How to Pack for a 3-Day Vacation

Summer is all about vacation.

Often the excitement of a trip is thwarted though before it even begins, just from the thought of packing. Loading a bag full of wardrobe decisions I won’t be able to take back can be a nightmare! If you’re anything like me, you wait until super late the night before to get started, hoping that a stroke of stylish genius will occur.

Tired of starting my vaca this way, I called Raquel and got the scoop on how to pack for my 3-day trip to Nashville. She suggested I pack light basics (I tend to over pack like most people), and choose versatile accessories that can be used for multiple outfits.

1 necklace for 2 very different outfits! 

1 necklace for 2 very different outfits! 

My husband and I used to live in Nashville so this trip revolved around seeing what all had changed, trying as many new restaurants as we could, and seeing old friends. Here’s the rundown: 2 dinners, exploring the city, Jeni’s Ice Cream excursions, and Sunday brunch.

Planning how to pack for all of those excursions, while still factoring in hot weather, was less of a challenge when I factored in Raquel’s quick tips. I reimagined my outfits by playing with accessories. This kept each look fresh. For example, my chambray dress, worn with flats in the daytime, was perfectly light and airy for ice cream stops and shopping in Hillsboro Village. To take it to a trendy restaurant in Germantown that night, I lost the bright necklace, added some wedges, and felt completely chic.

Easy to roll into a suitcase & wrinkle free!

Easy to roll into a suitcase & wrinkle free!

I can’t over-emphasize that we should all work on packing realistically. Will I really wear 5 different pairs of shoes on a 3-day trip? Answer: no.  I was able to narrow it down to 3 – my converse, a pair of comfy flats, and my wedges. The Converses I wore with my favorite grey dress. The cut outs in the dress kept me cool and on point.

Ladies, it’s time to get on board with wearing, and re-wearing, the basics. It’s all in how you accessorize them. I have been really into high waisted pants & shorts lately, so I brought a pair of each. These bottoms can go with almost any top in your closet: crop tops, tucked in blouses, or longer tops that you tie in a knot.

I paired my light pink zip up shorts with a bold, geometric crop top and my flats because this outfit allowed me to feel both perfectly chic and comfortable for a dinner at Butcher & Bee.

Saturday before we left, we had brunch at Barista Parlor coffee shop where I had the most delicious Salty Tennessee Whiskey Caramel Latte.  I’m telling you, this place has gotten trendy, so I had to bring my A-game. Enter:  the high waisted bell bottoms. I tied a knot in my top and added my favorite coral necklace – again! I wore that necklace 3 times, meaning it was the only necklace I had to pack. Win!

I love how light weight and structured these pants are – I didn’t get hot once!

I love how light weight and structured these pants are – I didn’t get hot once!

I guarantee that, had I gone through this packing ordeal alone, I would’ve needed a larger suitcase for my 3-day trip to Nashville. By relying on basics and utilizing accessories, I didn’t have a single extra piece. I also never felt like my outfit was missing something.

Want help packing for your next trip?


Emily Blanco is a freelance writer based in San Antonio, TX. She has studied creative writing, journalism, and has a degree in English Lit. She loves to blend snarky observations with helpful truths, encouraging people to love reading again! When she isn't being a complete book junkie, she loves to travel with her husband and pup, as well as explore local hidden gems. 

Emily Blanco