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How to Pack & Create a Warm Weather Vacation Capsule

January 30, 2019


Erin Schrader

With our upcoming cruise, I’ve got one thing on my mind — packing. I always say that packing will be the death of me. The amount of anxiety it stirs up in me is off the charts and the amount of wine it causes me to drink is also most likely off the charts [and by off the charts I mean one hefty pour #partyanimal]. Over the years, I’ve started to try and become a little more mindful of what I am choosing to take with me on vacation, rather than throwing in my entire closet + more. Yes, I’ve been that girl with two checked bags AND a carry-on for six nights away. Pathetic, I know.

As you may have seen around LIY over the past year, we’ve become quite fond of putting together “capsule wardrobes” for all of you. We’ve done them seasonally and decided it would be fun to do a vacation packing capsule because if I suffer from this whole overpacking thing, I know that at least one of you out there have to struggle with it as well [at least, here’s to hoping]. In today’s blog post I’m bringing you some ideas on what type of items to pack [and how to create multiple outfits out of those pieces] along with some how to pack to maximize your luggage space suggestions. A real double punch. Let’s start with the outfits [because let’s be honest, that’s the real exciting stuff here] and then we will end with how to pack it all up!

ps. Yes, these are several of the outfits and pieces I am taking on our cruise. Thanks to the Gibson x Hi Sugarplum Resort Collection for SAVING MY LIFE when it comes to this cruise.

Here are the staple pieces that I’d recommend packing when it comes to a warm weather vacation…



Dresses / Jumpsuits: 


Beach / Pool Necessities: 

Other Necessities: 

And here are all of the ways to create your vacation capsule wardrobe when it comes to forming outfits during your vacation!

  1. Your Basic T-Shirt! We went with this Daily Ritual tee from Amazon which is SUPER soft and equally versatile. Fit tip: Size up! As you can see, you can wear this to the pool with denim shorts and sandals, on travel day with joggers and a denim jacket, for a casual dinner out with jeans and wedges or as you lounge in your hotel room with a cozy cardigan!

2. Next up, the basic tank! I landed on this perfectly shaped [and colorful] Hi Sugarplum! Summerland Scooped Neck Pocket Tank Top [fit tip: size down if in between] as you can wear it so many ways! It’s perfect for the beach over your swimsuit and topped off with a straw hat, under a cardigan with jeans for a cooler evening or morning breakfast with joggers and tennis shoes!

3. While on the tops department, let’s switch things up with our dressy tank. This colorful and fun beauty from Hi Sugarplum! Carmel High/Low V-Neck Top [fit tip: true to size] is the perfect option for dressing up or down, depending on the occasion! I love it with white jeans and wedges with a clutch for a night out but it’s equally as cute with denim shortssandals and a pair of sunnies

4. Let’s stay on the dressy trend and turn our eyes to my favorite must-have on vacation, the Maxi Dress. For this trip, I’m bringing the x Hi Sugarplum! Palm Springs Festival Maxi Dress [fit tip: true to size] but this simple maxi is another classic favorite I take with me on every trip! As you can see it’s adorable alone with some wedges and statement earrings, but pairs perfectly under my favorite Denim Jacket and sandals

5. When it comes to dresses on vacation, having an option that’s a little more casual but that you can take either way is key. I especially love this x Hi Sugarplum! Laguna Soft Jersey Ruffle Back T-Shirt Dress [fit tip: true to size] because it is SO incredibly soft and can truly double as a swimsuit coverup OR a dinner out outfit. 

6. Speaking of incredibly soft pieces that can double as swimsuit coverups OR a cute look for day excursions, this x Hi Sugarplum! Seaside Soft Jersey Lounge Romper [fit tip: true to size] offers just that. I love it over your swimsuit or dressed up with wedges for dinner! 

7. Thankfully, not all rompers have to be super casual. By adding in a dressier option, you have a fun option for dinner or setting sail on a catamaran with a glass of champagne in your hands [a girl can dream, right?] I love this x Hi Sugarplum! Catalina Ruffle Hem Romper [fit tip: true to size]! It’s so flattering and adorable on and yes, tall girls, this one can work for you! As you can see, it’s easy to dress up and down! 

8. Can you tell I’m a huge fan and supporter of jumpsuits and rompers yet for vacation?! They are SO comfortable, easy to throw on and go and are honestly so versatile! I love this Summer Solid Sleeveless Wide Leg Jumpsuit Casual Spaghetti Strap Stretchy Long Pant Rompers [fit tip: true to size] or this off the shoulder option! I love pant jumpsuits as a coverup with sandals or under a Denim Jacket for evening! 

9. Last but not least, a true swimsuit coverup is key! I love this inexpensive option from Amazon as it’s nice and lightweight and breezy and the pom detail jazzes it up! Add in your sunscreen and Sunglasses and you are SET! 

So now that we have all of our outfits out of the way, it’s time for that dreadful part – packing. Here’s the secret though: it doesn’t have to suck. With these helpful hints, you’ll be fitting everything in with no problem AND it will actually be organized once you arrive to your destination, making your only concern if you want a Mai Tai or Pina Colada first!

  1. Use Packing Cubes! While I use these CALPAK x Oh Joy! Set of 5 Packing Cubes there are a lot of options on Amazon!

It is amazing to me just how much you can actually fit in the suckers. I typically put my pants / shorts into one, dresses / jumpsuits in another, tops and jackets in one, swimwear, intimates and coverups in another and sleepwear in another! They save SO much space in your suitcase and once you get to where you are going it is super easy and fast to unpack!

2. Pack your bags, sandals and other necessities inside of a bigger bag. Whenever I am taking a larger tote with me on a trip, I like to utilize the space inside to pack all of my other bags. A great use of space! 

3. Don’t be afraid to pack your hat! I would encourage you to fill the bucket portion of the with a filler [socks, rolled up tops, etc] to keep its shape during travel, but as you can see, it can definitely be done with ease! 

Now close that suitcase up and GO! Your cabana and fruity umbrella drink awaits..

Billabong Wish You Were Here Sweatshirt [size up] // SPANX(R) Faux Leather Leggings [size up if in between] // Calpak x Oh Joy Luggage

share this with your best girlfriends:

  1. Olga says:

    I WISH I had a warm weather vaca to pack for! This is really helpful since I’m always running and buying things last minute!


  2. Bridget says:

    I think you linked the wrong sandals!

  3. Kimthom66 says:

    Thanks so much for this post I leave for my cruise in March and taking a few days in Florida before for vacay.

    Quick question – I have both the tan wedges and the pink…I’ll be gone for 12 days…would you pack both pairs or try to make do with just one pair of wedges…they do take up space!

    • erin says:

      Hmm that is tough, I love both colors so much! If you can plan your outfits to just work with one of the colors, I would do that, otherwise, I would find a way to take both 🙂

  4. Amazing post, and love how you styled the collection!! thank you for sharing the love, friend! xo

  5. Mandy says:

    Going on my first cruise in March! Wanting to buy some new luggage, and just love the confetti set! Have your held up pretty well? I’m also having anxiety about what clothes to bring 🙂


    • erin says:

      Hi Mandy! Love, love, LOVE the luggage! It does scrape up a bit on the white, but I’ve found it cleans up really nicely with a magic eraser. Hope that helps! Enjoy your trip girl! xoxo

  6. Miriam says:

    Thank you for this post! My husband and I are going on a cruise this spring, and this will help me with the packing process. I would love to hear your ideas for what to wear on “formal night.” Have fun on your trip!! Love the resort line!

  7. Rp says:

    L❤️VE THIS POST! My fav so far. Thank you!!

  8. Leitha says:

    The jean shorts linked are not the ones shown. I love the ones shown, can you provide that link please!

  9. Darlene says:

    I only see you packed sandals on the side with your bag and hat. Where do you pack all your other shoes???

  10. Amanda says:

    What makes packing cubes good ones? I’m trying to decide which set to order? Any suggestions on what to look for?

  11. TAMMY says:

    I love this post. Packing for a warm weather vacation is right up my alley. For me its the denim jacket, jeans and sneakers I will wear to the airport. Once I land those items disappear quickly into the suitcase and not to be seen again till when I get home. My bag normally includes for warm weather vacations, one or two pairs of T-Strap sandals with a little wedge because flip-flops are not my thing, One or two pairs of wedge sandals depending upon the stay, One pair of high heels sandals, A couple of stylish dresses, rompers, short shorts, sexy tops, bikini and a G-string bikini for boyfriend. Pretty simple

  12. Lisa says:

    Would love to hear how the capsule worked for the trip…some post cruise analysis. Anything you wish you would have packed? Didn’t needed?

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