Spring Break is for everyone. Teachers, students and professionals who want to keep the dream alive head out of town for a mid-season vacation. While most chase the sunshine and heat, others might seek out snowy slopes, cosmopolitan cities or the culture of foreign countries. No matter where you’re going this year, one thing is for sure: you need to know what to pack for spring break before you leave. Although your spring break destination might not be the traditional beachy town, there are must-haves for every vacation location.
So, here are some suggestions on what to pack for spring break — you’ll want to have these on hand no matter where you’re going:
You should already have a daily sunscreen-application ritual: the protection provided by a single layer of sunscreen can help you fend off skin cancer, as well as fine lines and wrinkles that age your skin.
Clearly, if you’re going to the beach, you’ll throw a bottle of sunscreen into your suitcase. But heading for the ski slopes, for example, will require you to slather on the protection, too: the reflection of sun off of the white snow can burn your skin, too. Even sightseeing through the sunny streets of Europe can leave your skin pink — in other words, every destination requires sunscreen, so pack it no matter what.
Chances are, your smartphone has a pretty nice built-in camera. But nothing beats the quality of images taken by a device built with the sole purpose of taking pictures. The type of camera you choose is up to you: while an historic destination might inspire you to buy a high-quality digital camera, a fun, boozy getaway might be best captured by a disposable film camera. Either way, you’ll be glad to have the photos you take in the old-fashioned way.
Whether you’re on a short or long flight, one thing’s for sure: an airplane’s recycled air is dehydrating. With humidity lower than the air in the Sahara — seriously — you should be sure that you’re drinking water throughout your airplane travels.
And, once you arrive at your destination, you’ll want to keep the hydration going. Whether you’re sunbathing or wandering from one side of the city to another, water is a key accessory to any travel outfit. So, pack a reusable water bottle and fill it up at the hotel, hostel or with the leftover water from a restaurant.
Even if you shower and freshen up before flying, you might feel less-than-spiffy by the time you land. Your mouth may feel stale or your skin may feel oily; your make-up might run while you’re in the air, too.
So, be sure to pack airplane-approved products with you so that you can freshen up at the end of your flight or as soon as you land. A small tube of toothpaste and toothbrush, face-washing wipes, travel-sized mascara… whatever you’ll need to get off the flight and feel vacation-ready, be sure to pack it. Even if you’re taking a road trip, you’ll be happy to have these items on hand to use for a quick freshening up upon your arrival at your destination.
You know what you’re doing on Spring Break, which probably means you know the best type of shoes to pack with you, too. As tempting as it may be to pack your cutest, least comfortable shoes — they’ll look better in pics, you say — you will regret doing so when you’re walking long distances in them.
So, pack or buy shoes that are comfortable enough for the activities ahead. You can find styles that are still attractive to the eye, but your comfort is truly the most important — you only have a week of Spring Break, after all, and you don’t want sore feet to stop you from seeing and doing everything.
Whether you rely on your smartphone to keep in touch with your fellow travelers, find directions with Google Maps or snap photos that will serve as lifetime reminders of your trip, one thing is for sure: you don’t want the device’s battery to die unexpectedly.
So, when you ask what to pack for spring break, be sure to bring a portable charger along with you. Of course, you’ll have to be sure you keep it charged so that you can use it in a pinch, but you’ll be glad you have one: it slips easily into your purse, unlike your entire charger, and you can use it without access to an outlet or adapter.
Every Spring Break trip is different, but one thing is for sure: the above six items will come in handy wherever you end up. So, pack them up, along with the destination-specific items you’ll as the week passes by. Most of all, get ready to have some fun: whether you’re a student or a grown-up vacationer, that’s what Spring Break is all about.