August 10, 2015

summer vacation essentials

This is not a packing list. Everybody already knows they need to bring clothes on summer vacation. I'm talking about the extra stuff to make the most out of a summer vacation. All summer I've been collecting things here and there to bring on my family trip up north. It's a big group that likes to do activities so I had fun packing all of this. Some staples + some fun extras. I'm currently up north with the group, and here's what I brought!

Metallic Tattoos. I'm obsessed with these and being on away on vacation seems like the only appropriate time and place to have fun with metallic tattoos. I purchased the popular (and expensive) Flash Tattoos in Lena from Nordstrom. And then a couple weeks later found these ones at Kohl's on sale for $4.80. So I brought those too! For more options, check out this tattify.com collection.

Swim Suits + Cover. Bring all the swim suits! I have an addiction to buying swim suits. I buy an embarrassing amount but I just keep seeing the cute new ones and feel like I need them in my collection. Anyway, I bring a lot of swim suits. That way I'll always have a dry one to put on.

Nail Polish // Wraps. I always do my nails the night before a vacation. That way they will look their best and hopefully not chip until the very end of the trip. I usually go for my brightest pink/coral (24/7, Flip Flop Fantasy) so that I look tan, but this year I'm more in to the neutral polish (Topless & Barefoot, Fiji, Pink a Card). I bring the polish with me for touch ups. Nail wraps are another great option. These are super cute and hassle free mani's with designs all over Etsy.

Camera. Whether it's a phone, DSLR, iPod, point-and-shoot, or polaroid, I need something to document the trip!

Light Hoodie // Zip-up. It gets cold at night, and the mosquitos come out. I bring a light crew neck or hoodie to throw on for bonfires or other night activities. I like ones that have the city name on them or in a color that makes me look tan. I brought this one from Kohl's. And if you're feeling preppy, these are really cute.

Popcorn. Who doesn't love popcorn?! Bring a bag for game night at the cottage. I brought one kettle and one butter.

Hair Chalk. Dip dyed hair is not as popular anymore but I still love the temporary hair chalk version on occasion. Just like the metallic tattoos, I feel that being away on vacation is only appropriate time and place to have fun with hair chalk. Tutorials are all over YouTube and Blogs. I got mine from an art supply store but brands all over the place have come out with their own hair chalk products. Have some fun!

The "Throw on Dress". That simple dress that's lightweight, flattering, and can just be thrown on when needed. My favorite is this one from Kohl's.

SPF. Bring all the SPF! I'm talking spray, lotion, chapstick, face, hair, everything. It's no fun being a lobster on vacation.

Baked Goods. Another thing I like to do the night before a vacation is bake something for the group. Rice Krispies are simple to make and always a crowd pleaser. For my family, I like to bake milky way cookies for the week ahead.

A Cute Bag. My weekender bag is the perfect size for the my summer vacations. In addition, a small cosmetic/clutch size bag is a great thing to bring. I always take one and use it for stuff like hair ties/pins, makeup, small electronic accessories, or even a purse.

Portable Speaker. This is really nice to have for time spent soaking up the sun on the dock or a spontaneous dance party. One with a bluetooth or chain feature is even better. I brought this one.

Lights. Fun lighting can instantly make anything more exciting and special. Use them for glow-in-the-dark tag, a night hike/bike, midnight swim, spontaneous dance party, etc. Whether its sparklers, glow sticks, or a colorful party light, it will make a memorable vacation.

Small Notebook. Paper is essential to our family vacations. Most nights turn into game nights and we always need paper for teams and keeping score. It also comes in handy for taking dinner orders, organizing tournament brackets, superlative awards, etc. My 9.5x6" notebook is the perfect size and the pages are lined! Don't forget a pen!

Be sure to check out my Road Trip Essentials post!
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