Spring Break Packing 101: Travel Smart by Packing Right

By: Miriam Bribiesca

It’s that time of the year when you start to get excited about your upcoming Spring Break trip but then it hits you… YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT TO PACK! Uh oh!

Don’t fret! Now that you are part of the ScholarTrip traveling family, we are here to help you gear up for an epic Spring Break. And if you’re feeling a tad overwhelmed about what to stuff into your suitcase? We get it. As seasoned travelers who have been there, done that, and have receipts to prove it, we are confident we can guide you through the maze that packing can be.So whether you’re hitting the beach, exploring a concrete jungle, or just in it for the food, we got your back, literary! Let’s dive into the world of smart, budget-friendly packing for a lightweight and unforgettable Spring Break that would make even Marie Kondo proud.

Before you dive into your adventure, take a moment to make sure you’ve packed everything you need. Check out our comprehensive Spring Break Packing Checklist that you can use to help you pack for your trip!

The Essentials: Less is More!

First things first, let’s talk about THE essentials. We’re talking about the holy grails of traveling, which are your passport, IDs, cash, cards, and travel documents. Keep these in a secure, easily accessible place like a travel wallet. And because you are a pro, always have a digital backup of these documents stored in your phone or cloud just in case. You’re welcome!

Mix, Match, and Repeat

  • Versatile Clothing: Embrace the idea of a capsule wardrobe and choose versatile pieces that can be mixed and matched and even used for completely different things like a shawl. For color, think neutral and simple patterns (or not! We are not the fashion police). We do, however, recommend a couple of t-shirts, a pair of shorts, jeans, a light sweater, and a versatile dress or shirt for those fancier nights out. When packing, just remember there’s nothing wrong with being an outfit repeater, especially when no one will notice as the backdrop will always be different from all the places you’ll visit! 
  • Layering is Key: Whether you’re heading to the beach or living it up under the city lights, evenings can get chilly. It’s always a smart idea to pack a lightweight jacket or a hoodie. Or become the fashionista you’ve always wanted and learn about the art of layering. Who said pants + a skirt don’t go together? It’s all about confidence!
  • Footwear: Keep it to a minimum and do not compromise when it comes to comfort! When traveling it is an absolute MUST to invest in a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Once that is out of the way, flip-flops for the beach, and maybe a pair of nicer shoes for those special nights out we know there might be one of two. 

Image of college girl packing her clothes in packing cubes from the top down.

Travel-Sized and Multipurpose

  • Go Mini: Opt for travel-sized toiletries. They not only save space but you’re less likely to become upset if they get lost or left behind simply because you can get another one.
  • Multipurpose Products: We know how this is going to sound, but when space is limited considering items like 2-in-1 shampoo and conditioner or moisturizer with SPF are not such a bad idea. It’s all about saving space, but we understand if you don’t want to share this tip with your male friend or partner as they might make it an everyday habit. 
  • Packing Cubes are Your Best Friend: Use different-sized packing cubes to segregate items. For instance, dedicate one cube for electronics (chargers, earphones, etc.), another for toiletries, and one for undergarments. When buying these, opt for packing cubes with mesh tops or clear plastic. This way, you can easily see what’s inside without having to unzip and rummage through each cube. Check out these packing cubes from CALPAK with many color options.
  • Be Savvy and Use Vacuum Compression Bags: If you want to take it to another level and be in the packing hall of fame, then get yourself a pack of these. Not only will it help with minimizing any bulky items like a sweater and such, but also give you some extra space to bring back souvenirs. 
  • Utilize Empty Spaces: Use your shoes as storage to stuff socks, chargers, or other small items. It’s a great space-saver and can even help maintain the shape of your shoes. And of course, use the roll and tuck method for your belts, ties, or small scarves to use up every single inch including the corners of your suitcase.

Image of a group of young college friends sitting on a tall ledge, laughing and having fun.

Stay Connected and Relaxed

  • Chargers: If you have enough space, bring along more than one charger for your devices, in case one gets lost or damaged. And while you’re at it, invest in a high-capacity power bank to recharge your devices on the go, especially if you’ll be using your phone for entertainment during long day trips or in places where outlets may be scarce.
  • Universal Travel Adapters: Always check the plug types and voltage requirements for your destination and pack a universal adapter accordingly. And now that you’re adapting in more ways than one, if you’re traveling internationally, consider purchasing a local SIM card for cheaper data rates. How else will you stay in contact with your besties? Oh, and of course your mom and dad.
  • Entertainment: Load your device with e-books or audiobooks, music and even pre-downloaded shows as they take up no physical space and can provide hours of entertainment. I guess having the world at our fingertips comes with many perks including helping us unwind during long trips.

Be Prepared, Not Scared

  • First Aid Kit: Pack a basic first aid kit that includes band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, and any personal medications. In general we strongly encourage you to know the generic names of any medication you take as brand names can vary by country.
  • Travel Insurance: It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but it can be a lifesaver in case of an emergency. Make sure the insurance policy covers medical emergencies, trip cancellations, and lost luggage. Naturally, you should also have a list of your medical conditions and allergies, if any, along with emergency contact information.
  • Emergency Contacts: Know the emergency numbers (like 911 in the US) for the countries you’re visiting if they have one. And if you’re going with a group of friends, share with them some of your emergency contacts because you never know.

Little Things That Make a Big Difference

  • Reusable Water Bottle: Stay hydrated and save money because unlike the states water is not free at restaurants. 
  • Snacks: Pack some non-perishable snacks for when hunger strikes.
  • Backpack or Day Bag: For day trips and excursions it’s nice to have an option that is not too bulky.
  • Travel Pillow and Eye Mask: We would say these are non-negotiable because you can’t travel the world without energy. So we recommend investing in a travel pillow and a simple silk eye mask to help you catch some zzzs on your long journey ahead.
  • Noise-Canceling Headphones: Just trust us. Having control over blocking out unwanted noise on planes or in shared accommodations will be a lifesaver for your sleep and sanity.

An image of a young group of college students excited as they just arrived to the beach. It is a group of 6 of them jumping with joy on the shore.

Pack Smart, Enjoy More!

Remember, the goal of packing for Spring Break is to be prepared, not weighed down. Every item you suitcase or backpack should serve a specific purpose. So keep it simple, functional, and most importantly, fun! 

If you think about it, your Spring Break is a time to make memories, not worry about an overpacked suitcase. So pack smart, travel safe, and if you would like to continue that streak of making the best of your trip, then take advantage of our exclusive student discounts that will put more money in your wallet to make space for new experiences. 

Be sure to use our handy checklist to help you get ready for your Spring Break trip, ensuring you’ve got all the essentials packed and ready for a memorable vacation. Find the detailed checklist HERE.

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