How To: Pack For Spring Break Like A Pro (and without checking a bag!)

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The winter season can be long and cold; luckily, there’s a beacon of light that promises sunshine and warmth to get you through: spring break. Whether your idea of a hot getaway involves undisturbed hours lounging seaside or spicy salsa dancing into the wee hours of the morning, there are a few essentials every spring breaker should bring along. Here, we’ve rounded up the must-haves for your next trip, and cover everything you’ll need both in the air and on the shore.

Take-Off

After picking a destination, perhaps the most important decision you’ll have to make when planning a vacation (assuming you’re flying) is whether or not to check a bag. Word to the wise: don’t! Airlines lose luggage all the time. Do yourself a favor and avoid a potential headache by opting for a carry-on that can hold all the essentials. A cosmetic case will also come in handy not only while traveling, but also once you arrive. Keep things organized in your home away from home with a hanging bag or store small toiletries and accessories like sunblock and sunglasses in a waterproof case while you’re down at the pool or beach. If you do choose to carry-on though, just be sure to remember the 3-1-1 Liquids Rule!

High Tide

Another reason you should skip the big suitcase? Everything you really need for a tropical vacation is compact. You’ll practically be living in your bathing suit anyway, and small accessories like sunglasses and hats can either be worn while traveling or packed in a large tote that can double as both your personal item and beach bag!

Tiki Time

Of course some real clothing will be worn occasionally while on vacation, so opt for pieces that can transition from day to night. A romper is the perfect choice for her – breathable and easy to wear, it’s easy to throw on over a bikini or dress up with your favorite jewelry for an evening out. Guys should look for lightweight materials as well and have some fun with island prints and colors!

A lot of prep goes into going away, and the last thing you want to be thinking about at 35,000 feet is if your luggage is going to make it. Whether you choose to carry-on instead or not, don’t procrastinate: make a list of the items you’ll really need – chances are, they’ll all be able to fit in the overhead compartment!

Are you packing for an entire family? Be sure to check out our tips in Resort Wear Must-Haves!

GIFT GUIDE: For the Traveler

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When it comes to the holidays, luggage may not always be on the top of your checklist. But with the coming weeks being among the heaviest for travel – from grandma’s or the in-laws to a family getaway someplace warmer – maybe it should be. Luggage is also a great gift idea: for the college student who may be getting ready to graduate, for the business traveler in your life, for the trendsetting teen who needs a go-to weekend bag, and even for the kiddos. We’ve rounded up some of our team’s favorite picks to help inspire a great gift for someone on your gift list or to help you pack up in style for your next getaway.

For the Light Packer

We all know (and likely envy) this traveler. They can fit what they’ll need for days in their carryon and not think twice about waiting at the baggage carousel. For this person, or for the person you want to give a great, smaller bag to so they are more organized on their next adventure, daytrip or cross country, a backpack or lightweight rolling bag will fit their travel style. Look for bags with enough compartments so they can easily access a few key essentials, like a water bottle or sunglasses. And be sure to look at bag measurements: you want to pick a bag that can indeed fly as a carry-on.

For the Busy Traveler

Whether on the go for work or play, this person needs function and durability. If you or the traveler on your gift list is more work-centric, a bag that is designed to carry a suit or business clothes will help keep their business clothes in the best shape so they may actually have a few minutes to enjoy the view, rather than having to iron on their next trip. If your busy wayfarer is on the go for leisure, look for features like expandability (so they have room to pick up a souvenir or two) and portability – a lightweight, easily-wheelable bag is key.

For Weekend Getaways

You’ve booked that perfect weekend trip or your plan to and you just can’t wait to go. Armed with a great bag, packing doesn’t have to be a chore. Pick a bag that helps show your personality and is big enough for what you really need – you don’t want to have to lug around a giant suitcase if you’re off on a quick trip. And since everyone could use a great bag like this for quick trips, it really works for so many people on your list – and with tons of options in style and color to choose from, you can really make this a personal present.

For Teens, Tweens, and Little Ones

Every traveler needs a bag of their own, no matter how old they are (even if just to go to Grandma’s once in a while), to make their trip feel special. Teens and tweens are notoriously tricky to pick out gifts for, but a great bag is something they can likely use – for slumber parties at a friend’s house to a family vacation, and even for those gearing up for college tours. Fun patterns and fresh styles will make packing much smoother if they have a bag they actually want to be seen in public with. For the little ones, know they’ll get excited to pack their stuff into a bag that shows off one of their favorite movies or characters.

For the Trendsetting Teen or Tween:

Accessorize Your Travel Style

Travel is easier when you’re prepared, so don’t forget to think about the little things – which by the way, make for great (easily wrapped) gifts and stocking stuffers. From cosmetic bags and pouches to keep what’s inside your bag in order, to colorful luggage that will make their suitcase recognizable, we’ve pulled a few of our favorites together to make your holiday travel and gifting a little easier.