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summer vacation must-packs (and how i'm fitting a week's worth of clothes into a teeny tiny

Let's take a moment to reflect on the fact that I am making a packing list that doesn't involve a single diaper or booster seat. That's right... Jordan and I are taking an adults-only trip to Cancun with a couple of friends, and we couldn't be more excited! Yes... I am dreading being away from Ava for 5 days (the longest length of time yet), and I'm already strategizing ways to keep my mind off how much my heart hurts when I'm away from her (Mai Tai's and massages are on the top of this list). BUT an adult trip, when we get to throw all schedules and upcoming nap times out the window, is totally necessary every now and then.

If you're reading this, and thinking you can't remember the last time you didn't have to worry about your babies' schedules... it's high time you pick a week or a weekend to get away with your hubby or even a group of girlfriends!

I digress. Today I'm sharing my must-pack items for a summer vacation (sans children), that will help you bypass the luggage carousel and get to that chaise lounge in the sun THAT much sooner!


Large Tote Carryon (for plane ride necessities AND any souvenirs that come back with you)

Any bag will do but this is one of my favorite airport hacks. DO NOT just try to get by with your regular purse. It will get over-stuffed with the big water bottle, Mentos and neck-pillow you decide to bring last minute. Instead, throw your smaller purse in your tote, so there is plenty of room for the things I mentioned plus a sweater if the plane gets cool. Best part is you can still easily access all of your things because your purse is untouched inside! Lastly, this bag will come in handy for all of the ceramic goods, silver jewelry, and beautiful woven blankets that will inevitably come home with you when visiting Mexico.

Book or Magazines for the Pool

We are SO accustomed to looking at our phones when we have downtime, but while on vacation, I say ditch the cell phone in your room (to forgo any roaming charges), and enjoy some good-old-fashioned reading materials by the pool.

Stylish Sandals (forget the wedges and pack these instead)

Wedges are cute and beachy, but they take up too much room in that suitcase! Ditch 'em for a cute pair of sandals (with or without a little height) that can do double duty at the pool and again at dinner!

Two Swimmies (not three or four... two. Let me tell you why)

You don't need to bring every swim suit you've ever owned. Studies show that out of 1,000 women who packed three or more bathing suits on vacation, only 6% wore all three. Okay, that study was possibly made up of a smaller sample size... okay no that study was possibly made up... by me. BUT I can tell you from personal experience that two suits is the perfect amount. You can alternate every-other day so the other has a day-off to dry, and you avoid packing a bunch of things you don't need!


This is an obvious one and it will be way cheaper to buy on Amazon than in the hotel lobby. This is my favorite sunscreen (I've talked about 'Kiss my Face' sunscreen once before - I LOVE it and it never makes me break out which is probably the worst part about most sunscreens).

Floppy Hat

Another obvious one but SO important - especially if you plan on spending a majority of your time near the equator, by the pool. Target always has a great selection of wide-brimmed hats. I got mine a couple year's back but had to resist the temptation of buying a couple more from all the cute ones they have out this season!

Drink Tickets

I could bet you likely know a few frequent flyers. And something I didn't know until I was married to one, is that those airlines send BOATLOADS of drink tickets to these people. Like more drink tickets than any healthy person could use in a year, even if they were flying weekly. So ask around and see if you can snag a few before your flight. We give stacks of ours away since Jordan flies so much for work, and you can bet a few will be coming with me on the flight... no better way to start a summer vacation than with a little Champagne (or tequila) on your flight out!

Straw Bag

A beach staple that is so en vogue this season. I posted this one in my Instagram story a few weeks back - it's from Old Navy and probably the cutest beach bag I've seen all year. This lays flat on the top of my suitcase and will be perfect for holding my towel and above mentioned reading materials for our trips to and from the pool.


  • Roll instead of fold

  • Anything bulky can lay flat on top

  • Pack outfits that color coordinate so you can mix and match shoes with tops, swim coverups, etc.

  • Ditch the big makeup bag, and just bring the necessities (do you need all 14 shades in that eye shadow pallet? Doubt it! Bring the two shades you love and save the rest for a night out back home).

  • Airplane-sized everything (3.4 oz) in a clear quart sized bag. Save on buying tons of mini-products and instead invest in some nice reusable 3.4 oz containers and/or bring along the hotel shampoos you've collected over the years.

That's it! And if you're reading this right now, I'm already in Mexico, wearing one of two bathing suits and enjoying some much-needed time in the sun.


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