Going on Vacation? Here's What to Pack for Every Summer Situation

KISS: Keep it simple, stupid! (Not that you're stupid, it's just an expression -- oh, you get it.)
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Tyler McCall
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KISS: Keep it simple, stupid! (Not that you're stupid, it's just an expression -- oh, you get it.)

Ah, summer -- the perfect time to take a long weekend or so to get the hell out of town. Once you've planned a trip, there's just one somewhat stressful thing in between you and your vacay: Packing. 

Why oh why is packing such a pain in the ass? We may never know. There's the tendency to consider every possible scenario (and thus over-pack) or forgetting essentials (we've all spent a weekend using the finger brush, let's be real). Packing for vacation becomes a daunting task worthy of a vacation in and of itself. #firstworldproblems, we know.

Don't worry, we're going to help. We've taken six common summery trip scenarios and simplified your packing list to the things you'll really need -- really, please put down the winter coat, there is no way it will get that cold. 

The Beach

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One-pieces are really in right now, which works in your favor, because you can pair a maillot with a nice skirt to take you from the pool to cocktails. (No really -- you can!) A button-down shirtdress is a nice polished alternative to a swim cover up in case you want to go grab lunch or explore a nearby town; a pair of metallic or embellished sandals go from day to night. And you already know to pack sunscreen (RIGHT?!) but don't forget to grab some UV protection for your strands.

The Mountains

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It's great to escape to moutainous areas during the summer because it's still warm, but there's often a nice mountain breeze and it cools down at night (and usually isn't as humid!). Pack layers -- like a tank and a chunky knit sweater -- to prep best. Go-anywhere booties and boyfriend jeans are both stylish and slightly rugged. Changes in altitude can be rough on your skin, so pack an overnight repair creme to keep you from drying out.

The City

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You'll be on your feet exploring much of the day, so a comfortable pair of sneaks are essential. A striped shirt and black jeans are internationally chic; swapping the sneakers for a pair of black pumps and a quick swipe of red lipstick -- Nars Heat Wave is perfect for summer -- is the perfect quick change for a nice dinner. 

The Woods

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Toasting marshmellows, drinking hot cocoa, maybe taking a nice nature walk, all far, far away from civilization? Yea, we say be a little bit lazy. Dry shampoo, slip-ons, and loose pants will be your friend. Don't overthink this one.

The Amusement Park

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The key here is to remember that you'll be outside most of the day, which means you shouldn't stress too much about your outfit. A crossbody bag is handsfree and useful if you want to/can take it on rides, and lace up sneakers insure you won't be shoe-less after that rollercoaster ride you're so excited about. Not that we need to tell you again either, but...sunscreen please

The Cruise

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Everyone knows cruises are about the food, so just embrace it with elastic waistbands and loose, flowy dresses. We won't tell anyone, we promise. Also, Tevas are totally in right now too, which is great for any "excursions" you might take off the boat. A sporty swimsuit is a more suitable companion for any waterfall situation than your normal teeny bikini.