What’s in my suitcase this summer

I love packing for summer vacations. For each sundress and swimsuit I pack, I imagine a different, idyllic scenario. Strolling down a cobblestoned street with an ice cream cone in hand. Sunning myself on a beach with a good book. And the best scenario of all: Sauntering onto the plane with everything packed into a tiny carry-on suitcase.

For me, packing light is almost as exciting as the destination. I relish the challenge. And even more so now that I’m a parent. The teddy bears and plastic cars are slowly edging out the t-shirts and sneakers, so I try to make everything in my suitcase do double duty. For every trip I take from now until October, my suitcase will include:

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A packable straw hat. The older I get, the more layers I add. Sunglasses. Scarf. Now it’s a hat. By the time I’m 40 I’ll be in a full-blown wetsuit. This hat, the Toucan wide brim fedora, is one of the most affordable and packable hats I’ve found.

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A swimsuit that can go out to lunch. It took becoming a mother for me to give one-piece swimsuits another shot and I couldn’t be happier. I’m in love with my lace-up version from the store & Other Stories, especially when worn with a full skirt. Throw on a pair of shades and you’re ready for a beach cafe.

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A sarong that doubles as a scarf. I’ve been using this move for years. I wear a lightweight sarong as a scarf on the flight and then use it as a skirt/top/cover-up for the entire vacation. Here are more ideas on how to wear your sarong.

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Leather sandals that go from the beach to dinner. Plastic flip-flops are fun for the pool, but they end up looking too casual for dinner. Then again, who wants to pack a pair of high heels solely for going out to dinner once or twice on vacation? These Rodini leather sandals are comfortable, chic and give you an Audrey Hepburn in Roman Holiday vibe.
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A lightweight jacket. It took me a while to come around to the Kühl jacket my mom has been wearing since the 90s, but now I can’t travel without it. As opposed to my trusty jean jacket, this one is lightweight and packs down to nothing. It’s also water-resistant and has a secret hood if a summer rain shower comes through. The pockets are perfect for passports and tickets.

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The best sunscreen. Because of its near-liquid consistency, even a small bottle of La Roche-Posay Anthelios sunscreen lasts an entire vacation. Moreover, it goes on smoothly and packs a punch at 60 SPF. It’s paraban-free, oil-free and waterproof.

What do you always pack for summer vacations? Do you like packing as much as I do or do you dread it? This is one of my favorite packing tips and this is everything I packed for two weeks in Greece. Meanwhile, here are a few, fun links for Tuesday:

The most comprehensive guide to solo travel

50 of the most beautiful cities (I’m seeing two in August!)

I’m dying to try these Vietnamese Bú Thit pork bowls

A packing checklist that promises you won’t forget a thing

Would you stay in a floating Arctic hotel?

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There are California girls and there are Bakersfield girls. I am the latter.

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