Packing for a Weekend at the Lake

This is stacking up to be one busy summer! Between puppy sitting our grand bull-pup, and two separate getaways for the Mr and myself (he to Alaska and me to Tahoe), it’s finally time to take off together to enjoy some water-sports in the Arizona sun. We’ll be flying to Southern California, then driving to Lake Havasu the next day.

We’ll be staying overnight in the San Diego area on both ends of our trip, so not only do we have to pack for the 112 degree temperatures at the lake, but we will have to prepare for the potential cool beach temperatures, especially mornings and evenings. Oh and did I mention, we’ll be carrying on? How will I pack?

First of all, we won’t need much at the lake – with sweltering temperatures and hours spent on the water, I’ll just be taking my swimsuit, coverups and a couple of breezy dresses to wear when we return to the house.

I’ill need a sweater or light jacket for mornings and evenings in San Diego as well as air conditioned buildings. I often find myself freezing inside even when the outdoor temperatures soar over 100 degrees. Do you ever have that problem?

So what to pack? I’m not a packing expert by any means, for that you really need to check out one of my favorite blogs, “une femme d’un certain age.” Susan is a genius when it comes to styling outfits for women – very classic. To whom do you turn for packing advice?

We’re back now, so let me explain what I packed and what I actually wore, Remember, we were carrying on. Here is what I took…

For on the boat and swimming.

  • Swim suit: I found the swim shorts and top on deep clearance at Athleta a couple of years ago. I love the swim shorts. they’re easier for me to wear than a skirted tankini, especially on the boat. They are bit more casual. and truth be known, instead of that swim top, I wore a sports bra and a workout top. The combination proved more practical. It was lighter weight and dried a lot more quickly than the swim top. Next year – no swimsuit top for the lake.
  • Two long sleeve coverups: I wore these as sunscreen. I do want to get a little tan, so after about 30 minutes I’ll put on the coverup to protect from the sun. They are light weight and I wear them while floating in the water as well.
  • Sarong: I have a couple of these I wear over a traditional swimsuit. It didn’t get unpacked this year. I often wear a sarong combined with a tank top while lounging at the end of the day – but not this time.
  • Hat: a must. I got this as a gift (it’s from Costco) – it has an adjustable chin strap that keeps it on while the boat is on the move. The other bonus – it springs back into shape after being smashed in the suitcase.
  • Flip Flops: You can’t read the logo, but they are Nike, and are more sturdy than the rubber ones you can buy at Old Navy or similar stores. I can and did, wear them with casual dresses and pants too.

For the late afternoon and evening:

  • Dresses: It was 110+ degrees at Lake Havasu. Although it wasn’t too humid, it was still HOT so these were perfect for going to dinner and relaxing in the evening. I got the dresses in the first photo a couple of weeks ago from Old Navy, on sale. I wore the dress in the bottom picture to dinner in San Diego. I got it last year from The Loft.  I wear it a lot and it again worked perfectly.
  • Top: This is from Old Navy on sale as well. I wore it with white cropped jeans on the return trip home.

This top is so comfortable and I ended up wearing it as a coverup as well as a casual top with cropped leggings.

Here’s my entire wardrobe for 6 days.

  • I wore the gold sleeveless sweater-top to the airport with white jeans and tan sandals. I also took a jean jacket, which I wore on the plane and in the evening in San Diego.
  • I wore my work out pants, sports bra and the orange cover-up in the car on the way to and from the lake. Very comfortable for a 5 hour car ride.
  • At the last minute I edited my cropped dark jeans and replaced them with cropped white jeans. A good call since those cute little Westies put some sniffy love on my white jeans the first day we were with them. The cropped white jeans were a perfect substitute.
  • I didn’t wear… the print top just above the sandals, the sarong and the two tank tops, I also didn’t wear those purple patent leather flip-flops.


I’m a notorious over packer. My mom’s mantra was, “better to have and not need than to need and not have.”  I guess I’ve adopted her attitude. But faced with the facts that we were carrying on in addition to very hot weather conditions, I was able to successfully pack light, with only 4 pieces of my wardrobe not worn. Not too bad for me and my packing history. I usually try to follow the two tops for every bottom ratio that Susan suggests here, but with the very hot weather, I opted for lightweight dresses instead. They were so easy to pack.

 I could  have gotten away with one pair of jeans, but I know when I wear white jeans, I’m a magnet for spills and dirt. You?

Overall, I’m pretty happy with editing my wardrobe for this 6 day trip. Now, I just have to keep that mindset as I pack for 3 weeks in France. Can I do it? Stay tuned.

Do you have a packing strategy or a go-to website for great wardrobe options while on vacation? I’d love to know. Remember, I’m packing for 3 weeks in France the first of October, I have a feeling I’ll need all the help I can get.

Until next time..,







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2 thoughts on “Packing for a Weekend at the Lake

  1. I love that grey “dress/cover-up”with the shirred sides! That is really cute! Personally, I’d say I’m more of an under-packer, haha. It usually works to my advantage, but there was at least one time when I had to purchase a sweater because I hadn’t packed warm enough clothes. My only packing tip is to roll everything up to save space, but everyone probably already knows that!

    • That gray coverup is from Athleta it dries quickly – My favorite at the moment. I’ve tried the rolling technique, but I find that if I fold things and stack them sideways in my suitcase it works better for me. Mainly because I can see everything without digging through my bag. Works for me anyway. I’ve ordered packing cubes for our fall trip, so I’ll see how it goes.