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  • Olive Cannnon

Packing for Vacations

I was chatting to my girl friends yesterday and was asked for advice on packing for summer vacation. It seems to be a big sartorial problem to decide what to take, what shoes go with what, how many dresses/shorts/tops….



Let’s look at two scenarios to decide what’s appropriate without being charged for extra luggage weight.


Beach Vacations


For me these are the easiest, check the weather ahead of time and figure out how many night events you’ll be going to.


If I was going to the beach for 7 days here’s what I would pack:

4 bikinis - I hate hanging around in wet bikinis so always change after a dip. Then rinse them out every evening to dry overnight so you’re all set for the next day.

3 day dresses/caftans - easier to get in and out of when it’s hot. Pick 100% cotton if possible, lightweight and not sweat inducing.

4 dresses for nights out - again use natural fibers - cotton, linen, silks or a really light jersey, they’ll be light enough and you can dress them up or down depending where you’re socializing.

1 pair of shorts and 2 complimentary tops - for sight seeing.

4 pairs of shoes - flip flops for the beach, 1 pair of flat glam sandals and 1 low pair of heels or wedges and walking shoes/tennis shoes for sightseeing or hiking.

2 belts - make sure they go with the dresses so you can change the looks for different nights

1 big hat - every year I get a white/cream colored hat that can be rolled up and wear it on the beach constantly and when walking round. These can be washed too so that the grubbiness of the SPF can be removed.

3 wraps - great for use as a sarong, day cover up, cool evenings or too much air conditioning

2 bags - beach bag and smaller bag for evenings, make sure it’s neutral to go with each outfit.

Chunky jewelry - I love the look of tanned skin with chunky jewelry, it always feels glamorous

I think this list covers most eventualities for a sun holiday and if not I’m sure there are shops where you’re going!

This should easily fit into a small bag for overhead storage. Make sure you roll everything and hang up when you get to your destination to avoid wrinkles. You can always hang stuff in the bathroom and when you shower - the steam should help.


City Trips


I love exploring a new city, one of my favorite things is discovering new cultures, food and entertainment.

It’s time to be comfortable - you need shoes that you know will not hurt when you’re walking miles around a city.


For a 5 day city break in the summer I would pack a range of items and always leave room in my bag for new purchases that I am sure to find!


2 shorts and 4 tops to match

1 long dress - cotton or silk. You can wear this casually during the day or dress up a little for night with accessories.

2 shorter dresses - it should be a comfortable dress and look great with flat sandals for days or nights out.

1 cardigan - it’s important to always have a handy cardigan if you’re sightseeing in a new city as not all venues will allow you to have uncovered shoulders. If you are visiting any religious sights you are better to wear a dress to the knee or longer and then the cardi on top. This should get you access to all sights with no difficulty. You don’t want to be turned away for a silly reason like wearing shorts!

1 wrap - always handy to have in your backpack for cool historical places or as a shoulder cover up

1 loose pants and 1 loose shirt - I love linen in summer. I love the wrinkled, carefree look but if you don’t go for fresh cotton. These are handy for sightseeing or evenings.

3 shoes - comfortable walking shoes, flat sandals and 1 low pair of heels or wedges - go for neutral colors that go with all outfits.

2 bags - backpack for day trips and small neutral bag for evenings.

2 belts for changing the looks of each dress

Chunky inexpensive jewelry - it’s always best not to bring your best jewelry for sight seeing - this can make you an unwanted target for opportunists.

This should all easily fit into a small overhead size bag and leave that room for your new goodies.


Let me know if there are any other trips you might be taking and need help with packing.

Happy vacationing!


Olive x

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