The days are longer, temperatures are getting warmer and your vacation is hopefully on the horizon. Whether you’re dreaming of digging your toes in the sand on a remote island, napping poolside, or discovering culture in a bustling urban destination, it’s time to think about packing essentials for your next escape. I confess I used to dread packing. But over the years, I've figured out some tips to make this chore less painful: make a packing list a week in advance, choose lightweight items with a complimentary color palette to easily mix and match, select stylish and versatile clothing that can transition from day to night, and toss in a few trendy items that you love. And remember, less is more. While traveling to your destination can be challenging enough; packing your vacay wardrobe should be effortless so you can get out there and GO!...
1. The breezy clothing and accessories in vibrant colors and Bohemian patterns by Roberta Roller Rabbit are travel essentials. I love the airy cotton cover-ups that can go from beach to lunch, relaxed tops with billowy or cap sleeves, and the zip travel pouch set ($65) for lingerie and accessories. Each season, I choose from their resort-inspired line made by local artisans, like block printers in India. There are 16 charming boutiques from L.A. to Punta del Este, or shop online at www.robertarollerrabbit.com
2. Pack lightweight costume jewelry with bold personality like the artful earrings by two of my fave LA jewelry designers. I’m obsessed with the geometric shaped metal earrings from Annie Costello Brown. Her handmade creations are pretty with a cool vibe (prices vary). I adore Hannah Keefe’s silver dot earrings with chain fringe ($198). Her creations are mostly brass and silver reminiscent of ethnographic textiles and modernist weavings. Both available in select LA, San Fran, NYC boutiques, and online at the General Store https://shop-generalstore.com/
3. So comfy for travel and leisure! Try the Life, Nature, Love T-shirt by Free City L.A., a brand with feel-good words and symbols and the softest cotton around! I love the lilac short sleeve tee ($115) that I picked up in their Venice Beach boutique to pair with shorts or jeans by day, or under a denim jacket for evening. www.freecitysupershop.com
4. Style icons like Jackie O put handmade leather sandals from the Amalfi Coast on the style map forever. On a recent trip to Sorrento, Italy, I bought a pair of natural-colored leather sandals from the boutique Siniscalchi Sandals www.sandalisiniscalchi.com where footwear has been handcrafted by the same family since 1950. I was thrilled to learn that buying a ready-made pair, or designing a custom pair (select leather type, color, heel height and sandal design), also can be done online.
5. I always pack a bikini for sunbathing, and a colorful one-piece for water sports. My fave is Roxy Sea Lovers one-piece swimsuit ($85) www.roxy.com it’s comfortable and colorful, and made from quality fabric. (And, Roxy rash guard shirts and boardshorts are the best for surfing and paddle boarding.)
6. You can protect your skin and look stylish with the straw hat from Sensi Studio www.sensistudio.com. Their classic toquilla straw Panama hat ($120) is a must-pack!
7. I scored a couple of the LoveShackFancy www.loveshackfancy.com blouses in Venice Beach, L.A., and fell in love with the brand’s “luxe gypsy sensibility”. The romantic, ethereal blouses, rompers and dresses in soft hues are a pretty fashion statement and the pieces are easy to pack. Two of my favorites are the Alanis dress (starts at $295) and the Desert Victorian Maxi dress ($395).
8. A lifelong traveler, clothing designer Ulla Johnson draws from a blend of global references—batik prints, embroidery, fringe details. After splurging on two Ulla dresses from a Santa Barbara boutique, I packed both for my Paris/Amalfi Coast trip and loved how their flowy silhouettes looked great with my Converse sneakers by day, and with wedge sandals by night. I love Spring’s flirty midi dresses and skirts with ruffle detail. www.ullajohnson.com (prices vary)
9. The gotta have “IT” summer straw tote! Choose one of these two totes that are stylish and made from natural, durable materials. I love the “cheap & chic” timeless shapes of the trendy Ticao bag from Abacá ($95) www.abacastore.com handmade in the Philippines. A portion of all proceeds goes to Right Start Foundation, a non-profit for underprivileged Filipino children. Lookin’ lovely in Loeffler! While this beautiful brand offers several vacation essentials, I’ve got my eye on the Loeffler raffia Beach Travel & Cruise totes ($250-350), perfect for vacays or summer staycays. (Pretty straw clutches for evenings too!) www.loefflerrandall.com
10. For warm weather destinations, I pack basic whites for layering, versatility, and as a backdrop for vibrant accessories. My tried and true favorites are the relaxed T-shirts by James Pearce ($60) http://www.jamesperse.com. Hudson white denim shorts ($135) www.hudsonjeans.com, and white AG jeans www.agjeans.com . I also toss in a neutral scarf or lightweight linen or cotton jacket for cool evenings.
11) These sun, sand, and surf beauty essentials have been travel tried and tested: with it’s satin texture and pretty shades, YSL Lipstick Rouge Pur Couture ($37) is hydrating, and the perfect finishing touch after a sun-kissed day www.saksfifthavenue.com . Dermatologist recommended EltaMD sunscreen products, UV Daily for face, UV Sport for body, are formulated with transparent zinc oxide, are sensitivity-free, fragrance-free and paraben-free. For pretty and neutral colored nails, go for creamy nude “Don't Bossa Nova Me Around” OPI color ($10.50) www.amazon.com To hydrate and replenish after you shower, smooth on the silky light Soleil Blanc Body Oil by Tom Ford ($74) for irresistible skin! www.saksfifthavenue.com
12) Frequent travelers would agree that the best way to take in a new city or destination is on foot. Try to limit your shoes to three pairs for any trip. Cute kicks need to be comfortable and made for walkin’! Check out UGG’s skater-style Sammy Sneaker ($110) a popular, comfy new silhouette; or, the classic twill Converse Chuck Taylor sneakers (from $55), with a soft Ortholite footbed, are always a safe bet. These sneakers are lightweight, and stylish to pair with shorts, pants or dresses. Both available at www.nordstrom.com
13) Statement-making sunnies! While my classic Ray-Ban aviators are fit for any destination, I also love a pair of trendy and frivolous sunglasses like J Crew's Cabana oversized sunglasses or the Carnival round sunglasses, both available in 3+colors ($65). www.jcrew.com