This post will show you cute outfit ideas for summer vacation, with tips on what clothing to pack to stay stylish and comfortable.
Helloooo, summer vacation!
Summer is around the corner, and if you’ve got vacation plans, you’ll need vacation outfits. After all, aren’t cute vacation outfits one of the perks of going on vacation?! IDK about you, but I get as excited to put together vacation looks as I get excited about the trip itself.
If you’re looking for inspo and ready to start planning some fire ‘fits, I’ve got you covered with outfit ideas for sightseeing, beach days, vacation dinners, and more. Plus, read on for my top packing tips and the five fashion must-haves to pack for your summer travels that are as practical as they are stylish.
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Summer Vacation Packing TipsEmbed from Getty Images
- Stick to one color palette. While it can be tempting to pack an array of colors and prints for vacation, try to pack clothing mainly within the same color family. This will allow you to mix and match your clothing, and ultimately, you won’t need to pack as much if you can wear your items interchangeably. And BTW, this doesn’t mean that you have to wear neutrals (though I do love a good neutral color palette); you can totally pack bright colors, but select hues and prints that can be worn together and have a similar vibe.
- Pack multi-functional pieces. I know this can be tricky since many of us (myself included) have a tendency to want to bring every new, trendy, and sometimes impractical clothing item with us, but try to opt for more practical pieces, especially if you are limited on suitcase space. Basics are a must-have while traveling; think a plain white t-shirt, a simple black dress, a classic pair of jeans or jean shorts, etc.
- Check the weather ahead of time! You may have been so busy planning your cute vacay outfits that you didn’t consider the weather conditions before packing. I suggest always packing at least one sweater/jacket (even if you’re headed to a hot destination) and closed-toe shoes, just in case!
- Comfortable footwear is crucial. If you’re headed on a trip that will involve a lot of walking, sightseeing, and/or a historic location (read: old, broken sidewalks), do yourself a favor and leave your stiletto heels at home. As cute as sky-high heels look, they just aren’t as practical as flat sandals or sneakers—and they definitely aren’t as comfy, either. You don’t want to feel uncomfortable during your trip (or risk a twisted ankle), so opt for comfortable, practical shoes that you can rely on while you’re traveling.
Now let’s get to the vacation outfits!
Mini Dress Summer Vacation Outfit
An absolute must-have for summer vacation? A lightweight mini dress. When it’s scorching hot out, it’s one of your best options for beating the heat in style.
This easy, breezy babydoll dress is ultra-lightweight and can be dressed up or down, making it ideal for packing with you on vacation (and as a bonus, it will hardly take up much space in your suitcase). You can also go for a printed mini dress, but a solid color like white will give you the most styling options if you’re trying to pack light and want to re-wear your clothing during your trip.
If you’re planning on wandering around a new city while on vacation, pair the dress with some white low-top sneakers so that you can walk around comfortably. These sleek kicks can be worn with a ton of different outfits, making them super versatile.
Give your outfit a summery touch with a woven jute tote bag and some stylish oval sunglasses. And don’t forget a claw hair clip (this olive green one happens to perfectly match the tote bag) which will be your BFF on those hot days when you’ll want to put your hair up!
White Pants Summer Vacation Outfit
There’s nothing like some lightweight, loose-fitting linen or cotton pants during the summertime. They’re so easy to throw on and can be dressed up or down for countless effortless looks.
This gauzy cotton pair features a drawcord waist (so you’ll practically feel like you’re wearing sweatpants!) and come in a bunch of colors, but you can’t go wrong with classic white for summer. Style these as a swimsuit cover-up, with tank tops, going-out tops, and even a knit cardigan for a breezy night at the beach.
For this look, wear the pants with a cropped tube top and layered gold jewelry like this multi-strand necklace. A pair of raffia sandals add to the summery vibe of this outfit, which would be fab for dinner at a restaurant.
Maxi Skirt Summer Vacation Outfit
Long skirts are a major trend this season, and they make for another easy, versatile piece to toss in your suitcase and be able to style in many different ways.
For a chic vacation outfit that works for day or night, wear a linen blend maxi skirt with a matching sleeveless crop top for a coordinated look. A pair of chunky flat sandals give the ensemble a cool, modern vibe—though if you want to look dressier for the evening, you could also swap them out for some low-heeled sandals.
Accessorize with a straw handbag (a summertime essential), gold jewelry, and a pair of slim oval-shaped sunglasses for an extra chic touch.
Denim Shorts Summer Vacation Outfit
Nothing says “summertime” like a good ol’ pair of denim shorts! I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how essential they are for your summer wardrobe, but seriously, even owning (or packing) just one pair will give you multiple outfit possibilities.
Go for a boho look by wearing your jean shorts with a crochet crop top—crochet is one of the hottest fashion trends this season and is the perfect lightweight knit for summer.
Jazz up the outfit with some layered gold necklaces (these come in a convenient three-pack) and some retro-looking aviator sunglasses with tinted lenses. Just about any footwear will work with this look, from sneakers to sandals. Still, comfortable, sporty sandals like these Teva Midforms are an especially great option for travel since they can get wet, and their neutral off-white color will match most of the other clothing pieces you pack.
Beach Summer Vacation Outfit
Do you have plans to hit the beach (or lake or pool) this summer? If so, you’re going to need a cute beach cover-up for your swimsuit, and it’s the perfect way to embrace the crochet trend of the season.
I love this crochet lace swim cover-up dress that has bell sleeves and a sheer design—it’s girly meets boho and is going to make you look so stylish at the beach.
Wear it over any swimsuit of your choice; this brown bralette bikini top and matching bottom feature crochet trimming for an extra cute detail that will coordinate so perfectly with the dress.
Don’t forget a pair of trendy sunnies and some waterproof slide sandals (the Birkenstock Arizona Eva sandals are my personal favorite).
Beach-to-Street Summer Vacation Outfit
Let’s be real: one beach outfit probably isn’t going to be enough! And when you’re on vacation, you don’t have access to your full wardrobe at home, which is why you need to pack multi-functional clothing pieces that can be worn in different ways and for different activities.
A long button-down shirt in a lightweight material like cotton can be worn as a dress, as a shirt, and/or as a beach cover-up, making it an ideal vacation option. For a look that can take you from the beach to the street, wear it over your swimsuit with a pair of high-waisted denim shorts.
Consider a one-piece swimsuit as opposed to a bikini since it can double as a bodysuit when paired with shorts, jeans, or pants. This sparkly gold one-piece features trendy side cut-outs and even has UPF 50 protection built into its fabric.
Bring it all together with some slim-frame sunglasses (this ombré pair is super cute) and some water-friendly sandals, which can be worn on or off the beach. They have an espadrille-inspired texture for a stylish, summery vibe, as well.
Summer Vacation Packing Must-Haves
These are the five fashion essentials you’ll want to pack for your summer vacation that are as cute as they are practical, giving you multiple styling options while you travel.
Also Read: Leaving your Friends for Summer Vacation
A Simple, Lightweight Dress
A simple dress in a lightweight fabric will take you so far. Not only is it one of the best options to wear on a hot day because of its airy design, but you can wear it casually with flats or sneakers or dress it up with sandals and cute accessories. Any color will do, but you can’t go wrong with classic black or summery white.
Day or night, you’ll gravitate towards this effortlessly chic piece.
Gauzy, Elastic Shorts
It’s no secret that denim shorts are a summertime essential, but if you’re heading on vacation, you’ll also want to pack a pair of loose-fitting, gauzy shorts (preferably with an elastic waistband for comfort, like this pair has).
These are so easy to throw on, perfect for hot summer weather, and can also be worn as a swim cover-up, in addition to daily wear with tanks, tees, and crop tops.
A Plain Tank or Tube Top
Beat the summertime heat in a simple, solid-color tank or tube top that you’ll easily be able to pair with shorts, skirts, and pants. This season, I am especially loving the tube top trend: strapless tops have such a clean, sleek vibe that elevates your overall look.
An Oversized, Lightweight Shirt
An oversized button-down shirt in a lightweight, gauzy material is a super versatile item you can get so much use out of, and always looks polished.
Wear it as a swimsuit cover-up, or wear it out and about with denim shorts. If you’re out for dinner and it’s a bit chilly, you can even layer this shirt over your dress as a lightweight layer.
Let me introduce you to the shoes that I will not travel without, especially during the summertime: Birkenstock’s Eva Arizona sandals. They are ultra-comfy, waterproof, affordable, come in a bunch of colors, and are extremely lightweight (no overweight luggage over here!). I wear these to the beach, pool, around hotel rooms, and out and about all summer long, so I highly recommend them!
But even if you don’t get this exact pair, waterproof or water-friendly flat sandals are totally necessary for a summer vacation—the key is finding a style that has a versatile and comfortable design that you can wear on or off the beach for added practicality.
Related reading: How to Wear Birkenstocks (The Ultimate Guide)
What do you think of our summer vacation outfits guide?
Would you wear these outfits? Which summer vacation outfit is your favorite? Leave a comment and let us know!