While all the organizing and chaos prior to a trip is going on, I get to start planning what to pack! This usually happens about a week or two before we leave and is somewhat of a fine art. I have yet to actually go on a vacation and pack the perfect amount of stuff…not too much, not too little. I am a chronic over packer and struggle with this problem every trip; because, not only are my suitcases full before I even leave…I tend to shop while we are there and then have to bring it all home. This can be a LARGE problem….remember my Mexican sink?! My lovely husband managed to get it in one of my suitcases, and the sink made it home unscathed. I love that sink. So you can see my problem….I need the perfect travel wardrobe and room for (literally) the kitchen sink on the trip home.
One thing that I have done in the past is pack one suitcase inside of the other for the trip out. This way I am not bothered with 2 suitcases on the way out and have TONS of room for items on the way home. It works with the 2 pieces of luggage per person rule and you don’t have to stress about space if you are determined to shop till you drop. My husband on the other hand, not always so thrilled with this idea….because A) I spend money and B) he’s usually the one wrestling with all the suitcases in the airport. But being the wonderful man that he is, never says a word, I just get a raised eyebrow in my direction.
This list is one that is great for all situations and will help if you are a chronic over-packer like me…(now if I could actually follow my own advice…)
– Bathing suit (obviously!!) Whether it is bikini or a full swimsuit, you only really need one. Rinse it out in the evening and nine times out of ten, in that hot beach breeze; it will be dry by morning.
– Shoes…this area is my major downfall….I somehow always end up with too many shoes!! The rule of three is generally suggested here…A great, cheap pair of flip-flops for the beach is a no brainer…easy to slip on and off and will look good with all your casual outfits. A dressy pair of sandals in either a gold or silver metallic (matches anything!) for your fancier looks and a rugged, durable pair of hiking sandals for your adventure trips.
– Beach cover up…you only need to pack one, and this is a personal choice…sarong, oversized tunic, or sundress. This again, can be rinsed and dry by morning. I like the fancy, jewelled tunics…the European girls on the beach always look gorgeous when wearing one of these and oh-so chic! And keep in mind when picking your tunic and other clothing, that white or neutral colors will enable you to mix and match easily, and they look fabulous with a tan! (but then again, I tend to ADORE flashy…so do what your heart tells ya!)
– Shorts…again, the rule of three. One cute, dressy pair for dinner (or a skirt if that’s your thing!) and two casual, neutral colored pairs…these will be great for the trips off the resort.
– Tops…..tank tops are my go-to (I pack three), and then one pretty, breezy top for when I want to dress up. Another option is the classic white tee…pack three and they can go from casual to dressy by adding a gorgeous statement necklace. I also like to throw in a light cardigan (you see why my luggage is so full!) because it’s handy for the evenings or for on the plane (they are always a little chilly).
– Sundresses….I recommend two, one casual and one dressy. Great for playing cards in the lounge or a romantic dinner on the beach and go for some fun color here…
– Pants…I usually just pack a pair of khakis…these will go with all of your tops and are there in-case of rain or the more adventuresome day-trips. Another look that I secretly admire but have yet to pull off is a gorgeous tunic and white pants look….but I can’t do white pants. The only pair I have ever owned (when I was 12) lasted for an hour, I sat on a piece of chocolate brownie…scarred me for life.
– Makeup…keep it simple, just waterproof mascara, bronzer and your favourite eye shadow….there’s no need for any foundation or cover-up, as it will just melt off your face the second you leave your lovely air-conditioned room. And, not that you’ll need it in the beautiful humid air, but I like a little lip-gloss just to fancy up my look at night. I also (being the pale Alberta girl that I am) bring faux tanning lotion…I tend not to tan and 30 sunscreen on a daily basis, slows down the natural bronzing effect…so I just slather this on and by the end of the trip am as tanned as my husband – who gets a tan just sitting by a window!)
– Hair…don’t bother packing your heavy and space hogging blow-dryer or straightener. Au-natural is your best bet in the humidity and this leaves more room for your treasures on the way home!! I also love to bring my ball cap…easy way to cover up that beach hair or protect your head from the sun.
– Accessories…again, this is my downfall….I love me some accessories and can never seem to wear enough, but the beach unfortunately, is no place for your fancy, shiny things. What I do recommend are :
– your wedding rings or fun cocktail rings for when it’s time to get fancy!
– statement necklaces…pack a couple that will work with your tank tops or white tees…go for necklaces made of natural fibres or stones…sorry ladies, but real or faux diamonds DO NOT look hot on the beach.
– earrings…pack a few pairs, I like gigantic faux pearls or thick silver or gold hoops…they go with everything and look fantastic with a tan.
– sunglasses (only bring 1 pair…they always sell these at resorts, so if you break or lose them, it’s not a big deal) and I tend to cheap out on these…I wear mine in and out of the water and losing your Chanel’s in the ocean would be no fun at all!!
– Beach bag…big enough for towel, books (LOTS of books!!), sunscreen, your go-mug (PERFECT for your drinks – keeps the sand out and the drinks cold!!), your music if you need it (I prefer the sound of the waves!) and your camera (I always store mine in a Ziploc bag…keeps the sand out!).
– Extras…I recommend sticking anything and everything that can leak or drip in large Ziploc bags, it never fails that something explodes in the luggage! Another item I always try to pack is a little container of laundry soap…..just hand wash what you need and you won’t regret packing light. Oh, and don’t forget your bras and underwear ladies!! My lovely mother-in-law bought me a bra-case for Christmas one year…LOVE this!! It’s a sturdy hard-shell case in the shape of a bra that keeps your underwire bras from becoming mangled in the suitcase! And another neat item is a panty-bag…I bought one of these for one of my sister-in-laws for Christmas…one side for “clean” and the other side for “not-so-clean”, and it keeps your underwear organized and private if (heaven forbid) your luggage is searched at the airport!
…..whew! Sorry, that was rather long-winded! But I hoped it helped even a little! And don’t forget, PLEASE, add your tips to the comments section….I LOVE getting new ideas!!!
Love…little ol’ me!
p.s. I’ll be making my giveaway draw tonight and posting tomorrow…so check in!