My Spring Break Packing List

With May and warmer weather fast approaching, that means one exciting thing for our family.. SPRING BREAK. No, we’re not in college anymore, but we try to plan a big trip every year between March and May to let loose and find some adventure in a new place. This year is a repeat trip for us to one of my favorite places: Charleston, South Carolina.

This year is going to be even more special, because we’re heading down with the whole fam. All 6 of us will be heading out in just a few short days, and we are beyond excited. After a long year apart, my husband and I are thrilled to have time to relax together, while still sharing these special memories with our family. A couple years ago when my brother returned from deployment, we traveled down to Charleston for the first time in March. It turned out being a bit chillier than we expected, so this year we wanted to push it out further and make sure we’re getting that sunshine.

To make any trip a stress-free success, I always have to make sure I have the right essentials. It can be challenging to narrow down the “right” items, especially when you’re like me and you bring a lot of things “just in case”. Here are some must-haves for your Spring Break, as well as some tips to make your trip easier!

Basics |

I wanted to start off with the essential items for travel, which will vary depending on where you’re headed. These are items that most of us carry daily, but it can delay a trip if we forget ANY of them. Since we’re traveling within the U.S., I was able to keep things pretty basic.

State License

Military Dependent ID (second form of ID, just in case)


Debit Card

Credit Card(s)

Boarding Passes

Car rental confirmations

Contact info for resort front desk




Pro Tip: Alert your bank and credit card companies that you will be traveling. This will help to avoid any holds being put on your card if they assume it’s been stolen.

I have screen shots of all confirmations in my phone, including our car rentals, flight details, check-in instructions, etc. for quick reference if we need them. If you prefer to print these off, make sure they’re accessible in your carry-on.

Pro Tip: Pack 2 outfits in your carry-on, with some allowed essentials and valuable/special items. That way if your luggage gets lost or delayed, you won’t have to buy a whole new wardrobe.

Outfits |

This is the most important part (not so much for my husband) because it’s very easy to over-pack. I typically start laying out my clothes 2-3 days prior to the trip so that I can make sure things are clean and ready. By this time, I’m able to tell exactly what type of weather we’ll be experiencing, so I can pack more effectively. Consider what type of activities you’ll be doing. Are you on the beach most of the time, or out exploring the town? Are you hiking or doing any “extreme” sports? Are you going to fancy dinners, or festivals?

Pro Tip: If you’re staying in a place that has laundry service/accessibility, use it! That means less mess when you get home from vacation, because that’s the last thing you’ll want to do.

In our case, our time will be split up between the beach, exploring town, going to dinner, and enjoying some night-life. With that, my outfits will be a mix of comfortable and fancy, with some beach/resort wear as well. We’re gone for about 8 days, so I’ll be bringing the following:

4 Pairs of jean shorts

2 Pairs of dressier shorts – twill and/or khaki

2 Pairs of jeans for cooler evenings (I can roll them into capris – no point in bringing both!)

3 T-shirts


Cardigan (neutral color)

2 Tanktops

2 Dresses/rompers

2 Workout tops

2 Sports bras

2 Running pants/shorts

2 Bathing suits

Pair of sneakers

2 Pairs of sandalls

Pair of wedges

It probably seems like a lot when you list it out like this. But considering I’ll need 8 outfits, including whatever I want to wear on the plane, this should be just enough.

Related: 10 Tips For Making Your Airport Experience Quick and Easy

Accessories |

The next thing I’ll be focusing on is accessories. This is another category where it’s easy to go over-board, assuming most items are small and will fit regardless.

Pro Tip: Consider the fact that you’ll be coming home with souvenirs, and give yourself enough room ahead of time.

 A big thing that I keep in mind when going on vacation is the potential for losing things. I would be devastated if I lost a piece of jewelry, knowing that it’s in an unfamiliar place and I’ll probably never find it before we leave. With that in mind, I try to limit the special items that I bring. Here’s my list:

2 watches – 1 dressy and 1 fitness

3 pairs of Earrings – 2 studs/low profile, 1 dressy

Qalo or other replacement wedding ring

Medium-sized backpack

Beach hat

Baseball hat

Various hair elastics + Bobby pins

Satchel style bag

Beach bag



Pro Tip: If you’re headed to a beachy location, or somewhere you’ll be doing a lot of activities, consider leaving your wedding band/engagement ring at home. With the sand and the water, it’s quite easy for something to happen to it, which would really put a damper on your vacation. My wedding ring is my favorite accessory, but when my hands get cold, it can slip off quite easily. Trade it for a fake ring for the week!

 Beauty Products |

This is another category where it’s important to consider what exactly you’ll be doing. You wouldn’t want to be getting ready for the pool only to realize you didn’t bring any waterproof products. Personally, my beauty regimen is very simple, but I wanted to make sure I had some extras.

Large travel make-up bag

Rosehip oil dropper

SPF 15 daily aloe face lotion (Bath & Body Works)SPF 15 daily aloe face lotion (Bath & Body Works)

SPF 30 body lotion

Foundation – Stila

N.Y.X. Primer

N.Y.X. Highlighter

Waterproof mascara (Clinique – Jet Black)

Non-waterproof mascara (Clinique)

Black eye-liner (E.L.F.)

Eye Shadow – Anastasia

Concealer (Clinique)

Chap stick

Southern Belle Volumizing Mousse

CHI straightener


Nail file + Tweezers


Pro Tip: If you have specific hair needs (i.e. extra moisturizing, color safe, etc.) don’t rely on hotel shampoos to fulfill that. You can find small refill bottles at Walmart, CVS, Marshall’s, etc. that you can put your favorite shampoos and conditioners in, while still abiding by TSA’s ounce requirements.

 My skin is fairly sensitive, so I made sure to include items that will help it bounce back from the sun, salt, and chlorine. I also considered the fact that the humidity level down south is not something my hair is used to, so this mousse will help me style it and keep it tame, while still adding volume. I also purchased a new set of make-up bags that are specifically designed for traveling, with compartments to separate your larger and smaller items. That way if anything opens up, it’ll be separated from my clothing to ensure less mess.

I’ll be sure to share pictures of the whole trip on Instagram if you’d like to follow along!

Are you heading anywhere for Spring Break? What’s your favorite trip so far?













Published by Amanda N

Lifestyle blogger 🎗 Navigating life as a military spouse on the East Coast. Join our adventure!

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