You’re finally making time for that much-needed vacation—only it’s not just you or you and your significant other going away for a few days. It’s the kids, too. While that means you’ll make beautiful memories together as a family, it also means that you need to think about how to dress for the duration of the trip.
Having kids doesn’t mean your sense of style goes out the window, but it does mean that your vacation is less strictly about you and you alone and more about everybody as a group. That’s the beauty of family travel! To approach it mindfully, it’s a good idea to make sure that you have a smart capsule wardrobe packed into your suitcase so that you can get ready efficiently and face the day’s lengthy itinerary in complete comfort.
Leggings may already be a significant part of your wardrobe. If so, you know how versatile they are and how easy they are to style with just about anything. Make it a point to pack at least one or two pairs in neutral shades like black and gray that you can wear with tunics, long cardigan sweaters, and even under dresses if you need a warming layer on an unexpectedly brisk day.
Leggings can also be used when you go to the gym, and some people even sleep in their leggings! They are probably the most versatile and comfy pair of pants that you’ll pack for your vacation.
The right pair of women’s jeans makes all the difference to your wardrobe when you’re on the road. Choose something that you’ve already worn plenty of times—a trip with the family is not the time to break in a new pair that may or may not feel comfortable as the day wears on. Whether you favor a skinny silhouette, a straight leg, or a curvy fit, make sure that it conforms to your figure well and that it allows you to move around easily. Jeans are great because they can be paired with almost any top or blouse. Make sure you pay attention to the washes of the jeans you’re bringing along. If you want to look more casual, light washes or mid-colored washes are great!
If you want to be a little more formal, go with darker washes. So, dark navy, black, gray, etc. Heck, if you want, you can even get jeans in bright colors like pink, green, and red. Just make sure you pack jeans that will go with more than one top that you pack so that you can minimize how much clothing you’re bringing. You know you’ll need extra room for all of the treasures your kids will collect on vacation.
While it may not be practical to bring along tons of dresses, at least one in a material like a jersey will do your wardrobe huge favors if there’s a special event on the itinerary. Even if there’s nothing specific planned, you’ll be glad that you planned ahead—and you can easily wear the dress even when you’re relaxing—just pair it with a cardigan or a light jacket and a pair of comfortable walking shoes. Add a few accessories when it’s time to dress up and you’ll look and feel like you’re ready for anything. If you don’t dress up, you can also use certain kinds of dresses as swimsuit cover ups, as well.
With both leggings and jeans in your arsenal, you can create dozens of great outfits by adding a variety of different tops to your suitcase. Tunics made with materials like flannel and fleece are essential if it’s brisk outside. Since these are thicker, plan to pack a maximum of two. If you’re packing lighter weights, add a couple of short- and long-sleeve tops that you can layer beneath sweaters or jackets when it gets cold outside. Throw in a sweatshirt or two in case it gets chilly!
What’s in your knitwear lineup? Again, this depends largely on the weather situation. A long cardigan is a great option in cooler environments where you may be able to head out without a coat. Opt for a style with buttons instead of an open front so that you can lock in more heat. Another great option for a cooler atmosphere is a turtleneck, which you can layer beneath a dress for some additional warmth or beneath a jacket or sweater when winds pick up.
Think practical as you pack your outerwear for your trip. It’s much easier to tote along with a packable down coat that folds into its own pocket or that comes with a convenient carrying case that you can sling over your arm or slide into your carry-on. For less extreme conditions, consider bringing along a cozy vest that you can layer over long-sleeve tops and turtlenecks for just the right amount of warmth. A fleece or rain jacket is also a smart addition to your bag—they’re easy to pack and don’t take up too much room.
It’s easy to focus solely on your comfort when you’re traveling with the family—and it’s important to make that a priority, but not necessarily at the cost of your inherent penchant for great style. Fortunately, it’s easy to transform basic outfits into something more fashionable by adding a few key accessories. Again, your destination plays a significant role in guiding your choices here. A few eye-catching scarves in materials suitable for the environment make a great choice. Silk is always chic, especially if you’re going to dinner at an upscale restaurant and want something to elevate your dress or even your simple top and jeans. Pack a statement necklace or two to give your ensemble an eye-catching boost.
Just as on every other day of your life, prioritizing comfort is key—but that’s especially true when you’re traveling and don’t have access to your regular everyday wardrobe. By packing a little bit of everything, but focusing on those pieces that you can mix and match to create new and comfortable outfits on every day of your trip, you’ll feel prepared to tackle everything in true superhero mom style.