From SPF to Sports Gear, You’d Be Surprised What You Might Need on a Summer Road trip!
Living in Southern California means we are surrounded with summer road trip options. It’s one of our favorite ways to get away for the weekend and enjoy a little vacation time together as a family.
But with the stress of loading the kids, the husband and the dogs into the car, how often have you forgotten to pack small, but important, things like sunscreen? Since relocating to Orange County a few years ago, Big Bear Lake has been on our family vacation bucket list. The beautiful mountains and time on the water seemed a perfect summer road trip that fit our family lifestyle.
We packed up our new Cadillac SRX for its first road trip and spent a three day weekend in Big Bear. The two hour trip is such an easy one from the OC and was even better because we could pack minimally but yet ensure we had everything we needed for an enjoyable trip. (If you are heading off a road trip and don’t have a new car, be sure to read this 12-point checklist for getting your car ready for a summer road trip.)
Summer Road Trip Packing Tips
If you are traveling to Big Bear or other lakes or parks this summer, here’s what you’ll need to pack for your summer road trip:
Whether camping or staying in a cabin, check the elevation of your destination. Big Bear is almost 7,000 feet in elevation. That means the air is warm during the daytime and cooler at night. Temperatures actually climbed into the upper 90s when we were there, which is warmer than usual. However, the key point to remember about packing for Big Bear and other high elevations in summer is that the temperatures can vary greatly, so layering is essential. The evenings were glorious and dropped into the low 50s, making for perfect sweatshirt weather.
2. Hiking Shoes
Like most parks and lakes, Big Bear is home to wonderful trails and hikes so pack a good pair of walking shoes or hiking shoes if you want to tackle steeper routes.
Higher elevation means you are that much closer to the sun, so make sure you pack a hat for everyone in the family to provide some shelter from the sun.
4. Swimsuits and Cover Ups
If you rent a cabin in Big Bear or other lake and state or national park destinations, pack your suits for the hot tub. (Hello glamping!) Our kids had a blast winding down their days in the hot tub under the stars but were actually in their swimsuits every day because we spent so much time on the lake. I would recommend two suits for everyone so they have time to dry from late night swims.
When spending time outdoors, you can never have enough sunscreen. I actually forgot to pack our sunscreen and found some at a wonderful stand on the pier as we were getting ready to board Miss Liberty and tour Big Bear Lake.
6. A Good Book
The drive is short and sweet but perfect for a good book. Better yet – snuggle up in your sweatshirt with your book and enjoy the cool nights and the sound of the pines blowing in the breeze.
7. Camera and Video Camera
We took so many amazing photos on both our HTC One and Panasonic Lumix cameras; the scenery is stunning in Big Bear no matter what you choose to do for fun. You may want to consider packing a Go Pro as well to capture photos while hiking or during water sports.
You cannot stay in a cabin in the mountains and not make popcorn – that’s just a fact when traveling. We packed up our Whirley Pop and made our favorite homemade popcorn for an evening snack back at the cabin.
9. Outdoor Sport Gear
Biking, hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking, water skiing, and so many more outdoor sports can be enjoyed in Big Bear. Pack your gear if you want or you can easily find equipment to rent if it makes your travel easier. We had a great experience with Paddles and Pedals on the north shore! If you are looking to plan activities for your trip, head over to TravelingMom to find a list of things to do while visiting Big Bear.
Disclosure: All or part of this trip was provided free or at a reduced cost for review purposes. Opinions are solely my own.