The last time we went to Mexico (our honeymoon!), I took waaaaaay too much stuff. (Shocking, I know.) Most of it stayed in my suitcase, and I ended up wearing the same swimsuits and dresses the entire time — which are also the easiest to pack and don’t take up a lot of room.
So the next time we go, I’m packing nothing but fabulous dresses (if money was no object, this one), swimsuits, and lots of statement earrings (the easiest way to take a dress from day to night). There’s something about living in cover-ups all day and long flowy dresses all night that screams vacation! And couldn’t we all use one of those!?
We had the BEST TIME EVER on our honeymoon. We stayed at The Valentin Imperial Riviera Maya Hotel and spent every day in the sun and water, and every night eating delicious food and dancing our butts off. We had a view of the ocean from our suite and multiple pools, bars and restaurants to choose from. It was like living in paradise. And the service? Amazing. The day we left I asked Zack to promise me we would make it back there someday.
We both had some serious post-vacation blues when we got home (to 40 degree temps in June 🤦🏼♀️). But then…life went on! We had kids and jobs and the years came and went. But in 2020, our kids were finally old enough to leave and we had saved up enough to book again! We planned to go for my birthday — May of 2020.
Of course, we all know what happened then, but I’m still dreaming of the day I can go back to that same exact resort and relive our honeymoon experience…years older, but wiser and hopefully just as fun! We do still love our dance parties!
Flowy Dresses & Fun Accessories: A Mexico Vacation Packing List
So here’s what I’m dreaming of packing…bright colors, flowy dresses, all the sun essentials, and lots of statement earrings. (Oh and bright lipgloss — this stuff is my favorite. Jaws is the perfect vacation color!)
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1. Norma Kamali Cover-Up Pareo
This cover-up/pareo/sarong is super versatile–I just googled “how to tie a pareo” and a TON of options came up. This would be perfect to transition from the beach to lunch and back again.
2. Callahan X REVOLVE Sami Dress
I love the neckline and general shape of this dress. This would be super-easy to dress up or down with a quick switch of shoes, lipstick and statement jewelry. And the color! 😍
3. 9 Seed Paloma Ruffle Maxi Dress
This dress is 100% cotton (perfect for hot sweaty days) and is such an easy throw-on-and-go, whether you’re headed out to dinner or wearing it as a cover-up to the beach. Also in white — the red is currently sold out!
4. PatBO Coral Print Dress
If money was no object, THIS. It’s like my dream vacation dress. It also comes without ruffles, and I can’t decide which one I like more. I just keep looking at this and lusting after it. Someone please get it and wear it somewhere exotic so we can all live vicariously through you!
5. Sundress Zahara Dress
I love the simple silhouette and the open back. So sexy without being tight or showing too much cleavage. (This one is similar with a bit more shape at the waist–such gorgeous colors!) Also available in white.
6. Elan V-Back Cover-Up Maxi Dress
I have this in black, but am dying over this bright color (love this turquoise one too)! I love the easy fit and the casual-but-elegant look of the dress. (It also comes in a short version — love that camel color — and both long and short are available in plus sizes!)
7. Mié Yas Dress
Ok, honestly I want ALL the dresses from Míe, which are all made with natural and biodegradable fabrics by seamstresses and artisans in Nigeria. Their goal is to make feel-good fashion (hello, gorgeous vacation dresses!) and to meet people’s needs without jeopardizing the environment and compromising the future, and we are 100% here for it. (How gorgeous is this dress? And this one?? All perfect for vacation!)
8. Eric Javits Classic Packable Fedora
I made the mistake of not packing a hat on vacation one time — not a mistake you make twice. This one can squish into your suitcase or beach bag and still keep its shape. (This Billabong hat is much more budget-friendly but isn’t packable.)
9. Shop Soko Gold Hoops
GAH! I’m 100% in LOVE with these earrings! Bold oversized earrings are an easy way to dress up…well, anything really, and they don’t take up a ton of room in your suitcase. I love how unique these hoops are!
10. Steve Madden Lori Kitten Heel Sandal
I love shoes like this. Low heel so you can walk and dance in them, but still with a sexy little ankle tie and in a color that goes with absolutely everything. (Under $100 too!)
11. Petal Earrings
Another amazing statement earring to elevate all your looks…these are $8 (woot woot!) and comes in a ton of colors. (These long earrings are also pretty amazing…I have some similar ones and LOVE them.)
12. Oversized Polarized Aviator Sunglasses
I don’t care what the trends are when it comes to sunglasses — OK I lied, I do care, but aviators will forever and always be my favorites. I can’t wear contacts so I have the Raiders from Warby Parker (also available without a prescription), but I’m loving all the colors these Lilly Pulitzer’s come in!
13. J.Crew Twist-Bandeau Underwire Bikini Top
This top is one of the few strapless tops that actually offers support — in sizes up to a 42D and it comes with removable straps if you want to actually go swimming without flashing everyone!
14. J.Crew Surf Hipster Bikini Bottom
These will always be my favorite bikini bottoms. They’re low but still cover my C-section scar and cover my butt without looking like granny panties or a thong. And they last for YEARS.
15. Becca Color Code Plunge One-Piece Swimsuit
Becca’s suits are probably the most flattering one-pieces I’ve ever worn.
16. Havianas “You” Flip Flops
I can never go without flip flops in summer, especially on vacation. I love wearing a gold or silver flip flop because they look more dressed up…I wear them with everything from my swimsuits to shorts and beach pants and mini and maxi dresses.
17. Ghana Dreaming Maxi Neon Orange
Ever since Jess shared this in our Black-owned Business sales report last summer, I have been 100% obsessed with this gorgeous dress. The color, the flow, the fit…it is perfect for a tropical vacation. Love, love, love it.
18. Casa Clara Rita Fringe Earring
I love the colors on these statement earrings!
19. RAYE Siam Sandal
So this is basically a perfect cross between a sexy heel and a flip flop. No heel for comfy walking and dancing, but still love those sexy straps! (And the fact that they’re adjustable!)
20. Becca Breezy Basics Cover-Up Dress
I love the shape of this dress, the tie at the bottom, the open back…and it’s made from a super-soft fabric that would feel good against sunburned skin (not that a burn is ever good, but accidents happen!).
Shop A Tropical Vacation Packing List
And one honeymoon pic for old time’s sake…
Such beautiful dresses! *sobs in big boobs*
I love that Ghana Dreaming one… but sigh, teensy upper body may not be the right look for that one. Gonna think about it though
I have a (well, 3 actually) similar 9seed cover up-the Tulum style, they are the best! I get tons of compliments, they wear and wash well, dry fast, and look amazing! And, holy cow, you guys are HOT!!!!
Thank you!! Remember this was circa 2012 and pre-kids, though…😂
I love all of these. And wow, those abs!!! 💕
I worked SO hard to get those abs…and now they only exist in my dreams. But I have two beautiful kids so it’a good trade-off, though. 😉