Packing for summer vacations has to be the most nerve racking thing for me. If you're anything like myself you understand the fear of forgetting necessities or worse, not having enough clothes to wear. Most of us just try to stuff our whole closet in our suitcase, but there is obviously a better way. I've created this Summer Packing Checklist as a point of reference that we all even myself can go to for this year's trips and all other trips in the future. This one is for a tropical vacation but can be versatile for other vacation types as well. I apologize in advance for the long post but I wanted to create a post that you can bookmark, pin, or even print out for future reference.
No need to go over board with tops. When traveling, basics are your best friend. Not only will they go with most items you'll be packing, they are comfortable even with a horrible sun tan or way too much desert. A button down, quarter sleeve shirt is perfect for cooler nights especially for coastal destinations. Classic camisoles can be both dressy and casual for a versatile day and night look. When picking tops, choose 80% neutral colors and 20% colorful options. Neutral colored tops will become essentials on your trip because they will coordinate with everything. Tropical destinations can be very hot and humid so it is important to look for loose, light tops; plus, they're easier to pack!
Shorts, shorts, shorts! Who needs pants on a tropical vacation? Save yourself the heavy and difficult to pack jeans. Bring a variety of shorts including light wash, dark wash (for night activities), printed or colored, and the essential white pair of shorts. Throw in a maxi skirt, which is great for afternoon lunches or throwing over your sophisticated one-piece for simplistic beachside dinner look.
During a tropical vacation, I would hope that you'd be living in your bathing suit so feel free to pack several of these but here are some essentials you should look for: a classic string bikini in a "goes with everything" color, a modern bright bikini that stand out whether a fun pattern or neon color, and a classic, sexy one-piece that can also serve as a top. Don't forget you're cover up! You really only need one because you're loose fitting tops and button downs can also serve as a cover up to your swimwear if needed.
Aren't shoes the most difficult to pack? There are only a few essential shoes you'll need to pack for your tropical vacation. No need for several high heels because your outfits should be relaxing a simple including your footwear. A neutral colored strappy sandal for the daytime, a classic wedge for nights (brown and/or black), jelly flip-flops for the pool and beach (they are easily washable and won't get damaged by water), and tennis shoes for the gym, beach exercises, or explorations around the country you are vacationing. Many activities outside water sports require closed toe shoes so don't forget a comfortable pair of sneakers just in case!
Dresses are an essential part of packing for a tropical vacation. They are also great for packing light because you're packing one item as one full outfit. How convenient is that? You don't even have to find another item to match it, just slip it on and go. Some must have dresses are the maxi dress, which is versatile from day to night, the slip dress, which is great for showing a little leg with wedges during your evenings, a simple, cotton casual dress, that can be worn with sneakers or sandals just in case you feel its too hot for shorts, and a fun printed dress just because!
Sleepwear is pretty self explanatory. When buying sleepwear, try not to pack items that consists of heavy materials or long sleeves/long pants. Your hotel room may be cold but the temperature is always adjustable and you have those giant comfy blankets to keep you warm. Lighter sleepwear saves space and you won't risk feeling uncomfortable especially after being irritated by the sun. Gap has some great sleepwear sets that are perfect for vacations.
The one thing we probably forget is in our beauty category. This section only focuses on the face and sun protection since these are one of the most common issues when vacationing in a tropical place. Lip balm is extremely important to protect your lips from sun damage, peeling, and irritation. For evenings, pack the Clinique Moisturizing Lip Color Balm, It serves as a lip stick and a lip balm in one that way your nourishing your sun damaged lips and applying a chic color as well. Another favorite of mine from Clinique is the face sunscreen. If you have sensitive skin, chemical in regular sunscreen may irritated your face and leave it oily or prone to breakouts but this Clinique product is safe for the face. For the body, Hawaiian Tropics hydrating sunscreen lotion feels just like your moisturizing your skin with lotion. Its not sticky and it helps combat dry skin in the process of protecting it from the sun.
You only need five types of bags for your tropical summer vacation. A large sized tote will double a beach and travel bag. Bring it on the plan as a carry on bag so that you have more room in your suitcase for other things. A neutral crossbody will be useful throughout your trip because you should be carrying the most comfortable bag with just enough room for the essentials. A wristlet can serve as a smaller wallet when vacationing. Last but not least an evening clutch adds elegance to your night time look.
Packing jewelry can be a hassle from tangled necklace to lost earrings. Try to back as few pieces as possible and try to stay away from valuables that may get lost. Pack necklaces in separate ziplock bags to avoid getting tangled. Some jewelry pieces you should pack are statement necklaces, multiple bangles, cocktail rings, and colorful studs.
Other things to pack:- Sunglasses choose a few different fun types such as aviators, round, and colorful shades.
- Don't forget your hat! See last week's Summer Must Haves guide on summer hats for more hat choices
- Denim jacket just in case it gets cold or for the plane ride or a scarf that can serve as a shall
- Entertainment is key for the plane ride. Pack your fun headphones, summer books, or magazines for the trip.
- Travel sized hair and beauty products if you don't want to check in a bag
- Waterproof case for your phone might be another packing must have for those of you would love to take those dynamic shots near or in the water. Selfies on a jetski anyone?
Anyone going on a tropical vacation this summer? Hope this packing guide helps!