It has been almost exactly 4.5 years since the last time my husband and I left Canadian borders; back then, we were headed to Mexico on our honeymoon. This time, we’re again headed to Mexico … with two kids (and two grandparents) in tow. Writing all that out is slightly discombobulating because one, I can’t believe how much our life has changed in less than 5 years, and two, I can’t believe it’s been only 5 years. I feel like I’ve aged a decade, at least. Tired cliche is true. Anyway, Mexico. Or, rather, Mexico!

I know many people are not fans of resort vacations, but I find them incredibly relaxing. Sometimes I want adventures from my travels; sometimes I just want to sloth. Reading and eating and sleeping are, literally, the only things I’m interested in at the moment. Of course, kids change that formula somewhat, but I’m hopeful that I can hit at least 2 of my 3 lofty goals on any given day this time around. And having the kids around will add a healthy dose of excitement – this will be their first time on a bona fide beach (Vancouver doesn’t count because we were there in the winter time), and they are bound to lose their minds, judging by their love of water parks and backyard splashing pools exhibited this past summer. You know I will be that mom on the beach snapping a bazillion photos. Call me a documentarian of important childhood memories.

The real point of this post (you were wondering, I’m sure) is the packing. Sorry: my tropical vacation capsule. (Totally on top of blogging trends am I.) Normally, I’m all about packing smart and light; this time, I took a slightly different approach. We’re paying a crapton (rough estimate) of money for our tickets, so you better believe that I’ll be taking full advantage of our checked luggage and carry-on allowance. The kids’ stuff takes up approximately 80% of that allowance, but this did not deter me from my plan to take exactly all the pieces I wanted to wear. That was my guideline: take everything I was really looking forward to wearing in a warm climate. Why wait for summer to come to me, when I can go to it.

First order of business: no pants. Except shorts (and my fleecy leggings/lounge pants for the plane ride). For an 11-day vacation, I am packing:

Eight dresses (but of course) …

beach vacation capsule

Five tops, two cardigans, a denim jacket (not pictured), one pair of shorts …

beach vacation capsule

Three swimsuits and a cover-up …

beach vacation capsule
beach stuff

Seven pairs of shoes (I know, I know) …

beach vacation capsule
sneakers and flip flops not pictured

And a bunch of stuff to wear on the plane. Oh, and workout gear I probably won’t use. Also, 3 books (this is key):

beach vacation capsule
books, books, books

I’ve talked about my approach to picking vacation reading material before, but this time I went with a 2:1 fiction to non-fiction ratio – two novels (one recommended by a BCRL reader, one an impulse buy at Chapters) plus a history book about St. Petersburg I’ve been meaning to read forever. Is a 3-book reading list too ambitious for a 11-day trip with kids? Possibly, but I hate running out of reading material at a resort where my options are really limited, so. Better safe than sorry. That’s why we’re paying the big bucks for all that luggage allowance, right?

Of course, there were some last minute additions. I went out to the outlet mall the weekend before the trip, and $37 later, came home with these:

beach vacation capsule
more stuff

The J. Crew outlet came out with another print version of my fave 5-inch shorts, and they proved to be sartorial catnip to my vacation-obsessed mind. (Never thought I’d write that about shorts, to be honest.) I threw in a couple of tees because they were less than $5 apiece and you never know when a comfy cotton tee will come in handy. The book was a bargain bin find that had me at “entertaining romp for any Downton Abbey fan”. Talk about catnip!

Because the majority of the pieces I packed are lightweight summer clothes (and the rest I’m wearing on the plane), they take up almost no room. The only 2 pieces that might be overkill are the jelly pumps (but I’m not sure where else but Mexico I’d wear them) and the sneakers (the odds of my working out while on vacation are … slight). But we’ll see how good the pack-everything-you-love approach to vacation capsule-ing turns out to be – stay tuned.

For more vacation capsules, see here and here. And read this for my general random thoughts on vacation packing.

Note: I’ve got a bunch of posts scheduled to run next week, so feel free to stop by. I may not be able to respond to comments right away, but I love getting them so, you know, comment away. Or not. No pressure.

5 Comments on Leaving on a Jet Plane, Finally

  1. Love your packing list/capsule. When I take a warm weather vacation I do a similar pack – throw all the summer clothes I love into a suitcase and go! Have a great time and enjoy the reading list. Those J.Crew shorts are complete catnip

  2. Packing for summery places is so much easier than packing for wintery places – the clothes are smaller and you need less of them, so you can fit more in your suitcase instead of just one giant sweater. Enjoy your vacation! Let us know all about the books when you come back.

  3. How fun! We are discussing a family trip to Mexico so will be very curious to hear about yours. This ratio of tops to bottoms also intrigues me, I would definitely have a couple of casual skirts in there too. And I heartily agree on extra books, depending on the destination if I don’t pack extras I will usually be hitting a bookstore on the trip so I don’t blame you for stocking up. Hope you are already relaxing on the beach!