Friday, May 31, 2024

Packing for the Perfect Boat Day!

It’s May and with Memorial Day behind us, the unofficial start of summer is here. With school out or about to be out, there is generally less pressure on families with less hectic schedules and a carefree feeling ushers in….. we can almost feel it! Though you may work and still must grind on, we hope that you find a few days (or weeks!) here and there to enjoy the summer season. Whether you are at the beach, the pool, or on the boat, here’s to Summer 2024 being your best one yet. 


One of our favorite summer activities is going on the boat with our family.  We have compiled some tips and tricks learned over the last few years to ensure a smooth boat day. From jelly fish stings to hungry kids, you don’t want to be left stranded!  Whether you are a seasoned pro or just getting out on the water for the first time this summer, follow these tips. 


Check the tides & plan your route accordingly! 

One of the best sources to check the tides is the government website, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration: and click on your state and nearest location.  If you are planning on hitting the sandbar, you will want to make sure that low tide aligns with the time you will be there, otherwise you will miss it!  Along those lines, if you need a high tide to get into a dock or channel for where you are going for lunch, make sure you check the tides ahead of time.  


Pack your bag!  

You will want to have a variety of things on hand such as sunscreen, bug spray, a first aid kit, and sting reliever. Jelly fish stings really take the fun out of the day, so be prepared. You may want to pack meat tenderizer, which is an old tried and true method for relieving the pain from jelly fish stings. We also suggest you pack a hat and sunglasses. 


When choosing your bag, consider this lightweight and durable canvas tote.  It features a detachable shoulder strap with brass clips designed to make carrying easier. This bag can be personalized with your name, monogram, or initials. 

Black Trimmed Colorblock Utility Zippered Tote Bags by CB Station

Another classic bag are these totes that were specifically made with boats in mind!  They come in two sizes and have zippered closures to keep your items secure:

Large Canvas Totes by CB Station

Medium Canvas Totes by CB Station

Pack your cooler!  

Of course, you will want to make sure that everyone stays hydrated and is well fed during your boating adventure.  Be sure to pack a lot of water! Have on hand several beverage options for kids – juice, soda, or sports drinks. For adults, we like to pack a variety of adult beverages, including beer and spiked seltzers.  We like this stylish box cooler that has a handle strap for easy carrying.  

Stripes Box Coolers by CB Station (Clear Sky)

For food, sandwiches are always a crowd pleaser! Be sure to wrap sandwiches in tinfoil and then store in a plastic bag that zips tight (so no water can get in!  No one likes a soggy sandwich).  This is particularly important if you are placing your sandwiches in the same cooler as your beverages!  We also like cut veggies and fruit, chips, and other snack items to bring on board. 


Here are some other lunch ideas: 

-       Protein Rich Salads – use plastic mason jars (glass is not a good idea on the boat!) filled with salad layers. Insert lettuce, protein, veggies. Add salad dressing right before and don’t forget the forks! 

-       Vegetarian Sushi Rolls – using nori sheets, sushi rice, avocado, cucumber, and other favorite fillings, create sushi rolls for the boat! 

-       Chicken lettuce wraps – diced cooked teriyaki chicken in large lettuce cups drizzled with sauce! 

-       Caprese Skewers – put cherry tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, and mozzarella balls onto skewers. Drizzle with balsamic glaze and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and store in a Tupperware container. Keep on ice until you are ready to serve. 

-       Fruit Skewers are another great idea for a refreshing boat snack! 


You can even pack a separate cooler with sandwiches and keep them away from the drink cooler! This large lunch cooler is 9.5” x 13.5” x 5.5” and is large enough for several sandwiches and fruit/veggie items. The insulated lining will help keep your items cool and ready to eat when you are. 

Large Lunch Cooler by CB Station (Emerald)

Pack your boat gear! 

Make sure you have lifejackets on hand for every single person on board and make sure that your youngest ones are wearing lifejackets at all times, especially if the law requires it. If you are tubing or wake boarding, don’t forget the tube and wake board but also all the extra “stuff” that goes along with it such as your tow rope and inflating device and power adapter. (Nothing worse than lugging the tube onto the boat, only to need to inflate it and have forgotten the adapter/device to inflate it!) 


Bring your portable speaker!

In case the onboard audio system is having difficulty, have a back-up plan with a portable speaker where you can blast your favorite tunes. Music sets the tone for a fun boat day! 


Protect your skin!

Most folks love the breeze that zipping through the water on the boat provides. But what that breeze does is make you forget how strong the sun’s rays are! Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen and apply before taking off. Large hats with ways to secure them to your head (think adjustable hats or ones with straps) are also good to help block the rays. And don’t forget your sunglasses!


With these tips, we hope you have a smooth and memorable boat day with your family and/or friends. Enjoy being out on the water and that carefree summer feeling.  We cannot wait!



Thursday, May 16, 2024

Spring Break Packing

As we move out of the colder months, you may be getting ready for an exciting time of year -- SPRING BREAK!  Whether you have school aged children, are a young single adult, or retired with grandchildren, this time of year is popular for traveling.  From a beach destination, exploring a new city, or embarking on a hiking adventure, packing smartly will help ensure a stress-free vacation.  We love to travel and love the feeling of packing for a new adventure. Here are some of our tried-and-true tips for packing. 


Organize your itinerary. 

Create a folder or binder of all your reservations and plans. Include your airline ticket confirmation, your hotel, museum, and any attraction tickets that you have purchased in advance.  Include any restaurant reservation confirmations, too. It’s a good idea to have a hard paper copy! This will help you lay out what you need when it comes to what to pack because you will be refreshed on all that you have ahead.


Create a list of what you need. 

Write it all down! Think about how many dressy outfits you will realistically need.  Think about whether you need hiking or walking shoes, if you need a bathing suit, and then be sure to look at the weather.  Include things like umbrellas or rain gear if you may need it. It’s always a good idea to pack for all types of weather since you truly never know what you will get.  (Need some notepad recommendations? We have some cute ones. See the end of this post.) 


Have the right luggage.

Sometimes the luggage itself needs to be evaluated. If you are traveling for longer than a week, you may need a larger suitcase that will need to be checked. If it’s a week or under, we’re confident that you can get it all in a carry-on bag.  A carry-on bag is ideal for so many reasons especially if you have a connection since that’s when bags tend to get lost.  If you are traveling to a destination where you need a lot of dressy clothes such as a cruise, you may want a garment bag to store all your handing items! (Of course, at More Than Paper – we have one or two that we can recommend.  See the end of this post!)  


Organize your luggage.

Use packing cubes or compression bags to keep your luggage organized and maximize space. This also just keeps things organized by packing like things with other similar things.  For example, you can have a packing cube that’s entirely for workout clothes. Another can be for for swimsuits and undergarments.  Consider rolling your clothes instead of folding them to save space and prevent wrinkles. There are some innovative folding and packing methods on social media. 


Bring travel-sized toiletries.

To save space in your luggage and meet airline requirements, pack travel-sized toiletries or invest in reusable travel containers to transfer your favorite products. Don't forget essentials like sunscreen, lip balm, and insect repellent if needed.  At More Than Paper, we have a variety of small cosmetic bags or dopp kits to store all your toiletries in.  (Check out the end of this post where we round up some of our favorites!)  


Charge up your devices and pack your entertainment! 

Don't forget to pack entertainment for downtime during your trip. Bring a book, e-reader, or download movies or podcasts to an iPad keep yourself entertained while traveling or relaxing.  Pack all the necessary chargers that go with your devices which sometimes can be a great feat! Include a dedicated pouch or case where you can safely store all your chargers (our canvas cosmetic bags are perfect for this!).   


Journal or blog!

Another great idea is to bring a journal on your travels.  Jot down all your insights and observations, restaurants that you enjoyed, and store museum tickets or other memorabilia inside. Years later, you may love looking back on all that you did beyond your photos.  



Here are some of our travel favorites! 


Travel notepad: 

Click on Image to Close

Skinnie Notepads by Donovan Designs (Travel More Worry Less)


Garment bag: 

Solid Garment Bags by CB Station


Cosmetic Cases: 

Gray Motion Clutch Bags by CB Station

Create-Your-Own Dopp Kits by CB Station


Tech Stuff: 

Luxe Bags by Quilted Koala (Velvet Tech Stuff Bag)