Planning a vacation is always an exciting thing but undoubtedly almost always comes with added stress, as well. Though once you have your dates lined up, your ticket booked and your time-off requested, in comes the fun stuff: planning your itinerary and, of course, the outfits.
I feel lucky to be able to travel to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico at least once a year and thought I would share my vacation planning process, i.e., what I consider essentials in case you're planning a tropical trip of your own. I'm sharing some looks from previous trips but you can see more from my Mexico Vacation Style post from last year, as well.
So, without further ado, here’s what I pack + a few things I have my eye on:
Start From The Bottom
When I'm traveling to a warm-weather destination like Mexico, I always like to start with my favorite bottoms as an easy base for any ensemble. Be sure to bring along essentials like shorts! For a week-long trip, I like to rely on a trusted pair of denim shorts in my favorite wash (light and high-rise), add in one more denim wash (like white) and then bring a couple easy-breezy styles in linen or something lightweight and silky that just feels soft and effortless. Having a couple fun and/or breezy skirts is perfect, as well.
Note: On the plane, I will usually either wear a pair of leggings or jeans I can use in case of cooler nights, though I find I never end up wearing jeans once I get there. Do check the weather though because you can get rain! Leggings come in handy when you want to take off on an active excursion, as well.
Linen and cotton knits that keep you comfortable and cool are a must and are something that always accompany me on a warm-weather trip. I like to have a couple effortless tanks, tees or bodysuits and even comfy off-the-shoulder styles in neutral tones that will pair with everything. Your basics will be perfect to throw on with any of your shorts/skirts or wear with leggings for day hikes or excursions.
Try Tropical Statement Tops
This is my personal favorite part of vacation outfit planning. I tend to rely on classic pieces for my everyday wardrobe but like to be a bit more fun, flirty and festive for my trips to Puerto Vallarta. I still love a fun top in classic white but will also gravitate towards a few more bold tones like yellow, oranges and corals and look for statement sleeves, off-the-shoulder styles and anything with fun hems and details like cutouts, lace and crochet.
Basically, don't be afraid to mix in any of your favorite trends. I also love summery prints like gingham, floral or boho anything and even crop tops that pair perfectly with high-waisted bottoms.
Dresses, Skirts and Rompers
What’s the easiest thing to throw on in warm weather? Dresses, of course. Pack along a comfy knit, a maxi dress for day and night and, depending on your travel length, 2-3 sweet summer dresses and/or rompers. Again, I love boho details and bold tones here.
I like to bring 2-3. One for sunbathing (think bandeau styles for minimal tan lines), a sporty style for outings like jet-skiing, snorkeling, etc. (love a halter for this) and one extra just for fun. I think I might try out a one-piece here but consider cut-outs and off-shoulder styles. Don't forget the coverups!
I am not one to go all-out with a suitcase full of shoes so having styles that will work with every outfit is a must. I like to bring a “statement” sandal like a gladiator style. I tend to love metallics that look sleek for day or dressed up for dinner but will also bring a pair in a light neutral tone that looks great with a tan. I adore the Dolce Vita Jasmyn or for this. Espadrilles are great, too!
I also recommend bringing a slip-on sandal (flip-flop style) that gives you easy on-and-off access for the beach or pool. Tkees is a great brand for this! I always bring one pair of sneakers that I wear on the plane, as well.
Again, I don’t want to haul around a new bag for each outfit so I tend to bring one neutral and small crossbody and one tote bag that I can use for the beach. This can double as your personal item on the plane, too! Just throw your crossbody in there. I missed the straw/rattan bag bandwagon last season but it’s still very “in,” so I have my eye on a few sweet, circle bags.
In terms of jewelry, I think it can be fun to have a statement piece to dress up an outfit for dinner but it's so hot that I really don't like having anything heavy on me. Save the space and avoid post-packing tangles by opting for your daily basics. These Gorjana rings and a comfy, soft banded watch have become the only things I wear on a tropical trip.
And that's it! If I missed anything or you have any questions, let me know!
If you're looking for a bit more visual inspiration, feel free to follow my Vacation Style board on Pinterest as I add more there. I will share any more updates here as they come and if it's helpful, I can also add another post with what I've purchased!
Safe and happy travels!