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What I Packed for a Visit with Family & Friends

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June 15, 2021

We’re not really taking a big vacation this summer. Having just purchased a house, we’re focusing on getting it set up and, of course, recovering from those unexpected costs of moving. But we did drive down to Georgia this past week to visit friends and family. In yesterday’s post I detailed what I packed and wore at the lake when we visited friends there for a few days. And today I’m sharing what I’ve packed to wear while visiting family.

What I Packed for a Visit with Family & Friends

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My parents live in metro Atlanta where I grew up. They’re both retired from careers in education and now they stay busy in their church, community and home. While I’m visiting here, my mom and I like to get out for a “ladies’ luncheon” at least once, we have other family members in for a big spread and conversation somewhere along the way and we may hit the local shopping center. Otherwise, I like to read in the big swing in their backyard, run and walk in their neighborhood, play cards with my parents in the evenings and sleep a little later than usual. It’s a very low-key visit, and I like it that way.

swing
birdbath
Hydrangeas

So when I pack for a visit like this I try to select a capsule wardrobe that will intermix easily for multiple situations. But I don’t feel the need to pack anything extremely dressy. And I have the added benefit of having laundry facilities that I can use at any time.

For this trip, especially since we were also packing things for our lake visit, I decided to keep my capsule pretty lean. Now we all pack differently. I’m sure some of my readers pack much lighter. But I do like to have options, and I’d rather pack too much than not enough…especially since we came by car and had plenty of room for our luggage. But I really think I packed much lighter than I have in the past. Keep in mind, this is for a 10-day stay.

What I Packed for a Visit with Family & Friends

Everything I packed was very lightweight. And I made sure every single piece could serve multiple purposes. I rolled most of the items up, sometimes layering three items and rolling them together, to put them in my small carry-on size roller bag. My suitcase was amazingly light!

By the way, I’m sharing what I really packed. That means some of these items are quite old. And several of them are no longer available at all. But I’m linking to similar options when I can find something comparable.

Road Trip Outfit

Here’s what I wore to travel down to Georgia. I wore the same thing for our two and half hour drive to the lake, and I’ll probably wear the same outfit on my car trip home on Thursday.

House Guest Travel Outfit
fit and flare travel dress // bralette // similar tote from same brand // Sandals (more economical option)

That’s not my exact dress, but I wore one that I purchased about five or six years ago that is just like it. I love Title Nine for easy-breezy travel dresses. My large light taupe tote is no longer available either, but Everlane recently came out with an updated version that I love. I’m having to sit on my hands to keep myself from ordering it!

Exercise Gear

I always enjoy exercising in my parents’ neighborhood. It has lots of hills that give the backs of my legs a major workout. Plus it’s just so pretty. And I often see bluebirds while I’m on my walk or run.

HG exercise
Bomba ankle socks // Momentum tank// Solace Sports bra // Ultimate Stash Pocket 7″ shorts // Adidas Running Shoes

One thing I neglected to pack that I’ve been missing sorely is my runner’s belt. I never seem to pack exactly everything I need. Do you?

Casual Day Wear

I packed three pairs of linen pants and a pair of versatile green shorts for everyday wear. Then I packed four v-neck tank tops (similar) with broad shoulder bands and one graphic tee. I can wear these by themselves or with one of the three toppers I brought along:

HG casual days
neutral print ruana wrap (similar to mine) // v-neck tank tops (similar) // natural linen pants and HERE (more economical option) // black linen lantern pants (and here) (more economical option) // graphic tee // slide sandals (great economical option)

My linen pants that I’m showing here and brought with me on my trip are all from Eileen Fisher. A couple of them are from last year and these puckered linen pants are new this year. They are pricey, but I plan on living in these linen pants this summer…and next and the next! I do find that there is a difference in quality in linen. But if you’re wanting to try out the style without the price commitment, you might check into these 100% linen crop pants and/or these 100% linen lantern pants, both at Amazon (I personally am loving the lantern silhouette). They’re both a fraction of the price of the Eileen Fishers and they look great on the website.

HG casual pants
black linen lantern pants (and here) (more economical option) // cotton/linen blend cardigan // v-neck tank tops (similar) // linen-cotton crewneck boxy top // white linen button up shirt (similar option and another option) // natural linen pants and HERE (more economical option)

I’ve never traveled with exclusively linen pants before. But I’m on day 8 of my stay and I’m absolutely loving this choice. We’re having temperatures in the 80s and 90s and it’s quite humid. So these linen pant outfits are working splendidly.

Linen Pants Shopping Widget

I’ve gathered linen pants at a variety of price points in a shopping widget below. You also might check out my post, Instead of Shorts Wear These 11 Alternatives for additional linen options.

But I also brought one pair of olive green shorts. I purchased these last year from J.Jill and shared them in this post last summer with my white linen shirt. The shorts I’m showing here in the graphic are not those shorts, but they’re the closet photo I could find. And I think these shorts at J.Jill are probably very similar to mine. In fact, I know they’re the same color as mine. But these light olive linen shorts would be a great versatile option, too. My goal was simply to choose some shorts that would be versatile but that would also add a new color to my capsule wardrobe.

HG casual shorts
white linen shirt // v-neck tank tops (similar) // linen-cotton crewneck boxy top // similar green shorts // Tory Burch Miller sandals (more economical option)

Meeting the Boyfriend

Just before I left on our trip I had ordered some new linen pieces from Eileen Fisher. These are puckered linen, so they have a lightweight texture similar to seersucker. I bought three pieces I can mix and match with the neutral sweaters I also have.

HG outings
puckered organic linen shorts // short sleeve v-neck sweatshirt // cotton/linen blend cardigan // v-neck tank tops (similar) // linen-cotton crewneck boxy top // puckered linen stand collar shirt (or here at EF) // puckered linen lantern pants (similar better stocked option) // slide sandals (great economical option) // updated leather tote from Everlane

We met Abigail’s boyfriend for the first time the evening we arrived in Georgia. So I quickly freshened up and changed into the puckered linen lantern pants (similar better stocked option), the puckered linen stand collar shirt (or here at EF) and the cotton/linen blend cardigan for our dinner date. I wore the slide sandals (great economical option) and my Veronica hoop earrings. The outfit felt festive and fresh, but not overdressed.

Church and Lunch Outfit

It’s purely coincidence that the dress I packed also happens to be from Eileen Fisher. Honestly, I’ve worn Eileen Fisher before, but never this much at a time. Ha! I purchased this Eileen Fisher V-neck knit dress in last summer’s Nordstrom Anniversary Sale for 40% off. Mine is actually a pretty berry red, but I couldn’t pull up a photo of that color. The dress is obviously sold out. In fact, it sold out fast in the #NSale. But I’m showing it to you – and talking about it – because, A, I packed it and wore it to church and lunch. But also because, B, I want you to know what kind of great buys to expect in the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale. This is such a versatile dress and Eileen Fisher is hardly ever on sale at the beginning of a season…except in the Nordstrom Sale. They seem to have a similar dress in the sale every year, so watch for one this July.

(For more on preparing now for the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, which starts in July, check out my post, The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: How to Prepare for It.)

HG church and lunch
Veronica hoop earrings // similar updated leather tote from Everlane // my dress is actually berry red, but neither are available any longer // fitted slip // slide sandals

Sleepwear

While I tend to buy mixable separates for sleepwear anyhow, I especially think they’re a smart option for a houseguest. With my Enbliss bralette, slub ribbed tank top and pajama shirt I can layer on levels of modesty and then pare down when it’s time to crawl into bed.

HG sleepwear
Enbliss bralette // slub ribbed tank top // pajama shirt // poplin pajama pants // poplin pajama shorts // similar Acorn spa slippers

Likewise, I can wear my poplin pajama pants when I want a little more coverage but sleep in my poplin pajama shorts when it’s warm. And I’ve gotten to where I always travel with my similar Acorn spa slippers. Since they’re lightweight and flexible, I figure there’s plenty of room in my luggage for this little comfort of home.

I also did bring my Sunday afternoon loungewear on this trip. After all, I was coming home. If was just staying with friends, I might not have brought these. But Sunday afternoon I enjoyed being able to change into my Sunday shorts and this ultra soft short sleeved V-neck sweatshirt.

Basic Packing List for a Houseguest Trip

Since I realize you might not want to take the exact kinds of items I brought on my trip to see family and friends, I thought I’d share a basic packing list for a similar houseguest visit.

Packing List for a Houseguest Vacation
Click HERE for a downloadable version with shoppable links.

Thank you so much for stopping in today. I hope you have a lovely summer day! I’m continuing to enjoy my visit with my family and friends. So if I don’t respond to your comments, please know that I’m still reading all of them. And I always love hearing from my readers!

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Blessed for My Day

Some challenges seem insurmountable. And often those are the ones that take us by surprise, knocking us down before we even have a chance to try to overcome them. That wind-knocked-out-of-you sensation can leave you feeling defeated before the battle has begun. But don’t give in to those feelings of despair. If you do, you’re prone to make hasty decisions you’ll later regret.

Instead, choose to step back a moment. Gather your breath and your wits, but also ask the Lord for a birds eye view of your situation. Better yet, ask Him to show you His view of your challenge. Ask God to open your eyes to the reality of your situation but also to help you see Him at work in it. Remind yourself of how God has worked in your life before and lean into Him, expecting Him to provide everything you need this time, too.

When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O Lord, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. ~ 2 Kings 6:15-17

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xoxo, Kay
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15 thoughts on “What I Packed for a Visit with Family & Friends

  1. I enjoy reading your posts. Thank you for sharing bits of your life and sharing the portion of scripture. You bring comfort and insight.
    I hope you have had a wonderful vacation. I am not far from you. We live just across the Georgia-SC state line off I 85 exit 1. The heat and humidity has been a little uncomfortable.
    My husband was a pastor for 48yrs and retired 3yrs ago.
    I would like for you to do a segment for short ladies. I am 5ft and finding items sometimes is a challenge. Wanting to know some ideas for being short and on the heavier side. (Can I wear jeans or slack that have a cuff, can I wear a maxi dress.etc.)
    Thank you, God bless your ministry,
    Donna,
    [email protected]

  2. Your clothes are so pretty, and you are so talented! As a woman in my 70’s, I wish I could feel comfortable still wearing sleeveless clothes b/c they look so cool and comfortable.

    1. Well honestly I don’t think it’s my best look, but I recently realized that I see other women with large upper arms and all the other issues that aging brings…and I think they look lovely! We’re much harder on ourselves than anyone else. So I’m making a determined effort to stop hiding behind my clothes. Some days I feel braver than others. And some days my self doubts set in and sabotage my efforts. But I’m choosing – all in all – not to limit my wardrobe this summer just because I’m sensitive to a few flaws. Thanks so much for reading and sharing, Cindy. I didn’t mean to get going like that. Ha! But it’s just something I’ve been thinking through a lot lately. ?

      1. Bravo. I agree. I find self tanners on arms makes me feel healthy and fit as well. Tan always better than pale.

  3. Your Blessed for My Day post speaks directly to my heart today. Many of the posts do but today I needed your exact words. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration! Your website and videos are such a blessing.

  4. That scripture never fails to give me goosebumps and increase my faith. Your BFMDs lately have been exactly what I have needed. The last year and a half of our lives have been filled with situations that might have knocked us down, but God has blessed us through them, and our faith has been strengthened as we look to Him. I just wanted you to know that I can see God working through you to help me and others, and I wanted you to know. God bless you!

  5. Thank you Kay for such a detailed list of your travel wardrobe. It’s very helpful to see how you style and choose the items so everything blends well together. I have 2 pair of linen pants that I just love and I’m very interested in having more. My budget is more the Amazon type so I will try a pair that you suggested. I do a lot of resale shopping and occasionally I get lucky and find really nice linen pieces. I look forward to every post, I can’t wait to see what you share next.
    hope you have a wonderful visit with all the people you love !

  6. It is so great to see people out doing normal things again. Vacations, hugging and laughing. Our activities here are on the water like boating, fishing, crabbing and our fishing rodeo in July seem so much more important now. BFMD was a great reminder to not make big decisions when you are under stress.
    I really think I might like the puckered linen. I’m a big fan of seersucker especially in pants. I hold on too long to favorites. Time to refresh my wardrobe a bit. So nice to see you enjoying yourself. ??? It’s Summerrttime!

  7. It’s so nice to see that your traveling around to see friends/family because it makes me feel like taking my own trip someplace to see people dear to me. Your tips on packing are great and I especially like the bralette idea you mentioned in your lake house visit post. It seems weird to not wear a bra when not in my own home.
    The puckered linen is really different and looks nice. Another follower –Eve said they went fast so I will continue looking. Your posts are really refreshing and realistic for my casual lifestyle.

  8. What a fabulous BFMD! I love the concept for your daily Instagram posts. I am wondering if your clothes get wrinkled when you roll them in your suitcase. I do like the idea of using a capsule wardrobe when packing for a trip. I am a list kind of girl, so when we are going on an overnight trip, no matter if it’s for just one night, I start making a list as soon as we have made plans. That helps me to not forget anything. I know that some people keep an electronic list, but I need to be able to touch it at all times, and I like to write. I hope that y’all had a fabulous lunch today!

  9. I loved reading about your relaxed visit with your parents and what you do while you’re there. The pictures are beautiful! It all brought back memories of when I lived in Columbus, Georgia. I loved living in Georgia and I’ll always miss it.

    1. Ahh, yes I love it. I wanted to leave so badly as a kid. Then I did. And I’ve missed it ever since. I always forget how tall the trees are here. ?

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