Kids’ Capsule Wardrobes For Spring Break


We just got back from an amazing trip to Cuba.  More (so much more) on that topic later.  For now, I wanted to share something quick and easy:  our packing strategy for the kids.

The Havana airport isn’t known for….expediency, and sitting around for potentially 3-4 hours(!!) waiting on luggage with our two little crazies (and no internet) is not the best way to begin any sort of vacation.  To put it mildly.  So we wanted to pack light, yet bring everything one could possibly need, since you can’t easily replace a forgotten item in Cuba.

The mission?  ONE carry-on for two boys to share, small enough for even the six year old to handle through busy airport connections, yet containing everything (including liquids like bugspray and sunscreen) that the two kiddos might need in Cuba.

Here’s what worked for us:

The Cuba Packing List – For Kids

On the plane

Of course, the morning we left Philly it was approximately 28 degrees.  So the boys needed to wear something that they wouldn’t totally freeze in….yet not overheat once we reached Cuba.  Comfy-but-cute pants, sneaks and tshirts was the best we could do (with a sweatshirt that got tucked into their backpacks).

  • Tshirt
  • Jeans
  • Sneakers
  • Sweatshirt

In Their Backpacks

In The Carry-On Luggage

  • Tshirts – 2 (only 3 total, including the one they are wearing on the plane)
  • Button-down shirt (for ‘dressing up’)
  • Shorts – one pair, dark
  • Swimtrunks (cute enough to wear around)
  • Saltwater sandals (you don’t even need flipflops if you have these)
  • raincoat
  • lightweight travel towel – one each
  • first aid kit (with extra bandaids because….boys)
  • Children’s chewable advil
  • book for bedtime stories

Packing Details

All of the pieces the boys are wearing are linked below.  For those interested, I’m wearing the Free People Sand dollar tank (xs – and on major sale), with old cutoffs and saltwater sandals…Nike’s gym vintage capris (matching hoodie not pictured but I did bring it).  My travel outfit was this pair of jeans, these comfy booties (they went to Europe with me, too), and this bomber jacket (size xxs).  Mike’s swim trunks are Original Penguin.

Raines’ Travel Wardrobe

My older guy prefers subdued colors, but surprised me with a floral-print button down.  He brought an ancient pair of jeans (longtime readers know that he’s the PICKIEST with pants OMG), so I linked to a pair that he claims he’d be willing to try (don’t hold your breath). Also, his exact swimtrunks just sold out (only this color combo is left), so I linked to another pair he loved.

Pax’s Travel Wardrobe

P (my youngest) is allll about bright colors and quirky patterns.  If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you’ll know that I’ve actually had to shop in the girl’s section to keep Pax clothed in the stuff that makes his soul sing.  But boys’ clothes are getting so much better!  The only items found in the traditional girl’s section were his sandals.  PROGRESS.

My Imaginary Daughter’s Travel Wardrobe

I don’t technically have a daughter, but if I did, I’d pack this for little Poppy or Bliss*.

*Mike was never on board with the names.


Cuba was a totally mind-blowing experience.  I can’t wait to share more of our vacation.


A huge thank-you to Nordstrom for sponsoring this post!  I love when brands so successfully blend kid’s clothes with practicality and personality, and Nordstrom does this so well.  (Not gonna lie, picking out clothes for my imaginary daughter is prob more fun than it should be.) As always, all thoughts, opinions, and product choices are my own.  For more little kid style, check out our style blog! And readers: thank you for your continued support.  It doesn’t go unnoticed, and is so very much appreciated.


  1. Love this! I just bought those exact saltwaters for my girl. My picky boy will only wear natives (thank god I weaned him off of crocs). Can’t wait to hear more about the trip!

  2. Can you talk about what you had to do to get approval to go to Cuba? Last I checked (year ago prob) you still need one of 6 reasons.

    • The regulations haven’t changed–you still need one of those 6 reasons (I can’t list them all but remember that they include journalism, “people to people” learning programs, “support for the Cuban people” and religious mission trips). Trips whose central purpose is tourism remain illegal. However, travel in these six categories is generally licensed, meaning that you don’t need a document from the U.S Treasury (which administers the regulations) stating you’re OK to do xyz–you just need to be able to demonstrate, if asked by a gov’t official, which category your trip fits into & how.

  3. My Dad has been to Cuba over 30 times, for missionary work. Before Americans were allowed in, he had to get a special visa and travel in through another country. When I was a teenager (about 15 years ago!), my whole family went with him. We were in Havana as well as some more rural towns. The country has its charms but at least at that time, there was still a lot of oppression and difficulty in every day life. I’m really curious to hear more about your experience there as a tourist and also to see how things may have changed!

  4. Shana, I love this and can’t wait to hear more about the trip, especially as my own two boys are getting older and (dare I say) more travel-friendly ? Questions about saltwater sandals sizing for myself and my boys: do they run true to size for women? And what sizes do I get for my boys who wear toddler size 13? I can never figure it out but keep seeing that you love to wear them each summer! Thanks so much!

  5. Love this post! The link for your shoes goes to the Lucky Kambry booties, but I thought you wore the Lucky Bashina booties to Europe. Are they the same shoe? Asking because I’d like to purchase. Thanks!

Leave a Reply