It can be hard to determine what exactly to pack when going on vacation, but if you're headed for somewhere warm this spring break, Ladue-Frontenac Patch has come up with 10 essentials to keep your family happy while you're away.
Luggage is where it all starts. At in , manager Scott Ford suggested that you make sure you have a bag that is both durable and lightweight. Several companies, such as Eagle Creek, Victorinox and Briggs & Riley, are making rollable duffel bags, which both have the slide-out handle to roll them and a normal handle for you to carry the bag in your hand. At Passport Luggage, they range in price from $224 to $260. If you're flying somewhere this spring break and don't want to deal with the hassle of checking a bag, be sure that your carry-on fits the size and weight specifications of your airline.
2. Flip Flops (or Sandals)
Whether you're at the beach or wearing them with a casual outfit, flip flops are essential footwear for the whole family. at Ladue Crossing has them in a huge variety of colors and prints, and they come at a reasonable price: $3.50 for one pair or $2.50 each if you buy two or more. If you're looking for a nicer woman's pair, has a selection for $23 each.
Most spring break destinations involve a beach, a pool or both, so swimming is definitely an important part of the vacation. Old Navy also has the entire family covered in this department, with suits for women, men, boys, girls and babies. They range in price from $12.50 to $24.50.
If you're going to be out in the sun for any length of time, it's important to use protection, especially on the kids. Ladue Pharmacy has a huge selection of sunscreens ($9-15), including ones formulated especially for babies and kids.
It is also important for you to protect your eyes, so be sure to remember your favorite pair of sunglasses. Ladue Pharmacy has a variety of styles for women for $10 to $15.
Now that you've got all of your apparel and toiletry essentials packed, it's time to move on to the fun stuff.
Spending some time at the beach can be made even more fun by having a frisbee to throw around with the kids or teaching them how to fly a kite. at Ladue Crossing has a variety of both frisbees (starting at $3.95 each) and kites (starting at $5.95) available for some beach fun.
7. Reading Material
Having a good book or magazine to read can be very relaxing during an afternoon at the beach. Barnes and Noble at Ladue Crossing has a huge selection for sale, of course, but if you don't want to invest in a book you're not sure about, the has a huge selection of books available.
You could go with a classic like "Jane Eyre" or "Pride and Prejudice," or something newer. Both Barnes and Noble and the library have the latest fiction books from Stephen King, Tom Clancy and Sophie Kinsella, or you could go with the latest non-fiction from a variety of cultural figures, including Jay-Z, George W. Bush, Portia de Rossi and Nora Ephron. Of course, both places also have a selection of the latest books for kids and teens.
If you want to read over spring break but don't want to deal with bringing a bunch of cumbersome books, an e-reader such as Barnes and Noble's Nook ($149-249) would be a great item to bring along. The e-books for the Nook cost anywhere from $5 to $15. If you're worried about it getting damaged during your vacation, Barnes and Noble also sells a variety of covers and cases ($30-40) for the Nook.
It's always a good idea to have a little something around for a snack, either in car rides or at the beach. However, if you've given up junk food for Lent, still has a variety of natural and organic snacks that are still tasty. For something salty, they have a several different flavors of Kashi snack crackers ($3.19 per box) or a bag of Eat Smart Naturals Garden Veggie Crisps ($3.69). If you want something sweeter, Schnucks sells three different varieties of Back to Nature granola ($4.79 a bag). Of course, if you haven't given up junk food, they still have the standard chips, crackers and sweet treats.
9. Board Games
If you run into a day with inclement weather and are still wanting to partake in some family fun, be sure to pack a board game. Spicer's has a variety of games priced from $30 to $40, including the classics Life and Monopoly. Barnes and Noble also has a selection of board games that are similarly priced.
Capturing the fun moments is perhaps one of the most important parts of vacation, so don't forget to pack your camera. at Ladue Crossing has a ton that are equipped with both still photo and video abilities, including a waterproof disposable video camera ($40) that is ready for easy upload on YouTube so you can share your fun with family and friends.