How to Pack Light Using Compass Rose Packing Cubes

Packing light can make your life a whole lot easier, but it can be a challenge to fit all your travel needs into a carry-on bag.


If you’re like me, there’s a lot of stuff you simply can’t live without while you travel, but you’re tired of hauling around a huge suitcase. Thanks to Compass Rose packing cubes, you can fit everything you need into one small bag. I discovered the magic of packing cubes many years ago, but I’ve yet to find any that compare in quality and capability to the Compass Rose cubes.

Why Use Packing Cubes?

how to pack light

Have you ever wondered how Mary Poppins fit so much in her bag? Well, I’m convinced the answer is packing cubes. Using packing cubes allows me to fit at least 50 percent more inside my carry-on suitcase. This is ideal if you want to avoid checked baggage. Me personally, unless my airfare includes a free checked bag, I refuse to shell out any more money. I also take a lot of trips that involved moving from one place to another every few days, so lugging around a heavy suitcase is not ideal. That said, I also like to have a lot of options when it comes to my shoes and clothes. Packing cubes provide the ideal solution.

Tropical destinations are typically warm…very warm. I like to have an outfit I can change into once I’m done the most active part of my day—you know, once I’m done sweating. After a cool shower, it feels so good to put on fresh clothes, but it means I need two outfits for every day. Alternatively, I often travel too cooler climates where a few extra layers are needed to keep warm, especially after the sun goes down. I’m allergic to animal-based products, such as merino wool and cashmere, which makes it a challenge to find layering pieces that won’t take up a lot of room in my bag. Packing cubes make it possible to fit more stuff in less space. It’s a level of travel freedom you have to experience to appreciate.

What Are Compass Rose Packing Cubes?

how to pack light

Compass Rose is the only packing cube set on the market sized to correctly fit international carry-on suitcases, accommodating restrictive airline baggage policies. Created by travelers for travelers, Compass Rose Packing Cubes organize, compress, and maximize space for a smooth, stress-free travel experience. The innovative organizational packing system is designed using proven techniques to help people travel carry-on only. In addition, the structured, quality fabric ensures the cubes pack flat, retaining their shape. High-quality construction and materials include premium zippers, durable mesh, double stitching, and first-rate nylon fabric, allowing for maximum clothing compression.

How Do Compass Rose Packing Cubes Work?

how to pack light

There are four packing cubes in each set—two grey and two red. The slim-sized packing cube set features a one-of-a-kind number and color-coded organization system that allow you to maximize efficiency and organize your bag using one of six unique packing strategies. 

  1. Use one packing cube number per family member
  2. Assign daily outfit per number per day
  3. Color code for mixed weather trips (grey=cold, red=hot)
  4. Use numbers to differentiate clothes for each activity type
  5. Pack for two destinations by color coding
  6. Separate tops, bottoms, dresses, and more by number

Once you’ve decided on a strategy and chosen the items you want to pack, use a combination of rolling and folding to prepare each item. Then, simply fill each packing cube with clothing until it appears you’ve used all of the space. Looks can be deceiving, and once you’ve zipped the cubes closed, you’ll likely find you have plenty of space to spare. Once you find a small pocket of space, open one end of the cube, and push down the clothing that’s already inside so you can squeeze in more items. It’s that easy!

What Makes Compass Rose Different?

Let’s face it, there are a lot of packing cubes on the market today. Why should you choose Compass Rose Packing Cubes over another brand? Let’s start with the size. When you first receive your Compass Rose Packing Cubes, you may be a bit surprised by their size. They don’t look like other packing cubes, and that’s a good thing. The size difference is key because the Compass Rose packing cubes are the only cubes that will fit the exact width of a carry-on. Other cubes are slightly too long so Compass Rose cubes help streamline the space within your suitcase.

In addition, the materials used in the construction of the packing cubes was specifically chosen to allow you to pack a generous amount of clothing while maintaining a flat structure. Other packing cubes lose their structure when filled, which creates a poor fit inside your suitcase. You can stack the Compass Rose packing cubes on top of each other and they lay flat when filled, allowing for maximum space and organization. In addition, the high-quality mesh doesn’t rip as easily as other brands. All these details help improve your packing so you have a more stress-free and enjoyable travel experience.

There are so many great reasons for learning how to pack light. From travel freedom to eliminating checked bag fees, Compass Rose Packing Cubes can help you achieve your packing goals. For those of you wondering, this is not a sponsored post. I believe strongly in this product and the positive impact it can have on your overall travel experience.

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how to pack light


9 Useful Travel Gifts for the Traveler on Your Shopping List

Need to buy a gift for a traveler?


There are so many lists of holiday gift ideas for travelers, but they often include useless gadgets or kitschy trinkets. You know what I’m talking about—map-shaped necklaces and pictures with cutesy quotes. Sure, these items are adorable, but they aren’t especially useful travel gifts, so if you’re thinking of giving a gift to a traveler, resources as the his and hers travel gifts online, could be really helpful for this. If you want to get the travelers on your shopping list something they can really put to use on their next trip check out these nine useful travel gifts and don’t forget that you can purchase all of these online, you can even find same great deals, go now to this website to get more information.

Compression Socks

Flying can take a toll on the tootsies. Sitting for a long time can cause a traveler’s legs to swell. Compression socks squeeze your legs to keep blood flowing and minimize swelling. They’re a useful travel gift for anyone who takes a lot of long-haul flights.

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All-in-One Electrical Converter

There is nothing worse than electrical converters with lots of separate pieces that are easy to lose and clunky to carry around. Without fail, parts go missing or the wrongs ones get packed. An all-in-one converter ensures the traveler on your shopping list is never without the parts they need when they need them.

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Books are heavy and impractical to take on long journeys. Lighten the load for the traveler on your list with an eReader. Be sure to get one that’s got a lot of battery life. The tablet-style eReaders tend to last only a few hours. These aren’t ideal for long-haul flights or lengthy layovers. Go with a more traditional eReader, like Kindle Paperwhite (my personal favorite).

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Sewing Kit

I can’t tell you how often I’ve popped a button or got a hole my leggings while on the road. Travelers often plan on wearing things a few times per trip, so rips and tears can put a real snag in their plans. A mini sewing kit can be a true lifesaver and the ultimate useful travel gift.

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First-Aid Kit

Whether it’s a blister that cropped up on a long walk or a burn from a flat iron, accidents happen. Make sure the travelers in your life are well-prepared for whatever comes their way.

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Packing Cubes

Travelers are always looking for ways to save space in their bags. Packing cubes keep everything neatly nipped and tucked. They’re especially fantastic for those times when the TSA does a bag inspection and everything falls out all over the place.

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Toiletry Bag

Toiletry bags take a beating. Bottles and tubes burst inside causing a mess. Or they get overstuffed and rip at the seams. There are always new styles coming out that use stronger fabrics or offer more convenient ways to organize items.

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Document Organizer

In a mobile world, why would anyone need a document organizer? Travelers still need to carry around paperwork, including vouchers for places that don’t accept mobile tickets, money in all kinds of currencies, passports, visas, and proof of vaccinations. A document organizer can be a saving grace.

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Selfie Stick

From the desert dunes of Morocco to the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower, a selfie stick is a great way to get the perfect picture, also they can check the best travel camera under $500 to be able to document their trips, or you can. Selfie sticks are a particularly useful travel gift for the solo traveler on your shopping list.

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If you’re tired of buying gifts that get shoved in a box and forgotten, these nine useful travel gifts are ideal for the travelers on your shopping list.

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useful travel gifts

3 Tips for Traveling with Medications

Are you traveling with over-the-counter or prescription medications?


If you need to take regular doses of medication, you’ll want to make sure you have everything with you when you travel. A lot of people assume they can simply put everything they need in their suitcase or carry on. But it’s not always that simple. In fact, there are actually a lot of rules and regulations, from airport security checks to border crossings. Follow these three tips for traveling with medications to ensure you arrive at your destination with everything you need to enjoy your vacation.

1. Keep It in Your Carry-On

traveling with medications

Be sure to pack any prescription medications in your carry-on, even if you don’t take them regularly or don’t plan on taking them during your flight. This may seem obvious, but you’d be surprised how many people break this golden rule for traveling with medications—even yours truly. While it’s pretty rare, bags do sometimes go missing. It’s a hassle to replace lost medications in an unfamiliar place, especially if you don’t have a copy of your prescription. There’s also the possibility that your medication isn’t readily available in other parts of the world. That could really ruin a holiday.

If you’re asked to check your carry-on at any point in your journey due to overcrowded overhead bins, be sure to remove your medications first. On a recent trip, I thought I’d won the lottery when I found out my flight offered valet service. For those of you who haven’t experienced the wonders of valet, it’s when the flight crew takes your bag as your board the plane and returns it to you as you exit. Since I knew there was no chance my bag would go missing, I didn’t remove my asthma inhaler. I only use it a few times a week, so I figured the chances of needing it over the next few hours weren’t very good. Wrong…almost as soon as I took my seat, I felt my chest constrict. Don’t make the same mistake.

2. Passing Airport Security Checks

traveling with medications

Savvy traveler or not, these days, you’d have to be living under a rock not to know the 3-1-1 rule for packing liquids and gels, like shampoo and perfume, in your carry-on. But the rules are a little less black and white when it comes to traveling with medications. Generally speaking, there are no restrictions on the amount of medication you can pack in your carry-on bag, even if it’s in liquid form. As long as the amount of medication you’ve packed seems reasonable for the amount of time you’ll be away from home, you should be good to go. And prescription medication in liquid form does not need to fit in the standard 1-quart bag. That said, you must inform security officers of any liquid medications larger than 3.4 ounces at the start of the checkpoint process so they can do additional screening.

It’s a good idea to keep all medications—over-the-counter and prescription—in their original containers. Don’t cram them all into one case to save room in your suitcase. You’ll also want to let security offices know about freezer packs, syringes, and other items related to your medications. It doesn’t hurt to have a letter from your doctor explaining the reason for your medications or medical supplies, especially if they involve injectables. Keep in mind that some airlines will not allow you to take needles onboard for security reasons. Always be sure to check with your airline just in case.

You can find a comprehensive list outlining the rules of thumb for different types of medications on the My TSA mobile site or app. Simply select the type of medication you plan to pack, and the site offers tips about what you need to do to get it through security without any hassle.

3. Getting Across the Border

traveling with medications

Just because you’re not flying the friendly skies doesn’t mean the rules for traveling with medications don’t apply to you. It’s a little-known fact that you may not make it across the border in another country if you’re carrying certain kinds of medications. Be sure to check if there are any restrictions or special requirements when it comes to bringing medications across the border into another country. For example, some countries, such as the United Arab Emirates, won’t let you bring codeine into the country without obtaining permission prior to your trip. Always check with the consulate or embassy of the place you plan to visit to see if you can bring your medications into the country.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website often provides links to the local authorities that can help guide your choices. All you need to do is enter the country you’re visiting to find lots of helpful travel medical information.

If you’re headed out on vacation and are planning on traveling with medications, be sure to follow these three tips to be sure you have a safe and worry-free holiday.

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3 Tips for Packing Toiletries

Packing toiletries is never an easy task.


How much of your favorite shampoo or face cream should you take on your next trip? What’s the best bag to put them in? What if they explode? These are just a few of the questions that might run through your brain when you’re packing toiletries. There’s a lot to consider

Follow these three tips for packing toiletries to help take the anxiety out of the task.

packing toiletries

1. Pick the Right Bag

How do you know which bag is right for you? That all depends on what you want to get out of it. Some help you stay better organized, while others are simply easier to fit in your bag. Let’s look at a few basic types.


The cube is cute and compact, so you don’t have a ton of room to overfill it. And if you pack a lot of bottles, you can stand them all upright in organized rows. But if you have lots of random stuff, it gets lost in a big pile. Not to mention the cube can be clunky. If you’re planning to take just a carry-on, it likely won’t fit well inside. Most cubes are a bit too tall to fit on one side of the carry-on bag.

Pros: Compact and easy to organize bottles

Cons: Everything could end up in a pile and too tall for most carry-ons



Hanging bags are great if you want to stay organized once you arrive at your destination. Just hang it on the towel rack, and presto! You’ve got everything you need right at your fingertips—you never need to fully unpack. But the con of a hanging bag is that it’s easy to over stuff. This makes it hard to fold up neatly for packing.

Pros: No need to unpack

Cons: Hard to roll up neatly to fit in your suitcase



The great thing about a pouch is that it tucks neatly any to any nook and cranny. You can squish it between stacks of clothes or in the side of your bag. But it’s really impractical if you want to find anything easily. All of your toiletries get dumped into one cavernous space.

Pros: Tucks into any empty space

Cons: Difficult to organize neatly



My personal favorite is the square bag, particularly the kind with two distinct sides that come together when you zip up the bag. I put all my liquids, like face creams, sunscreen, contact solution, perfume, and shampoo on one side and all my dry goods, like my comb, toothbrush, and Band-Aids on the other side. No matter how much I cram inside, it always closes up flat. And it tucks perfectly inside a carry-on bag.

Pros: Fits perfectly inside a carry-on, hard to overfill, and easy to organize

Cons: Can be a bit on the large side


2.  Sample Sizes

Take only what you need with you on vacation. I know a lot of women who take a big bottle of shampoo or lotion for a weekend getaway. You simply don’t need all that stuff. Think about what you’re really going to use, and take just that.

Nowadays, you can get sample sizes of just about every kind of toiletry—soap, shampoo, hairspray, Vaseline, deodorant, and more. Head to your nearest big box department store or even a dollar store, and you’ll find a vast selection to choose from. They come in appropriate package, making a spill or explosion much less likely. I don’t take anything I can’t get in a sample size.

Packing toiletries

If you simply can’t find what you’re looking for, get a set of travel bottles and make your own samples. But again, only take what you need. I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve filled an entire bottle with my favorite shampoo only to forget all about the leftovers when I got back from vacation. By the time I got around to me next holiday, it was either a goopy mess or no longer my preferred brand. The same thing goes for just about any type of lotion or potion. And that stuff’s not cheap. Don’t pour good money down the drain by taking too much.

Pro tip: Get the squishy travel bottles. With these, you can squeeze out every last bit of lotion or shampoo, unlike those hard plastic bottles. They may be a bit harder to track down and cost a few extra dollars, but you’ll waste a lot less product.


3. Don’t Unpack

If you travel a lot, have a bag pre-filled with all your favorite stuff so you don’t have to worry about packing toiletries for each trip. Just grab and go. For example, I travel at least three or four times per year. Plus I go camping 15 to 20 weekends each year. I use my toiletries so often that it’s not worth unpacking them. I have doubles of all my standard stuff. packing-toiletries-double

These are just a few ideas for packing toiletries. What other ideas do you have? What’s your favorite type of toiletry bag? Do you have any tips for the best hanging toiletry bags for men? Share your ideas on the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group.

Perfect Folding: The Secret to Fitting More in Your Carry-On

Perfect folding is the ultimate tool for fitting more stuff in a smaller bag.


But what is perfect folding, you ask? Well, it’s exactly what its name implies: a way to fold your clothes perfectly. The more perfectly your clothes are folded, the flatter they lay. This means you can fit more of them in your suitcase.

I first learned to perfect fold when I worked at the GAP in my teens. Gap was meticulous about folding everything just so. Nowadays, this same technique is common across most retailers. You’ve probably seen store associates standing at a table with a plastic board and a pile of shirts and wondered what they were up to. The answer is perfect folding.

While you can purchase a board to help you with the task, it’s not necessary. You could also use a sturdy piece of cardboard cut to the right size. But I prefer to fly solo. After a few practice attempts, you should be able to as well. Follow these five easy steps for a perfect folding experience every time.

Step 1

Lay your shirt face down on a solid surface. Be sure it’s flat, and smooth out any wrinkles.

Perfect Folding

Step 2

Fold back the right arm. Make sure to include at least 1 or 2 inches of shoulder as well.

Perfect Folding

Step 3

Fold back the left arm and shoulder in the same manner.

Perfect Folding

Step 4

Flip up the bottom 5 or 6 inches of the shirttail.

Perfect Folding

Step 5

Fold in half.

Perfect Folding

And voila! You can apply this technique to all types of shirts and dresses.

Perfect Folding

For pants, follow these three steps:

Step 1

Hold the pants by the waist and fold them in half vertically.

Perfect Folding

Step 2

Make sure the crotch seam is pulled out flat, then flip-up the bottom of the pants to about the knee.

Perfect Folding

Step 3

Fold in half.

Perfect Folding

You’ll be shocked how much more you can fit in your bag by simply perfect folding your clothes. On my most recent vacation, I packed an obscene wardrobe selection in my carry-on bag. It included:

  • 3 dresses
  • 4 pants
  • 4 tank tops
  • 2 kimono sweaters
  • 1 sweatshirt
  • 5 t-shirts
  • 4 blouses
  • 1 jumpsuit
  • 2 scarves
  • 1 swimsuit and cover up
  • 4 pairs of shoes
  • 1 hat
  • Multiple necklaces

Let’s not forget all of the underwear, toiletries, hair appliances, and travel pillow I also packed into that small carry-on bag. I’m not saying it was easy to close, but it made it there and back, and I wore every single thing I packed at least once.

Perfect folding is my secret packing weapon. What’s yours? Share your ideas with the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group.


Layer Up: Packing for the Transition Season

The transition season can be a packing nightmare. The only way to go is to layer up.


As we move from summer to fall, we start to see cooler mornings and evenings. But the afternoons are often still sunny and warm. And if you’re on a road trip or cruise where you start in one place and finish in another, you may experience many climate shifts throughout your vacation. For example, on an autumn cruise up the east coast from NYC to the Canadian Maritimes, temperatures can range from 50 to 85 degrees, depending on the location and time of day. What’s a girl to do? If you’re looking for exciting things to do and places to explore during the transition season, click here to see an example East Coast driving itinerary.

You don’t want to lug around a lot of heavy cold-weather gear, but you do need to stay warm. Here are some stylish ways to layer up for your transition season travels.

layer up

Kimonos and Capes

Even in warmer places, there’s a nip in the air in the very early or late hours of an autumn day. Pack a lightweight kimono or cape sweater in a neutral color to keep out the chill. Paired with skinny jeans or leggings and a super-soft tee, you’ll look great and feel good. Not to mention, you won’t have to worry about lugging around a heavy jacket when the weather warms up later in the day. Kimonos and capes fold up pretty small and should fit nicely in your purse.

Layer Up Kimono


These days, sweatshirts are about as stylish as they come. Whether you prefer something casual with a punny slogan or one with some embellishments, there’s something for every taste. From lace to beads to embroidery, there are so many styles to choose from. Throw one of these on over top of a chambray shirt, white button down blouse, or plaid shirt, and you’ll look adorable in your layers. When the sun comes out, simply tie your sweatshirt around your waist, and you’re ready to go.

Layer Up Sweatshirt


Vests add a bit of pizzazz to any outfit. They look amazing with skinnies and ankle boots, and don’t even get me started on how they look popped over a cute little jersey dress. For the perfect neutral, toss a military-style, olive-green vest into your suitcase. That color and cut will go with just about anything you can think of.

If you’re planning of a lot of morning or evening walks, a puffy, down vest will do the trick. The best thing about a vest is that it’s not bulky. Your arms aren’t bogged down by the weight of a full jacket, so you can take pictures more easily and shop for souvenirs without the fear of knocking knickknacks of the shelves with your bulky sleeves.

Layer Up Vest


Sometimes, you simply can’t avoid taking along a jacket. The east coast cruise vacation is a perfect example. Some days will simply be too cold not to have something with a little extra heft to keep warm. Luckily, there are a lot of options. A denim jacket is a classic that goes with everything. These days, you can even wear it with your favorite pair of jeans.

A black or brown moto jacket is also a good option, especially if you’ll be going for a night on the town. It’s a bit edgier and can be dressed up in a way a jean jacket can’t be. Like the vest, a lightweight, military-style, olive-green jacket is a nice neutral. It will likely have a bit more length than the other jackets, giving you a some added warmth.

A personal favorite is a down jacket that folds into a travel pouch. They are ultra lightweight and fit nicely inside your purse. I used one of these on a spring vacation in Spain, and it was the perfect antidote to transition-season climate changes.

Layer Up Jackets

These are just a few of the ways you can layer up during the transition season. Use the #wanderlustwayfarer on Instagram to share your wardrobe ideas.

Transition Season Travel Shoes

It’s hard not to pack 10 pairs of shoes during transition season.


With a cool chill in the autumn air, it’s tempting to pack everything from flip-flops to winter boots. Finding the balance can be a bit of a nightmare. Pack one of each of these four types of footwear, and you’ll have your bases covered for a transition season trip.

Transition Season Travel Shoes


After Labor Day, it’s time to put away bright whites and summery styles. It’s okay to still wear sandals, but make sure they’re autumn appropriate. Keep it simple with dark or warm neutrals. And make sure you’ve got a little more coverage. Strappy, tan, gladiator sandals might work well when the sun is high in the sky, but they’ll seem out-of-place in the early morning when the temperatures are low.

Transition Season TRavel Shoes Sandals

Walking Shoes

Depending on your plans, a good pair of walking shoes will mean different things to different people. For typical tourist activities, like hop on hop off buses or shopping, a pair of canvas sneakers should do the trick. Think Converse or Toms. If you’ll be on your feet for hours at a time, you may want to consider something with a little extra support. Skechers Go walks will make you feel like you’re walking on clouds. If you’re thinking of climbing mountains or chasing waterfalls, a good pair of hikers is in order.

Transition Season TRavel Shoes Walking

Pro Tip: If you’re going someplace where it’s expected to get a little wet, you may want to swap out your sandals for something a little more practical, like a pair of wellies or duck boots.


You can’t go wrong with a good pair of flats. They don’t take up much room in your bag, and you can wear them a lot of different ways. For a casual shopping day, they’re a great way to dress up jeans and a tee. And they look great with shorts or even a cocktail dress. If you’re not into black, try a jewel tone for fall. Dark green, for example, is a great alternative to a neutral color. For a flirty look, choose a flat that has a little glitter or a funky pattern. Yosi Samra makes an amazing array of flats that fold up so you can take them with you wherever you go.

Transition Season TRavel Shoes Flats

Fancy Feet

To cover all of your bases, pack one pair of dressy shoes. As with the sandals, for the transition season, darker or neutral colors with more coverage work best. But it’s okay to have a little fun still. A pair of black, lace-up, block heels or a burgundy peep-toe ankle boot will spruce up any fall outfit. And, of course, you’re always safe sticking with a traditional pointy-toe black or champagne pump.

Transition Season TRavel Shoes Fancy

Pro Tip: Wear your biggest pair of shoes on the plane to save space in your bag. This may be your hiking books or a pair of heels. Cheat a bit, and toss a pair of $2 flip-flops in your purse as your fifth pair of shoes. You can slide them on for comfort once you’re seated on the plane. (And they can double as your pool shoes later in the trip.)

These four styles of footwear will keep you looking good through the transition season. Tag your travel shoe pictures on Instagram with #wanderlustwayfarer to share your ideas.


Swimwear: What to Wear Poolside on Vacation

Choosing the right swimwear for a week away is a daunting task.


No matter how much you work out or how body-confident you are, everyone gets anxiety over swimwear. Amplify this anxiety tenfold when you go on a beach vacation. Follow these easy tips to know just what you need to pack for a week anywhere there’s water.


  1. Lazy Days

Will you be spending most of your vacation on the beach or poolside on a cruise ship? Then, swimwear should feature prominently in your suitcase. You’ll need several swimsuits in various styles. For a lazy week sunning yourself, it’s completely reasonable to pack three to five swimsuits. Keep in mind you can change-up the look by adding accessories, such as fun flip-flops, statement necklaces and cute kimonos, to a few neutral swimwear styles.

swimwear kimono

2. Bikini Babe

What’s your personal style? Are you at home exposing a little extra skin? Go for it! Just be sure to consider your surroundings when deciding how much skin to bare. If you’re on a family beach, opt for swimwear with a little more coverage. Try a brief-like bottom and fuller bra top. But if you’re on a beach in Rio, anything goes. Break out the thong, and have a blast.

swimwear bikini

3. Pretty One-Piece

At one time, one-pieces were considered a major faux pas. But not anymore. These days, comfort is king, so if you feel at home a little more covered up, fear not. There are so many options available, it’s almost impossible not to find one that flatters your figure. Fifties vintage swimsuits are adorable, but you can also get super sexy styles with cut outs and plunging necklines.

1 piece swimwear

4. Keep It Covered

Regardless of where you are, most places want you to cover up inside eateries. All this means is that you’ll need to shop for a few cute cover ups to throw over top of your swimwear. There are dozens of styles, from kimonos and muumuus to rompers and tunics. For evenings consider something with a little sparkle. Glittery stripes or an embellished neckline are a nice touch.

Keep in mind that cover ups offer a big benefit. Under the scorching sun, they add an extra layer of protection. Not to mention, if you’re feeling self-conscious about being half-naked in front of strangers, they can help you feel a bit more relaxed.swimwear coverup

5. Other Options

Not everyone wants to wear a swimsuit around the pool. And that’s okay. There are plenty of other outfits you can sport. Leggings and an oversized tee, cutoffs and a tank, or a flirty skirt with a cold-shoulder blouse are just a few fun options. The key is to be comfortable in whatever you wear.

swimwear shorts

Regardless of what you wear by the pool, your best accessories are sunscreen, a hat, and a trashy magazine. It’s all about finding your style and having fun with it. Do you have more swimwear advice? Use #wanderlustwayfarer to share your pictures on Instagram.

Autumn Camping Essentials: Packing for the Season

Autumn is a time of transition, which can wreak havoc with your wardrobe. You need to pack certain camping essentials to get you through the season.


I know, I know. No one wants to think about the end of summer just yet, but whether you’re ready or not, Mother Nature has her own ideas. If you’re an early riser or a night owl, you’ve likely started to notice the weather gets quite a bit cooler when the mid-day sun is not shining above you.

For those of us who spend the better part of our summers enjoying the great outdoors in a tent or RV, the change of season can make it hard to know what to wear. And the last thing you want to be on a camping trip is that girl…you know, the one who packs her entire closet. All you need are these camping essentials to get you through.

camping essentials


When the mercury starts to dip, layering is an absolute must. But comfort is king when you’re camping. I like to start with a super-soft, lightweight tee as a base. If I know the temps are going to hit a high later in the day, I substitute a tank instead. And I can’t get enough of fun slogans, like the ones from Thug Life Shirts. Next, layer an oversized, plaid flannel or chambray shirt on top of your tee.

If it’s extra cool in the early morning, I like to throw on a sweatshirt or sweater as well. Camp Brand Goods has lots of fleece styles that are perfect for the occasion. And I simply can’t get enough of the ultra cozy ionic cape from Aritzia. You could also substitute a military-style or puffy vest. Throughout the day, peel off layers as the weather warms or even just rearrange their order as needed.

For brisk nights that even a campfire can’t heat up, you may need a little something more. A classic denim jacket is always a stylish and practical choice. An utility jacket is also a great option. Either one is durable, easy to clean, and not overly bulky, which is perfect for this time of year.

camping essentials


There’s nothing quite like an old pair of jeans. You know the ones. They have real holes in the knees and not perfectly placed store-bought tears. They’re rugged and soft. Those are the perfect camping pants. But if you cut off all of your jeans into shorts at the start of the season, don’t sweat it. A pair of basic black leggings will serve you just as well. For an added layer of warmth, be sure to pack a pair of sweatpants. You can’t go wrong with Roots Originals, for example.


It’s not too early to think about packing a knit beanie and gloves. In some places, like the mountains, temperatures can drop to the 50s. Not cool…well, except that it’s actually cool. Love or hate the look, you’ll likely want to toss on a pair of wool socks with your Birkenstocks, too. And don’t forget to wrap a thin scarf around your neck. You can use it to jazz up your outfit in the afternoon and add a bit of extra warmth when the temps dip.

But perhaps the number one accessory for this time of year is a good travel mug. Make sure it’s insulated and has a vacuum seal to keep your beverages extra hot. I like to use mine to keep my hands warm on a long walk. And hey, if you want to add a little something extra to your hot chocolate, who am I to judge? Whatever it takes to keep you warm on those cool August nights.

camping essentials

With these camping essentials, you’ll have everything you need to get you through the brisk August mornings and evenings. Have more suggestions for autumn camping essentials? Join the conversation in the Wanderlust Wayfarer Facebook group.


Packing Light: 5 Easy Outfits for a Night Out

Packing light is always a challenge, especially when you’re cruising.

Every woman wants to look good, even when she’s working with limited resources. Cruises have a lot going on at night. Formal dinners, live shows, bars, pool parties—the options are endless. But most of us don’t have enough room in even our biggest suitcase to pack a different outfit every night. Not to mention you may not know the types of events you’ll be dressing for.

If you’re planning on packing light, you need some easy outfits to take you from belle of the ball to dancing diva. The good news is that there are plenty of options. And the even better news is that none of them have to break the bank.

Devine Dark Denim

packing light

It’s simply not practical to take a lot dresses and skirts when you’re packing light. So every woman needs a good pair of jeans. And by good, I don’t necessarily mean the kind that cost $200 a pair. I mean they should fit you like a second skin, hugging all of your curves and accentuating your femininity.

It doesn’t matter if they are slim, skinny, or boot cut. They just need to make you feel good. And they need to be the darkest wash you can find without being black. This is key if you’re going to make them work as evening wear. Unless it’s between Easter and Labor Day. Then you could get away with substituting white jeans.

Personally, I look my best in a pair of $30 Levi’s. They’re classic, fit like a glove, and make me look 5 pounds lighter. What more can a girl ask for? And there are many other affordable jeans brands that can make you feel like a million bucks. Lee Rider and Joe Fresh are just a few options.

Dark denim is my number one can’t live without evening wear item for cruising, especially if I’m planning on packing light. I use a pair of dark jeans as the base for nearly every outfit I wear out at night, whether it’s to dinner or dancing. Most cruise lines offer a huge variety of dining options, and very few have a formal dress code. In my experience, most women are casting aside their cocktail dresses in favor of more versatile attire. On my most recent cruise, I didn’t see a single evening gown.

There are a million ways to wear a good pair of dark jeans, which is great news for ladies who want to create a fresh look every night. Ships are like small towns—even though there are thousands of people onboard, you always run into the same ones. My wardrobe stands out—people will notice if I’m wearing the same thing every night. Maybe I shouldn’t care, but I do anyway.

Beautiful Blouses

packing light

You can create countless looks by simply pairing a beautiful blouse with your dark denim. Typically, I pack one pair of jeans and one “top” for each night of the cruise. Sometimes, I pack a few less if one or two of my blouses are neutral and can be paired with other items to give them a different look. A white poplin blouse is a perfect example for packing light. You can wear it with a chunky necklace and heels one night, and two nights later, you can pair it with a scarf and flats. No one will know it’s the same shirt worn two ways.

Fluttery, loose-fitting tops look fantastic with skinny and slim fit jeans. For a more tailored look, consider a peplum to accentuate a narrow waist and shapely hips. If you’re a boot cut kinda gal, a form-fitting top balances out the wider width at the ankle.

My favorite tops to take with me are elegant and timeless, but they pack a lot of punch. Free People makes lovely lacy tops with a subtle twist. They make a new version of it each year. It’s perfect for any season and looks great with jeans.

Abundant Accessories

packing light

Often when we travel, we forget to bring along the little things. We think no one will notice or that it’s not worth the effort. But it is if you want to look good with less. You’re packing light. You’ve got one pair of pants and a handful of tops to work with. Your accessories are going to make or break your look.

There are few things I love more than a statement necklace. A good necklace can take a t-shirt and jeans from typical to terrific with the simple click of a clasp. Remember that white poplin blouse? Well, add a long pendant necklace for a low-key look one night and recycle it three or four nights later by pairing it with an oversized bib necklace. No one will know it’s the same top because it will look so different. Pull it out a third time by accessorizing with a blazer or cardigan and a scarf. One top three ways thanks to a few simple accessories.

You can even repurpose some of your daywear by adding the right pieces. I have a black jersey jumpsuit that I wear for lounging in the afternoon. At night, I add a belt to cinch in the waist and a big necklace. It’s the perfect outfit for a poolside party.

To keep your style diverse, be sure to pack belts, necklaces, bracelets, scarves, and earrings that complement your outfits and create different looks. Accessories are small and much easier to cram into the empty spaces in your bag than more clothes. They’re key for packing light.

Hair Affair

packing light

Long or short, your hair is one of the first things people notice about you. And it’s one of your best accessories. I know the way I wear my hair impacts my look overall. If I showed up at the gym with my long waves wrapped in a chignon, people would think I’d lost my marbles. Well, the same would be true if I was to wear messy topknot with a ball gown.

If you’ve got short hair, consider using a few embellished bobby pins or a glittery headband to add some extra pizzazz. For ladies with long tresses, you can wear your hair up or down, straight, wavy, or curly. You can add some sparkle or keep it simple. Regardless of length or cut, it’s important not to overdo your look.

If you’re wearing a top with a lot of beading and embroidery or a necklace that makes a big statement, there’s no need to add any extra adornments to your hair. I tone down my hair, leaving it loose waves or in a simple bun.

You can have more fun with your hair if your outfit is less likely to make a statement on its own. For example, if you’ve got on a simple white blouse, you might style your hair in a Bohemian updo. You can carefully place a few pearls between strands for a subtle and soft look that will turn heads.

 If the Shoe Fits

packing light

Every woman wonders how many shoes are too many to take on vacation, especially if she’s packing light. I try to take no more than four pairs—five if I don’t include heels. Sometimes, this means sacrificing a fan favorite for a more versatile option or going with second best for a certain look. The goal is to find a few pairs that work well with every outfit. But don’t forget comfort is king for day wear, so you need to find a balance.

Stick to a single pair of heels. This may mean a strappy sandal if you’re sailing the Caribbean, an ankle boot for European adventures, or a nude pump if places like New York or Dubai are on your itinerary. Each of these will work well with your dark denim, and if you play your cards right, any dresses you may have packed as well. I love ankle boots with a Boho swing dress—super stylish and dual purpose.

Pack at least one pair of flats. You know you’ll be sorry if you don’t. Choose a neutral color that complements the rest of your wardrobe. I wear a lot of ivory and pale pinks, so I have a blush ballet flat that I take everywhere I go. If you wear a lot of darker colors, you can’t go wrong with grey or black. For a little fun, you can try a metallic. Silver or gold are great neutrals and add a bit of spice to your look.

The other two pairs of shoes I take are dedicated to my daytime activities. I usually take a pair of Toms or Soludos because they’re both stylish and comfortable. I also toss in a pair of Skechers Go Walks if I know I’ll be spending more time on my feet. These can double as workout shoes if you want to do some light weightlifting. Lastly, a pair of flat sandals—flip flops or Birkenstocks—are in order if you’re headed someplace warm. They’re also perfect for poolside lounging.

These tips have served me well over the past few years and have helped make packing light a much easier task. I used to take countless dresses, tops, and bottoms on every trip, but now I stick to the simplest combinations I can put together.

Check out the Wanderlust Wayfarer Pinterest page for more outfit inspiration.

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packing light