If work, family obligations and life in general don't have you ready for a vacation, packing for your family getaway will. It's a thankless job that can make you the unsung hero of the trip, or have you answering the dreaded “Where's my (fill in the blank)?” question the whole time.
How well you pack can make or break the vacation, but no pressure. With a little planning, and by following these five tips, packing for your family vacation will be as easy as an ocean breeze:
Clothing: The temptation is always to bring way too many items to make sure your family is prepared for any occasion, but be realistic. You are going to the beach, not a fashion show, so less is more when it comes to wardrobes. To maximize space, roll T-shirts, shorts, socks, and underwear into the shape of a tube and unroll them when you unpack to prevent wrinkles. Paradise Resort has laundry facilities on the property, so you can save lots of space by doing a couple of loads midway through your stay. If doing laundry during vacation seems like a downer, save it for a rainy day or night.
Shoes: Footwear can be bulky and troublesome to pack into each individual’s suitcase, so create a common bag for everyone's shoes. Because you are going to the beach, bring a limited number of closed-toe shoes and dress shoes and be sure to pack everyone a pair of flip-flops or Crocs. These can be worn around the beach and pool and kicked off and on with ease compared to lace-up sneakers. Formal footwear is largely unnecessary. This is Myrtle Beach, after all, not South Beach, and casual footwear is permitted at just about restaurant in town, even many fine-dining establishments.
Toiletries: Here's another area where you can save room through consolidation. Instead of having everyone bring their own bathroom bags filled with toothpaste, shampoo, contact solution, deodorant, lotion, hair dryer and makeup kit, create one container for everyone's toiletries. Share common items and use trial-sized samples to save even more space. Store liquid items inside a zip-lock bag to prevent spillage from spoiling the whole bag, and be sure to secure medications safely away from small children.
Toys: Here's an area where you might want to give a little when it comes to packing light. You might not have enough room for bikes or other large items, but there are toys that offer a fair amount of entertainment for the amount of space they occupy. Sports gear, balls and even Frisbees can keep kids busy on the beach for hours, and board games or a deck of cards can rescue a rainy day or late-night family time. You can also pick up these items cheap at the local beachwear stores. Of course, you can’t replace a child’s most beloved stuffed animal, which can come in handy during restless nights.
Etcetera: Here are a few items that are often forgotten on beach trips: Sun screen (if you wait a day to go buy some, the whole family might be too sunburned to go back to the beach), flashlight (taking an evening stroll down the beach is safer with a little light), first-aid kit (fun at the beach can also come with a few boo-boos), cell phone charger (although it might be nice to take a long break from the phone), books (a great way to spend a day on the beach), and a light jacket (the ocean breeze can make it chilly on the beach at night).
Happy packing, and we will see you at the beach!