Your Spring Break Packing List, Solved

Even when you make a complete packing list, it's inevitable that there will be last-minute add-ons that will keep your suitcase from actually zipping shut. And even though vacation clothing tends to be small (shorts and bathing suits take up a lot less space than sweaters and pants), the need for options ends up undoing any mental editing and outfit-planning that happened while daydreaming in that last pre-vacation board meeting.
So, whether you're planning ahead for an upcoming trip or scrambling to get things together before you jet off tomorrow, we've broken down the spring traveling must-haves you simply cannot leave home without. The (major) key to packing smart and packing light is focusing on versatility; it's what makes packing a breeze. Click through to see exactly what we mean.
1 of 18
A sleek, one-piece swimsuit works in the water and beyond. Wear it solo on the beach, and let it double as a bodysuit come evening when paired with skirts, shorts, or baggy jeans.
2 of 18
Whether you're using it as a cover-up, dressing it up with a skirt, or wearing it on a daytime excursion, you'll be glad you packed a cheeky, yet simple, graphic tee that goes with any look and occasion.
3 of 18
A boater hat is a double-whammy: It protects your face from the sun and solves any bad-beach-hair woes.
4 of 18
Sunscreen: check. Magazines: check. Towel and clean clothes: check. A bag that holds all your needs is a must,
5 of 18
With walking tours, outdoor activities, and shopping-filled afternoons on your agenda, your feet will definitely thank you for opting for a comfortable pair of kicks over pool slides.
6 of 18
A beachy dress you can also wear out on the town? Two-in-one situations are the key to making packing a breeze.
7 of 18
It's tempting to want to bring a handful of trendy sunglasses with you, but you're better off banking on one that's sure to go with everything.
8 of 18
A low, thick-heeled sandal is the key to dressing up while still feeling casual.
9 of 18
Since it's not full-on spring just yet, chilly nights may be in store. An on-trend hoodie is ideal for hanging out.
10 of 18
For those envy-inducing beach shots, you'll need a towel that's as Instagram-worthy as the scenery itself.
11 of 18
A loose, breathable pair of jeans works for plane travel just as well as it does for your mid-day excursion jaunts.
12 of 18
Ditch your flip-flops completely (if you dare!) in exchange for a more modern option, like these platform espadrilles.
13 of 18
You probably don't want to lug your massive beach bag when it's not necessary. That's where a crossbody comes in: It's hands-free, but still a good enough size to fit all the essentials.
14 of 18
A scarf doubles as a cute and functional accessory that can be worn in so many ways: Wrap it around your neck to finish off your shorts-and-a tank outfit, wear it as a headband, or tie it on the strap of your bag for an additional pop of color.
15 of 18
A flattering wrap skirt doubles as a sarong — throw it in your beach bag to wear for those middle-of-the-day errands.
16 of 18
Keep your phone safe and sound in your bag with a water-resistant watch that matches the sea-and-sand color palette.
17 of 18
Leave your expensive jewelry at home and just pack a cute set of earrings that you can keep on from day to night without worrying if they got lost in the middle of the ocean.
18 of 18
Let vacation serve as an excuse to ditch the boxer shorts/college T-shirt pairing for some fancy, matching pajamas. And by fancy, we don't necessarily mean super-silky and super-expensive — something that even so slightly coordinates will do the trick.

More from Shopping


R29 Original Series