Hi! Happy Monday. :)
Over my little blogging break last week, Aaron and I took a road trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico for four days of adventuring and relaxing. We had a grand ol’ time!
Packing was a little challenging because we had a wide range of activities to cover (everything from hiking to a fancy dinner) plus some pretty massive temperature swings (from 80 degrees to 30 degrees). Curious how I made it work in a carry-on? You’re in luck because today we’ll chat what I packed, what we did, and what I wore each day.
Because of our varied activities and weather, I split my suitcase into two categories — one part sporty clothes, one part regular clothes. Then I split those categories in half — packing half warm weather clothes and half cold weather clothes for both categories.
Everything fit nicely into my carry-on, and while I probably could have packed a little lighter (it was a short trip, after all), I’m still glad I brought what I did. Some things got very little use — I only wore my jeans for a few hours, only wore my coatigan for a few minutes, and never ended up wearing my silk tee — but I was happy to have them all the same.
01 | Long sleeve tee (old) | similar | similar in short sleeve | similar in a v-neck
03 | Sport sweatshirt (old) | similar | similar
04 | Silk tee (made responsibly)| similar (under $70) | similar (under $30) | similar
05 | Wool cardigan (old) | similar | similar in linen for warm weather
06 | Sport tank
07 | Sport shorts
08 | Cut-off shorts (old) | similar (made in USA) | similar (under $50)
09 | Bathing suit (old from Victoria’s Secret) | similar (as shown in graphic) | similar for less
10 | Skinny jeans | similar (made responsibly) | similar (under $60) | similar (under $30)
11 | Yoga Leggings (made responsibly)
12 | Boho dress | similar | similar in a drop-waist
13 | Ankle booties (old) | similar (on sale) | similar (made responsibly)
14 | Hi-top sneakers (old) | similar
15 | Flip flops (old) | similar | similar
DAY 1 / ROAD TRIP + SANTA FE
On our 7 hour road trip, we snacked on cocoa dusted almonds, listened to this happy playlist, and enjoyed the scenery as it rolled past.
We just had one afternoon + night in Santa Fe proper, so we made the most of it, staying at the historic Hotel La Fonda and eating the fanciest, most delicious dinner at Sazon.
WHAT I WORE: For the road trip, I went comfy and wore my sport shorts, tank, sweatshirt, and Vans. Once we got to Santa Fe, I changed into skinny jeans, my cognac long sleeve tee, and Vans — perfect for wandering around the Plaza for the afternoon. For dinner, I changed into my boho dress and booties. (And just look at Aaron’s amazing style up there! That vintage-y shirt with that jean jacket? He’s the coolest.)
DAY 2 / TENT ROCKS
The next morning, we ate a quick breakfast in Santa Fe and then headed out to Tent Rocks.
Hands down, this was our favorite part of the trip. Tent rocks is a 30 minute drive outside of Santa Fe and it’s well worth it — put it on your bucket list stat.
Even though it’s just a 2-ish mile hike, we took it slow and spent the whole morning enjoying the scenery. Just looking at these photos makes me want to go back!
WHAT I WORE: The hike was easy so I wore my cutoff shorts, base layer tee, and hi-top Vans.
DAY 2-4 / OJO CALIENTE
The end of our trip was all about relaxing, so we stayed at Ojo Caliente for their legendary hot springs. You know what’s cool about Ojo? They have a no cell phone policy — you can use your phone in your room, but you’re not allowed to bring it out on the property. That little break from screens was blissful.
Most of our time was spent reading in hammocks or hopping in and out of the hot springs. We also hiked around, played card games, stargazed, and made s’mores around the campfire. To me, that’s the ultimate vacation itinerary. Give me all the chill.
WHAT I WORE: I wore my boho dress and booties one night for dinner. (Yep, I wore it two out of three nights of our trip. No shame in repeating outfits — I love that dress so much!) Other than that, at Ojo, I wore athletic clothes or my swimsuit.
• • •
And there you have it! :)
What about you? Have you ever been to any of these places? What did you think? Got any other desert destinations we should put on our travel lists?
Tomorrow, we’ll kick off a little series with my boho dress — I’ll share a different way to style it each day for the rest of the week. And … the photos will be a little different than you’re used to — I’m trying out a new photo style for my everyday outfit posts. Ah, nervous but excited! See you tomorrow for look one!
I’ve been to Santa Fe before but I think your trip was much better! We were on a relocation road trip so when we got there we were exhausted. We walked around the little town, got sick of the same old same old shops and fell asleep early til the next day. It seemed like an old people town. But it looks like you figured out how to make it pretty awesome. That hike looks beautiful!
-Kirsten // pork & cookies
Your packing list is beautiful and clever! For me packing is still a challenge … now I work even with Excel in this context :)
xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
Great post and pics! I love the swimsuit shown in the photo of your back, but it doesn’t seem to match the link you shared to J crew. Can you tell me where to find that one?
Hey Breanne! Sorry for the confusion, I had linked to the one in the graphic since mine is old. But I fixed that — and added some similar options. Thank you! :)
littleblackdomicile blogger says
Love your comment about wearing the same outfit a few times. I think that is great…when you like what you are wearing you own it and rock it! Ojo no cell phones in public is a smashing idea!-Laurel Bledsoe
Tent Rocks looks absolutely amazing, I would love to go there one day! I love the swimsuit you brought with you, so pretty.
Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with the new pictures :)
Agnese | Agnese’s Coiffeuse
Love the swimsuit top! The link connects to a different one. Could you kindly correct?
Hey Nancie, the link is fixed! Thanks :)
Make more travel issues — I LOVED seeing the sites I didn’t know Santa Fe had!
Caroline Rose says
I’m from ABQ and love Santa Fe and Tent Rocks! Some day I’ll make it to Ojo Caliente.
Tent Rocks looks stunning, I would love to go there one day. The swimsuit you brought with you is so pretty, definitely inserting it into my wish list for my summer shopping!
Can’t wait to see what you’ll do with those pictures :)
Anna W says
Hiking, hot springs, and no cell phones?? Sign me up! This sounds AMAZING. Best birthday trip ever! Happy day to you!
Thanks Anna! It was great. :)
Sheila Joy says
Ahh, love these photos you shared! Santa Fe looks so nice. I’ve never been to the west coast, but would definitely love a trip here someday in the future. I love that your split your suitcase up, I’m sure that makes packing AND unpacking so much easier :)
I just love that dress! Caroline, you hike on most vacations, but do you do other workouts too? Like a short daily yoga routine? Just curious, I have a hard time fitting that in when I’m out of routine.
Hey Brianne, I love finding local yoga classes! Other than that, just light hiking. And if I miss a workout, no big deal. :)
The trip looked amazing. Do you use any particular apps to find things to do in a specific place? I’m sure there are many hidden gems or things to do in my state but I can’t go by word of mouth since I don’t know many people here (just moved). I would love to wear my dresses for days in a row but unfortunately I have excessive sweating and must wash my clothes after one use. Also my skin is very sensitive and will irritate with any harsh cottons, polyesters. A lot of retailers are switching to cheaper fabrics which have led me to look into more expensive brands such as everlane. Does everlane have soft clothes?
I have the cotton v-neck from Everlane, and it’s incredibly soft! As is their cashmere, but that’s a given :)
Hey Leigh, I don’t use any particular app, but I usually search tags on Instagram or Pinterest (like #santafe for example.) As for the tees, I have the linen tee from Everlane, and I wouldn’t say it’s the softest tee in the world, but the more I wash, the more it softens up. :)
Loved this post. I love all of your packing posts, in fact! My husband are taking our delayed honeymoon in July (we got married in January) and I’m already starting to plot my outfits for our 10-day excursion. We’re going to Quebec City so I’m hoping the weather has warmed up a bit by then. At any rate, I’m so glad you enjoyed your time in Santa Fe, it looked like a fabulous trip! I look forward to seeing tomorrow’s post featuring that adorable dress.
Shawna || http://www.shawnaleeann.com
Sounds so fun, Shawna! Enjoy your honeymoon! :)
Sarah SIlver says
I love love love this post! I hope you will continue to post travel itineraries with your packing lists. It’s really fun to get the whole vibe of the trip, from hotels, to snacks to playlists. Did you read any good books while you were there? What games do you guys like to play? Keep it up!
Hey Sarah, I’ve been reading The Magnolia Story (from the Fixer Upper show folks), Elantris (fantasy by Brandon Sanderson), and Meditations on the Mat (yoga). As for games, when it’s just the two of us, Aaron and I like to play Diamonds (a card game) or Ticket to Ride (on our phones). :)
Alicia Damron says
That looks like a wonderful vacation! I love the pictures! Is it just me or is the bathing suit you’re wearing in the one picture different from the one shown on your packing list? The position of the back straps looks different.
Hey Alicia! I had actually linked to the one in the graphic, since mine is old. But I fixed it so there wouldn’t be any confusion. Thank you! :)
will you share a layout of the outfits each day? :)
Hey Mel! I didn’t have time to put that together this time, but I did list which items I wore each day. Hope that helps! :)
Abigail Alice says
I loved reading this post! Your photos look so beautiful. I’m a big fan of going hiking whilst on vacation too and just making sure I keep as active as I possibly can.
Abigail Alice ?
Amanda westfall says
YOU’RE SO COOL!
HI, I’m new to your blog and I think it’s brilliant. I definitely try to make better decisions when before buying, but I also can get caught up in not deciding at all! You’ve helped me stay a bit more focused and see the items I already have from a different angle.
Something that might be cool to add is a men’s capsule!! My husband needs a wardrobe overhaul. He’s such a good looking guy, want him to dress the part!
Hey Guylaine! I did share one of Aaron’s previous capsules here, if you want to get some ideas: http://bit.ly/2nGqZUL :)
Caroline, I always enjoy your packing lists so much. Thank you for sharing!
I love your honesty about overpacking. I’ll try to embrace that “glad to have” attitude on my next trip, because I always feel like I failed a little when I end up not needing everything that I packed.
Sharon @ A Journey of steps says
Looked like an amazingly chill little getaway. They are always good for the soul. Great to see the packing layout, I’m still a disaster for overpacking – trying to cover all bases. Just looking up the Girlfriend Collective and love the ethos. Did you get your leggings made to order?
Hey Sharon, I ordered mine when they were giving them away for the cost of shipping, as a trial. I believe they’ll be officially launching their product line this spring! :)
A while back I remember you sharing your hubby’s capsule(ish) wardrobe. I’m wondering if you’d do an update? I always get stuck shopping for my husband and would love some inspiration from you :)
Hey Michelle, I’ve got that in the works! :)
We went on a cross country road trip, stopping in Sante Fe for two days, that needed an even more challenging packing list. It was winter when/where we started out. We ended up in sunny and warm Phoenix. We stopped for touring in Sante Fe and for skiing in Flagstaff. We needed a very wide range of clothing, but we packed very carefully. I did a lot of layering and a lot of time was spent in workout clothes. I really love when you show your exact packing list and what you wore for each occasion. Our next packing challenge is a northern european cruise this July for 2 1/2 weeks. I welcome any advice!
A European cruise sounds so exciting! At least you know it will likely be warm. I don’t know about you, but I think it’s so much easier to pack for warm weather. Not too many bulky items! :)
If Northern Europe includes Norway than you can expect any kind of weather in July…! ?
Excellent recap of a trip to one of my favorite locales! I cannot wait to see the new photo change you hinted at… You are getting so very darn good at this blogging thing– you are definitely my favorite to follow in all of blogolandia. Keep it up, Caroline!
Britt // http://www.radiantearthart.com
Eek! You are so sweet, Britt. Hope you guys like the new style. :)
Ooh looks like such a relaxing trip! Glad you guys had a great time. :) I love posts like this, btw. On my last weekend trip in October I waaaay overpacked, so I’m going to try and be better prepared for the next one in June. I’m looking forward to the carry-on challenge!
Taryn, each trip is a learning experience! So I like to share what worked. Have fun in June! :)
Love these posts!! Side question- what camera do you take with you when your travel or do you just use your phone? I know you had a post about this before but couldn’t find it :-/
Hey Nicole, I usually bring my Olympus OMD EM 5 MKii, unless I really want to travel light. :)
Ojo looks like a beautiful place to stay, but what if your only camera is your iPhone? Will they let you use it to take photos of the grounds?
It looks like you had lots of fun on your trip! So glad you were able to take a little break! I’m in love with that patterned dress! I could see myself living in it all spring and summer :)
Hi Caroline! Wasn’t going to ask but my curiosity is eating me: what did you use for a purse, handbag etc? Didn’t see even your lovely tote, but assume that’s a given. I know I’d be lost with nothing to clutch my identity cards (and other unmentionables) near to me even on short getaways.
Hi Hanni, I brought my circle purse from Baggu: http://bit.ly/2nrUrdj (featured in a post later this week!)
I’m loving these travel and packing posts ❣️ Keep them coming!:)
I would love to hear how you might approach a longer trip. We have a 6-day trip coming in early May to NYC that includes a wedding and days of sight-seeing. From cocktail wear to jeans, in unpredictable weather. How to pack without 2 suitcases?!
Hey Robin, it will probably take a bit of planning ahead of time, but check the weather as it gets closer to finalize the items. I totally think it can be done! You may have to re-wear a couple of things — but hopefully the weather is nice and your clothes can be easily freshened up with a steamer or fabric spray. :)
MarissA England says
I love Santa Fe! I was able to get an internship at the O’Keeffe Museum to work with their Art + Leadership Program – and it was without a doubt the best summer of my life! (I’ve lived in OKC my whole life – with the exception of this summer and college.) Hubbs and I are headed back to Santa Fe in June for some anniversary pics at Tent Rocks – love that place. Have you visited O’Keeffe’s house in Abiquiu? Both are cool – but you’d love her minimal and gorgeous home just north of Santa Fe. It is the “must-see” recommendation I give everyone :) Hopefully you snagged a crepe under La Fonda and a salad at Vinaigrette – my other two faves!
Living vicariously through your travels, New Mexico has my heart!
That’s amazing Marissa! What a beautiful place to live. :) And a perfect spot for anniversary pics. Enjoy your trip!
Hi! Love your blog and style and your lifestyle photos are awesome :) My family and I are on a current National Park kick and have gone to to Grand Canyon, Antelope Lower, Horshoebend and Zion! Out of all..Zion is a MUST. Well, they all are really. But it will totally blow you away I promise!
Can’t wait to read more blogs!
Erin, that’s a great goal list right there! Amazing spots. :)
Love how this post was set up!
Sounds like an amazing weekend!