What to Pack for a Vacation with Kids

What to Pack for a Vacation with Kids

Getting ready for a vacay with the kids means well-packed luggage. What you pack for a family vacation can make a difference when it comes to whether or not the trip goes smoothly. While kids’ ages do factor in when packing for vacation, you can use the following ideas to build a framework for your own packing plan.

Family Swimwear

If you’re vacationing at the beach this year, family swimwear is a must. There’s a swimsuit to fit every age and body type, so you can find one for every member of your vacation crew. Some of our favorite kids’, men’s, and women’s swimsuits for 2023 include:

The Chlorine-Resistant One-Piece: In our opinion, one-piece swimsuits are a classic, always stylish beachwear option. Women’s and girls’ one-piece swimsuits come in a wide array of colors and prints, with different neckline and strap styles from which to choose. We love chlorine-resistant swimsuits because they’re sturdy and colorfast, thanks to the addition of Lycra® XtraLife™—a type of spandex with ten times the wear of regular spandex.

The Ultra-Versatile Tankini: While the one-piece takes the prize when it comes to classic swimwear styles that never fall out of fashion, the tankini is the most versatile. Girls’ and women’s tankini tops and bottoms can be combined in a myriad of ways to create virtually unlimited possibilities. You can go with a solid-color top and bottom for an on-trend monochromatic style or mix prints for an eclectic vibe. Solid tankini bottoms with a patterned tankini top—or vice-versa—make a well-coordinated look to consider.

Retro Swim Dresses and Skirts: You could also choose a girls’ or women’s swim dress if you like a retro-inspired look with plenty of coverage. There are one-piece swim dresses in different lengths and neckline styles, along with swim skirts you can pair with tankini tops or swim shirts.

Volley Swim Trunks: Men’s and boys’ swim trunks come in different styles, too. This summer, we project the classic volley trunk will be the fashion forerunner. They tend to fall to the knee, although some pairs may be slightly above or below. Volley swim trunks have a full elastic waist with a drawcord for custom comfort, and they’re available in many colors and prints such as classic color-block and on-trend tie-dye.

Sporty Board Shorts: For your active guys, there are board shorts perfect for surfing and other types of water sports. They’re shorter than the volley style for greater mobility, but most pairs have the same elastic waist and adjustable drawcord. You’ll find nylon and polyester swim trunks, some of which may have a small percentage of spandex for stretch. Both main fabrics are lightweight and fast-drying, so take your pick.

Now that you know more about swimsuit styles and features for you and your family, let’s talk about sun protection. Many swimsuits are enhanced with UPF 50+ protection, which applies to covered areas. Sun protection swimwear and clothes don’t eliminate the need for sunscreen, so make sure you and your family lather up before hitting the beach or pool.

Beach Cover-Ups

Another piece of summer clothing that every family member needs is a cover-up. There are rash guard cover-ups in many women’s, men’s, and kids’ styles. Most rash guards are made from quick-drying polyester with UPF 50+. Some styles have a bit of stretch, while others are woven without spandex. There are terry cover-ups, too, along with beach towels to wrap up in.

Girls' and women’s rash-guard cover-ups come in mid-length and long dress styles perfect for a walk to the beachside café. There are also shorts and tops for girls and women, in short- and long-sleeve styles. Men's and boys’ rash guards also come in multiple styles, including tees and hoodies. If you’re worried that a long-sleeve hooded jacket is too hot for the beach, don’t be. Rash guard apparel is super-lightweight and breathable while still providing ample sun protection.

Resort Outfits

Besides swimwear, comfortable clothing that’s appropriate to your vacation itinerary is also needed. Girls’ and women’s cotton summer dresses are great for vacation because they’re cool, comfortable, and come in colors and prints to match almost any wardrobe. Capri pants with a sleeveless top make for another vacation-ready outfit, or you can opt for women’s or girls’ shorts in the style and length you prefer. A selection of tops, such as women’s and girls’ T-shirts and tank tops, should suffice for a summer getaway. You may want to bring a light summer sweater for cool evenings.

Summer Accessories

Separate beach bags for everyone is a good strategy when packing for vacation. Fill your family’s canvas totes with beach towels and other summer essentials. For the kids, bring along some beach toys such as sandcastle-building buckets and shovels and an inflatable beach ball. Books and games are also good to pack, especially if your destination takes hours to reach. Sunscreen can be tucked into a toiletries pouch along with hand wipes. When it comes to packing shoes, water shoes and flip-flops are versatile styles. If you’re planning on doing a lot of sightseeing, a pair of breathable walking sandals provide all-day support and cool comfort.

Start early when it comes to vacation planning. If you decide what to pack ahead of time and make a list, it’s faster and easier to put everything together when it’s time to head out for a fun family getaway.


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