After a recent trip to New Orleans & with several upcoming trips, I thought I would share a few packing tips I’ve learned over the years. Since we live away from our family, we do a lot of traveling. Through all of our trips & travels, I’ve figured out how to make the best of the space you have. 

I was recently introduced to mywalit products and they have been a game changer. First of all, the Italian leather smells so good and it is buttery soft! Plus, the bright colors are so fun and make it easy to pick out my things! They just introduced a travel collection [in addition to all of their other leather goods] that is perfect for anyone with a trip or vacation this Spring / Summer. From iPad and laptop cases to handbags & more, mywalit has something for everyone. Actually, make that somethings. ha! You seriously won’t find a better collection of high quality leather items, in bright & fun colors at a better price! 

I wanted to share my top 10 packing tips of ways to maximize your space without sacrificing the things you need. Take it from me- there have been far too may times I have both OVER packed and UNDER packed. Neither are fun. So below are the guidelines I follow to make every trip easy! 

TIP 1: Make a packing list! Before a trip I literally go through and put on every single outfit [top, bottoms, shoes, jewelry, bag] to make sure I like how it looks together! I then write it all out so I don’t stand at my suitcase, staring, trying to figure out what to wear at my destination. This also helps to keep in your purse just in case your luggage gets lost! It’s basically an inventory list too. Don’t ask me why I know that. Ha!

TIP 2: When you’re packing, choose a color scheme and plan all of your outfits around that. I will usually pick browns or blacks and then golds or silvers. That way I can really narrow down my shoes, bags and jewelry that I pack.

TIP 3: Choose things that can mix and match! This kind of goes along with #2… Make sure that your tops go with several bottoms and vice-versa. This allows you to pack less things to make more outfits! Fun fact: When we went to Europe for nearly 3 weeks, I only packed a carry-on. A SERIOUS accomplishment for me. But I was able to do it because every top and bottom mixed with so much!

TIP 4: Roll, don’t fold! This really makes a difference! You can squeeze so much more into your suit case if you roll everything instead of folding! This does take more time when packing but if space is an issue, it’s definitely worth it!

TIP 5: Fill up your shoes! The inside of shoes kind of become dead space! I take advantage of it & fill my shoes with socks, under garments, charger cords and even jewelry. If you are going somewhere cold and have boots, put rolled up clothes in there! Take advantage of every piece of space. 

TIP 6: Put dryer sheets in your suitcase! This is a great way to keep everything smelling fresh and clean. 

TIP 7: Double bag your toiletries! Again, learn from my experience. Ha! I put things like shampoo, conditioner, lotion, soap, etc. into a large Ziploc bag. I then put it inside of another Ziploc bag for extra protection. Nothing ruins a trip like soapy clothes. Ugh

TIP 8: Invest in lightweight luggage! Anyone else guilty of always being right at 50 pounds? Well last summer I weighed my empty suitcase and realized that was a big part of the problem. It was awfully heavy itself! I actually bought this luggage this Fall and I LOVE it. All three pieces are right around $100. It is SUPER lightweight and allows me the space / poundage to pack more!

TIP 9: Get a luggage identifier! This is especially helpful if you are checking bags at the airport. I’m actually less worried about me getting the wrong luggage and more worried about someone else grabbing mine! I have added something as simple as a pink ribbon to the handle that makes it easy to spot. You can also get fancy and buy a monogrammed handle cover!

TIP 10: Pack your shoes in a shower cap! Ok, so if you think about it, the bottom of your shoes are diiiiiirty! I don’t love having my shoes on top of clean, packed clothes. So buy a shower cap [super cheap!] and put shoes in them! It’s flexible so you can still move them around as needed in your suitcase but keeps the dirt off of everything else!


Well that’s it! Let me know if you have any other helpful travel tips I should add! xo

A special thank you to mywailt for sponsoring this post!

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I absolutely love to travel! My husband & I have been fortunate enough to explore nine countries together since we got married. However, our Dominican Republic vacation this summer was our first All-Inclusive experience & it was certainly a little bit different… In the BEST way possible! I don’t know that I’ll ever go on another beach vacay without going that route! We stayed at the Excellence Punta Cana & it was complete perfection. The location, food, service, & rooms were all right on point. However, packing was a bit of a challenge because I wasn’t sure what to expect. So I thought I would share with you my thoughts, tips & tricks for successfully {& lightly} packing for an All-Inclusive getaway!




TIP #1: Pack AT LEAST 1 full day’s worth of clothes in your carry on. I have heard this many times but didn’t follow through. My luggage was lost the first 2 days of our vacation and I had nothing- no swim suit, face wash, clothes, etc. It was a miserable time in a tropical location with nothing but what I wore on the plane. Save yourself the headache & take what you might need in case the worst happens! 

Swimsuits: I would recommend taking 3! You will probably be on the beach more than three days but you can easily dry them overnight.  Try mixing up the styles you take: A 1 piece with fun cut-outs, a simple bikini, and a printed 2 piece for example. 

Cover-Ups: 3-4 options would be best. There are so many different styles of cover ups that it would be great to bring along a few different options to choose from! I packed a fun dress, a printed romper [this one is cute too!], and a couple of kimonos. {How cute is the OTHERWORLD one in today’s pictures?!!} Keep in mind that if you are going to run & grab food from a restaurant for lunch, they will probably have a dress code that requires more than a swimsuit. The majority of ours required just a simple cover-up & all of the options I brought along worked!




Hats: I am hat obsessed! I would recommend bringing at least 2 hats! I brought along a smaller fedora as well as a large floppy hat {under $20!}. These are perfect for lounging by the pool & covering up crazy hair! I wore my fedora on the plane & packed my large floppy hat in my suitcase. {Tip: Put the hat in the middle of your suitcase and pack clothes & shoes around it. I did this & had no problems with lost shape!}

Sunglasses: We all have our Ray Ban, Kate Spade, or Prada sunnies that we love. However, keep these away from the ocean!! Reserve them for the pool area where you won’t be battling waves. Bring along a few cheap options {like these under $10} so that you won’t be heartbroken if they get washed away. I actually lost a cheap pair when a huge wave took me out but luckily, I didn’t sweat it too much since they were under $10. 

Shoes: This was my biggest packing battle! I would suggest bringing 1 pair of good ‘ol flippy flops to walk to the beach or around the pool in. I failed to think this through & had to wear a pretty nice pair around which made me nervous! You should also bring 2 pairs of nicer sandals. These can be worn to restaurants & evening shows. My Tory Burch sandals & Jack Rogers were perfect for this! Lastly, a pair of wedges would be good for the fancier dinners! We got really dressed up one night & I was glad I had these wedges to wear πŸ™‚

Dresses: I would bring 4-5 dresses! A definite beach resort staple. I wore dresses for 95% of our trip. Whether pool side or to dinner, I wore several styles of dresses during our trip. I would recommend looking for light sundresses, a maxi dress, and a fun & flirty dress for dinner! Lilly Pulitzer dresses are ideal options in my opinion!

Shorts: 2 pairs of shorts should be sufficient for your trip. {These were my favorite!!} If you are doing any excursions {horse back riding, zip lining, etc.} you will certainly want a pair of shorts! They can also be great to throw on over a {dry} swimsuit to grab a bite to eat during the day. 

Tops: I brought along way too many tops! 3-4 should be more than enough to pack for your vacation! I would suggest light, airy tanks & tees that will dry easily if they get wet.

Bug Spray & Sunscreen: I applied sunscreen every hour and still ended up with a pretty good burn. The Dominican sun was much harsher than what I am used to in Oklahoma. Make sure you bring PLENTY because you will way overpay if you have to buy it at your hotel. The cheapest at our resort? $50. So yes, pack lots. Also, the mosquitos are crazy! If you eat dinner outside at all, you will want to bring bug spray with you to frequently reapply. At one of our beach side dinners we got chased inside by large swarms! Yikes!

Bags: I used this large weekender as my carry on and was able to fit a large amount of things in it for travel. I also brought along a crossbody that I used most nights. It was small enough to just stash a few necessities in {lip gloss, money, phone, room key} & it wasn’t a pain to tote around. I also brought along this fun clutch for a night out ! Lastly, bring a pool bag. This should be something that is okay if it gets wet, sandy and potentially ruined. I was constantly throwing water bottles, sunscreen, shoes, coverups, books, etc. in it all day!

Random Extras:
>> Aloe Vera- For the inevitable burn
>> Light Jacket– If you are cold natured like I am, you might want this at night walking along the beach or catching a late show
>> First Aid- You never know when you might need a bandaid for a blister {my husband got one running on the beach}, Tylenol for a sun headache, etc.
>> Large Plastic Cup– I can’t recommend this enough! At All-Inclusive resorts, your drinks will all be free! However, they have small cups and in the hot sun, the ice melts quickly. Have your drinks made in your cup so that you get more {fewer trips to the bar / tracking down the pool guys} and it will stay cold much longer! LOVE this Lilly one for $15!
>> Minimal Makeup- Show off your newly acquired glow! Wear small amounts of makeup to dinner because 1) you should have a new tan & 2) the incredibly high humidity can make your face of makeup feel like it’s melting! If you bring mascara, make sure it is water proof.
>> Nail Polish: I got my fingers & toes done before we left. However, the sand & concrete can do a number on your fresh polish & I wish that I had brought along a bottle for a few touch ups!


The Obvious:
Sleep Clothes, Undergarments, Toiletries, Phone/Computer Chargers, Books

Overall, you should be able to pack everything in a small-ish suitcase & not have to worry about what you are missing from your closet at home. We will definitely be heading back to the Excellence Punta Cana in the future & I can’t recommend it enough to anyone looking for an All-Inclusive getaway. Let me know if you can think of any other vacay necessities that I might have missed πŸ™‚


Outfit 1: Nordstrom Bikini Top  |  Otherworld Kimono  |  identical Floppy Bow Hat  |  Sunglasses

Well friends, today is my birthday so I am off to enjoy the day with my husband! Have a great Tuesday! xox