How To Pack For A Lakeside Getaway

When summer rolls around, I start dreaming of a destination filled with sun and water. Which is why every year my friends and I plan a trip to Lake Walloon — it's six hours north of Chicago in northern Michigan, and the perfect escape.
I can't wait to sleep in with the windows open, lounge by the lake, chat around the bonfire, grill out, and bask in the sun — it's like 'chicken soup for my soul.' But before I hop into the car for my long-weekend getaway, I need to pick up a few essentials, like some sun-protective accessories and, of course, a duffel bag! See what I'm packing for my lakeside retreat, ahead.
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Since I need a few practical things along with some fashion items, I like to go to a store that has everything I need in one place like T.J.Maxx. It has luggage, clothes, shoes, and even home décor — it's the holy grail for an avid shopper like me. Since they're all at such an affordable price, I can stay on budget while getting everything on my list. Win, win.
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Before I figure out what I want to wear, I beeline it straight to the luggage department to find a duffle bag that's easy to carry and not too big so that I don't over-pack (let's be honest, four bathing suits are completely unnecessary!). This woven weekender caught my eye because of its timeless camel color, gold hardware, and medium size — made for life on the road!
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Here's the fun part: filling up my duffle with all things nautical to go with my weekend by the water. I first reach for a pair of frayed jean shorts, which I know will be getting the most wear this weekend since it can double as a bikini cover. I'm throwing in a few striped shirts, a cozy open-knit sweater for cooler nights, a maxi skirt, and a printed bikini to keep my look fresh and effortless.
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The number one item on my list for summer is a straw hat. I'm torn between a Panama style and something big and round, so I play around with a few different options before settling on the Panama hat. Not only will this shield the sun from my face but there is something about polishing off a look with a cute hat that adds to the laidback vibe of the lake life. I have to play the part!
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While getting everything organized I notice a row of pretty pink maxi dresses and fall in love with this salmon pink, tie-dye frock. Something about this dress screams California-cool and is completely appropriate for a hot summer day — even in Michigan.
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Although our evenings will be casual and spent on the porch or down by the bonfire, it still feels necessary to polish off my look with some bright baubles. I'm loving this orange, floral, bib necklace by one of my favorite brands. It'll glam up my striped-tee-and-jean-short uniform, so I'm throwing her into my bag.
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A few last minute essentials include a couple bottles of sunscreen, some big sunnies, a beach towel, and I’m set.
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My weekender is packed and I’m ready to start the six-hour trek to Lake Walloon. Panama hat, sunnies, beach towel and all.

P.S. If you want to show off your own style, tag your T.J.Maxx find with #Maxxinista on Twitter or Instagram for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card. Find out more here.

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