The Summer Road Trip Packing List I used 4 times

I love a good packing list and this summer was the summer of southwestern outdoorsy road trips. I accidentally packed the same duffle bag four times: for camping, a trip to Arches, a trip to Palm Springs, and a cabin trip. But hey, it worked and was full of stuff that went from hiking to dinner and kept me cool and comfortable in the car. Here’s my packing list plus some fun summer shots of where I wore it.

Here’s the full packing list:

2 pairs of pull on shorts

4 tops: going out, tie dye, tank top, button down

1 light sweater

Hiking sandals (or a dressier version depending on the trip)

Athletic shoes

A hat, big tote, backpack, and swimsuit

Starting with shorts, I realized that anything that doesn’t acknowledge activity level on vacation just didn’t work for me, and I under no circumstances want to hike in denim shorts. So I completely skipped them and brought 2 pairs of these Athleta shorts. They are my absolute go-to because they have an elastic waist and are entirely unfussy, yet look semi-dressy for dinner with a shirt tucked in. You know the shorts are good when you’ve hyped them so much you show up to camping and your two other friends are ALSO in The Shorts. They are just that good.

A button down has been a surprising summer necessity too. This lightweight cotton one (thrifted) looks outdoorsy without the flannel warmth, but I also brought a crisp white button down a few times. The sun protection and ability to throw it in my bag as an easy layer was perfect.

My base for this whole packing list was obviously black. An added bonus is that the black sweater and black tank both make for chic faux-romper looks.

Between that and a floral cami I felt perfectly cute for exploring downtown Palm Springs and Moab with my leather Chacos (just as amazing as they sound).

I feel fortunate to live within a half day’s drive of so many awesome southwestern spots! It helped us to get out of the house and away from the Vegas heat. Having an automatic packing list made it even easier to just grab a bag and go without concentrating on what I looked like.

Got any other Utah/Nevada/California travel recommendations? We are having so much fun exploring!

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