How to Capsule Pack for a Beach Getaway in 7 Easy Steps

What is capsule packing? Well, it’s packing minimal items that you can wear in various situations. Below are the steps to take to pack lightly, which can save you time, space and baggage fees!

Things to keep in mind before you start:
  1. You will probably be going somewhere nice for at least one night. 
  2. Evenings can get chilly. 
  3. Don’t skimp on the sunscreen or aloe. 
  4. If there’s anything to bring extra of, it’s an extra pair of flip flops and sunglasses. (I can’t tell you how many times I have lost both.)

Your Steps to Capsule Pack:

Step 1: Plan your color scheme.

Start by choosing 1-2 neutral colors, then add 1-2 accent colors. The key is that all items can mix/match with each other so you will want complementary colors. Color Scheme example: white and beige neutrals. Light blue & hot pink accents. 

Step 2: Build your basic items. 

You will want to think of how many days you will be staying at your destination. Whatever that number is, cut it in half and that’s how many bottoms you should bring. For example, if my stay is for 6 days, then I bring 3 bottoms. Here is a starter list of items you will need: 

  • Bottoms
  • Tops
  • Dress 
  • Cardigan/sweater 
  • Pair of nice shoes
  • Pair of casual shoes
  • Rain protection (jacket, poncho, or umbrella)

Step 3: Arrange your outfits. 

In a large space (bed, floor, etc) lay out each item and arrange your outfits. Tip: I make sure each item can be worn twice. I usually start with the bottoms, and alternate tops to create different outfits.

Step 4: Add accessories. 

Accessories can definitely transform an outfit, but try not to add too much jewelry, as this will add to your luggage weight. A good way to accessorize is with light scarves, hair accessories, or a hat. Tip: Use a light wrap/scarf to use as a blanket on the plane, as well as a scarf to change an outfit. 

Step 5: Review.

Now that you have your outfits planned, let’s make sure they actually work with your itinerary. 

  •             Do you have comfortable items for the plane ride?
  •             Will this work for an evening out? 
  •             Are these shoes comfortable to walk in? 
  •             Do you have something to wear if it gets cold? 
  •             Can I wear this for (activity)? 

Step 6: Rearrange. 

If there is any conflict to the questions in Step 5, then swap them out accordingly. Again, make sure each item can be worn twice. If it can’t, toss or swap it!

Step 7: Reflect. 

After you return from your trip, think about items you could have used or didn’t need at all and apply that to your next pack!

Need more travel tips? Check out these posts: 


Slow Travel: A Local Guide to Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto is one of Japan’s top tourist destinations! But, if you’re like me and don’t like crowds, I’m here to show you a more local, slow travel guide to the city. My favorite places to go, food to eat, and a few helpful tips for your trip to Kyoto, Japan. 

Kyoto, Japan Temple and architecture. Tea house with a view.

What I love about “slow travel” is it gives you the opportunity to truly experience the culture and live everyday life like a local. Sure, you want to see all those IG-worthy spots, but a city is so much more than that. It’s history, community, and routine. Which is why I love staying in an apartment, as opposed to a resort. 

Our Stay

We stayed in a small apartment near Kuinabashi Station. It was a quiet neighborhood, filled with parks for children, three different groceries, and multiple train stations. 

The home had a small bath (as most Japanese homes do because baths are a part of every family’s routine), a kitchen and two bedrooms. We cooked often because the fresh and seasonal ingredients from the grocery closest to us was always stocked! Which made our rule of eating 30 a Day super easy 🙂

Japanese food set healthy vegetables

Food & Drink 

Pickles & Sake

This sounds like an odd combo but at Gabana sake pub, they have it figured out! The contrast between the mild, sweet sake and sharp, pickled veggies pairs so well together. It is standing room only, but with only a small menu, it won’t take long to finish.

drinking sake at market in Japan
pickled fermented vegetables Kyoto Japan

Tea in Gion

Obvisously we had to visit the oldest part of town, but places like Gion, Arashiyama and Fushimi-Inari are FULL of tourist traps and overpriced restaurants. 

Luckily, we stumbled upon this charming tea house when I was in DESPERATE need of caffeine. Little did we know that the white coffee and fresh pastries came with a private view of Kyoto’s oldest pagoda, Yasaka. 

This was TRULY a hidden gem. 

Comfort Food

Although a nation-wide chain, Wako is my FAVORITE tonkatsu place (even though I never order the tonkatsu, lol). The panko-fried fish and oysters are perfectly moist and crunchy. And, the famous miso soup is full of nutrients as well as super tasty. It is comfort food at its finest! 

Wako tonkatsu restaurant Kyoto Japan
tonkatsu Kyoto Japan kaki fry miso soup rice Japanese food set

Around Town

Busy, Busy, Busy

Honestly, I love Kyoto Station. I love looking over the city on the Skyway and I could shop at Isetan forever! 

I also talk about my favorite hidden bar in the video at the bottom of the page! It was by far the most ideal setting for an evening cocktail. 

Kyoto Tower city nightlife

(Not-so) Secret Garden

I’m usually not much for gardens, but if this place was as beautiful as it was during winter, I can only imagine how  stunning it is during Spring and Summer. No matter what time of year it is, Kyoto Botanical Garden is always a great way to spend the day strolling through nature, meditating in the French Garden or English Garden or Japanese Garden… so many ways for you to reflect and appreciate every sound, smell and sight. 

white flowers Kyoto Botanical Garden
English garden Kyoto Botanical Garden trees

Lessons in Travel

The language barrier can be real. Unlike other tourist destinations, Japan’s economy doesn’t rely on Westerners… so there is very little incentive for them to learn English. Try to learn just a few phrases. A little effort can go a long way!

Shop seasonal produce… Truth be told, in Japan you don’t really have a choice. But it was nice to know that seasonal items were grown locally (be it in Kyoto or Japan in general) which makes it that much, more special 🙂 and makes it taste even better. 

daifuku Japanese dessert red ripe strawberries

MAIN LESSON: Slow down. I guess I have really been slow traveling since moving to Thailand from 2017-2019. But, when I over-planned and packed a ton of activities into our New Year’s and my mom fell, I realized I did too much. There is nothing wrong with wanting to see and learn about places you visit, but it should be enjoyable… not run by a natzi. 

Check out a few secret gems I found in Kyoto!


​Delicious, must-try foods in Japan, that aren’t sushi

How many of you define Japanese food as sushi rolls and hibachi?

Before I met Joey (my Japanese boyfriend) I was one of you. It wasn’t until my 1st visit to Japan that I learned two things:

1. Nobody eats sushi rolls (rather sashimi or nigiri) and

2. Hibachi isn’t even Japanese! (*mind blown*). It’s from California!

It’s a shame that where I come from (Atlanta) these two options define Japanese Cuisine. But, I’m here to inform you of some of the delicious foods Japan has to offer, other than sushi.

In Japan, food plays an important role in the culture. Nutrition and respect for food are emphasized in schools, home life… everywhere!

So, if you’re planning a trip to Japan, here are some of my favorites that you need to try:

Snacks

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Osembe: Airy, rice cracker. Comes in various flavors/seasoning.

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Onigiri: Stuffed rice, various fillings, wrapped in seaweed. 

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Gyoza: Flour wraps, filled with pork & veggies, steamed, and fried on one side. 

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Ichigo Sando: Strawberry sandwich with fresh whipped cream. 

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Yakitori: Grilled meat skewers (usually a drinking food).

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Hokkaido Cream: Frozen yogurt from the Hokkaido region.

 Meals

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Shabu shabu: Thinly sliced Wagyu beef, dipped in hot water to cook. Served with noodles and veggies.

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Ekiben: Train Station Meal. An assortment of pre-made meals in a small box.

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Washoku: Multiple course meal of small portions, and a variety of foods.

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Ghenghis Kahn: Hokkaido mutton & veggies, grilled on a personal barbeque.

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Ramen: Fresh, flour noodles served with pork slices. Miso or soy-based soup.

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Tonkatsu: Panko-fried pork cutlets, served with pickles, miso soup, and rice.

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Example of full Tonkatsu & Kaki Fry set.

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Kaki fry: Panko-fried oysters (best during December-January), served with pickles, miso soup, and rice.

 As you can see, Japan’s food scene is waaaay more extensive than just raw fish (although I do love the fresh sushi). But for those of you that aren’t sushi fans, these delicious options to add to your repertoire! (And, if I caught you by surprise about hibachi… you’re not alone!) I hope you venture out and try the amazing dishes Japan has to offer on your next visit! Itadakimasu!