Travelers can be divided into two types of people: those that love to pack and those that hate it. It can be a tedious activity, but below we’ve put together our best 10 tips for packing for a Martha’s Vineyard summer vacation. Everything you’ll need (and won’t need) is here - we hope our top ten tips make your next packing adventure a short and sweet one! Make sure to read our getting here and getting around posts for more information!
1. Make a list - and check it twice!
Making a list is the only way we can get organized, because once it’s on a list, you’ll definitely remember to pack it! They sell those nifty pre-listed packing lists, but nothing quicker and more affordable than just grabbing a sheet of paper and starting your own list, unique to you and your family.
2. Research the weather - it's still New England
Even though you’re planning a vacation in the middle of the summer, Martha’s Vineyard is still New England and can surprise you with cooler temperatures than you’d expect at times. Knowing this beforehand will help you pack the correct outfits.
3. Create outfits and an overall theme
Talking about outfits - plan around specific outfits or even “themes” so that you’ll pack less and more efficiently. During the summer on MV, you’ll just need a few outfits: exercise outfit if you plan on working out on the beach, beachwear such as swimsuits and coverups, casual outfits for meals or just hanging out, and a few “nicer” outfits if you plan on dining out. Have a golfer in your pack? Make sure to pack correct outfits such as collared shirts and pants, since most golf clubs have strict dress codes.
4. Think layers - light scarves, sweaters, the works
Because the weather might be chilly some nights and because it's often breezy by the water, it’s safe to say that bringing a lightweight sweater or cardigan is a must, no matter the season. These, along with a summer scarf, will keep you warm on nights when the temperatures drop but you’re still enjoying some outdoor dining or events.
5. Stick to three pairs of shoes - maximum!
Shoes are the one thing people tend to overpack - but let’s be real, between a pair of flip flops for the beach or pool, sneakers if you plan on working out, and a nice pair of sandals (or dress shoes for men). Plus, shoes tend to weigh more and if you’re checking a bag it’s something to consider!
6. Don't pack towels or beach blankets
This might be an obvious thing, but just a reminder - most hotels will provide you with beach towels and the fun of a trip is getting a great souvenir and we love some of the local shops that carry MV beach blankets. They’re perfect not just for the beach, but for picnics and chilly nights around a firepit.
7. Roll it, don't fold it!
A time-tested trick of rolling your clothes instead of folding them will give you more room. And more room doesn’t essentially mean more room for stuff to pack. We suggest leaving that extra room for the souvenirs you’ll bring back from your island vacation!
8. Have a ready-to-go health and first-aid kit
Taking preventative measures is always a good idea and having a small kit with the essentials like bandaids and such will make your vacation go smoother. You don’t want to be caught on the beach needing a bandaid and having to leave the sunny sands for it. A small enough kit that fits in your beach bag is just the thing you need.
9. Use dryer sheets to keep things fresh
Before leaving home, throw a few dryer sheets between your clothes and shoes in your luggage to keep everything fresh smelling! Such a simple thing - even more preparedness, bring a few more in a ziplock bag to include on your flight back.
10. Pack half of what you think you'll need
Once you have laid out everything you think you’ll need to pack - remove half the clothing! When on vacation, we tend to reuse clothes more than usual, plus it’s a casual community where you can definitely repeat outfits on the beach!
It's my job to love this place, and it's no work at all.