When packing for our journey across the Pacific, I knew our destinations had three things in common: heat, sand and beaches. Unlike packing for a winter vacation that includes heavy sweaters and jeans that always seem to put my luggage over the airlines’ weight limit, tropical destinations require just one item of clothing: a bathing suit – interchangeable, light-weight and easily compacted.
I’ve won brownie points with Shane for scoring a luggage weight of at least 5 pounds under the 50-pound weight limit several times during our trip, and with one small accompanying carry-on suitcase and my North Face backpack, I’m now proud to consider myself a minimalist traveller.
Here is a list of my traveling essentials that help me stay chic on the road and save space in my suitcase.
My newest shoe addition; these LunarGlides are lightweight (weighing in at almost 9 ounces per shoe) but were mostly worn on the plane to save space in my luggage.
The flip-flops of all flip-flops that can be worn day or night. They’re stylish and are as smooth as butter.
These waterproof sandals are my must-haves for hiking.
I have four tops in different colors, and one black pair of bottoms that match every top. I also brought along three other bathing suit options that can be mixed and matched as well.
My secret to cute, short beach cover-ups is purchasing extra-large button-down shirts. I invested in several pieces last year before going to Maui that have made their appearance several times. Keep the cover-ups neutral, like a pink, gray or black.
I packed shorts and tanks and more of them. The key to creating a plethora of outfits on the road is to bring along staples that can be mixed and matched with one another. I brought along many colorful tank that could be paired with my neutral shorts that include one pair of blue jean shorts, khaki shorts, a pair of gray shorts and a short blue jean skirt.
Dressy? Not on this trip. I left my heels at home and packed one pair of harem pants that could be worn with fats and one LBD that could double as a nighttime selection. I must admit I cheated while we were in Maui and went to the Shops at Wailea to score some great deals on a few cocktails dresses for when we return.
Long-sleeved button-downs and tights were my go-to. Traveling is all about comfort. I paired the oversized button-down shirt (my favorite from J.Crew) with any of my four pairs of tights I brought along that kept me warm and comfy on the long oversea flights.
Spending three months island hopping doesn’t usually require any sort of outerwear, but summer nights can sometimes turn chilly and early morning dive trips can present quite the windy breeze. My North Face fleece also doubled as a great pillow on the plane.
Being a travel writer comes with lots of baggage…literally. To accommodate my laptop, camera and other writing necessities, I toted my North Face daypack.
But on the non-flight days, the crossbody Coach worked best.
Ray Bans are always a must. The timeless shades can be worn with every style, from sporty to sexy.
I purchased this fedora in Melbourne at French Connection to shield my skin from the harsh Aussie summer sun. It came in handy during the long days at the Aussie Open.
I came wearing my pearls and left with an engagement ring! Otherwise I would have left all valuables at home.