phones & chargers
  • Electronics
  • Camera
  • A ‘wet’ bag
  • Garbage bag for the car

That’s it! It may seem like a lot, but you can bring what you want and leave the rest. The important thing is that you’ll be prepared with the stuff you need so you can focus on having fun with the family!

Is there anything else you would add? We’d love to know!


This post is brought to you by AVEENO® Baby, but the opinions are our own.


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