Everything I Pack To Wear On Summer Vacations


As I start thinking on our not-yet-planned summer travels this year, I’m already planning what I want to pack. Long gone are the days I travel with an overstuffed suitcase, packing everything “just in case”. Instead, over the years, I’ve built an essentials list to ensure I feel my best. This list has been my packing guide on numerous beach getaways to Colombia, Mexico, Jamaica, and beyond.

These pictures below have been taken over the last 2-3 years. Even when many of the amazing pieces here don’t fit my body anymore (hello denim shorts and gorgeous striped dress), this list guides my purchases.

7 Must-Pack Clothing Pieces For Summer Vacations

A note on shoes: I usually bring my beach sandals, a pair of flat leather sandals and a neutral, comfortable heel that goes with everything. As per bags and jewelry I love to bring my Indigenous made bags and jewelry, with a pair of gold hoops and necklaces to mix and match.

1. Wide-Leg Cover-Up Pants

summer vacation packing list

Because of my tiny frame, I have found wide-leg cover-up pants to be my best friend over my swimwear. They balance my big beachy hair and elongate my body.

Shop Cover-up Pants

2. A Printed Button-Up To Dress Up Shorts

what to pack on summer vacation

Shirt (similar) l Shorts (size up)

The hundreds of times I’ve worn this shirt…it’s a purchase that was completely worth paying full price! I love it over my swimsuits, and I love it even more with a pair of shorts.

This is an outfit formula that always works for days I don’t want a dress and want a more casual vibe with shorts. Throw a statement top with shorts, comfy sandals and little bag and you”l look like you put a lot of thought into your outfit. I even used this formula while in Venice last year. Felt amazing!

Shop Printed Button-Ups

3. Comfy Tailored Shorts

summer vacation outfit ideas

Shorts (XS)

Two summers ago I got these Susana Monaco shorts and they’ve became my most worn shorts. I love the comfort of the stretchy fabric, and the tailored elegant look it gives to summer outfits (even if you’re just wearing them with your swimsuit). The length is amazing and I love that my thighs can be free. They’ve held up even when my denim ones stopped fitting and squeezing my thighs.

These shorts come in a ton of colors. I’m eyeing the navy and the white (to dye brown).

Shop Comfy Tailored Shorts

4. A White Linen Dress

packing list mexico

I’m not a white-clothes person. White sweaters in the winter often wash me out, regular white tees or button downs feel way too boring and lifeless, but a white (warm white for me) beach dress? Yes, please. The reason it works is because my neck and shoulders are not overwhelmed by it.

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5. A Colorful Dress

packing list summer vacation

Once my desire for the white dress has subsided, I’m back in color. Nothing like a tropical destination to wear more color than usual.

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6. A Neutral Dress 

what to wear on summer vacation

Rich brown and olive green are two of my best neutrals so I always pack a dress in one of them. Sometimes, if the dress is stunning, I’ll do black but it’s not my favorite. If you have a cool-toned complexion try slate blue, charcoal, or grey green.

Shop Neutral Dresses

7. Favorite Swimwear

best swimsuits for moms to bring on vacation

You need to feel like a goddess in your swimsuit, yes, even when your body changes and the rolls and cellulite are more visible, and the intrusive thoughts come. You are beautiful just as you are. I always bring at least one sexy one-piece on days I want more coverage. But more often I prefer a good bikini with mid-rise bottoms that cover my scar and let me tan better. A mix of solid and prints is a must for me, the printed ones were in the pictures with the pants and shirts, and here are some of my favorite solid ones.

Shop Swimwear to feel like a goddess

I’m a huge fan of Agua Bendita’s swimwear, and I only buy it when I go to Colombia because I get a lot more variety. So here some of my favorites from them and Becca, another brand I love.

Have the best beach time!

Besos, Julieta

Do you want to shop color and prints confidently? Well, I have exciting news! You can get one of the 3 spots left in April for my ‘Discover Your Colors” sessions just in perfect time to start your summer shopping. You can also join me on IG (@julietatorresd) for more casual-chic outfits. I’d love to see you there.

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