I’m one of those people who always has a suitcase out, open on her luggage rack and half-packed. The moment I come in the door from one destination, I eagerly unpack and start setting aside what I’m going to wear on the next. I’m not sure if it’s the shopaholic in me or the Type A planner, but I just really love to pack.
So let’s talk about packing and what I’m loving at the moment, as I’m sure so many of you are looking ahead to your summer vacation.
Pick a theme, and embrace that theme.
Similar to how when I travel for work with a carry-on only and pick one core color to plan all my outfits around, I pick a motif for each tropical vacay—the more over-the-top, the better. And I can’t help it, I’m all about the flamingos these days. I bought the most perfect Ann Taylor swimsuit with flamingos a few years ago and get more compliments on that thing. Luckily, my travel companion Kid Augustine is totally on board with the flamingo trend, too.
Though I will admit; those glasses are a bit terrifying.
And when you love something, you naturally buy more of it, so you won’t be surprised that I’ve expanded my repertoire of flamingo things, my most recent purchase being a bubble umbrella. Because if I’ve learned one thing from beaching it in Florida and the Caribbean for much of my life, it’s that there’s one constant: There will be rain.
flamingo umbrella, $34
Twin with your bestie.
On my Grenada trip with Jade, we didn’t necessarily coordinate per se, but we wound up with a lot of the same things—namely, flamingos and pineapples. Hey, we’re friends for a reason, right?
And when the folks at OTHERWORLD offered to send me one of their gorgeous kimonos, I asked if they’d throw in one for Jade, too, because who doesn’t want to dress alike when you’re 34 years old?
I’m thinking for next trip, I’m going all bananas or watermelon, thanks to my style inspiration, Augustine, who absolutely slayed it with her fruit themes.
Seriously, why do they make so many pineapple rompers for kids and I’ve yet to find one for me?! (Life’s not fair, y’all.)
If you didn’t Instagram it, did it happen? Exactly.
If there’s ever a time to pack frivolously, it’s when you’re on a beach location and staying at the same rental house the entire week where you can unpack and settle in. We may have gone a wee bit overboard in the prop department—nine floats when there were just six adults? hmmm—but I don’t regret it for a second. Not to mention, all the matching sunglasses, which seemed necessary at the time.
For my next beach trip (timing still TBD), I’m already lusting after this lemon cooler, because who doesn’t need a beer purse at the beach, am I right?
insulated cooler bag, $32
Looking for actual practical recommendations, like clothing and swimwear? Girl, I’ve got you covered there, too.
The first thing I always pack, no matter the occasion, is a few different pieces of loungewear that I can mix and match depending on the weather and the scenario. Nordstrom’s athleisure line Zella has long been my go-to as it is affordable and holds up for years, while Gap and Athleta are my other two favorite brands for everyday wear. Bonus: They also double as hiking wear, your flying outfit and/or yoga apparel.
It will surprise exactly no one to learn that the bulk of my suitcase is always brimming with rompers (and sundresses, too, of course). Think about it: Each article of clothing is an outfit in itself, rather than having to pack a pair of pants and a top. Plus, I can play around in them on a whim, too, without even having to change into my workout clothes.
I typically stock up on all at Loft (like this one, which I own), Old Navy, Gap and Nordstrom, and a lot of times the fit is trial-and-error, especially if you have a long torso.
I’ll be honest: I’m all about the one-pieces these days. Perhaps it’s my age, but I just really like being comfortable when doing active things like SUP and not like I have to suck in all the times or risk things, um, falling out. In my opinion, the return of the one-piece is the best thing to happen to thirty-something women since Botox.
Most of my swimsuits from my recent trip were purchased from Target online—this Reef suit and the Xhilaration one-piece above are my current favorites—but here are a few others I’m coveting for the summer:
While getting ready for Grenada, I found myself packing not one, not two but five pairs of sunglasses (see: above tip on props). I like to mix it up: one nice polarized pair that will protect my eyes from the sun, one pair of plastic glasses I can wear paddleboarding, and another couple of cheapies that make for good props.
After all, no one wants to appear in the same vacation photos wearing the same thing day in, day out, right? 😉
There are always things I’m throwing in my suitcase last minute, ensuring that every last square inch of space is consumed. For the Grenada trip, that was a rash guard to go snorkeling, a couple pairs of Havaiana flip-flops, a sun hat and a beach bag.