What to pack for the perfect summer staycation

It’s fair to say that it’s not been the best start to 2020 so I think we all deserve a summer holiday this year.

Some families might be packing up the car for a road trip or booking their first flights since the world turned upside down. Other families might be choosing to stay closer to home, happy with days out at the beach or wild swimming in rivers.

So, whether you’re staying in the UK and exploring Cornwall or Devon, or heading across the Channel to France, this list will help you pack for your staycation.

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate and commercial links. For more information see our disclosure policy.

Staycation packing list

What to pack for a staycation
What to pack for a summer staycation



If you’re British then it’s guaranteed that you’ll take a dip in the sea, no matter how cold it is. Make sure you do it in style in one of these cool swimsuits.

I love this lobster swimsuit from Batoko, a small independent swimwear brand based on the north west coast of England. They’re swimsuits are made from recycled plastic waste, “intercepted before headed for landfill and oceans”. For this swimsuit in particular, they’ve teamed up with the National Lobster Hatchery in Cornwall; for every lobster swimsuit sold, a baby lobster is reared and released back into the sea. Stay Wild is another brand doing their bit for sustainability while also producing lovely swimsuits.

Muddy Puddles have launched a range of UV protective swimwear made entirely from recycled plastic bottles. Available for children aged from 6 months to 12-years, the range is fun and colourful, inspired by the underwater world. If you like the idea of matching shorts for dad and sons but can’t quite face Vilebrequin prices, take a look at Tom & Teddy. This family-run company produce eye-catching, colourful prints.


Travelling towels

Whether you’re lying on the beach catching some rays or need something to keep you warm in the inclement British weather, these Hammam towels by Sorbet are brilliant. Lightweight, quick-drying and easy to pack, they also come in the range of delicious colours guaranteed to brighten up even the dullest of days.



Even at the height of summer Britain’s seas and rivers can be chilly. If the kids are planning to spend any time in the water then it’s worth investing in a good wetsuit.

Alder is a UK brand that makes a range of wetsuits, including both long and short ones for kids. Mountain Warehouse have a good range of well-priced wetsuits for kids, including rash suits for babies and toddlers. The website Little Surfers stocks a wide range of wetsuits for kids.


Portable Beach Tent

Sometimes the sun does shine here in England and when it does you’ll want to find some shade. These stylish and very handy portable tents from Dutch design brand Fatboy are the prefect travelling companion. The Miasun portable beach tent is easy to set up, provides the perfect amount of shade and folds up into a handy compact envelope.


Sun cream

Even if the sun only makes a fleeting appearance during your holiday, it’s still important to wear SPF. Look for the “broad spectrum” label when buying sunscreen. This means that it provides protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

Ultrasun is perfect for kids who hate sun cream. The gel texture means its easy to put on even the wriggliest of children. Plus, it protects from UVA, UVB, blue light and infrared rays.

Saltee is a good-looking British brand that produces SPF 50 creams for the face and SPF 30 body creams providing high UVA and UVB protection. We’re also big fans of the non-greasy, natural and water-resistant sun cream by JĀSÖN.



You’ll need some sturdy shoes for paddling in rivers, exploring rock pools and serious summer scrambling. Traditional jelly shoes from Sun Jellies come in variety of fun rainbow colours. The good news is that they make them in adult sizes too. Saltwater Sandals are always a favourite for summer and the ideal sandal for running in and out of the ocean.

If you’re looking for something a little sturdier then take a look at the summer shoes from Keen that come with grippy rubber soles, perfect for exploring.


Picnic blanket / mat

I love these traditional coastal-inspired picnic blankets from Cornish company Atlantic Blankets. Another company making cool rugs is The Stripes Company. They produce enormous, striped picnic blankets that are great for families. The quilted mat measures 200 x 200cms and comes in its own carry bag.

This wonderful rainbow-striped pure wool picnic blanket is made in the UK for Tweedmill for the National Trust.



Any good staycation needs a family game or two. Some fun ones for playing in parks or on the beach include Kubb, a traditional Swedish game where the objective is to knock over wooden blocks by throwing wooden batons at them. For a very traditional British game, pack a croquet set into the back of the car or, for something a little more European, a pétanque set. A NERF Vortex is always fun to play with as is an Aerobie flying ring.


Things to do in London in February

Welcome to globetotting!

Join our mailing list and receive a free guide to discovering London with kids on the cheap!


You have Successfully Subscribed!

Scroll to Top