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Spring break: It’s the one event college students look forward to all year. After being locked away in the classroom or your tiny (yet well-appointed) dorm room, you can’t wait to escape the stress of school and embark on an adventure! Whether you’re headed to Florida, Tulum, or Cancun with your besties or staycationing at your pal’s pool, now that you’ve got a destination, the next thing you need to focus on is what to bring on spring break. 

To help you prepare for your upcoming travels (we know you’re eager to get to that tropical destination, volunteer location, or cozy home to hunker down in), we composed the ultimate college spring break packing list so you can fret less and focus your attention on having fun (or doing good) in the sun. Our must-haves include skincare staples to help you glow all week long, cute bathing suits and maxis for après-beach, and of course, a binge-worthy book.



  • A lightweight gel-cream moisturizer to keep your skin glowing all day
  • Sunscreen (aim for SPF 30 or higher!)
  • A gentle cleanser to clean and refresh your face
  • Pimple patches to stop blemishes in their tracks
  • Face masks for those relaxation days
  • A lip mask to keep your pout hydrated
  • A cleansing balm to dissolve all of your vacay makeup ~lewks~

Clinique Moisture Surge™ 100H Auto-Replenishing Hydrator, $27

Clinique All About Clean™ Liquid Facial Soap, $23

Clinique Take The Day Off™ Cleansing Balm, $36


  • A 24-hour, full-coverage foundation with a matte finish that also acts as skincare (it’s built with three serum technology to visibly improve bare skin over time)
  • A travel-friendly eyeshadow palette
  • Liquid blush for that sunkissed glow (without the sun)
  • Your fave concealer to cover up any blemishes or discoloration
  • A buildable mascara for lush, bold lashes
  • A shimmery bronzer to warm up your complexion
  • Eyebrow gel to keep your brows polished and in place
  • Reusable makeup removing wipes (so you don’t have to worry about running out)
  • A setting spray to lock in your look
  • A go-to lip color that can be worn from day to night
  • Brushes and a beauty blender (and any other tools you use to apply your makeup!)

Clinique Even Better Clinical™ Serum Foundation, $43

Clinique High Impact™ Mascara in Black, $23

Clinique Almost Lipstick in Black Honey, $22


  • Shampoo, conditioner, and soap
  • Dry shampoo to keep your vacay hair looking flawless in between washes
  • Deodorant
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Razor and shaving cream
  • Hairbrush
  • Hairstyling tools (i.e. hairdryer and curling iron for those beach waves)
  • Hair ties
  • Tweezers to tame your brows or deal with boardwalk splinters
  • A mini first-aid kit
  • Feminine hygiene products (even if it’s not your time of the month, it can’t hurt to have supplies on hand for your besties)

Living Proof Mini Perfect hair Day (PhD) Advanced Clean Dry Shampoo, $18

Welly Quick Fix First Aid Kit (2 Pack), $14

Quip Adult Electric Toothbrush with Travel Cover, $24


Tip: Make the most of your break by choosing pieces that can be mixed and matched to create a bunch of looks!

  • Day dresses
  • Going-out dresses
  • A breezy matching set
  • Crop tops
  • A lightweight sweater (for chillier nights)
  • A midi skirt
  • A mini skirt
  • Denim shorts
  • Bathing suits
  • Beach coverups
  • Flowy beach pants
  • Loungewear
  • Comfy slides (for chilling by the pool or on the sand)
  • Platform heels (so you can look good without hurting your feet on nights out)
  • Neutral sneakers
  • A beach-ready tote bag
  • A chic clutch (to hold your going-out essentials)
  • A wide-brim hat
  • A baseball cap

Aerie Jacquard One Shoulder One Piece Swimsuit, $55

Birkenstock Arizona Essentials EVA, $50

VRG GRL Don’t Look Back Midi Dress, $47

Beach Bag

Tip: Get double duty out of your oversized beach bag by using it as your carry-on/personal item for traveling to your spring break destination. Plus, it’ll ensure you have all your important items next to you at all times. 

  • Ticket(s) (for traveling and any events you’re attending)
  • Cell phone
  • ID (if you’re staying within the U.S., use your driver’s license, or if you’re traveling abroad, bring your passport!)
  • Sunglasses
  • Medications
  • Gum
  • Wallet (keep some cash on you in case you run into any issues with your cards)
  • Snacks
  • Reusable water bottle (make sure it’s empty if you’re going through airport security!)
  • Antibacterial gel
  • Headphones
  • A bathing suit and cover-up (in case your luggage gets delayed!)

SOJOS Small Square Polarized Sunglasses, $16

ban.do Brighten Up Infuser Water Bottle, $20

Travelambo Women’s Wallet in Green Blooming, $15


  • Beach towel
  • Disposable camera (so you don’t have to worry about your phone or nice camera getting sandy or wet!)
  • Chargers (get a cheap portable phone charger for long days at the beach or while you’re en route)
  • A good beach read
  • Koozies (may you always have a cool—and cute!—drink in your hand)
  • Plastic bag or waterproof pouch for your wet swimsuit
  • Corkscrew

Baggu Bath Towel in Trippy Swirl Salmon, $34

Urban Outfitters Matte Disposable Camera, $20

Bumkins Waterproof Wet Bag in Wander, $12

Check off all the items on this list and you’ll be sure to have the best. spring. break. ever. Happy vacay!

Katy Gioeli

U Conn '18

Katy is the Senior Branded Content Associate at Her Campus Media. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2018, where she studied communication and was a College Fashionista Community Member. When she’s not dreaming up new branded content ideas, you can find her trying new restaurants, taking hundreds of pictures of her kitten, Willow, or enjoying a good book and a cup of tea.
Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.