15+ Best Things To Pack For A Relaxing Getaway At The Lake

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Want to know what to pack for a relaxing getaway at the lake? We’ve got you covered with everything you need to know!

Picture this.

It’s a sunny day on the lake.

You’re laid out on the shore or on a boat.

Suddenly you realize you have forgotten to bring something crucial for your trip.

Maybe it’s sunscreen or a towel, or perhaps you have forgotten to bring snacks.

Whatever it may be, forgetting something for your lake getaway can quickly turn a relaxing trip into a stress fest.

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What To Pack For A Relaxing Getaway At The Lake

In this article, we help you plan properly for your next lake getaway with a comprehensive list of everything you need to bring for a great day.

Stay tuned to find out what key items to add to your lake trip packing list!

Big Bear Lake

Clothing & Accessories

The first crucial items to make sure you have packed and ready to go for your lake getaway are the proper clothing and accessories.

These items include:

1. Comfortable and Lightweight Clothing

When spending lots of time outdoors and in the sun, it is important to both wear and pack comfortable clothing.

Depending on the weather forecast, you should opt for lightweight clothes that are breathable and can dry quickly if they get wet.

Here’s a list of some great comfortable and lightweight clothing to pack for your lake trip:

  • Quick-dry clothing (made from materials like polyester, merino wool, or nylon)
  • Tank tops and T-shirts
  • Swimsuit covers (like sundresses or overalls)
  • Dry clothes for after leaving the lake (shorts, sweaters, etc.)
  • Comfy clothes or pajamas to wear at night
lightweight clothes for travel

2. Swimwear and Beach Towels

If you plan on swimming or going on a boat on the lake, the most important item to bring along is a swimsuit.

Additionally, you should make sure you have adequate towels for everyone in your group.

Let’s look at some quick considerations for swimwear and beach towels:

  • If you are going on a multi-day trip, bring multiple swimsuits and beach towels
  • Avoid bringing bathroom towels as these are typically thicker and do not dry quickly
  • Bring a bag for storing dirty towels and swimwear after use
beach towel on the beach

3. Sun Protection Essentials

Any time you spend a lot of time out in the sun, you need to come equipped with the proper sun protection gear.

This will protect you from sunburns.

But it can also ensure you remain comfortable throughout the day and do not become overheated or dehydrated.

The sun protection essentials to bring on your lake trip include:

  • Sunscreen (Dermatologists recommend always using an SPF of at least 30)
  • Face sunscreen (with sensitive skin, this can be easier on the skin and help to retain moisture and prevent breakouts)
  • Hats (wide-brimmed sun hats are the best for minimizing sun exposure)
  • Sunglasses (ideally with UV lenses)
hat for sun protection at the beach

4. Suitable Footwear

One article of clothing that many people overlook when going on a lake trip is footwear.

You should bring the proper footwear for the activities you have planned.

Whether that is swimming, hiking, or simply lounging around by the lake, you’ll need a couple pairs of shoes.

You’ll want to have sneakers for walking around on flat trails or in town. 

Hiking boots or shoes will be necessary for hiking trails near the lake.

You should also bring waterproof sandals for swimming and wading in the water.

Ideally, you should opt for sandals that cover your toes in case of debris that cannot be seen.

Lastly, you’ll want to have flip flops for walking through sand or dirt.

camping at the lake

Healthy Drinks & Snacks

Once you have your clothing packed and ready to go, your next key items to pack are drinks and snacks.

While highly processed foods and drinks are okay in moderation, these types of items are packed with sugar and other ingredients that do not adequately fuel or hydrate you throughout the day.

As such, you should opt instead for healthy drinks and snacks wherever possible to not only satisfy your hunger but also keep your body happy and functioning well during your trip.

Here are our best tips for choosing healthy snacks and drinks for your lake trip:

5. Enough Water 

Spending time in the sun can quickly dehydrate you, so make sure to bring enough water for your trip. 

Bottled water or empty water bottles (like Nalgenes) are great options for keeping your water intake at sufficient levels.

When spending time in the heat, the CDC recommends drinking 8 ounces of water every 15 to 20 minutes, or roughly 24 to 32 ounces every hour. 

Failing to properly hydrate your body can lead to feelings of illness, headaches, light-headedness, and even more serious consequences if enough time passes without water intake — so make sure to drink up!

6. Smoothies and Fresh Juices

While it is important to get enough water while in the sun, you can also mix things up with some delicious smoothies and fresh juices. 

To get the most nutritional value out of your smoothies and juices, opt for those made with whole fruits and minimal added sugars.

These types of drinks can also help to keep you hydrated throughout the day.

Try smoothies made up of greens, bananas, coconut water, and other tasty ingredients that are easy to drink and packed with nutrients. 

7. Fruits and Vegetables

For snacking on the lake, make sure to pack plenty of fruits and vegetables.

Vegetables are great for snack boards and dipping sauces, while fruits are sweet treats the whole family can enjoy.

Since fruits can sometimes whither in the sun and heat, consider choosing a variety of healthy dried fruit snacks that can withstand the heat and are packed with flavor. 

8. Trail Mix and Nuts

To satisfy your salty cravings, make some homemade trail mix and nuts for your lake trip.

Trail mix is a great way to not only enjoy a tasty snack but also keep your energy levels up throughout the day while you enjoy the lake.

Likewise, nuts are packed with protein and help keep you feeling energized and full throughout the day. 

9. Homemade Sandwiches and Wraps

When you’re out on the lake, you can’t easily order food or prepare home-cooked meals to enjoy.

Instead, make some delicious sandwiches and wraps that are easy to pack and stick in a cooler to bring with you on your lake excursion.

Ingredients like turkey, spinach, and cucumbers can make tasty sandwiches and wraps that the whole family can feast on.

Alternatively, bring along the ingredients for sandwiches and wraps and let your party members craft their own lunchtime creations!

hanging out at the lake

Personal Care & Safety

Personal care and safety are two major considerations any time you take a trip to the lake.

Without the right supplies, you may find yourself in a tricky, sticky, or even dangerous situation without the right tools at your disposal.

Here are five key items to pack for your lake trip to stay safe and clean: 

10. Life Jackets

Life jackets are crucial when engaging in water activities, especially in lakes where the water can get quite deep.

Swimming and floating can be deceptively tiring activities — and wearing life jackets can often make all the difference if a situation becomes dire

11. Toiletries

To keep up with your personal hygiene while on the lake, make sure to pack a toothbrush, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, and any other toiletries you require daily.   

12. Insect Repellant

Bugs flock to sources of water, meaning you’re highly likely to encounter some creepy crawlers while at the lake.

Bringing insect repellant along can keep your space free of bugs and help you avoid itchy and sometimes painful bug bites down the line. 

13. First Aid Kit

Having a first aid kit handy is always recommended when engaging in any outdoor activity.

This first aid kit should include items like pain medicines, bandages, bandaids, burn sprays, aloe vera, and any emergency equipment specific to your group (such as EpiPens). 

14. Medications

If members of your group require specific daily medications (think allergy medicine, birth control, specific health medications like thyroid medications, etc.), always bring these items along in a pill-safe container. 

relaxing day at the lake

Recreation & Entertainment

Finally, don’t forget about fun on your lake trip!

Bringing along recreational and entertainment items is always important and can make or break your trip to the lake — especially if you have kids to entertain.

Here are four categories of items to bring along:

15. Beach Chairs and Umbrellas

Beach chairs and umbrellas are essential for creating a comfortable space where you can relax and stay out of the sun on the lake. 

16. Water Toys

If you plan on going boating or playing on the lakeshore, items like floats, paddleboards, kayaks, and floating balls are great options for water recreation.  

17. Fishing Gear

For the fishing enthusiasts out there, make sure to pack your rods, reels, and tackle boxes — and don’t forget to check any licensing requirements at the specific lake you visit. 

18. Outdoor Games

When not in the water, you can still have plenty of fun with frisbees, volleyballs, and badminton.  

Crater Lake National Park in Oregon

Resources For Planning A Lake Getaway

If you need help planning your trip to the lake, check out our Tips For Planning A Trip To Anywhere (A Step-By-Step Guide).

Also, read our Best Tips For Staying Safe When Traveling During Extreme Weather if you’re traveling during extreme heat in the Summer or the snow in Winter.

Check out our Best Tips For Staying Well While You Travel if you’re prone to getting colds or allergies when you travel or have other ailments.

Lastly, if you’re traveling on a budget, read up on our Best Tips For Traveling On A Budget: Your Guide To Planning An Affordable Trip.

Conclusion: How To Pack For A Relaxing Getaway At The Lake

In conclusion, If you are planning a serene lake getaway, remember to plan ahead and pack essentials that ensure both comfort and adventure.

Remember to pack clothing options to suit changing weather, sun protection, and insect repellent, you’ll be well-prepared to bask in the natural beauty without any worries.

Don’t forget to bring your favorite outdoor activity items, such as a kayak, fishing gear, or a camera to capture the picturesque moments. 

Above all, let go of daily stress and embrace the tranquility the lake offers, allowing yourself to fully unwind and rest in the lap of nature.

Get ready for a memorable and revitalizing escape!