Vacation Essentials

Must haves for wherever it is you’re going

Packing for a trip is never an easy undertaking; in fact, just the opposite. No doubt you’ve found yourself with a jam-packed suitcase and nothing to wear on at least one occasion. For some of us, the problem is wearing the same outfit for an entire holiday, even though you’ve packed six alternatives - happens every time we leave home.

Why is it so difficult to figure out what to bring on vacation? Packing is a bit of a science; more practical than emotional, and yet we approach it the other way around. Translation: The fear of not having that one perfect item prevents us from being practical. No longer will that be true. Here is a definitive list of summer vacation essentials:

1. Bathing Suit
This is obvious. What’s not is the fact that you don’t need two or three or four suits for a change of pace. If you intend to get sun, you’ll be happier with a single set of tan lines, after all. The only potential reason you may need a second suit? A two piece for lying out and a one piece for activities. End of story.

2. Beach/Pool/City Bag
Bigger than a purse, smaller than a suitcase; this will double as your all-day bag and likely your carry on. You can even slip your purse inside it, along with a change of clothes, a towel and sunscreen if you’re beach or pool bound, or some odds and ends you pick up whilst out being a tourist!

3. Cropped Pants
Dress ‘em up or dress ‘em down, a pair of loose, but tailored trousers cut just above the ankle are not only tres chic, but way versatile. You can pair them with a tank and button down, a t-shirt or a dressier blouse. Same goes for flats or heels.

4. V-neck or Off the Shoulder Tee
These tops go well with your cropped pants. They’re simple, but sexy. Enough said. On a similar note, a crisp blue or white button down never hurts.

5. Day to Night Dress
It’s easy to understand why you’ll want this one handy. Find a dress that works with your flats or your heels and transitions easily to dress up or dress down.

6. Kimono Style or Duster Jacket
Soft, elegant and maybe even silky, this open style jacket can go over your suit, dress or your shirt and slacks combo. Both options will give instant lift to any look and they keep you comfy if night time breezes fall on the cooler side.

7. Comfortable Shoes
The most important shoes to have on vacation? Go for a cute pair of sandals with enough support that you can walk around in them all day. Mix that in with one – yes one - pair of heels for evening time, unless this is a formal holiday, of course. You’ll be a hell of a lot happier and you’ll also see and do more because your feet won’t hate you! 
Stephanie K. Smith is a freelance writer working across mediums. Her pieces have appeared on sites ranging from to National Lampoon and she’s written television pilots for Fox, CBS, The CW and Legendary Television. She lives in Los Angeles with her son, Dash and their (girl) cat, Fred.

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