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How To Pack For Spring Break

Don't risk blowing your budget on stuff you forgot to bring.


  • Step 1: Figure out what you're doing Figure out what you’ll be doing on your spring break. Assuming you’re headed to the beach, pack several bathing suits, cover-ups, sunglasses, flip-flops, and a good beach towel.
  • TIP: If you’re flying, check out how much luggage you’re allowed and what can be placed in your carry-on.
  • Step 2: Make general list Make a very general list of things you’ll need, like shorts, tops, underwear, toiletries, and shoes. Try not to go overboard—you’ll regret it when you’re lugging a heavy suitcase around.
  • TIP: Spend a day jotting down everything you use, from your morning shampoo to your bedtime floss, and use this as a master list for this trip and future ones.
  • Step 3: Count items For each category, figure out how many items you’ll need for the time you’re away. Then toss in an extra one of each.
  • Step 4: Pack clothes Pack clothes for going out at night, and one dressy outfit, just in case you end up going to a nice restaurant where tank tops aren’t appropriate.
  • TIP: Be sure to pack enough sunscreen, hair products, and the like, as they’re usually expensive in touristy areas.
  • Step 5: Bring medicine Traveling, staying up late, being in the sun, eating new food, and, ok, drinking outrageous amounts can do crazy things to your health. Bring medicine for upset stomachs, diarrhea, and headaches.
  • Step 6: Pack sweater or sweatshirt Pack a sweater or sweatshirt for evenings, an unforeseen cold front, or for places that have the air conditioning cranked.
  • TIP: Take some of the guesswork out of packing by checking the 10-day weather forecast for your destination.
  • Step 7: Leave valuables behind Put any medicine and cash in your carry-on bag, but leave valuables like expensive jewelry behind.
  • Step 8: Make a budget Make a budget before you go, and consider getting traveler’s checks or putting only that much money in a debit account to avoid overspending. But bring a credit card just in case!
  • Step 9: Bring condoms Speaking of being practical: bring condoms. Even if you don’t expect to hook up, you never know what a little moonlight and booze will do.
  • Step 10: Don't forget tickets & passport Don’t forget to bring any paper tickets or your passport, both of which you should have gotten long before now.
  • Step 11: Beware of thieves Thieves love spring break as much or more than you do: Bring a lock to secure your luggage, and stash photocopies of your credit card and driver’s license in a place separate from the originals, in case they’re stolen. Or, let’s be honest, just plain lost.
  • FACT: Spring break trips to Puerto Rico are becoming increasingly popular because the drinking age is 18 and no passport is needed.

You Will Need

  • Time to plan
  • Paper and pen
  • And some discipline

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