Get inspiration for your next trip by seeing what one editor packed for her summer vacay

Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Colleen Kratofil WTI
Credit: Courtesy Kelly Kratofil

Who: Colleen Kratofil, Style Writer-Reporter

Where: Solvang, California and Venice, California

Typically when I’m packing for a summer vacay I just throw a ton of swimsuits into my suitcase and bring as many bottles of sunscreen as I can fit in my TSA-approved carry-on to lounge around a pool for days on end. But this year I switched things up by taking a trip to wine country, which meant my packing plan got more serious.

My first destination on the itinerary was Solvang, which has the most Instagrammable backdrop. Its Danish-style architecture — multiple windmills dot the town — creates the perfect photo opp everywhere you look, so the pressure was on to pack outfits cute enough to rival the amazing scenery. The second leg of the vacay was in Venice, which didn’t get above 70 degrees each day, which felt arctic compared to the typically-dry Cali heat. So to get some inspiration for your next getaway, find out what made it into my suitcase:

An Instagrammable-Outfit

Colleen Kratofil WTI
Credit: Courtesy Kelly Kratofil

Now this outfit was a bold one because I had signed up for multiple wine tastings that day (with red wine included!) so an all-white outfit was risky, but I simply couldn’t resist. This ruffled ruched crop top and wrap skirt combo from Farm Rio not only looked good for my Instagram snap in a vineyard, but fit right in under the windmills situated throughout the city of Solvang. (Plus, I love that the brand teamed up with One Tree Planted to donate a tree to be planted in the Amazon with every purchase.)

Pictures aside, the real reason I packed this is because I knew my room at the WorldMark Solvang had a private washer and dryer. So if worse came to worse, I could quickly save the garment from a stain fiasco. (And if you’re wondering, my outfit made it through stain-free!)

Buy It! Farm Rio Floral Appliqué Blouse, $145;

Buy It! Farm Rio Floral Appliqué Skirt, $175;

A Cute Day Dress

Colleen Kratofil WTI
Credit: Courtesy Kelly Kratofil

I had initially wanted to wear a long wrap dress for a second day of wine tasting at vineyards, but one step out the door made me realize the slightest breeze sent my dress flying. So I ran into a local boutique in town to grab another dress that would stay put (and wardrobe malfunction-free!) during a wine excursion tour.

Buy It! Cage “Julia” Dress, $25.99;

A Cozy Sweatshirt

Patagonia hoodie
Credit: Courtesy Nordstrom

Another amazing feature of the WorldMark Solvang property was that it had a full kitchen, so most nights were spent in whipping up something to eat while I was wrapped in my favorite travel hoodie — this zip-up Patagonia that also makes a great airplane must-have.

Buy It! Patagonia Organic Cotton Blend Quilted Hoodie, $169;

A Matches-with-Everything Purse

Frances Valentine
Credit: Courtesy Frances Valentine

As far as accessories went, I kept it very minimal by bringing only one handbag — a yellow-trimmed wicker bag by Frances Valentine. It looks tiny but it held all of my wine map tours and two back-up chargers — and didn’t make me look like a full-on tourist.

Buy It! Frances Valentine Betsy Wicker Basket Bag Canary, originally $298, now $145;

Easy Travel Day Outfit

Colleen Kratofil WTI
Credit: Courtesy Kelly Kratofil

For a day full of commuting on trains and cars to get back to Los Angeles, I stuck with the most basics of basics — a Madewell basic whisper cotton tee and ultra high-waisted denim shorts. I love a high-waisted jean for max comfort and the airy lightness of the tee really does live up to its “whisper” description.

Buy It! Madewell Whisper Cotton V-Neck Pocket Tee, $19.50;

Buy It! Madewell The MomJean Short in Josseyln Wash, $59.50;

Buy It! Herschel Supply Co. “Fifteen” Belt Bag, $30;

Summer Knit

Colleen Kratofil WTI
Credit: Courtesy Kelly Kratofil

Leaving New York City in a heatwave, it seemed crazy to be packing long-sleeve knits, but once I got to Venice, I was so happy I did. The temps were drastically cooler on the coast, so I stuck with long-sleeve open-weave tops, like this one from DH New York.

Buy It! DH New York V-Neck Tennis Sweater, $140;