Vacation Packing Strategies!

February 21, 2016

It was a balmy 60 degrees outside last Friday.  DJ (one of our clothing stylists) had the top down on his little red Volkswagen convertible that day. And KCCI told us “Weather Beacon red, warmer weather ahead.”

Unfortunately, ‘old man winter’ is simply teasing us with this early promise of spring. We are surely in for more than a few chilly days ahead. The only way to really enjoy some real warmth at this point is to head South. With “Spring Break” ahead, many of you are just a few weeks away from your vacation!

If you are like me, a vacation brings on a certain level of anxiety. What will I wear? And what should I pack?  I didn’t feel this stress years ago when we could simply pack our entire wardrobe in the monster (75 pounds) piece of luggage we all used to own.

Now, I have to seriously think about what I will bring as I only have a mere 50 pounds for everything that I will need for a stylish vacation.  Really?  Stress I don’t need…

So as I start thinking about what I will pack (for my warm-weather jaunt), I thought I would share a few of my ‘vacation packing strategies’ just in case one or more of them might help you.

The first thing I do when getting ready to pack for a vacation is... 

Pull Out My Rolling Rack

My spring and summer clothes tend to be packed away or in the back of my closet.  So in order to create the best and most versatile outfits, I have to be able to see them.

Photo Courtesy of The Zoe Report

You can get an inexpensive rolling rack at Target or Bed, Bath, and Beyond.   I simply roll this handy rack into my room and begin pulling out all the pieces from my warm weather wardrobe that might be appropriate or that I think I will want to wear.   And then the work begins.   If you are going to be gone for  a week or more and are trying to keep what you pack to 50 pounds of luggage, you will have to edit, edit, edit.

Pack for Versatility

Some people create spreadsheets with everything they will wear by day and night.   I am not that good!    I like to have a little freedom to dress according to my mood which means I have to pack items that are versatile and can be worn several different times and ways.

The Versatile Dress

A favorite vacation option for me to pack are dresses (both long and short).   They are  comfortable, chic and very versatile.

Dresses can either be casual when I  pair them with flip-flops or dressy in the evening when I pair them back to a higher heel.  I can also throw a lightweight sweater over top… and the dress now becomes a skirt.   I can wear a short little caftan dress over my swimming suit and it becomes a fun cover-up!  I always pack two or three summer dresses as they take very little space in my suitcase… and can be worn several different times and ways.

The Versatile Jacket or Sweater

This is probably the number one thing that I miss time after time.  I am usually so excited to hit the warm weather that I forget how chilly it might get at night.

I like to pack at least two sweaters and/or jackets that can be thrown over my dresses or lightweight tops. Versatility is key to these bulky pieces because they can be luggage hoggers and I still have shoes to consider and pack!


Egads. I regress. This might actually be the number two thing I miss time after time. (Aren’t you excited with all my advice since I have so many packing problems?) BUT I am working on getting better.  I love shoes.  And for the most part, I tend to believe that each outfit should be paired with its own unique shoe. Well, that philosophy does not work when packing for vacation.

So again, versatility comes into play when packing my shoes.  I have found that if I stick to neutral (metallic, black, natural) shoes in three varied heel heights, I can make it work.  Please also note that I have not included flip-flops in my shoe count.

Flip-flops are flat, light and what I consider packing freebies. Yes, I could pack more than a few pairs but nine times out of ten... I usually wear the same comfortable versatile pair.  (But please note, they do have sparkles).

Coordinate Outfits

As you are editing your clothes, focus on items that coordinate easily. The two staples in my vacation wardrobe are one pair of light weight white jeans and a pair of cropped black pants.  Most of my favorite summer tops and shirts can easily be worn with at least one of these options.

I love a great white jean with a little stretch!  And nothing can be worn more times on vacation than a stain resistant (at least a stain won't show) pair of cropped black pants.  My last and perhaps most important vacation packing strategy is to...

Select Something NEW and Exciting to Wear!

Somehow, it just doesn’t seem like 'vacation' to me unless I have one or two fun items that I am really excited to wear.  Most of what I have in my closet has been worn several times and I find that a few new pieces can inspire new life in some of my older items.   This year, I am eyeing a couple of fun knit sweaters from Leo & Sage that I can wear with my very versatile pants or shorts.

The first is a loosely knit sweater that I can throw over a simple white tank with shorts during the day or my white jeans at night.    Love!

The second is a sleeveless knit tank…. so cute with my black pants!   And doesn't the fringe just say "vacation?"   

I don't know about you... but I am ready for a little fun in the sun.   I'm packed and ready to go!    Let us know how we can help you get inspired for your next trip or just stop by and enjoy the sure sign that spring is on its way!