Hello and happy Monday! Today I’m sharing my much-anticipated (haha!) Maine summer vacation packing post. I always feel like a fraud when I create packing posts because I am probably the world’s worst over-packer. But hey! I always have all the options I need. In fact, when I do try to pack light and leave some things behind, I always regret it.
I actually did a pretty good job this trip, I must say. My husband was highly impressed that I fit everything for all four of us into two suitcases (and one isn’t that big.) Maybe I really am getting this packing thing down to an efficient system.
So anyway, for what they’re worth, here are my best Maine vacation packing tips as well as what I packed for this particular trip.
What To Pack: Maine Summer Vacation
#1. Start with the shoes.
I learned from Mary Fowler (she shared her expert packing tips with us last summer) to always start with shoes when making a packing list. This single tip has made me a MUCH better packer. Since your activities tend to dictate your shoes, try to think about what activities you will be doing and select your shoes first.
Our Maine vacations are always very casual, and they often require some walking and/or hiking, so I packed my running shoes, my white Converse Shoreline kicks, and a few pairs of flat sandals (I stuck with neutral colors for versatility — sand, cognac, and gold.)
I also threw in one pair of taupe heels in case we wanted to dress up for dinner one night, but I never wore them. Maine is a verrrrry casual place, and I ended up wearing my flat gold sandals both for our date night as well as for church and brunch on Sunday — occasions where I’d typically wear heels.
Oh, and I also brought my new leopard travel flats, but that was mainly for blog pictures (and because they’re new and I’m obsessed, lol!) That said, they’re a practical piece to have along because they’re easy to walk in and look a little dressier than sandals.
If I wanted to be super minimalistic, I could have gotten away with just my running sneakers, Converse, and sand patent Tory Burch Miller sandals; but I did like having the gold Sam Edelman Gigi thong sandals for the dressier occasions, and I wore the cognac sandals and leopard flats for blog photos. My point is, if I wasn’t a fashion blogger, the Miller sandals were probably the only shoes I needed besides sneakers.
#2. Stick with neutral bottoms.
In addition to all neutral shoes, I packed all neutral bottoms. This made putting outfits together so super easy. (It also allowed me to pack almost any top I wanted without having to over-think it my outfits. I knew they’d all go with something.)
I brought distressed jeans, non-distressed jeans, white jeans, white denim shorts, and cuffed jean shorts. (I never wore the white denim shorts.) It’s been colder than usual on this trip, so I’ve worn jeans almost every day.
I like my distressed jeans best, but I wanted a pair of non-ripped jeans in case I wanted to go somewhere that ripped jeans might be frowned upon. I ended up wearing the non-ripped pair the most. Point being, one pair of blue jeans was probably fine, but I brought both and wore both several times each.
I wore the white jeans when I wanted to be slightly more dressed up — namely date night and church/brunch on Sunday.
I also packed a casual dress (but I never wore it.)
These links below include what I brought along with other similar options:
#3. Pack an assortment of summer tops.
Because my shoes and jeans were all neutrals, I could basically throw in all of my favorite tops and know I had something to wear them with. I threw in a variety of summer tops from tanks to tees to cute tops.
I laid them all out on the bed and tried to think about our typical Maine activities as I looked at them and made sure I had at least one that top that is appropriate for each occasion. (i.e. a casual moisture-wicking top for hiking, a couple of tank tops for hot days at the lake, a few casual tees for hanging out by the lake, a couple of nicer tees/tops for eating out and visiting with family/friends, and a dressier top for going out to dinner or church… etc.)
We do have a washer/dryer at the lake house so I knew I could wash and re-wear some things, but I still packed 8-10 tops. Probably overkill, but I like to have choices!
#4. Be prepared for chilly mornings and evenings.
I throw the cardigan over my pajamas every morning, and I also wore it a couple days over a tank top with jeans or shorts.
The striped pullover was cute with my distressed jeans for a chilly day, and I wore it another morning with shorts before it got hot and I changed.
It’s also a good idea to bring a pair of yoga pants or lounge pants — something stretchy and super comfy for throwing on after big meals or for lazy days when you don’t want to wear jeans.
The links below are various options for sweatshirts and lounge pants. No, I did not bring all of these.
#5. Bring a large tote plus a smaller bag or two.
I carried a big tote on our trip up and threw a couple of crossbody bags and a clutch in my suitcase so I had some lightweight options for days when we’d be doing a lot of walking and for going out to eat.
When we take day trips, I bring my tote in the car because I never know what I might end up needing, and I’m usually glad I have all the things. But I throw a crossbody bag inside so when we get where we’re going, I can put the bare essentials in the crossbody and carry that around town and for any walking ventures. (At least that’s best practice. I forgot to bring a crossbody one day, and I regretted it after walking two miles with my heavy tote on my shoulder. LOL!)
Another good bag to have along is a lightweight backpack, especially if you plan to do hiking/biking activities. I was wishing I had one the day we took that long walk because I like to be able to throw a sweatshirt in my bag. I usually start out wearing it and then find myself wanting to ditch it halfway through.
Here are some good options:
#6. Don’t forget a raincoat.
I always bring a rain jacket with me to Maine because it almost always rains for several days, and I hate being wet and cold.
Beyond all of that, I packed two pairs of pajamas — short ones and long ones. Again, when going to New England in the summertime, you have to be prepared to be cold or hot or anywhere in between. I’ve worn both.
I also packed a bathing suit and my running clothes. I can wear my running shoes when we go hiking or biking so they do double duty.
A baseball hat is always good to have for hiking (and for throwing on when you don’t want to fix your hair. Ha!) I regretted not bringing mine.
I kept my jewelry simple. On the trip up I wore studs, my silver link bracelet, and a long silver pendant, and I wore a combination of those just about every day. I also brought a few gold bangles and drop earrings and a gold pendant that all work together, and I wore those once or twice. In years past, I’ve only brought the jewelry I wore on the ride up, and that was fine. No one cares if you repeat accessories on vacation, and keeping it minimal gives you one less thing to keep track of.
Of course, toiletries and sunscreen are a given. Oh, and bug spray! Beyond that, I can’t think of much else that we needed.
And I think that about covers it.
The main thing to remember when traveling to New England in the summertime is that you will have a variety of weather and you want to be prepared for all of it — heat, cold, rain, wind, etc. Since you need a variety of options, keep it simple and make sure everything goes together.
If you have any questions, I’m happy to answer in the comments!
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