Packing for a Mini-Vacation Just Me and the Boys

Headed to an indoor water park? Here’s a quick and simple packing list, including food and snacks, to get your started.

Here's a simple and minimal packing list for an overnight trip to an indoor waterpark with young children.

Maybe I’m brave. Maybe I’m crazy. Maybe I’m a little bit of both. But on whim of spontaneity, I am planning a quick overnight trip to take the boys to an indoor water park while M is away on a business trip. Just the boys and I are headed Kalahari Resort in the Poconos.

With a new, reduced work schedule, I have a couple days each week when I’m home with the boys. Since M was going to be out of town, I took the opportunity to try something fun with the boys that’s just a couple hour drive from Philadelphia and a great break from the doldrums of winter.

Although I anticipate the trip will go well, I knew it would require a bit of thoughtful planning about what to bring, what to eat, our plans while we were there, etc.. considering I wouldn’t have any other adults to help manage the boys.

I’ve been trying to anticipate some of the harder moments on our little adventure, like hauling our luggage and the boys from the car into the hotel for check-in, keeping track of both boys in the water park, entertaining the boys during the 2 hour drive, and showering after swimming without another adult to watch the boys (I’d prefer not to make that a team activity).

Below, I’ve included the list of things we’re packing in an effort to keep our bags light but still have all the things we’ll want for the trip. It really doesn’t feel like all that much (and it all fits in one bag and one cooler, so it should be plenty easy to carry while walking with the boys).


  • iPad (for the boys to watch a show while I shower), fully charged
  • DSLR Camera with 50mm lens, 24 mm lens, and charger
  • iPhone and charger
  • Car phone charger ~ audio books in the car eat up my phone battery quickly
  • Around the World Stories ~ 2 stories downloaded to my phone for the boys
  • 3 audio books ~ downloaded from our local library for the boys
  • Waterproof phone case
  • Kindle ~ (for me after the boys go to bed), fully charged


  • Pink Swim Gear Bag ~ This was pretty obvious, something to hold the towels to and from the water park. It also folds nicely, so it didn’t take up much extra space in our luggage.
  • Crossover Purse ~ I wanted something large enough to carry my phone and camera but also that left both hands available to take care of and play with the boys.
  • Laundry Bag ~ Something to hold wet suits, if needed, and any dirty clothes for the ride home. I think it’s so much easier to keep these separate when repacking.

Clothes (Boys)

  • Swim shorts
  • Water sandals
  • Two outfits for each boy ~ Every little boy needs an extra set of clothes… just in case. Their extra outfit doubled as pajamas.
  • 2 set of boxers & socks

Clothes (Me)

  • Swimsuit and swim cover, sandals
  • Pajamas
  • Sweater
  • Undergarments / Socks

** I wore home the same jeans and ankle boots that I wore traveling up to the resort

Personal Care

  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Shampoo/Conditioner ~ I used the boys’ shampoo, even though I wouldn’t typically do this at home. It was easier than bringing extra hair products just for one night.
  • Blow Dryer (particularly in winter)
  • Hairbrush


There’s nothing like taking your boys on an overnight trip while you’re trying your best to complete the Whole 30. If you’re not familiar with Whole 30, it’s a 30 day eating plan focused primarily on proteins, fruits and veggies. There’s a series of books about it (a guide Whole 30 book, a Whole 30 recipe book, and others). It’s a bit like Paleo-style eating.

It’s hard to eat at restaurants while sticking to the regimen. I know I could just quit and try to do it another time, but I’m doing it with my mom and a few friends. I’ve been waiting years for a good time to try it, so I plan to stick to it through the trip as best I can.

Consequently, we are bringing most of our own food, which also makes eating a little easier and less expensive during our trip. This isn’t something I normally do, but I also don’t “normally” take my two boys on vacation alone while following Whole 30 eating guidelines, so … ya know.

Our room includes a fridge and a microwave which gives me a bit more flexibility with respect to what I bring, though I am still doing my best to keep it simple. We plan to bring:

  • Dinner: Tacos with Strawberries, Clementines, Baby Carrots and Red Pepper Slices, and a small container of ranch dressing for J because he loves condiments (I can eat the taco meat without a tortilla and skip the ranch dressing)
  • Breakfast: Hardboiled Eggs, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, yogurt, strawberries and clementines (No PB&J or yogurt for me, but the rest will be plenty)
  • Lunch: Tuna sandwiches with applesauce and cheese sticks. (I can eat the tuna and an apple)
  • Snacks: Cashews, raisins, fruit strips/leathers, Goldfish

Water Bottles

I plan to freeze water bottles to use as ice packs in the cooler and then let them melt for drinking after we arrive.

We don’t leave for about week, and I’ll share another post and video of our trip when we return. Have you been to a Kalahari Resort before? Is there anything you think we’re missing?

Heads Up: Thanks to Kalahari Resorts for sponsoring our trip, and thanks to you for supporting the brands that support Honestly Modern!

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