Summer is around the corner, meaning only one thing—family vacations are on the way! There’s nothing better than kicking back on the beach or eating out at the finest restaurants with our loved ones. Still, being with our family members for extended periods of time without special comforts and distractions can drive anyone a little crazy.
Don’t torture yourself. When packing for your next big family getaway this summer, be sure to bring some of these items with you—or else!
1) First And Foremost, Headphones
You cannot and will not survive that week-long family road trip without being able to enjoy your own music, free of interruption. Let’s be real, nobody’s here for family sing-alongs while cruising down the I-95. Whichever brand you like—Beats by Dre, Apple or Skullcandy—make sure you bring your headphones with you!
2) Next, A Mini Portable Speaker For The Family Barbecue
Of course, having earbuds is important but when you do want to play music for the rest of the family, you can’t go wrong with a mini portable speaker. With a simple bluetooth or USB connection, these speakers are perfect for any setting, whether chillin’ on the beach or blasting tunes at the family picnic.
3) For My Boss Ladies, A Tablet & Keyboard To-Go
If you’re a workaholic like me, you probably can’t go anywhere—vacation or not—without your laptop or tablet.
The grind is real. SMH.
However, if you don’t want the hassle or risk of traveling with your laptop, snagging a portable keyboard for your iPad is a worthy investment. They’re light as a feather, easy to pack and just as effective as that gorgeous 15-inch Macbook sitting on your work desk.
4) For My Free Spirits, A Camping Hammock
If working while on vacation is not your style, there is absolutely nothing wrong with kicking back in the shade in a hammock and watching the world go by. Just prop one up between some trees or anywhere you can hang it up with sturdy support and you’re set! Those e-mails can wait. Trust.
5) Sunglasses (Duh)
They’re only everyone’s favorite accessory in the summertime for obvious reasons. Choose them carefully and treat them like your baby! There is nothing sexy about lenses that are scratched or dirty because you didn’t clean and protect them like you should have.
6) For The Turn Up Before The Turn Up, A Carry-On Cocktail Kit
We all know that drinking those cute little bottles of wine and beer in the hotel room fridge can get crazy expensive. The good news is that you can still enjoy alcohol from the comfort of your room by mixing your favorite drinks without breaking the bank. Stick a carry-on cocktail kit in your luggage and you can start mixing appletinis—even without a fully stocked bar—like a pro.
7) Don’t Forget Travel-Size Games For The Kids
You cannot and will not have a gratifying family vacation if you don’t find a way to keep the kids entertained. However, if you’re clever about it, you might not have to spend a lot of time, money or effort to do it.
For those long road trips cross-country or relaxing afternoons at the beach, try packing some old-school, portable games (as opposed to whatever’s on their smartphones and iPads) for the kids. You deserve to kick back with the grown-ups while they play among themselves.
8) A Sudoku Book To Keep Your Mind Sharp
Puzzles never get old. A Sudoku book is a great way to pass the time or give yourself a distraction when being around the family gets a little claustrophobic. It works perfectly as a portable game for the kids, to.
9) A Neck Pillow And An Eye Mask For Quality Shut-Eye
Getting comfortable on that long, stuffy flight doesn’t have to be hard. Get creative and pack a neck pillow and an eye mask. It’ll help you tune out distractions, you won’t end up with a crick in your neck and you’ll look rested and flawless by the time you arrive at your destination.
10) Finally, My Favorite: A Book (Or Two!)
As cliché as it sounds, there is no better time of year to read all the books you’ve had sitting on your to-do list than the summer. Take advantage of your kindle or tablet by downloading some books. It’ll keep you entertained and you’ll feel smarter by the time you have to go back to the office next Monday.