If you’re anything like me, you think you’re ready for a vacation—until the week or so before your trip. That’s when you realize there is so much more to do, so many little things you need to pick up before you go, and you are stressed because it’s not like you don’t have a job and kids and a million other responsibilities—all of which are inevitably piling up in the same laughable fashion. This guide is intended to help you reign things in. If you still need anything and everything and it’s not quite the dawn of your holiday, head over to the Noir Friday Vacation Shop. But if you need a nest of random things: one more dress, a good book recommendation, a pair of sandals, etc., etc., this is the guide for you. I have selected the five best items in each category so you can quickly cross the last things off your list and hit the road. Ready, jet, go.
The Five Best Dresses on Sale
These dresses are favorites. I already bought the No. 21 striped number and it’s super cute and flattering. I also bought the flowy Ulla Johnson dress for a bit of drama in my summer wardrobe this year. But I need one more and I’m lusting after a Lisa Marie Fernandez frock—the ones through Farfetch are an extra 20 percent off right now and are perfect for beach to lunch.
I read Crazy Rich Asians on my last vacation and it was hilarious and perfect; I plan on surfing through the other two books in Kevin Kwan’s series this summer. The Identicals—set on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard and promising loads of family drama—is a no-brainer. And I have an inkling to read about food and France this summer. I took my daughter to see Julie & Julia in the park recently and she is obsessed with Julia Child, so I am going to read about her time in France. I have also been craving a little Ruth Reichl. The ex-Gourmet editor’s first book, Comfort Me With Apples, is one of my all-time favorites.
What to Take to the Beach
Once again, if you’re anything at all like me, you pour over summer guides early in the season showing glistening pool floats and handy cases and all sorts of great little items that scream “best summer ever” and you 100 percent intend to buy them. Fast forward to when you’re actually at the beach and you have none of those things. Here’s one more chance to pick them up.
Shoes and Bags
You bought these great summer dresses—the question is what to wear for shoes, which not only have to compliment your outfits but your location. (I learned this the hard way last summer when I jammed my kitten Valentino heel in a grate in Italy.) And then, of course, you need a bag that goes with everything because you don’t want to pack too much.
The Best Swimwear
Wear on the Plane
Your Final Checklist
Forget all lists
Enjoy the simple things
Live in the moment