Spring is here and Summer is on the horizon. The weather is still a bit chilly in the mornings, but I'm looking ahead to brighter, warmer days. I'm already planning a few trips to the lake and one longer trek to the coast.
Maybe you've got something planned as well? Hopefully you're excited!
But if you're anything like I used to be, travelling can bring on mixed emotions. You're overjoyed to go, but less than thrilled about packing for the trip. There are always so many things to think about and remember. It can be hectic.
How many outfits should I bring? Do I need to pack my own shampoo? Did I pack socks already? What are the best travel shoes for this specific trip?
Knowing what to pack for vacation can be stressful.
I'm the type of person who likes to be prepared for every imaginable situation. That means if I don't pack thoughtfully, I pack way more than I should. My bags will be filled to the brim, and I still sneak extra items into my boyfriend's suitcase when he's not looking.
This can cause a number of problems.
More bags means less room in the car for road trips, or more expensive checking at the airport. Overstuffing a single suitcase makes it unbearable to drag your bag through security. And the more you bring with you, the less room you have for souvenirs on the trip home. Where's the fun in that?
Understanding what to pack for vacation is crucial to the success of the trip. I learned this lesson the hard way when backpacking through Europe. Apparently, it's less fun when the backpack outweighs you...
But after years of trial and error, I have mastered the art of being prepared for a trip without being overprepared.
The trick is to pack versatile garments. You can be prepared for multiple scenarios with a single outfit, as long as you accessorize correctly to set the desired tone. It's easy to take the same look from a day at the beach to a night on the town by changing your shoes and throwing on some trendy jewelry.
When you begin packing, start from the bottom and work your way up. Meaning, choose the best travel shoes for your trip and build outfits from there!
I've put together this handy guide to help you get things going. Read through to the bottom for a full, comprehensive list of what to pack for vacation.
The Best Travel Shoes for Spring and Summer Vacations
The best travel shoes for spring and summer are versatile and look great with both casual and formal attire. They maximize the number of outfits you can make, while minimizing the number of shoes and garments you actually need to pack.
These are the four types of multi-purpose, travel-friendly shoes I consider vacation essentials.
A Good Travel Sneaker
There are different types of sneakers suited to different types of trips. You need to stop and consider how much walking you'll be doing, and if you'll be doing any more intensive workouts on your trip. All of this is paramount information when you are planning what to pack for a vacation.
If you're going to be doing a lot of walking in city terrain, but not much else in the way of exercising, a cute and comfy walking shoe works perfectly. Marnie is a great option for this type of trip.
If you're planning some light jogging or hiking, stylish and breathable sneakers like FT Mesh are the best travel shoes for you! This sneaker looks and feels great when you work out, and it transitions smoothly to be worn with everyday clothes or even nightlife styles, Chunky sneakers like this are super trendy right now. They pair well with jeans, shorts, and even dresses and skirts!
If your trip will involve hitting the gym or hiking crazy terrain, a more intensive athletic style like Tempo is the sneaker for you!
Cute and Comfy Slip-Ons
Sneakers are great, but when you decide what to pack for vacation, a casual slip-on is absolutely one of the essential, best travel shoes for a relaxing trip.
But don't resort to just wearing slippers. It's a waste of space to bring shoes you only plan to wear on the plane or during long car rides.
Instead, bring slip-ons that double as stylish walking shoes! Sunny works great for this, and it comes in a variety of color options to easily match your style. This shoe is definitely a great choice when deciding what to pack for vacation. It's comfy-chic, made to breathe, and keeps you looking and feeling cool all day out in the sunshine!
(Almost) Flip Flops
For decades, the flip flop has been a tourist favorite during warmer travel seasons. But if you've ever worn flip flops, you know that they're not exactly the best travel shoes. The lack of support can cause discomfort when you're on your feet for a long time, and the flimsy rubber material tends to wear out and crack with strenuous use. It's best for you and your feet if you leave these particular shoes at home when deciding what to pack for vacation.
Instead, choose a higher-quality alternative like the Sanibel. It's as easy to wear and simple to pack as the flip flop, but it provides the enhanced style, comfort, support, and durability that flip flops are sorely lacking. This shoe is made to travel and keeps up with you as you sightsee all day and dance into the night!
Sandals to Fit Your Style
Sandals certainly had to be on my list for the best travel shoes in spring and summer. You should definitely be thinking sandals when deciding what to pack for vacation.
A dressier sandal like Caress, Savanna, or Sandra makes shorts and a t-shirt seem more elegant. Or pair them with their natural counterpart - a sleek little dress made for dancing! These shoes offer a contemporary look with modern comfort features.
You can also downplay formal wear with a more casual sandal. This allows you to dress up without seeming out of place in casual scenarios. After a day at the pool in your oversized shirt and bulky sandals, keep the shoes and change up the outfit for a more upscale vibe! Pairing a silky romper or dress with trendy, chunky sandals like the Relaxed is really in style this season.
If you're looking for something a little more middle ground, not so fancy and not so deliberately laid back, Laguna and Duo make great options when choosing the best travel shoes and deciding what to pack for vacation.
You've got the right shoes... Now what?
Now you make the outfits to match and pack the heatlh and beauty essentials!
Keep in mind, versatility is key when it comes to packing clothing.
If the weather is nice, you'll probably be in shorts or dresses every day. But at least in spring, the temperatures can be unpredictable. Plus there's always a chance you'll find yourself in a chilly restaurant. Always bring at least one pair of jeans with you. Select a pair you can wear cuffed or not, as this gives you more styling options.
Depending on how long you'll be gone, 1-2 pairs should be all you need. Choose simple designs when deciding what to pack for vacation, because it's easier to make a variety of outfits with standard denim. Don't bring that one pair of intricate patterned shorts you love, because they probably only work with the one shirt you bought to go with them.
Just like the shoes you've selected or purchased to be your best travel shoes, every piece of clothing you bring should work in a variety of ensembles.
I always like to have an outfit for formal occasions. But that formal occasion doesn't always happen on every trip. So rather than pack an extra outfit "just in case I need it," I've learned to opt for something casual-chic!
This is an outfit that can look super dressy when paired with some sleek sandals, but it also works with something more relaxed. I'll remind you again of the romper with the chunky Relaxed shoes that I mentioned earlier.
Flowy dresses or palazzo pants an da fitted t-shirt also fit the bill for this travel necessity.
The length of your vacation determines how many shirts you need to toss in the suitcase when choosing what to pack for vacation. Typically, 3-5 shirts should be plenty. Stick to neutral tones, or pick colors that work well with the pants and shorts you've packed, as well as the shoes you've chosen as your best travel shoes.
Pack a variety of fittend and loose shirts. This helps alternate between more casual and formal styles and gives you a wider array of outfit possibilities!
Socks and Undergarments
Ladies, I trust you know yourselves well enough to know your needs on this one. I'm just reminding you here not to forget them at home.
Pack a separate bag for toiletries that you'll keep inside your suitcase. This puts a reasonable limit on the number of things you can bring. IF the travel sized item doesn't fit in the toiletry bag, it doesn't go on the trip.
Items you must include:
- Body and Face Wash
- Hair Brush or Comb
Items to limit if necessary:
- Hair Products
There's a good chance you've got an overstuffed makeup bag and a bathroom shelf covered in hair products, but how many of these items do you really use every day?I'll be writing about spring cleaning in my next blog post, but for now, don't worry about excess clutter. Just focus on what to pack for vacation, and select the essential items that will fit in your chosen toiletry case.
If you're going on vacation, it's best to leave any jewelry with sentimental value at home. Pack something stylish but expendable, just in case it gets lost. Be sure to include something formal, and maybe select some casual pieces for fun. Be sure whatever you pack compliments the shoes you've chosen as your best travel shoes!
If you're only going away over night of for the weekend, one pajama set is enough. But if you'll be gone for a week or more, you'll want at least two sets of casual pajamas. Any other sleepwear should be packed at your discretion.
And that should be everything you need! Once you're done packing, separate your clothes into large zip-bags and remove the air. This frees up space in your suitcase and makes it easier to find everything later when you need it.
I recommend packing a de-wrinkle spray, or purchasing one once you reach your destination. It's an inexpensive way to keep your clothes looking fresh.
Here's to looking and feeling amazing, wherever you go! Happy travels!