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When the harsh (seemingly endless) winter weather has you craving some sunshine, the only solution is to head out on a spring trip to hit the beach and forget the chill. But just because the weather’s warmer doesn’t mean that throwing a swimming suit in your bag and calling it a day will suffice. In fact, strategically prepping your bag for spring travel is just as important as it is for cold-weather destinations; don’t worry, you won’t have to lug around your entire wardrobe during your trip.
Whether you’re heading to California, Florida, or anywhere in between, we’ve got the ultimate warm-weather packing list that’ll help you travel light with all of the essentials you’ll need for the journey ahead.
Even if you’re heading to a warm destination, it’s always a good idea to bring along a lightweight jacket. It’ll keep you cozy while you’re waiting in the airport or on your flight and come in handy during any nights or mornings that end up being a little colder than you expected. This utility jacket is neutral in both color and style, and the soft, lightweight fabric makes it a perfect travel companion.Get it from Nordstrom
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Shorts and dresses are obvious essentials for a warm-weather getaway, but you should always bring a good pair of jeans along for the ride, too. This pair from Madewell is perfect because they have a light stretch, ensuring that’ll you’ll be comfortable no matter where you go, whether that’s out to dinner or just sightseeing. The medium indigo color will go well with any outfit, and the hand-cut hem adds a unique touch that will make this pair stand out from any you already have.Get it from Madewell
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Spring is all about reintroducing bright colors back into your wardrobe, and there’s no better time than a vacation to break out a fun floral print. Flowy and breathable, this top is the wearable embodiment of a spring day. The empire waist also makes it easy to dress up or down for day or night.Get it from Amazon
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One pieces have definitely made a comeback in recent years, and it’s not hard to see why. The modern iterations of this style are super comfortable and a lot more practical than something a little skimpier. Strappy, neutral, and flattering on anyone, this classic black one-piece suit is easy to wear and even easier to pack.Get it from Target
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Swim Cover Up
On those days when you might go from beach to shopping (and anywhere in between), a good cover up is a must-have. This wrap-style cover up is our top choice—it’s easy to throw on thanks to the light fabric but it manages to give off the vibe of a real dress without being too heavy.Get it from Urban Outfitters
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There’s nothing that embodies that relaxed beachy vibe quite like a good straw hat. If something with a big, floppy brim doesn’t fit into your luggage allowance, though, we’ve got another option. This straw fedora-style hat will add a touch of leisure to any outfit and give you a bit of sun protection too. It’s even got a built-in sweatband for the hottest days on the beach to help keep you cooler and dryer in the sun.Get it from Amazon
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Although most people choose to forgo sneakers during their vacation unless they’re heading out to do something that really requires them, sandals are pretty much an essential. But it’s good to have something sturdier than a flimsy flip flop if your day calls for a little more walking than usual. These Sam Edelman cross strap slide sandals are the perfect casual but stylish choice that can be worn day or night, no matter where your journey takes you.Get them from Nordstrom
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Unless you like most of your getaway expenses to come in the form of airline fees, it’s important to make sure that you’re packing somewhat light. But that doesn’t have to mean leaving your essentials behind. When it comes to your makeup must-haves, bringing along multi-purpose products is the key to freeing up space in your suitcase. This Universal Stick from MAKE ($24) is a lip and cheek stain in one compact package that will help you save space and get the fresh-faced look you want.Get it from MAKE Beauty
The Double Duty Eye and Cheek Palette from tarte ($30) is another great option that has eyeshadows and blush all in one compact—perfect for packing and even better for tossing in your bag for touch-ups.Get it from Ulta Beauty
Hot, humid weather isn’t exactly the best thing for a full face of makeup, so packing the right products is crucial, especially when it comes to your foundation. For spring, we say go a little lighter—your skin will definitely thank you—but that doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice coverage. The Camera Ready CC Cream from Smashbox ($42) helps to brighten and smooth your skin, disguise redness, and conceal blemishes. The oil-free formula feels light on the skin but can be built up to achieve your desired level of coverage, all while protecting your skin from the sun with an added SPF 30 benefit.Get it from Sephora
If you plan on showing some skin during your vacation, keeping it soft and hydrated is probably on your mind. This Hydration Trio from Herbivore Botanicals ($39) gives you three travel-sized products—a lip conditioner, facial mist, and body polish—that’ll help you look your best from head to toe. Get your legs and arms smooth, your lips soft, and your face looking dewy and fresh in no time flat. And the coconut rose scent will have you smelling great, too.Get it from Nordstrom
You may not always want to take the time to completely wash, dry, and style your hair after you’ve come from the beach or pool, but it sometimes can be hard to make your locks look fresh without doing that. For the days when you need a quick touch-up without going through the whole routine, it’s essential to have a good dry shampoo in your luggage. The Perfect Hair Day dry shampoo from Living Proof ($13) absorbs oil and actually leaves your hair clean, so you’ll never have to worry about it looking filmy or greasy when you go from pool to dinner. The mini version is also the perfect size to throw in your luggage or purse without taking up too much space.Get it from Sephora
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What you’re packing your stuff in can be just as important as what you’re actually packing. If you’re flying, the right bag can mean the difference between paying a luggage fee or carrying your bags on the plane, and it can even affect how you’re able to pack the car for a road trip.
For a short trip, we love Madewell’s Transport Weekender ($148), a zip-top canvas bag that will hold all of your travel essentials. But if you like a hard-sided bag even to carry on the plane, this chic bag from Delsey ($500) will keep your things snug; we love the spinner wheels that make it easy to transport. There’s also a 28-inch version ($660) that’s perfect for longer trips and more stuff, so you can feel confident that your things are protected even if you check a bag.
Though all of these bags provide interior compartments to help you organize, this set of packing cubes from Target ($20) is a great way to group items together (and keep them that way); they even come in multiple sizes to fit any bag.