5 Holiday Vacations & The Perfect Packing Lists For Each

The holiday season is packed with perks: gift giving, parties (both of the professional and personal sort), and plenty of chances to bust out your most festive outfits. Plus, for many people, it also means some well-deserved time off from work and school obligations.

It's time to take advantage of this and get out of town: That can mean returning to your hometown (high school reunion, anyone?) or visiting family members in a different state. But those who really want to travel outside the box have plenty of amazing holiday destinations to choose from. Whether you’re looking for a low-key beach vacay, an idyllic ski retreat, or a chance to discover one of the world's coolest cities, these five holiday vacations are guaranteed to satisfy any type of wanderlust.

And because the second-hardest decision after picking where to go is what to wear, we’ve done the hard work for you. Ahead, find perfect packing lists, tailored to your specific vacation needs. The only thing left to do is book your ticket, grab your favorite travel buddy, and prepare to have a blast.
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Photo: JTB Photo/Getty Images.
Istanbul, Turkey
Turkey’s largest city is filled with tons of historic sights, shopping, and nightlife options to inspire an impromptu getaway. Plus, it still feels under-the-radar enough that all of your friends haven’t been there yet. It’s chilly in Istanbul this time of year, but as long as you dress accordingly, a little cold weather shouldn’t hamper any of your exploring — or affect whether or not you soak in the world-famous Turkish baths.
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A pair of black, leather ankle boots means you can stomp around the city (sans blisters) all day long.

3.1 Phillip Lim
Alexa Ankle Boots, $550, available at Net-a-Porter.
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A metallic choker nods to the accessory’s undeniable resurgence — without looking like you’ve traveled back to 1995.

Forever 21
Two-Tone Choker, $8.90, available at Forever 21.
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​A leather backpack transitions seamlessly between destinations and, more importantly, keeps your hands free for taking scenery selfies.
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Bundle up against the freezing temps and tie your outfit together at the same time with this furry, on-trend coat.

Beckledge Coat $198 $98.99, available at Aritzia.
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From museum hopping to dinner and mingling with the locals, a printed, long-sleeved dress is versatile enough to work for all your activities.

& Other Stories
Agate Print Midi Dress, $95, available at & Other Stories.
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Photo: AFP/Getty Images.
Marfa, Texas
The famous Prada art installation is thankfully here to stay, so now is the perfect time to finally take that road trip to Marfa you’ve had on your bucket list forever. Grab your best friend and make your Spotify playlist now — you have hundreds of miles of open road (not to mention plenty of selfie ops) ahead of you.
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Give last season’s off-the-shoulder trend a second life with a breezy chambray top.

Zara Elastic Off-The-Shoulder Top, $49.90, available at Zara.
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Nobody wants to sit in a car for hours wearing uncomfortably tight pants, so skip the skinny denim and sport these roomy boyfriend jeans instead.

501 CT Jeans, $88 $55, available at Levis.
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What's better than an accessory that works double-duty as a headband and a neck scarf?

Tenover Six x Vacation Days
Neck Scarf, $40, available at TenOverSix.
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Temperatures are warm during the day, but be prepared for unexpectedly chilly Texas nights with a badass leather jacket.

Distressed Leather Biker Jacket, $360, available at Topshop.
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You’ll probably be doing a lot of driving — and exploring — on this trip, so a pair of neutral-colored sneakers is really all you need. Bonus: they won’t even take up room in your suitcase.

2750 Nappaw Sneakers, $129, available at Superga.
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Photo: George Frey/Getty Images.
Park City, Utah
If you’re dying to spend the holidays in a true winter wonderland, then head out to this Utah resort. Park City is famous for hosting the annual Sundance Film Festival, but outside the movie industry, this charming ski town is just as beloved for its slopes and gorgeous landscape.
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These ultra-warm lounge pants are a treat, especially after spending a day out on the slopes.

HeatTech Extra Warm Lounge Pants, $24.90 $14.90, available at Uniqlo.
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Because you’ll need sun protection — even in the snow — stand out on the slopes with a pair of slick, mirrored shades.

Marc Jacobs Women's Round Polarized Sunglasses, $99.97, available at Nordstrom Rack.
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From grabbing some après-ski cocktails to curling up fireside, this luxurious cashmere turtleneck is all you need to stay cozy.

Cashmere Turtleneck, $170, available at Everlane.
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Watch your step in icy snow banks with a pair of extra-grippy Timberland boots.

Women’s 6-Inch Waterproof Boots, $160, available at Timberland.
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It’s nearly impossible to find a down jacket that keeps you truly warm and still looks good. Luckily, this Moncler version does the trick.

Moncler Rigel Zip-Front Lightweight Down Puffer Coat, $420, available at Neiman Marcus.
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Photo: Wolfgang Kaehler/Getty Images.
Sedona, Arizona
If R & R is what you’re after, prepare to chill out big time amidst the jaw-dropping scenery in Arizona. Not only does Sedona boast an impressive spa scene, but the nearby Red Rock State Park is world famous for its sandstone rock formations. They glow red and orange at sunrise — which is the perfect excuse for a little morning yoga.
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There’s nothing quite like the nostalgic appeal of a ringer tee, regardless of whether it’s paired with activewear or denim.

Camp Collection
Feelin' Good Ringer Tee, $48, available at Camp.
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A sleek jacket ideal for all times of day.

& Other Stories Hood Leather Anorak, $395, available at & Other Stories.
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Temperatures can fluctuate depending on altitude and time of day, so wrap a cool-girl sweatshirt around your waist in case it gets chilly.

Valentino Heart Patch Sweatshirt, $990 $465.30, available at Farfetch.
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The jagged mountain landscape is too pretty not to experience firsthand, so pack a pair of leggings and get ready to take a hike (or two).

Outdoor Voices
Two-Tone Leggings, $95, available at Outdoor Voices.
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When you’re not in the spa, you’ll likely be experiencing the amazing scenery — so pack a pair of wear-everywhere sneaks.

Black & White Polka Dot Roshe LD1000 Trainers, $146.90, available at ASOS.
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Photo: Jose A. Moreno/Getty Images.
Tulum, Mexico
Tulum is a fashion-crowd favorite for good reason: The Mexican resort town boasts miles of white beaches, Instagrammable neon-orange sunsets, and restaurants worth wandering into (even if you’re dressed in little more than a swimsuit). This laid-back destination is the perfect spot to kick the winter blues and pick up a nice tan while you’re at it.
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A great pair of cat-eye shades is the ultimate low-key outfit-maker...even when your only plans for the day involve chilling on the beach.

Dusen Dusen
Triangle Sunglasses, $180, available at Dusen Dusen.
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Because being poolside should feel like you haven't left the bed.

La Perla Seawind Striped Silk-Organza Shirt, $695, available at Net-a-Porter.
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Crafted in Spain from all-natural leather, these slip-on sandals are far more flattering than your basic rubber flip-flops.

Pons Avarcas
Classic Sandals, $77, available at Urban Outfitters.
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A woven beach bag that’s roomy enough to fit your sunscreen and your beach read (and has too-cute pom-poms, too!).

Muzungu Sisters Fique Mochila Pom-Pom Bag, $220, available at MatchesFashion.
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Kick off your vacay with a flattering one-piece in a fun-loving color.

ONIA Kelly One-Piece Boysenberry, $150, available at ONIA.