Don’t Forget to Pack These Summer Vacation Essentials

woman packing a suitcase

Packing for vacation can be the most stressful part of the trip – especially when you’re bringing the kids along. But, as a mom, you know that it’s all about anticipating the glitches, avoiding the tantrums, and being prepared for just about anything under the (very hot) sun. So before you start packing for your summer vacation this year, take a look at this list of essentials you might not have even realized you needed!

What do you always make sure you pack for a family vacation?

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  • Plastic Bags


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    They may be the environment’s arch enemy, but they’re a mother’s best friend. Pack small trash bags and zip-top plastic bags in a variety of sizes to hold everything from dirty laundry and diapers to seashells and souvenirs. Hair ties, cotton balls, snacks, crayons, books for the beach, baby bottles, tiny toys, toiletries, and cell phones all can benefit from their own plastic bag. But, do the right thing – save and reuse!

  • Binder Clips


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    There’s nothing worse than waking up at the crack-of-dawn when you’re on vacation. Binder clips work wonders on those hotel curtains that never quite close and love to let the sunshine in at 6AM!  They’re also a lifesaver on the beach, for clipping towels that flop over tops of chairs.

  • Old Navy Kids & Baby Sale


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    Baby clothes may be the tiniest and easiest to pack, but you have to make sure to bring plenty of extra outfits just in case! Stock up on an assortment of cute and comfy mix-and-match pieces for your little one - fun, bright patterns like this Star-Print Top (with matching bloomers), Striped Bodysuit and Printed Poplin Shorts will liven up your vacation pics.

  • Wet Wipes


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    Never leave home without a few travel packs of some type of wet wipe: baby wipes, antibacterial hand wipes, or even flushable ones. Use them in public restrooms, to clean up spills, un-stick sticky hands, refresh sweaty faces, and wipe off sandy toys.

  • Backup Batteries & Spare Chargers


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    If your kid’s electronic device has ever faded to black mid-flight in the middle of a favorite movie, you know the importance of having back-up! This scenario is equally bad on a long car ride. Don’t forget (multiple!) chargers and cables for your family's collection of electronic devices. Investing in a backup external battery with multiple USB ports is a smart idea for big trips, too.

  • Old Navy Kids & Baby Sale


    Image via Old Navy

    Summer fun, ahoy! Your pint-size adventurers will be ready for anything in stylish pieces that are sunshine-ready: a cool and casual Striped Cotton Sundress for her, and “California” Tee, Pineapple-Print Twill Shorts, and surfer-chic Striped Lightweight Hoodie for him.

  • Baby Powder


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    When you’ve still got miles to go before you can hit the shower, baby powder is a great freshen-upper. A quick sprinkle makes you (and your kids!) smell sweeter, feel smoother, and stay drier! Use as a dry shampoo (brush a little through your hair), sprinkle it in sneakers, and pack in your beach bag to help easily brush away sand from feet and legs.

  • Non-Electronic Amusements


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    You’re on a family vacation, so interact as a family! After you get to your destination (sometimes there’s simply no getting there without the electronic devices!), bring out the board games, the deck of cards, or the croquet set, and play games together!

  • Old Navy Kids & Baby Sale


    Image via Old Navy

    What says “vacation” better than a sunny Striped Linen-Blend Romper or a pair of Poplin Bermuda Shorts with a Classic V-Neck Tee? Big kids will love expressing their unique sense of style in effortlessly coordinated outfits like these.

  • Bungee Cords


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    These elastic cords work wonders as a makeshift clothes line in the hotel room, as a coloring book holder when wrapped around the back of a car seat, or even as a belt for sagging shorts! Wrap a bungee cord around your suitcase to secure the contents, to identify your belongings, or to attach prized possessions like a favorite stuffed animal that someone gets tired of carrying!

  • Small Notebooks & Pencils


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    In this electronic world, it’s easy to forget the value of a pencil and paper! As well as doubling as a drawing pad, journal, or spot to play tic-tac-toe, a notebook full of paper comes in handy to leave notes for everyone from family to hotel staff. 


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