What makes me a good stylist, I believe, is that I am obsessed with efficiency.  In this gluttonous, can’t-get-enough, must-have fashion industry, I am more the exception than the norm.  My Capricornian ways have definitely served me well with clients as I have helped them streamline their closets and get more with less, become discerning about their choices and get better use out of what they own.  Packing for travel is no exception.  I have packed tons of clients for their travels and am an excellent packer for my own trips.  Between baggage fees and the desire to not slip a disc from lifting heavy suitcases, the best way to enjoy your summer vacation plans is to to pack light and in a way that will get you move wear from less stuff.  In today’s Accessorized 5 Ways I am going to show you how your beach bag can easily become your everything bag when traveling.

When I travel for a beach vacation I make it a point for my beach bag to be large bag I use for the duration of my vacation.  Bags can be a pain to pack in a suitcase and it is totally unnecessary to pack multiples.  To do this well you need to put some thought into this one versatile bag that will take you from airport to beach to sightseeing and more.

How to choose the right beach bag

There are so many different type of beach bags and totes out there to choose from.  You have two directions you can go in when making your choice.  The first is to choose a neutral style, like a straw bag or metallic, that will be versatile due to the color, or a printed bag.

Should you choose a printed bag the next step is to think about choosing the colors of your clothing so that it works with the bag you are taking so that the bag blends with all your outfits vs. it looking ill-matched and out of place.  The beauty of a printed bag is it can help you drill down the pieces to pack and possibly feel less overwhelmed because you will have to make sure you are choosing things that work with your bag.  If you are choosing a neutral colored bag you can be freer in the colors of clothing that you pack because the beach bag will match everything.

A bag within a bag

I’m a big fan of carrying a small bag within a larger bag.  I do this with my everyday bag and always have a smaller zipper purse inside that I keep things like my cell phone and small wallet inside of.  What this enables me to do is find the important things I might need quickly and so I won’t have to dig around.   For your beach bag a smaller zipper bag is a good tip for the same reason, and more, which you will see below.

How to use your beach bag for your entire vacation

Using this beach bag and small zipper clutch bag, both from Fossil, below are vacation outfits that show how one bag can be used all vacation long.

Outfit #1- For the airport

I think everyone needs a carry-on tote for a flight.  You need something sizable to carry your travel documents, wallet, phone and other things to make your flight more comfortable.  Your beach bag will certainly suffice.

This airport outfit is styled with a pair of comfortable Vince Camuto drawstring pants which are better looking than a pair of yoga pants or sweats while being just as comfortable, a navy t-shirt, an easy Athleta cardigan, mint scarf and coral ballerinas.

Everything in this outfit was chosen for a reason.  First, layering is important on a flight.  I always travel with a cardigan and a scarf.  You have an easier time getting a cold on a flight than you do a blanket or pillow.  The scarf can act as both.  Next, the ballerina flats.  Airport security is horrible and the goal is to get through it as quickly as possible.  Always try to travel with easy on and off shoes.  While a pair of flip flops can work just fine, with the frigid temperatures on the plane, ballerina flats are a better choice.  Another tip is to throw a small pair of socks into your bag just in case.  Lastly, no unnecessary jewelry.  There just isn’t any reason for it while flying.  First, it can set off the metal detector and, second, you may have to remove it at the TSA checkpoint, a total time suck.

Outfit #2- For the beach

In this outfit the beach bag is used exactly what it is for, the beach.  In this outfit I styled this Boden bikini top and bottoms with a Topshop coverup, a pair of metallic Tkees flip flops, sunhat and Anthropologie sunglasses.  In this look the scarf is being used again.  It can either be wrapped like a pareo or thrown over the shoulders if you feel a bit of a burn coming on.

Outfit #3- For a day out

Here the bag is used stylishly with a vacation-friendly maxi dress from Modcloth.  Instead of a beach bag  it just looks like a stylish tote.  For maximum efficiency all the same pieces are used here again to finish this look and, for some extra style all I did was add a pair of  Banana Republic coral drop earrings.  This is the beauty of making sure all the pieces you pack correspond with one another, you can get more with less.

Outfit #4- A day of sightseeing

For a day out sightseeing, a large tote, like your beach bag is a great item to bring along.  Chances are you’ll pick up some things along the way, will want to bring your camera, a bottle of water and snacks.  You’ll need something roomy.  Plus, with all the things you are carrying, the small zipper bag will make it easier to find important items quickly.

In this outift, I styled a cute pair of denim shorts with a purple t-shirt and the rest of the outfit was created using things you’ve already packed.

Outfit #5- For dinner out

While you may not bring a large tote with you for a nice dinner out while on vacation, this is why the small zipper bag is an important item to have with you.  You can leave the beach bag behind and just use the zipper bag as your purse.

Here, I took a summery navy dress and dressed it up by styling it with a pair of TOMS wedges, mint bracelet from Bauble Bar and the other accessories used previously.

When packing for a trip, think of your itinerary on a whole and choose items that can be used in multiple ways.  The more you can get from one piece the less you will have to pack and the more time you can spend enjoying your vacation!

Happy travels!

Shop for beach bags

Be sure to check out this beach bag post from a few weeks ago with some more tips and amazing styles to choose from.