*photos by sara walk

With summer in full swing, my husband and I have major wanderlust. With our incredibly busy schedules, traveling is the way we step away from our work and spend good quality time together (that and regular date nights!).

The great thing about living in Southern California is that we have quick access to a lot of fun weekend destinations, so we often find ourselves packing up at the last minute and skipping town for a few nights.

With so many weekend trips under our belts, I’ve discovered a few packing essentials that you can quickly throw in your bag and be on your way, and Zappos is one of my favorite places to pick up these essentials because with their free 2-day shipping, you’ll be vacation ready in no time!

1. Versatile dresses. Dresses are my go-to for vacations because they look so pretty and effortless, and are almost always more comfortable than anything else. Choose ones that can be dressed up or down like this pretty red Free People dress. I love that it can be worn with jeans and sandals, dressed up with heels, or even thrown over your bathing suit for the pool. Talk about one dress, all needs met. Another good alternative would be a simple white dress. Pack a few so the beach, dinners, adventuring, church, and whatever other activities you do are covered.

2. Pretty sandals. I love these ones from Aldo because they’re insanely comfortable, and look good with both jeans and skirts. Plus they’re a good mix between dressy and casual so could totally pass for both. You could even wear them to the beach and the pool!

3. Tote bag. Again, versatility is key. I like a big bag for road trips to carry your snacks, a book, your phone charger, sunglasses, etc. Then it can also be used for the pool or the beach. This Sam Edelman one instantly drew me in with its embroidery and pom-poms.  Just make sure you also bring along a small, dressier bag to use for any nice dinners.

4. Hat. On vacations you’re almost always outside more than normal, so a hat is an essential. I like baseball caps, fedoras, and floppy hats, but this straw hat just feels beachy and vacation-y, so it’s an obvious choice. Also, don’t forget your sunscreen, chapstick and sunglasses!

5. Swimsuit. No matter where you go on vacation, you’ll probably have access to a hotel pool. And if we’re traveling in Southern California, we often have access to the beach. So a swimsuit is an essential! I’m loving this unique one piece from La Blanca!

What are your summer vacation packing essentials??

this post was created in partnership with Zappos


  1. Natali says:

    Wonderful tunic and great pair of sandals! This is a gorgeous boho outfit. 🙂

  2. Lauren says:

    Oh, I love this outfit! So perfect and versatile. And I agree, why is it wanderlust always comes on the strongest during the summer? Must be residual effects of having them off for so many years during school!

  3. Van says:

    This is adorable! Awesome tips on packing lightly. I need to remember these for our upcoming weekend to San Diego!

  4. Paige Cassandra Flamm says:

    I love that dress/tunic! These are all perfect tips! I always feel like the fewer things we bring with us on a trip, the better!


  5. Desi says:

    What a pretty outfit! I also love your hairstyle.

  6. Heidi D. says:

    You have such amazing casual style!

    Wishes & Reality

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