Summer Vacation Packing List

I went on my first ever cruise earlier this year (for the record, I thought it was amazing and now want to live on a ship). As a cruising novice, I predictably overpacked for the 8-day trip, but learned important lessons about packing that have become valuable.

The idea for this post originated with a guide I produced for eBay (read here). The packing list and outfits will translate easily for any warm-weather getaway—I grew up in a resort-loving family and have packed similarly for those trips with much success.

Packing lists are meant to be elastic, but in case you are particularly interested in the items pictured here: (1) J. Crew Scalloped Carrie Cami, (2) J. Crew Saint James for J. Crew Slouchy T-Shirt, (3) J. Crew Always Chambray Shirt, (4) J. Crew Sunday Slim Chino Short, (5) J. Crew Blue Sailor-stripe Lace-up Bandeau Top & J. Crew Sailor-stripe Lace-up Brief, (6) H&M Jumpsuit with Lace, (7) H&M Short Chiffon Dress, (8) H&M Halterneck Maxi Dress, (9) Castaner Carina Canvas Wedge Espadrilles, (10) Valentino Rockstud Flat Leather Cage Sandal in Skin Sorbet, (11) Jessica Simpson Scarlett Clutch Cross Body Bag, (12) Madewell The Transport Weekender, (13) Gucci Round Transparent Plastic Sunglasses, (14) J. Crew Lemon Crystal Necklace , and (15) Tuckernuck Toucan Hats Navy Packable Wide Bow Sunhat.

Top Row: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8
Bottom Row: 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14 / 15

I shared eight outfit ideas below, but you can easily stretch these fifteen pieces for a dozen or more outfits. A standard duffel bag will fit everything shown here, an appropriate number of undergarments, and necessary toiletries.I selected only pieces that would be comfortable to wear, easy to wash and dry, and mostly resistant to wrinkling (or effortless to dewrinkle), because who wants to waste even a moment of vacation time stressing about wardrobe?!

Rompers are great for exploring (unlike dresses, which always threaten to flash innocent passersby), and can double as swim coverup.

In the same vein, Bermuda shorts and other shorts that are far from hot pants territory are great for running around or for travel days.

And just because you are packing for maximum simplicity and efficiency, it doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice style. You can either diversify by choosing vibrant colors, like the cobalt and coral see below:

Or choose something with an ornate necklace or fun details, like the maxi dress shown below:

One or two pieces of jewelry are plenty and provide opportunity for color. And two to three pairs of shoes—a pair of sandals, wedge espadrilles, and/or sneakers—give enough variety; I almost always regret packing high heels, because there are few opportunities to wear them near a beach or on a boat.

For those who asked, the casual capsule wardrobe post should be up soon (within two weeks, for sure. For the first time in months I actually have a queue of posts).

Have a great weekend, all!

Hi, I am Elle!

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