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All the Things I Would Pack for the Tropical Vacation I Wish I Was Going On

Seven pieces that deserve a spot in your carry-on for your next beach trip, real or imagined.

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Photo: Veronica Dreyer

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Pitches for resort and beachwear have been burying every other kind of email in my inbox for the last few weeks, which makes sense, considering the end of the holiday season is just the start of those escape-to-warmer-weather vacations. Still, it’s torture for someone like me, who has no intention of booking a flight to the tropics anytime soon.

With every lookbook, I lose about 15 minutes at my desk daydreaming about how I would style my luxury bikini top with a pair of high-waisted shorts, pack local finds away in my beach tote, and slip out of my hardware-adorned sandals to jump into the resort’s infinity pool.

But in the (very probable) chance that you, reader, actually have your tropical plans set for this season, I’ve already done the what-to-pack legwork for you.

Whether you’re going to St. Barths or Tulum, these seven pieces deserve a spot in your carry-on. From a ruffled dress to sunglasses to the perfect bathing suit, all are right at home poolside or beachside, and work well together, too — meaning the added bonus of helping you to pack light.

An easy off-and-on dress
Paloma Blue Ruffle Wrap Dress, $395

Wear-with-anything sandals
H&M Sandals, $18

The lad-back jumpsuit
Lacausa Santi Jumpsuit, $165

Standout sunglasses
Le Specs Bandwagon Frames, $69

The live-in bathing suit
Veronica Dreyer Bikini, $160

A festive beach bag
Sensi Studio Beaded Canasta Tote, $237

Statement earrings
Figue Gypsy Earrings, $50