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I‘ve finally figured out The Ultimate Packing List for girls week! For the second year in a row, my friend has invited a group of us to her lovely home in the beautiful Florida Keys. It was fantastic! Last year it was a long weekend, but this year we extended to a full week of fun and relaxation.
The sun was shining, the drinks flowing and the company was excellent. My friend and her husband were the ultimate host and hostess. They waited on us hand and foot and made us feel so welcome to be there. We’re hoping this is now an annual trip, but we’re not sure, we tried to be good guests, and we did drop a lot of hints! Anyway, on this adventure, packing light was a top priority. I didn’t want to bring a lot of clothing I wasn’t going to wear.
There have been too many trips where I’ve dragged my suitcase through the airport in a total sweat. Then I’m cursing at myself because I’ve done it again . . . I’ve overpacked!
My goal is to under pack. The sky is not going to fall if I wear a shirt or pair of pants twice on vacation. My friends don’t care what I wear. That’s the beauty of traveling with good friends; there’s no judgment or criticism. All week long we complimented one another on how good we looked and how great our outfits were! We were most interested in getting to the beach and ordering frozen drinks. In fact, we became pretty good at doing so.
So here’s my strategy using The Ultimate Packing List! It made me take pause and think about what I was packing in my suitcase. I’m totally guilty of just throwing things in because of the fear of not having what I need. This list gave me the confidence to pull back out any additional clothing and to feel good about my decisions.
When I’m packing for a trip, I like to organize my clothing by the day. As you see on the packing list, there’s space for day wear and evening wear, Monday through Sunday. By writing it all down, it puts it in perspective what clothing you truly need for the trip. It allows you to mix and match your outfits on paper, so it easy to condense!
I like to pack as few shoes as possible. They take up a lot of space in a suitcase and can weigh a lot, so less is certainly better. We flew Spirit Airlines, so our bags could only weigh 40 lbs. When you’re packing for a week, it’s easy to go over the weight limit.
I always bring my go to nude Tory Burch’s! They’re a must have for vacation and are a little more than I would typically pay for sandals, but they’re by far the best investment I’ve made in shoes. They go with everything, shorts, beach coverups, jeans, dresses you name it! With that said, I bring one pair of heels for evenings, one pair of sneakers for exercise, and flip flops for the beach.
I found these cute Jack Rogers Jellies to wear to the beach that can double as a going out sandal; They remind me of the cute little plastic shoes my girls would wear everywhere when they were little. And I mean everywhere! My oldest daughter had the clear ones that would blend in with the beach sand. Of course, she wouldn’t leave without them so we would end up searching for them at the end of the day. I can laugh now, but at the time it wasn’t very humorous. I was hot, tired and ready to go home. Funny how I do miss those days now!
Don’t forget a wrap! My newest find is a Turkish Towel that I found at Marshalls for about $10. It’s so versatile – you can wear it as a shawl at night or use it as beach towel during the day. I also wear it when I’m blow drying my hair. The ideas are endless, but it’s light and thin which makes it ideal for squeezing in the suitcase.
But my secret weapon for preparing for this trip was packing cubes. Honestly, my clothes stayed neat and organized the entire trip, not to mention it makes unpacking a snap, you just pop them out of your suitcase and into a dresser drawer. I’m not sure I could travel without them, I love them that much. You can find them on Amazon here.
But what’s a girls week without some fantastic beach reads? I must admit I go a little overboard with the reading material for myself. I’m ready with audio books downloaded and a couple of paperbacks in my bag. You can’t have too many books, right? Anyway, here is an excellent list of Beach Reads. Print it out and enjoy!
Below are the links to our review for each of the books including the author website and the Book Club Guide. Once you click on the link, in the upper right-hand corner of the page is a link to our Book Talk Section where you can find the jacket summary for each book.
The Summer Before The War by Helen Simonson
Before The Fall by JD Delaney
A Hundred Summers by Beatriz Williams
A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman
The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes
A Dog’s Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron
The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
Big Little Lies by Laine Moriarty
The Storied Life of AJ Fikry by Gabrielle Zevin
The Widow by Fiona Barton
For more reading suggestions visit Book Reviews, Book Club, Readers Choice and PBR Favorites!
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