My CANCUN Packing List!

April is here and it's already flying by which means soon Johnny and I will be in paradise as we head to Cancun next week. This will be the first of what is sure to be many adventures together, plus Johnny will have just taken his medical boards test (and passed, duh). So we will have a lot to celebrate--bring on the tequila and beach time! I've talked to a couple friends who requested me to blog about what I'm taking with me, so without further ado, here is my Cancun packing list! I apologize in advance if this turns into a super long blog post. I'm a notorious over-packer, so I will try to just stick to the highlights here. ;)

First and foremost, don't forget your passport! Johnny and I found our passports and double checked their expiration dates before we even booked the trip. If you don't have a passport, you can apply for one here, but keep in mind that it can take upwards of three months to receive your passport! As well as passport, make sure you have all travel docs, cash, and other important items such as medications lined up well before you leave. I like to have my essentials in order before moving on to the fun stuff (BIKNIS!!)

After a passport, the first items I'll be tossing in my suitcase are bikinis! I have way too many sets, but I always like to add a couple new styles to the mix every year to keep it fresh. This year, I challenged myself to look beyond Victoria's Secret since ALL of my suits have been from there in the past. I'm really glad I stepped out of that rut as these different brands suit my body type much better than VS. I purchased the bikini in the top photo from a brand called FLOOK the Label. It's a really cool brand because it's a small business owned by a young woman out of Bali who hand crochets the styles in her line. You can find her products on ASOS and she has done some collaborations with Andi Bagus--another great (and very affordable!) brand to check out if you love the crochet bikini look!

The second bikini I bought for the trip is the blue Tuesday bikini by KIINI. Full disclosure--this bikini is definitely on the pricey side. It is extremely cute and well made. The neoprene fabric really makes the best of my A cup boob situation and the crochet and colorful elastic bands make for a perfect fit all around. My favorite feature (besides the fun colors) is that the top just slips on and off with no ties or clasps! However, in my opinion, a KIINI isn't worth the full price tag, but it is worth paying a little extra for if you find a good deal on eBay. Like I do for so many investment piece products, I created a followed search for KIINI on eBay and waited patiently until one day I saw the Tuesday KIINI for a price I liked. However, if you want this look but without the high price tag or the hassle of the eBay search, Victoria's Secret came out with a similar bikini this year! Click here to see these VS styles!

I've had my eye on The Beach People for awhile. It's an Australian company that makes these impossibly amazing round beach towels. It's a rule of thumb for me that after I stalk something for more than two years, I should probably consider purchasing it. That was the case with this "roundie" (as these towels are called). I've been to many all-inclusive resorts where beach towels are a problem. At one resort in Jamaica, you actually had to check out your beach towels at the beginning of the day and if you didn't check them back in you'd be fined! Not exactly relaxing. So it will be nice to have this giant, cute towel that Johnny and I can both lay on (in style, I might add). I think it will be especially nice since we have our own private pool on our balcony, so we won't have to use bath towels laying out up there. I might curse myself when I try to fit this thing into my sure-to-be-overpacked suitcase, but it will be worth it! ;) All the roundies are really cute, but I had to go with The Palm Springs (shown above). I love the pops of color and the black fringe!

Don't forget a fun coverup to throw on over your bikini! When trying to decide what little dress or romper to bring, consider how easy it is to put on. You don't want to be fumbling with a million straps and zippers! This is why I love this dress from Urban Outfitters--it has everything you could want in a cover up, a little sheer, a little sexy, a little fun. Plus, it just slips on! For another option, I can't recommend a kimono more. I bought a light, breezy kimono in a bright colored style a few years ago and love wearing it as a cover up at the beach. It's a nice change of pace from the typical sun dress! The kimono pictured would be perfect with its leafy print and fun fringe (plus, it's on sale!). For our five day trip and I plan on bringing a sundress, a romper and a kimono so I will have three cover up options.

A beach bag is a must-have item that is often forgotten. I don't know how many times I have ended up having to buy an overpriced tote at the resort shop to haul my stuff around in. This bag from American Eagle is lightweight and would pack down easily so it wouldn't take up much room in the suitcase. Another item that's a must is a hat. Not only does it protect your face from sun, but it takes the beach vibes to another level! I love this one by Free People. Unless you are going to wear your hat on the plane, try to choose a floppy felt style that won't lose its shape too much during travel. I will also have sunscreen, coconut oil (for salty, wet hair), sunglasses and a book in my beach bag. While I am an avid collector of Ray-Bans, I like to pick up a cheap pair of shades for traveling so that way I don't have to worry about them getting broken, dirty or lost in the waves. I also can't travel without a good book. I have a Kindle Fire, but it's hard to read in the bright sun so I picked up a couple paperbacks for the beach. I'm really excited to read this recently published dystopian (!!), Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel. I'm sure it will be an even better read by the waves. :)

Going on vacation--especially to somewhere tropical--is a great time to go all out with some really fun styles for evening wear. I always pack a great dress that I rarely get a chance to wear. For me, it is part of the fun! I don't own any of these dresses (I wish I did!), but they are great examples of fun evening styles for a tropical getaway. The emerald green dress and the white fringe dress are both by Free People. I love a white dress for tropical island nights, and the exotic color of the green dress is perfect as well. The best thing about these two dresses is they aren't overly beachy (if that makes sense), so you could wear them again for date night or an event back home. The middle aqua blue tie dye dress by Jen's Pirate Booty is one that I totally love, but probably wouldn't wear back here in Kansas. The bright color and laid back print just scream, "I'm at the beach!!" However, I think it's fun to have a dress like that in your closet. That way you pull it out, put it in your suitcase, and when you put it on, you intrinsically know you're on island time.

As for beauty and hair products, I don't really bring much with me when I'm going tropical. As I mentioned before, I always bring argan or coconut oil with me to keep my hair moisturized from all the salt, sun and chlorine. Normally, the tropical humidity takes my hair on its own journey of frizz and waves, so I don't do much to tame it as fighting losing battles is not my thing. So my straightener/blow dryer/curling wand will be staying home on this one. I also don't wear much of any makeup on the beach. I may dab some concealer under my eyes if I have dark circles, but that's about it. Anything else just gets washed off or would get messed up when I apply sunscreen throughout the day. However, I will definitely bring makeup for going out to dinner or to a club. Even that I will keep pretty simple so I don't take up room in my suitcase. Basically, my take is that a beach vacation is supposed to be low maintenance and laid back. It's not a time to stress about your smoky eye being just right or the perfect blow out. This laid back mentality goes for all the items on your packing list--when it all boils down to it, all you really need is a cute 'kini, your best friend and a tropical drink. Then just relax by the waves and let the island vibes do the talking! :)