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What I packed for my family vacation

Categories: basics

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We’ve just come home from a week of family vacation, in the Colorado mountains. This was the first vacation we’ve taken with our kids where everyone was old enough — and interested enough — to do really big things. We went rafting and hiking and rock climbing and horseback riding.

It was awesome. And exhausting.

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Packing for a vacation with kids can be tricky; after all, you’ll essentially be doing exactly what you do at home (wrangling children) but in an unfamiliar place. Additionally, if you’re lucky, you’ll be doing some cool, out-of-the-ordinary things, stuff you wouldn’t do on a normal Tuesday. Like whitewater rafting, just for example.

So what do you pack? Here’s what I took with me.

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Shorts and tees. Since my everyday wardrobe is composed of pretty basic pieces, I was able to pack my regular clothes for this trip. I’m not a believer in dressy shorts — mine are all from Old Navy, which means that they’re essentially expendable, and thus kid-friendly. I packed tees that could go in the washer and dryer, because who wants to mess with hand-washing on vacation? Not me, that’s for sure.

Jeans and sweaters. We were in Breckenridge, where the temperatures were honestly 40 degrees cooler than Oklahoma City (thank heaven). I packed two pairs of jeans and two sweaters, one cashmere and one a heavy cotton, and I wore them both. The cashmere sweater was perfect for hiking because it was thin but warm; the cotton sweater was great with my pajama pants for lounge wear.

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Workout clothes. Here’s the rule about workout clothes for vacation: They are for working out only. Just like when you’re home. I wore my workout clothes to go running and for our big outdoor activities. The rest of the time, when we were hanging out at the house or sightseeing, I got dressed — just like when I’m home.

Appropriate shoes. I like pretty shoes just as much as the next girl, and when I go on a kid-free vacation, I take all my faves. But family vacay isn’t the place for pretty silk flats. I packed two pairs of running shoes (the ones I’m currently running in and an old pair), my driving moccasins and a pair of flip flops, for around the house. That’s it!

The take-away is this: Family vacation calls for comfortable, kid-friendly clothes — but that doesn’t mean you should spend all day in your running shorts. Simple basics like chino shorts and cotton tees are cute enough for photos but comfy enough for a day on the go.

What’s on your vacation packing list?

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