Whenever I pack for a vacation I literally spend a week planning my outfits. I'm not kidding. It's something I constantly stress about because I'm so afraid of bringing the wrong things, or not enough of the right things. I worry about being too hot, or too cold, or my feet hurting from too much walking. I don't want to just bring comfortable clothing, because I know we're going to take lots and lots of pictures and I don't want to be wearing jeans and sneakers in every photo!
I've read so many blog posts and tutorials on how to pack for vacations, and I usually disagree with all of them. Most put comfort before beauty and incorporate a lot of neutral pieces that can be interchanged with each other for light packing.
Since we have had so many wonderful travel opportunities the past few years, I think I have become a pro at packing. I've learned a lot of tips that work for me. Here are some of them:
1) Have a small travel bag for all your hotel stops (if you travel by car as I do) and have a big bag packed with your clothes for your final destination. You can then leave that bag in the car until you reach your vacation spot rather than dragging a huge bag in and out of hotels.
2) Invest in good make-up and jewelry travel bags. I bought a make up bag and a jewelry bag that have little compartments and a hook on top. They both also roll up. When I get to my hotel, I just unroll the bags and hang them up in the bathroom. Everything is neat and orderly, and I can find what I'm looking for quickly!
3) Plan each day's outfit in advance. I first look at the weather forecast, then what I plan to do that day. Will I be walking a lot so I need comfortable shoes? Is there rain in the forecast? Will I be hiking in the mountains or walking in a affluent shopping district? Once you've determined the weather and the occasion, write down exactly what you plan on wearing that day. And that's the important part! Because if you're like me, three days into your trip you're going to open your suitcase and see something and think "Why did I bring that?"
4) Keep a lightweight scarf and/or a pair of comfortable shoes in your bag or car. The scarf is a trick I learned in Italy. Very often the days started cool, and then got hot during the day, then cooled off again at night. A large scarf is better than a jacket because I can wrap it around my shoulders and when the temperatures heat up I just take it off, roll it up, and put it in my purse. You can't do that with a jacket! Shoes can be a bit more complicated. I usually keep a pair of walking shoes in my car or soft ballet flats in my purse if my heels start bothering me.
Those are tips that work for me when I travel. Now I'd like to show you some pictures of our recent vacation, what I wore, and explain why I chose that particular outfit.
Day One: St. Augustine, Florida
Weather: 66 degrees, overcast, next to Atlantic ocean
Place: Affluent Shopping District
Activity: Lots of Walking
What I wore:
Lightweight black mini skirt, short sleeve lavender polyester top, tall black boots with a small heel, black backpack purse with a large, purple metallic scarf inside the bag. I also left a pair of black, flat sandals and a black cardigan in the car.
It should also be mentioned, that we had to drive about six hours in the car before arriving at our destination, so my clothes had to be comfortable and wrinkle proof for riding in a car.
We met our daughter and son-in-law at the Visitation Center. They drove up from the Orlando area. Imagine our surprise when we discovered that my daughter and I were dressed very similarly. We didn't plan it, I swear!
My top is super old and is actually for sale at my Poshmark Store. It is a very flattering top; looking at these pictures I don't even know why I'm selling it. I love the soft lavender color and the interesting gathering at the V-neck. But some items have to go in my closet(s); because they are getting way too full!
I included this picture so that you can see my outfit from the back and also my backpack purse. Whenever I travel I either use this purse, or a cross body bag. They allow me to keep my hands free and are also great for safety reasons.
When we left the shopping district to explore this old fort right on the Atlantic Ocean, it got very breezy and a little chilly so I pulled out my scarf and wrapped it around my shoulders.
Back in the shopping district, it wasn't as chilly anymore so I just let the scarf hang down loosely.
Scarves are so versatile and practical! I love them! You don't even want to know how many I have in my closet.
Day Two: Downtown Winter Park, Florida
Weather: 69 degrees, sunny
Place: Lake and affluent shopping district
Activity: Boat ride on lake and walking
After three days of traveling, my husband and I wanted to keep our first full day of vacation local and relaxing. The last thing we wanted to do was get in a car and drive again! So we decided to take a boat ride on a lake in Winter Park and also to explore downtown Winter Park.
What I Wore:
A blue, chambray mini skirt, a white, short sleeve eyelet top, navy blue ballet flats, a lightweight blue boyfriend cardigan, and a blue scarf with other coordinating colors in it.
The first part of the day included our boat ride, so of course it was chilly on the lake. Thus, I wore my sweater and scarf.
As the temperatures rose I simply removed my scarf and put it in my large handbag.
And when the temperatures really increased during the heat of the day, I removed the cardigan and put that in my bag too. The cardigan is a very thin knit so it doesn't take hardly any space in my bag.
Day Three: Altamonte Mall
Weather: Mid 70's
Place: Indoor Shopping Mall
Activity: Lots of Walking
On Tuesday, both my son-in-law Jason and my son Jordan had to work and neither one of them wanted us to do anything 'fun' without them. So we decided to go the shopping mall! They wouldn't miss that at all! Plus, Ashley had some Christmas shopping to do and it was my birthday that week so my husband took me on a shopping spree for my present.
What I Wore:
A brown shirt dress, brown flats, and I carried my large suede fringe bag.
I wore a lightweight dress because Winter Park is a very wealthy area and I wanted to look like I fit in with the other upper-class shoppers (even though I was wearing a $14.99 H&M dress!). I wore flats instead of heels only for comfort reasons.
I apologize for these two poor photos, but we were on a mission to shop, not take pictures. Plus, the bright lights of the Michael Kors sign didn't help. And no, unfortunately I did not buy anything at Michael Kors. Although I own a few of his shirts and a pair of gloves, his items are way out of my price range. What I do own my lovely daughter picked up for me at T.J. Maxx.
We shopped all day from ten in the morning till six at night. And even though I had flats on, my feet ached! I even had trouble sleeping that night because the balls of feet burned. Flats may be more comfortable than heels, but they are still not meant to walk long distances because there is very little cushion between them and the hard concrete floor.
I got so many new things on this shopping trip that I can't wait to wear and share with you! I love shopping when on vacation because we don't have a lot of the more popular stores where I live (like Forever 21, H&M, Charming Charlies, etc.) and the prices are usually cheaper too.
Day Four: Blue Springs State Park
Weather: Low 70's
Place: Blue Springs State Park
Day three we had the wonderful opportunity to see manatee's in their natural habitat and not in a zoo.
What I Wore:
Boyfriend denim shorts, hiking sandals, white camisole, thin, tropical print T-shirt, and a thin blue boyfriend cardigan (the same one I wore on Day Two).
As always, I removed the cardigan when the temperatures heated up and then put it inside my black backpack bag.
Day Five: Sea World
Weather: Mid to upper seventies
Place: Theme Park in Orlando, Florida
Activity: Walking, Rides, and Watching Shows
What I Wore:
Lightweight tan linen shorts, hiking sandals, white camisole, light cotton elephant print shirt, lightweight tan boyfriend cardigan, and I carried my black back pack bag.
We arrived at Sea World when the gates opened, so it was a still a bit cool in the morning. But as always, the cardigan came off and went in my bag once the temperatures rose. I also ended up pulling it out when we went to see the penguins as it was FREEZING in that building!
Don't you just love this elephant print shirt? I bought it on clearance at Forever 21 for only $1.88!!!!
Day Six: Busch Gardens
Weather: Upper seventies, low eighties
Place: Theme Park in Tampa, Florida
Activity: Walking, Watching Shows, and Rides
What I Wore:
Lightweight blue and white striped cotton shorts, hiking sandals, white camisole, white embellished T-shirt, black back pack bag.
On this day, I was the photographer because we didn't want to take our big DSLR on all the rides with us, so I just snapped pictures with my IPhone. Because of that reason, I don't have any pictures of just me so you have to look at my outfits in my family photos.
You can't tell in the photograph, but the T-shirt has clear jewels all over it. It's not an ordinary plain white T!
And that is what I wore on each of my vacation days. I also plan my car outfits, but I have no pictures of those because we were too busy driving to take pictures. Depending on the season, I usually wear leggings with over sized sweaters, ponchos, or sweatshirts. Or I'll wear silk pajama pants or stretch denim: anything comfy!
Have a great day! Amy
Linking Up with these Fabulous Blogs HERE!