There’s nothing quite like a family getaway where you get to spend time in nature. If you’re headed to the lake for a week, you can enhance your enjoyment by bringing along the 15 items listed below. In addition to the obvious essentials like clothes, toiletries, food, and more, these things can make your days easier and more fun.
Cooler and Picnic Baskets
Whether you’re spending the day on the beach or just want an easy way to transport hot dogs and marshmallows to the campfire, an insulated cooler and picnic basket can make your life much easier.
Sunscreen and Bug Spray
Lakes are ground zero for both insects and sunburns. Bugs love plenty of standing water and fresh air, and the sun’s rays bounce off the surface and can burn badly. Pack tons of both to keep everyone comfortable.
Ziplock and Plastic Bags
You’ll be grateful for these simple items. You can keep essential things dry on the water, pack snacks, keep trash contained, and much more.
Tubes and Water Toys
Even if you won’t have access to a boat, there’s nothing like floating in a tube on calm lake water. Your kids will also appreciate having noodles, floats, goggles, squirt toys, and more.
You’ll likely use your beach chairs more often than you think, including sitting around the campfire at night. It also makes a day spent by the water much more enjoyable to have somewhere off the ground to sit.
These are other simple items that you might be very grateful for, especially if you plan to wade in shallow water. Sandals simply don’t stay on your feet, and water shoes make it safer and more comfortable.
Board Games, Deck of Cards, and a Good Book
You'll undoubtedly have downtime even if you’re lucky enough not to have a rainy day. Keep boredom at bay by being prepared, and catch up on your reading as you relax.
There are more things you won’t want to get wet than you initially realize, from your phone to spare diapers and snacks. A roomy dry bag will keep them all safe.
You’ll never regret having extra beach towels on hand, even if your accommodations provide some. Avoid doing load after load of laundry on your vacation!
Marshmallow Roasting Sticks
S’mores are a must-have treat for kids and kids at heart around the campfire. Good roasting sticks make it simpler and safer to enjoy this delicious, quintessential dessert.
First Aid Kit
Whether it’s bug bites, scraped knees, or a headache brought on by too much sun, you’ll be glad you have a first aid kit to treat any and all conditions on your vacation. It can also put your mind at ease in a more serious emergency.
Antibacterial Hand Wipes
Nothing makes parents shudder like watching their kids eat with filthy fingers. There’s often nowhere to wash hands at the lake, so come prepared with your own wipes.
Put all that sunshine to good use and take as many pictures as you want without worrying about your phone dying. Some of these gadgets also double as lanterns, so charge them up and keep them handy.
Bocce, badminton, horseshoes, ladder golf–whichever is your favorite, bring it along. It will give your group something fun to do while the grill heats up in the evenings or during downtime by the water.
Sweatshirts and Blankets
Even in the summer, it can get cool at night by the water, especially if you’re in the mountains. In addition, an extra layer can help keep the bugs off you.