The 8 Things You Should Always Pack for Vacation (and One to Leave at Home)
If you’re anything like me, the act of packing for a trip consists of putting every relevant outfit you own into a huge bag, zipping it all up and going on your merry way. My traveling ethos is “anything can happen” and when it comes to my packing skills—it shows.
At this point in my life though, it’s not that I don’t know better (I’ve been on enough trips where I in fact, did not need my rainbow sequined heels) it’s just a matter of actually doing better. So, in an effort to change my ways (I am a fashion editor after all), I’ve spent some time thinking about what one actually needs to enjoy a well-deserved trip.
Here, the items that you simply can’t leave without…and one that’ll always take up unnecessary space. Now, let’s hope I can heed my own advice!
1. Pack: Something Sleek For a Nice Dinner
No matter what type of trip you’re taking, having a super chic dress (or two) that makes you feel sexy will always leave you prepped—whether that’s for a night on the town with the girls or an intimate candlelit dinner in the yard while your children sleep inside. A slinky LBD or satin option will take up almost no space and get the job done.
2. Pack: Layers For Chilly Nights
This applies to summer beach trips and winter ski trips alike. Layer, layer, layer! I like thin, insulating materials like cashmere and cotton which pack light, but can go on top of each other for max warmth. Whether it’s a knit cardigan or a light denim jacket, you’ll be glad you were ready for that random cold front or frigid plane air.
3. Pack: Extra Underwear For…Whatever Comes Up
My mother always told me to pack double the amount of underwear I thought I needed, and I’ve been doing so my whole life without question. We won’t go too far into detail, but there’s really no scenario where this isn’t a helpful tip.
4. Pack: A Multi-Purpose Hat
A hat is not only an Insta-worthy accessory, it also protects you from passing rain showers, the sweltering sun and even bad hair days that threaten to cast a dark cloud over your trip. Bottom line, you need a hat. Shoot for a wide-brimmed gem or a cute bucket hat that’ll tick every box.
5. Pack: Walking Shoes for Fun Excursions
There’s nothing worse than foot pain when you’re just trying to live your best life. Don’t be that friend or family member that has to take a break because you’ve got blisters. Instead, go for simple white sneakers or durable hiking sandals, and be sure to practice wearing them before you leave town…not for the first time as you’re striding onto the airplane.
6. Pack: Comfortable But Sexy Footwear
On the other hand, a comfy but sexy shoe is a must to go with that sleek dress you’re got in your suitcase. Shoot for a block heel or platform, both will give you the appeal you’re looking for without compromising the integrity of your arches.
7. Pack: An Effortless Dress
What’s better than a dress that you can throw on without thinking twice? Being on vacation and throwing on said dress. I’m talking about a piece that doesn’t need to be ironed, is no-fuss and preferably, has pockets. Opt for a simple cotton number that’ll pack small and won’t need ironing.
8. Pack: A Cute, Compact Bag
In the spirit of packing light, leave your oversized “everything I own is in here” tote home and reach for a simple crossbody bag that won’t weigh you down and will help you feel extra secure while you move about unfamiliar territory. Bonus points if you stuff a fanny pack inside, for the days you want to go totally hands-free.
We know, you thought those stilettos were going to be the main event on at least one night out. And there you were…shuffling about in your Birkenstocks. High heels are barely making the cut in our day-to-day lives, so who wants to deal with them on vacation? Skip this step and pack an extra pair of undies instead. Mom will be so proud.