After sharing my camera and Greece travel guide, so many of you asked for packing advice and tips for planning outfits when going on vacation. Even though packing has become second nature now, I admit that it’s still quite a challenge every time I have to pack and go. In the beginning, I made tons of mistakes – for instance, wanting to pack everything just in case I need it. Those days are long gone, but I’m constantly looking for ways to consolidate and condense whenever there’s a trip. I thought this would be the perfect time to share my top 5 pro packing tips for your next resort getaway while it’s fresh on my mind.
Tip 1: Always plan your outfits
As a fashion blogger, it's near impossible to pack for any vacation without planning your outfits in advance, otherwise you'll end up paying ridiculous amounts for packing too much. Traveling can pop up at a moment's notice for me, so I keep a mental list of the things I know I'll always wear in mind like:
- Plain and/or graphics tee
- Light jacket or sweater
- Sneakers for walking
- Comfy jeans
These are all items that can be mixed and matched with whatever else I bring, so I know I can maximize my limited space.
For resort or tropical settings, you want to make sure you do a bit of research at least 1-2 weeks before your trip... Take a look at Pinterest, Instagram, and other blogs so you can see what the foliage, structures, and scenery looks like. Since color is such a huge part of my wardrobe, researching beforehand gives me a great visual of what color clothing and silhouettes I should bring.
Should I happen to be missing something, I can also use this time to buy it. Shooting when traveling happens to be a huge part of what I do, so wardrobe and location is always priority when I’m on the go. Planning my outfits according to location ensures my looks will stand out against the environment beautifully and make my photos pop. Take a look at some examples below for how I achieved this in the past:
Puerto Rico's Dorado Beach meant sandy beaches with tons of green foliage. What better way to pop against the big leafy greens than with a yellow or red bikini. (And I'm pretty sure I brought both on this trip!)
Provence's coastal sun and pale-colored European architecture called for red! It's a delightful color sure to stand out against the pink, natural, and yellow infrastructures and floral bouquets sprinkled throughout the region.
NOTE: Never bring things you’ve never worn that you think you’ll wear because you won’t end up wearing them!
For a tropical or resort getaway, here's a list of some of my go-to pieces:
- Swimsuits (Bring more if you anticipate you'll spend most of your time on the beach or by a pool.)
- Linen bottoms (e.g. shorts, culottes, or palazzo pants)
- Flowy dresses (Think floral minis or ruffly maxis)
- Denim cutoffs
- Nude espadrille sandals
- Block heel sandals (For dressier but still comfy looks.)
- Matching sets (skirt & top set that can be worn together or separately - I'm obsessed with these! See example above.)
- Straw accessories (like a tote and hat)
- Sneakers (or other closed toe shoes for walking like my white mule loafers - see first image.)
- Blingy accessories (i.e. statement earrings)
Tip 2: Beware of the weather
Although you might be headed somewhere tropical, be sure you know what the weather is expected to be like. For instance, you might experience chilly mornings and late evenings, but sweltering noons. Or you might run into sporadic rain. This is where light jackets, jeans, and sneakers come in handy. However, those items are also bulkier.
Tip 3: Tuck things inside of other things
Now for the actual packing, you have to get creative and compartmentalize your things… For instance, stuffing socks and/or undergarments inside certain shoes so you don’t destroy their shape. This is especially true for bags… If I want to bring a few bags, I’ll stow away my clutches inside the bigger ones – or even toiletry bags inside my handbags. Also put all your toiletries in separate pouches or ziplock bags so leaks or cracks don’t ruin your clothes.
I know that when you have a big luggage, it’s natural to want to fill every possible crevice, but the more junk you shove inside, the more likely you are to ruin your things. So, leave yourself a bit of wiggle room.
Tip 4: Carry the heavy stuff + valuables
One of the pro packing tips I absolutely live by is carrying on the heavier, valuable things. Dan and I will NEVER check in camera equipment, laptops, hard drives, or expensive jewelry. Since you're usually allowed one carry-on + one personal item, consider putting
Tip 5: Use APPS to your advantage
Using apps to plan my travels have been life changing! Here are my favorites (be sure to save and download!):
– PackPoint – This is a great app for organizing your packing list. It checks the weather for you and even organizes your list by category (e.g. working essentials, documents, toiletries, etc). You can then share the list with other travelers! Super convenient.
– TripIt – If you like to organize your hotels, flights, and activities in one place, this app is for you. It basically creates a master itinerary for you, which you can then sync with your calendar. It’s great for busy, working gals like me. If you get the pro version, it even makes you aware of fare drops and tells you how to get a potential refund.
– Mobile Passport – This app is authorized by the U.S. Customs and Borders Protection – and is perfect for those that don’t have global entry. It replaces that traditional declaration paperwork you’re usually required to fill out. Instead, you can use this app to submit your passport and customs declaration info and bypass the regular line to enter the U.S.
– Wunderlist – I love using this app to create simple to-do lists for myself, my employees, and even my husband! It keeps me organized and helps me get things done! Never forget your travel needs, shopping list, or deadlines again!
Do you have any pro packing tips to share?