It’s time for another Family J Vacation packing post – hurrah! The last time I wrote one of these posts, we were heading to Mexico; this time, it’s a coast closer to home. To wit: Vancouver.

Sunset Beach
Sunset Beach

Vancouver is one of our favourite places on earth – as evidenced by the fact that this was Luka’s 4th trip in as many years – but we actually haven’t been back there since February 2014. And how we’ve missed it! I will be honest and say that, as much as I enjoy visiting it with the kids, I would love an opportunity for an adults-only trip. As long time readers know, my husband and I started dating while he lived in Van, so the city holds a lot of romantic memories for me. Alas, that opportunity will have to wait a little while longer (fingers crossed for 2016!).

Since this was a family vacation, I knew I had to pack accordingly. First, Westjet is now charging for every checked bag, which is just baloney if you ask me (and too bad they didn’t). So, minimalism was the name of the game since my husband and I had to share one suitcase (the horror!). Second, I had to forgo chic-ness in favour of practicality; I needed clothes that would be comfortable for long days of walking and kid-wrangling. I wanted to have some rainy weather options as well, because you never know – this is Vancouver we’re talking about. Third, I didn’t want to look like a schlub, so the clothes had to be practical, but still cute.

Blah, blah, blah … here’s what I packed for our 5-night, 6-day trip:

everything but the raincoat and unmentionables
everything but the raincoat and unmentionables

That photo is probably not super enlightening, so here’s a breakdown:

– 2 dresses
– 1 skirt
– 2 pairs of pants (jeans)
– 1 pair of shorts
– 4 tops
– 1 denim jacket
– 2 sweaters (technically, one was a fancy sweatshirt)
– 1 cardigan
– 1 rain jacket (not shown)
– 3 pairs of shoes

I wore a bunch of the clothes on the plane, naturally, so the item count for the suitcase was actually 13 (including shoes). Not bad. Out of that, I managed to squeeze out some decent vacation outfits (posts to come), whilst feeling like I had a variety of options each day. And that’s the key with vacation packing, in my opinion: having enough clothes to feel like you have just enough, but not too many, options.

There was no real magic to selecting the individual pieces. I started by picking a couple of dresses and a skirt that I knew I would be excited to wear. The skirt is one of my faves, and it’s cotton, which is perfect for summer vacations – it’s light, comfortable, and easily washable. The dresses were new thrifting acquisitions and fit the same criteria, in addition to being cute and possessing the novelty factor. Next, I picked my go-to casual bottoms: skinny jeans, and black jeggings. I added a pair of shorts, just in case the temperatures reached tropical levels. Then I picked 4 tops that could easily mix and match with all my other stuff (hence, a lot of black, white, and stripes). Finally, I picked some toppers that could also easily pair with everything (i.e. denim and black everything). For shoes, I went with black and cognac leather sandals, which I knew would be comfortable, plus some flats in case of colder/rainy weather. Both of those colours worked with the bags I took with me, as well as the overall colour scheme of my vacation “capsule” (which happened to be predominantly black, white, tan/cream, blue, and yellow). And that was it – it honestly took me longer to write it all out than it did to put it together in the first place.

Stay tuned for vacation OOTDs, and more shots of Vancouver.

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