The Secret to Packing for a Weekend Getaway


Last month we took a surprise Father’s Day trip to Catalina and it has easily become one of my favorite spots in the US. It almost reminds me of Europe with all the boats anchored in the beautiful bay, and the colorful historic homes against the cliffs. 

Every time we go on a weekend getaway my husband asks – “Think you can get it all in a carry on?” I would think by now he knows there’s just no way. 😉 I like to change outfits and I like to have options, but I’ve also found the secret to not overpacking. The key is pack essentials, not outfits. Instead of packing specific outfits, stick to those key items (dress, shorts, blazer, etc.) that could be worn multiple times in multiple ways. Pack pieces in a unified color scheme so you can mix and match to get the most out of your valuable luggage space. There’s nothing worse than being stuck with an outfit you aren’t really feeling that day, but if you plan in terms of pieces and color schemes you have more options if one piece feels “off” that day.  Here are some of my essentials for a beach getaway.

  1. Sun hat – You can wear it with anything. I wore it to the beach, to lunch, and you can even dress it up with heels for dinner or a night exploring the island. It works with a sundress, cut-offs, and of course with your swimsuit and cover-up – there aren’t many outfits that a straw sun hat doesn’t work with. 
  2. Unexpected top – You don’t have to stick to tank tops for your summer getaway. I love this bell sleeve top – the sleeves are such a stunner and it’s a light, breathable flowy fabric so it’s a great option for summer. It is the perfect top to add with your cut-offs and gladiators for a more put-together look.
  3. Lightweight layer – I always bring a long sleeved lightweight layer, even on beach getaways. It seems like restaurants always have their AC blasting so an extra layer is a must for dining indoors or for those occasions that call for something a little more covered-up. This linen blazer from the Who What Wear collection at Target is perfect for a light layer at dinner but also doubles as a cute cover-up over your swimsuit – it’s breathable and over-sized so it has good movement which is exactly what you want on vacation. 
  4. Your favorite shorts – Think a cute pair of shorts that you can take from the sand to the street. I always opt for distressed denim because that’s my style but any sleek pair of shorts you feel good in must be packed.
  5. Gladiator sandals – You’ll want to live in sandals, but that doesn’t mean flip-flops are the only shoe that should make it into your suitcase. A gladiator sandal is another piece that can be worn dressed up or down so you can get plenty of wear out of it.
  6. Two bags –  I always bring an oversized tote for traveling. I take my Celine Belt bag everywhere- it’s the perfect size to fit everything in I’ll need for the flight, from magazines and my laptop to things for the kids. I also always pack a smaller, lightweight crossbody so when I get to my destination I don’t have to lug a lot around.



What are your favorite packing tips?



*In collaboration with Who What Wear.

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  1. Colleen Welsch

    I definitely would have thought that was Europe! I need to make a trip to Catalina!


  2. Lee

    What a great idea to pack essential pieces! I usually go for outfits and find I way overpack. Then I have nothing to wear and wish I had packed X! Great outfit. Looks like a great place, wherever you were.
    xo, Lee

  3. Tasha Juli

    I love to pack a day to night romper! It’s a great alternative to a dress for a night out, but can be worn beachside as well.
    Tasha Juli

  4. Jill

    You look absolutely beautiful! And what a great list, thanks!

    Jill D Blog

  5. Martyna

    pretty xxx

  6. Heidi

    The bell sleeve top is adorable! Such a great find. I’ve been loving so many things from the WWW line!

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

  7. Shannon

    Absolutely obsessed with this top and the blazer. Looks totally stunning on you 🙂

  8. Polly

    Thanks for these tips! I always feel like I pack too much when I travel and need to focus more on the essentials!


  9. Sonia

    Great post. Make so much sense. As I tend to overpack too going on trips and end up stressing not knowing what I want to wear. Great post will stick to essentials

  10. Linoya

    So Amazing look.

  11. lifestyle lodestar

    great article I like the idea of packing essentials not for events, a refreshing change. I look forward to trying it out.

  12. Namrata Sehgal

    I am going to buy all of them, you have described each and everything so well. I personally loved the hat.


  13. Holly

    Great tips! Especially #5, bringing two bags. I couldn’t agree more!

  14. Holly

    Great tips! Especially #5, bringing two bags. I couldn’t agree more. I love being able to throw everything into my bag when I’m catching a flight but I also like to keep it simple when I’m touring around.

  15. burkerabe

    So Beautiful look,Fashionable dress,sunglasses,heats,purse.

  16. Jess

    Oh wow, I never knew Catalina existed, and now I need to book a flight immediately!

    Jess |

  17. The Trend

    It’s raining great outfits! Hello Fashion inspired me to create my very own fashion blog, please give it a visit and some feedback too. I’ve been wanting to write a great article about Hello Fashion so say the word and it’s done! If you enjoy my blog, please give me a shoutout, it would mean the world to me.

  18. Misty Russell

    What brand of distressed denim shorts are in the picture?

  19. Natalia


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