Vacation Preparation: The Art Of Packing

Suitcase, clothes, packing, travel
For many women, packing is the worst part of any summer getaway. Either they can't decide what to pack, they pack too much (you know who you are!), or they simply forget the most basic items.

Dawn Yanek, Editor-at-Large of Life & Style Weekly, stopped by The Saturday Early Show to give advice on what — and how — to pack for a summer weekend away.

Yanek chooses an all-purpose bag for her trips to the beach. Aside from carrying clothes, it can also double as a beach bag. Her bag is roomy so it helps avoid the need for multiple bags.

Bag in hand, it's time to pack.

To begin, pack shoes at the bottom because they are bulky and usually dirty. Try not to pack too many shoes. Yanek packed four pairs: wedges, sandals, flip-flops and sneakers.

Wedges (Kors Michael Kors Buddha Wedge, $228.95, are great because they are all purpose: You can wear them with shorts or a dress and at any time of the day. They are versatile and easy to pack. Flip-flops (Steven by, Steve Madden Picara, $92.95, and sandals (Leather Capri sandals, $48, are lightweight and trendy and can be worn day and night. Bring sneakers (Reebok Retro Aztec Classic Running Shoe Womens, $89.99, in case you choose to exercise.

Packing clothing is the most crucial part of vacation preparation. Pack shorts for your daytime ensemble and add a tank top or two, depending on whether you want to layer them. Denim shorts (like the ones from J Brand Cuffed Denim Short, $141, are great for daytime or nighttime and can be worn with a camisole (Sarah camisole, $39.50,, which won't take up much space in your bag. You might also want to include a skirt for nighttime. And, of course, don't forget your bathing suit.
If you have some extra room, you may want to bring a printed dress (AKA New York Printed Empire Dress, $297, In addition, bring a pair of running shorts and a running top. These don't take up much space and will allow you to hit the gym or run on the beach.

Towels can take up a lot of bag space. If you are traveling to a resort, towels will be provided for you. But for weekend beach house visits, roll up the towels to minimize their size.

Accessories are a great way to top off simple summer outfits; basic earrings, bangles and necklaces are trendy. Don't bring too much, though, and don't bring expensive jewelry. Inexpensive accessories can be worn to the beach, but be careful and put them in a pouch so they don't break.

Yanek wears sunglasses and a straw hat at the beach. And she always brings her favorite sunscreen. Yanek prefers either Powerful Sun Protection Sunscreen Packets (SPF 30; $40), or All-In-One Tinted Moisturizer Sunscreen (SPF 15; $42) from

One way to consolidate all of your body and skin care needs is with the Bliss Sinkside Six-Pack ($25 at This travel kit includes soap, shampoo, conditioning rinse and a Lemon and Sage soap slab.