Summer is all about beach weekends and relaxing in the sun. Don’t let the stress of planning, organizing, and packing (and worrying over the inevitable forgotten items) put a damper on the festivities. With an easy list of essentials and the perfect all-purpose bags, your whole family can say hello to summer in style. And you won’t have to rent a trailer to carry your luggage!

Simplicity, comfort, and versatility should be your mantra as you coordinate your weekend ensembles. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you’re a chronic over-packer. Streamlining is a state of mind and a laid back beach getaway is the perfect opportunity to practice the art of minimal travel. As long as you remember to pack bathing suits and sunscreen, you’re practically ready to go. Just throw in a pair of tailored shorts, a couple of tees, a sundress, an accessory or two, and a fabulous pair of sandals or espadrilles to carry you through the weekend in style.

Relaxation is the world’s best beautifier and you’ll radiate carefree beach glamour with low-key hair and makeup. Try a no-fuss ‘do like a casual ponytail or loose waves with a hint of sheer lip gloss, a dash of bronzer, and a touch of mascara to pull your look together and enhance your inner glow.

Read Related: 5 Family Road Trips to Take in Summer


  • Bring your make-up and toiletries in a clutch that fits inside your purse. Instant evening bag!
  • An oversize silk scarf tied around your waist as a sarong transforms effortlessly into an evening wrap for those breezy summer nights.
  • A flowy maxi-dress is perfect for lounging in the sand. Add a chunky bracelet or a fun cocktail ring to glam it up when the sun goes down.
  • Carry travel snacks and the kids’ entertainment in a bag that doubles as a beach tote. (Target has them in every color under the sun starting at $19)
  • Don’t panic if you forget something—it’s the perfect excuse to do a little shopping when you get there.


  • Sunscreen
  • Wide-brimmed straw hat
  • A sundress, one or two tees/tanks, Bermudas, a scarf, and a light sweater
  • Sandals, espadrilles, or Havaianas
  • Chunky bracelet, cocktail ring
  • Mascara, gloss or sheer lipstick, bronzer

Last but not least, you need the perfect weekend bag. Look for a lightweight, durable weekender with plenty of room. If you travel year-round or just have a lot to carry on a regular basis (as so many moms do), consider investing in a bag that will work beyond summer. Avoid anything too trendy, with a lot of hardware or loud patterns that will go out of style in a month. Canvas or nylon is washable and easy to care for; leather is durable and lasts for years but it can be pricey.

Luckily, there are tons of fantastic bags to choose from. Here are a just a few options in a range of prices:

Pack With Panache For Your Summer Getaway


1. L.L. Bean Sunwashed Canvas Tote ($95)—A perennial classic.
2. Rebecca Minkoff Bru Weekender ($595)—Is sophisticated and sporty.
3. ASOS Buckle Bowler ($58)—Affordable and in glam red!

 Pack With Panache For Your Summer Getaway

4. LeSportsac ($98-$158)—Always a favorite, the LeSportsac weekender bag comes in three sizes and an array of fun colors and patterns.
5.  Carina Weekender by Clava ($253)—Carina is one of Clava’s vegan lines. Functional, stylish, and animal friendly!
6.  Via Nativa Beach Bag ($29)—Festive fair trade bags that go right from the market to the beach.