This weekend I took a trip to Palm Springs to my favorite resort, The Parker Palm Springs.
The Parker has a rich history, once owned by Gene Autry it is now one of the last great American country club style resorts.
While lounging in my hammock on their lush grounds I was hit (actually slapped) with a sudden realization. Many people just aren’t aware that there is an art to packing for a vacation! You can’t just throw your favorite pieces into a suitcase and hope for the best. It takes time and planning to look your best while away.
I witnessed several women making the classic mistake of not “understanding” where they were.
Palm Springs has a very chic relaxed resort feel to it.
Think easy chic styles like Tory Burch and Trina Turk with tunic tops, linens and sundresses. Its hot AND haute there!
As I swayed back and forth sipping my cocktail I watched tragic packing mistake after tragic packing mistake walk by. The most memorable was an otherwise chic uptown gal wobbling around the dirt paths on the hotel grounds in a Herve Leger dress with her Louboutin heels scraping and grinding in the gravel. (Let me clarify: while this look is stunning and perfect in the setting of a Las Vegas nightclub or a cocktail party in Manhattan , it is not appropriate nor is it comfortable for an afternoon at a country club style resort).
A jaunty butler then passed by and refilled my cocktail.
I sighed and thought to myself “A little research and careful packing planning would have saved that poor uptown girl so much grief- not to mention the repair bill she’ll have to put out on those scuffed Louboutins!”
Packing for a getaway can be stressful, I get it- especially with airlines charging you for every little thing you pack- but you don’t want to fall into the classic mistake of packing items that are inappropriate for the environment you will be visiting.
Arriving at a destination only to look around and realize that everything you brought is an #epicfail leaves you feeling uncomfortable, awkward and just plain unhappy. Who wants that on vacation!
It pays to know the culture of the place you are visiting. You don’t want to overdress OR under dress.
Do a little research on whether its tropical or urban, posh or outdoorsy, sophisticated or relaxed. Check the weather! Will you be indoors or out? Does the temperature drop after dark?
You also need to consider the activities you will be participating in. Are you hiking, laying poolside ,dining, shopping, sailing, going to an event, a concert?
Here are a few of my packing tips:
- Remember on any good getaway you will be doing a variety of things so pack pieces that can serve multiple purposes. A maxi dress is great because you can put it on with sandals for early cocktails and then add jewels and heels to dress it up for a relaxed chic evening.
- Another thing many people forget is a tote for the pool. I actually saw a woman lounging this weekend with her Louis Vuitton bag next to her at the pool! No way! I would be a nervous wreck!
- Make sure to bring a cover-up or wrap for over your swimwear. Most resorts frown upon guests walking through the hotel without a covering and a robe is just too hot and too bulky!
- Wrinkles, wrinkles, wrinkles. Your clothing was in a suitcase. No matter how carefully you packed it is going to be wrinkled. Bring a travel steamer. This will become your best friend. There are several brands out there but THE only one I recommend is from Jiffy Steamer.
You’re right, packing does take planning and much thought. That with airlines charging more for weight, think light light weight clothing and light light layers too. Packing a pair of cowboy boots will add more weight and they aren’t really appropriate for Vegas. (But who’s paying attention anyway).
Keep with the packing theme for Summer – everyone’s about to go on vacation.
Who makes that blue maxi dress and where can I buy it? That is the perfect summer dress!
Jessica, isn’t it stunning! Just click on the image and it will take you to the online shop where it is available.
I think that I would do more research so I’m more prepared. I would also pack things that are flattering in photos! The worse thing ever is, you have these great memories from your travels but you look at your photos and you hate how you look! You spend all the time planning your trip you should spend time packing! Also, its nice to have a few new peices of clothing so you can feel crisp on vacation! I would never get new shoes. Wear your shoes before vacation!! Last thing you need is hurt feet!!
My best packing tip is to use scarves to wrap necklaces in by lining them up on a scarf, rolling it up, and packing it in a suitcase.
I need that steamer! Thanks for the tip!
Jiffy steamer…another great suggestion! I’m going to check out amazon.com now. Thanks!
Very helpful post! I’ll definitely be referring to these for some upcoming trips. LOVE the travel steamer idea! As long as I can fit it in my luggage, it’s so coming with me! Thanks for sharing!
Remove the hangers, but keep your clothes in the clear plastic garment covers from the dry cleaners. This will prevent clothes from getting wrinkled! Not sure how it works, I just know it does.
Good Lord, Christie! I just bought that dress and the travel steamer! Through your blogs I’ve now become an addicted online shopper. My fiance will be thrilled. ; p
My last travel steamer died when I took it to Asia, so my pro packing tip would be to buy adapters and at least two converters for traveling out of the country. Not to mention, pack think thin bars, nuts, protein powder packs and a shaker so you’re covered when you’re held up in a hotel room.
What a great list! I’m attending a professional conference this summer and that little steamer guy will work wonders on my stuff…thanks!
My best packing tip is from my Auntie J. She packs just black and white so that she can mix/match skirts/pants and tops with ease. Though I don’t go THAT far, I do pay attention to color, and make sure that I pack clothes that give me plenty of options.