Close your eyes and picture yourself on vacation: white sand, crashing waves, the sun on your shoulder. Now imagine yourself packing for this vacation: a little less blissful, wouldn’t you say? Preparing to go away shouldn’t be stressful, but especially when you’re planning for kids, maybe a significant other, and yourself, it’s hard not to freak out a little. What’s more, with so many airlines charging fees for additional baggage, taking only what’s absolutely necessary is key. To take some of the worry out of packing, we’ve compiled the ShoeBuy Guide to Packing Light – so sit back, don’t panic, and soon enough, you’ll be sipping piña coladas poolside.
Shoes can become the bane of any packing existence. Start down the path of “but what if the weather is XYZ” or “but what if I want to wear this top with those pants” and you might as well pull out your credit card now to pay for the overweight luggage charges. In reality, the average adult going on vacation only needs to bring three pairs of shoes, maximum: one for everyday wear (think: slip-on or thong sandals for walking about the resort and to and from the pool/beach), one for slightly fancier occasions (think: boat shoes or wedge sandals for dinner out at a restaurant), and one for activities (think: footbed sandals like Birkenstock for a long walk or city excursion).
Clothing can also be tricky since many vacation destinations – resorts, cruise ships, etc. – enforce dress codes. Opt for pieces you can re-wear over a statement look that you might only put on once. Every woman knows the power of a wrinkle-resistant dress on vacation, so be sure to pack at least one that can easily go from day to night. Beach pants can work double duty when paired with a bold printed one-piece, while an airy caftan will make any lady feel like island royalty. Pack a straw tote as your carry-on with all the essentials so you’ll be prepared both in the sky and by the sea. For guys, breathable materials like linen and cotton are always good choices, as you’ll stay cool even while abiding by the collared shirt rule at dinner. A light t-shirt, hat, and sunglasses will keep you from getting too much sun during the day, and of course, don’t forget your swim trunks.
Believe it or not, kids need even less when it comes to footwear on vacation: just one pair of active sandals for day, and slightly dressier (but still practical) shoes for night. And the same rules as mom and dad apply for clothing – breathable, no frill pieces that provide some protection from the sun will put everyone’s minds at ease.
Vacation should be a time of relaxation, so don’t let preparing for it stress you out. A little strategic packing can go a long way, so think about what you and your family really need and plan accordingly – and just think, less stuff in your luggage now means more room for souvenirs later!