I love to travel, more precisely, enjoying new experiences while physically being in a new location. The least exciting part of any travel, for me, is packing a suitcase. Just a thought of it gives me a little bit of anxiety. I am not quite sure why I dislike packing, but I delay this process for as long as I can.
When I was younger, packing was a little bit easier. I did not have as many things to pack, nor did I care about my looks as much. Clothing was not a big part of my earlier life. As I grew older, my shopping budget grew more substantial as well as an increased desire to look stylish.
With my closet growing steadily, I've started to have more and more problems packing a vacation suitcase. Taking everything was not an option; taking a little required planning and thought - the most stressful part.
Before I created my system, the packing looked like "let's throw in all the items I love to wear." Even though this sounded like a good idea, it was not. Once I arrived at a location, I would realize that I was missing the essential garments. My loved items were missing critical staple pieces to create daily looks.
So the first packing system was quickly abandoned. I needed to think of some other process. I decided to try assembling potential outfits by laying them out on my bed. I am a visual person, and this idea made sense to me.
My new approach was more fruitful. I would lay out complete outfits I liked, including underwear and shoes. This way, I was able to select appropriate accessories as well. I could easily spot garments that can be interchanged in various outfits to minimize the number of items I needed to take.
For our recent trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, I was responsible for packing three individuals: my kids and myself. I will skip the kids' packing process, except for, I will share an embarrassing detail: I forgot to take my little boy's underwear. Thankfully, he was wearing swim shorts most of the time which had a built-in underwear-like piece, and he did not once ask me about his underwear. Phew.
When it came to packing myself, I was a little bit more thorough - I got the underwear. I started by laying out the central/main item of each potential outfit: a colorful top, skirt, or a summer dress. After that, I began to add essential items to the main item to create complete looks.
This process was beneficial because I could immediately spot what I truly wanted to wear on vacation. I could see near duplicate outfits that are similar in idea & color. I would pick just one of them. I would also notice whether an outfit was too warm for the weather or too dark (color combo) for a summer vacation.
After my thorough process, I ended up with the perfect selection of day & night outfits.
For the final selection, I went with a handful of items. Keep in mind that I had eight days in sunny Puerto Vallarta. I think these garments are the must-have when you are going on a beach vacation.
Wide leg linen pants: wide leg pants offer freedom of movement, keep you fresh, and are breathable. They are stylish and can be paired with several tops.
Midi length skirt: one skirt is a must. For me, the midi length is the best. If you are petite, make sure the skirt stops above your knees. A skirt can be worn during a day with a simple tank top and dressed up for an evening.
Tops: I took eight tops (including t-shirts, blouse, & tank tops) that range from casual to dressy. Just make sure they work with pants and a skirt you are taking.
Dresses: I took one midi dress and two maxi dresses. Next time, I will take two of each. These are great to wear during a day to keep your body hidden from the sun and are easy to dress up for dinner time.
Swimsuit & cover-up: do not forget this combo, you are going to a beach after all. I took three swimsuits - they do not take up much space!
Accessories: hat(s), rings, necklaces, earrings are a must. With these little guys, you will be able to create different looks every single day.
Comfy lounge pants: I am a person who needs to change into comfy wear once I get home. If you are like me, consider taking comfortable pants.
Shoes: Shoes take up a lot of space, so choose carefully. I took a pair of flat sandals for daytime and pointed-toe kitty heels for nighttime.
Jacket/blazer: I did not take one but depending on the weather at night, you might consider taking it. Stick to light or natural colors.
So this was everything (plus underwear), that I took with me on this trip, and I have to say that was plenty. I was able to rotate the looks and create lovely combos by interchanging accessories, tops, and shoes.
I have to admit that I forgot one thing - a bag. I realized this when we got to the resort, but thankfully, the hotel provided every room with woven carryall bag that looked great with my daily outfits.
There are a few additional vital items; for travel, I was wearing skinny jeans, sneakers, t-shirt, and a sweater. These are essential items that are comfy, stylish, and offer an option of layering.
I hope you find this post useful or at least entertaining. Reach you if you have any questions.