Goodies for an Easier, Healthier, Better Summer Vacation

Gear up for your family’s getaway with our sunny, smart finds. Whether you’re headed to the beach, going on a road trip to grandma’s, or anywhere in between, we’ve got the goods to make it a little more fun. 



Queens Lane Chevron Weekend Bag

Totes Adorbs

Show your style stripes with this Yellow Chevron Weekender. A roomy 22x10x13, this sturdy satchel has plenty of pockets. It looks so fabulous, you may (almost) not mind having to carry around your kids’ water bottles, half-eaten sandwiches, and “souvenir” rocks. $92;

Masala Baby pom pom sun hat

Cutie Undercover

A sunhat is a must to keep skin safe at the beach. The Inez Sunhat is perfect for little divas who demand a dose of adorable with their protection. It’s reversible, but the pom-poms are the kicker. Also in red, hot pink, and turquoise. $28; 

Found My Animal Canvas Travel Pet Bowl

Dish for Dog Days 

Lots of kids want to take their pooches along on vacation. They’re part of the family, after all. Make traveling with Buddy a bit easier with the Found My Animal Dog Canvas Bowl. Inspired by collapsible water buckets used by the military, it can be pushed flat to save luggage space. When it pops open, fill with water or dry dog food. The closing clip can be used to attach a leash. $32; 

cute girl's Livie and Luca shoes for Fourth of July
The Patter of Patriotic Feet

If your family is one of the many making tracks over Independence Day, your budding fashionista will want footwear for the festive occasion. Livie and Luca’s best-selling Carta II Mary Jane has been turned out in a limited edition run of red, white, and blue. The solid colored leather shoes each feature a different contrasting signature Persnickety fabric on the shoe button and lining. $60, whole sizes 4-13;  

Free Like Birdie Weekender Bag

Don’t Air Your Dirty Laundry

Take a short trip to Grandma’s? No need to mix up clean and dirty duds in the same weekend bag. This Travel Organizer has one side for your child’s clean outfits, the other for what’s already been worn. The pack is waterproof, with a handle that buckles onto your suitcase or even stroller handles. It also a handy chart of what to bring so you’re less likely to forget socks. $45; 

cool boys water shoesSplash-proof Sandals

Ever notice most kids’ water shoes are, well, ugly? Your child will step to the shore in style in these Plae Fisherman-style water shoes. The vegan material is quick-drying and washable (as in, you can toss them in the washing machine). $49.95;   

Bed Bath and Beyond Whale Beach Towel

It’s a Wrap

Fact: Kids will shout “Five more minutes!” about 20 billion times when it’s time to come out of the resort pool for that dinner reservation. This oversized, plush beach towel is so eye-catching it just may make them paddle a little quicker. With a fat whale swimming in a sea of polka dots, this 100% cotton velour wrapper is extra thick. $9.99;

Target SoCozy Hair Detangler Kids Conditioner

Sidestep Hairy Situations 

Every kids loves splashing in the waves or pool. The knots that come with all that salt, chlorine, dunking, and jumping, not so much. SoCozy Cinch Detangler + Leave In Conditioner makes short work of snarls. Our tangle-prone tester can’t get enough of it. “It smells like bananas. Or coconut. Or both. And it even makes my ponytails and braids look better!” she raved. $11.95; and select Target stores.

car games road trip toys keep kids busy on plane car

A Happy Trip Is in the Cards 

Whether a road trip or a plane ride is in your future, you’ll likely want something to keep the kids busy. And something besides your phone would be nice. Go old-school with this sweet Mini Card Set of five refreshed classic games (Go Fish, Old Maid, Animal Rummy, Hearts, and Crazy Faces). $12.95;

JJ Cole Toddler Kid Backpack Ladybug carry on bag

Carry on, Kid!

What makes a better first vacation pic than a tot with her very own carry-on slung over her shoulders? Nothing, unless maybe there’s her favorite stuffie sticking out of the top. The JJ Cole Little Backpack is the perfect one to take on the fly. We fell for the ladybug design, but it comes in lots of other options.  $24.95;

The Better Chip Healthy Snack for kids

It’s in the Bag

Snacks for the ride and the beach are a must. But yummy and non-perishable doesn’t have to mean junk. The Better Chip is a salty, crunchy snack made with only five (count ‘em) ingredients. Flavors like Fresh Corn, Chipolte, and Spinach and Kale will tempt the kiddos and you. One tester tried the Beet flavor solely because it was pink, and wound up asking for a second bag. All five flavors are verified non-GMO. $17.82 for 18 snack-size bags; and grocery stores.