There’s a beach calling your name! (Granted, it’s on the other side of the Mother’s Day hosting and graduation parties and the end-of-year school festivities.) But soon, all that’s left to do is pack.
I can attest that packing for a family vacation is a daunting task, especially if you are the special person in your household tasked with packing everyone else. (I see you, moms!) But whether you are a chronic over-packer or more of the last-minute frenzied type, I have some tips to help you streamline the packing process and ensure you have all you need for a chic and sunny vacay.
The trick to savvy packing is prioritizing pieces you can wear for more than one occasion and strategizing your travel day outfit.
I love a lightweight jumpsuit because you can squeeze so many outfits out of this one piece. Dress it up for a dinner out on day one, wear it as your “around town” look on day two, then use it as your swimsuit cover up for the rest of the trip! Add nice jewelry and an evening clutch for your dinner plans. Then pair it with your suit, hat and sandals or belt bag and sneaks for a quick and easy daytime look. (See the strapless, floral version styled for both day and night.)
An embellished sandal is a “double duty” favorite. A flat, strappy sandal with studs or beaded details will match all your casual ’fits but also feel dressy enough to pair with your nicer pieces for evenings out. Just make sure they are broken in enough to be comfortable all day. I love Nordstrom and Nordstrom Rack for shoe shopping because their selection is unrivaled, and they carry comfort brands as well as trendy styles.
A stylish kimono is another quintessential vacay piece because it’s so versatile. I’m not sure who first pioneered this trend, but I would like to shake her hand. (It was obviously a woman.) It can give you coverage for pool lounging when you’ve had enough sun. It can help you look more presentable when you need to go from poolside to “out and about” in a jiff. And it’s also an easy way to disguise an outfit you’ve already worn. (Throw a kimono over a basic tee and shorts to create a completely new look.) You’ll find long, short, printed, tasseled and pom-pomed versions of this staple everywhere. Watch proportions on this one; for most bodies, you’ll want this to hit below your hips but not too far past your knees. Because this is a statement piece, go bold and choose a bright, tropical print. I suggest starting with what would match your suit and find a color and print that is complementary.
Want to save both time and those precious pounds in your checked bag? I have been a “check-in counter bag rearranger” more than I’d like to admit, so I recommend three important pieces for your travel day outfit.
Rock your jean jacket instead of packing it. This classic staple will match everything you plan to wear on your trip from shorts to dresses. Wearing it instead of packing it will shave a few pounds off your checked bag weight, keep you warm in cold airport lounges, and can double as a pillow in case of a delayed flight.
Forgo the packing origami and wear your hat instead. You know you should bring it for sun protection, but it can be tricky to pack without losing its shape. Avoid crunching up that fabulous fedora or straw hat and just wear it while you travel. Plus, without having to do your hair, you can sleep another 10 minutes before rushing to the airport. (You’re welcome.) Travel hair don’t care, ya know?
It’s time to meet the belt bag, especially if you’re an ’80s or ’90s gal and haven’t yet jumped on this trend. She’s the younger, cuter sister of the fanny pack and your new travel BFF. This can be worn around your waist or slung over your shoulders crossbody style. It will help keep your valuables near your person and your hands free for whatever airport chaos may ensue. Plus, it can be easily stashed inside of your larger bag to meet the “only 2 personal items” rule.
And as you navigate the rest of May (which feels as busy as December), envision that sunny spot. Take a deep breath. And employ these tips for easing your packing panic.
Still got style questions?
Send ’em to me! I would love to answer.
This summer, I will be answering YOUR style + fashion questions. Email me at Hello@MarissaAlexandra.com (subject line: Nonahood News)
Tell me about your fashion frustrations, and I will answer you in a future column!
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