This post is sponsored by Nordstrom. All opinions and selections are my own.
If you’ve been following along with my stories then you know we hit the road in our Airstream for our first family vacation of the summer just last weekend! We’ve been going on family camping trips since Lily was about three years old and Luke was six months old, and, last year, we finally crossed off the last item on our American travel list. We’ve taken the kids to every single state, every national park, and every major monument—whew! Let me tell you, we’ve roasted a TON of marshmallows with all those camping trips! Our country is so beautiful that there are tons of places we’d like to visit again, but now that the kids are old enough to really appreciate travel, we’ve decided it’s time to go international.
That’s right, we’re heading to Italy this summer!
I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I am for this trip. This will be my first time in Europe and I’ve been reading all the guidebooks and blog posts I can find to prepare myself. There’s so much I’ve been dreaming about: The language! The history! The stunning views! The pasta! This mama is ready to say ciao to all things Italiano. But before I can stroll down those cobblestone streets with a gelato in hand, I have to pack. And with the help of Nordstrom, I’m going to share my packing strategy for traveling abroad with you here.
Steve has very firmly (and probably wisely, much as I hate to admit it!) put his foot down and declared we each get to bring one—and only one—suitcase. For just a weekend away, that wouldn’t be a problem, right? But we’re spending a week in Italy and then we’re boarding a cruise ship in Rome that will take us on to France and Spain. All in all, we’ll be gone for two weeks—that’s a lot of clothes to fit into one bag! Especially for someone who likes to have ALL THE THINGS with me all the time! But we do have to haul our bags from hotel to hotel, on and off trains, and then on to the cruise ship, so packing light makes sense.
Luckily, I have a secret strategy for this trip. Lily and I finally wear the same sizes! So that means we can swap clothes for double the looks. Isn’t that fun? From my research, I knew we’d need versatile outfits that could be layered to cover our shoulders in churches and other historic religious sites and that could easily transition from day to night or from park to museum by changing up a few pieces. We want to look put together, appropriate, and respectful, but also comfortable and cool in the warm weather. My mind immediately went to pretty floral sundresses, cute sneakers, and, of course, stylish hats (so I don’t have to waste precious time washing and styling my hair every single day)! Can I get an amen to that?
Lily and I started our planning online, checking out different pieces and reading reviews. Our styles are pretty similar, although there are a few things I picked that she would never wear (and vice versa!). Luckily, Nordstrom has us both covered. We knew Nordstrom would be our go-to spot, and the “Looks” option on Nordstrom.com was a great way for us to find other pieces and accessories that worked well with the dresses and sneakers we’d been eyeing. With a good idea of what we were looking for, we headed to Nordstrom’s Half Yearly sale and did it up! At the end of a full day of shopping, we tried everything on with pieces we already had until we were satisfied we had the perfect looks for the trip. I mean, how cute is Lily’s red printed romper with those bows on the sleeve? And I feel like I’m going to live in this light-weight printed skirt this summer. It looks great with a white tee or a black tank and I can dress it up or down so easily. Plus—how great are our hats? We found so many cute options with just wide-enough brims to shade my face, while still fitting easily in a suitcase! And you can never go wrong with a sweet botanical sundress or a black dress with ruffled straps—tres chic, no?
As you can imagine, we are over the moon, beyond excited. I’m so grateful we get to take a trip like this with our kids, and so thankful for Nordstrom for making it so easy to find everything we needed for a stylish vacation. I can’t wait to share everything with you when we get back from our trip in case any of you are considering an Italian vacay, so be on the lookout for that. But in the meantime, I’ve shared my picks below for travel looks that are easy to pack, perfect for mixing and matching, and that can transition from sightseeing with sneakers to dinner with heels and a fun earring.
GRAB YOUR PASSPORT
DRESS TO IMPRESS
STAY LIGHT ON YOUR FEET
SHADE THE SUN