In this feature, InStyle’s Market Editor Ali Pew documents what she packed and what she wore for her trip to Tulum, Mexico.
I grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and my whole family still lives there. When I go to visit them, it’s for either a winter ski trip or a summer hike. I don’t have regular access to a beach so I love to use my leftover vacation time for seaside locales. My latest excursion was to Mexico's Tulum and Nizuc, Cancun, with my husband.
Between my last job as an editor at Condé Nast Traveler and flying frequently for styling work, I’ve become an expert packer. If you open my suitcase you’ll find everything divided by category and packed into Chanel men’s shirt cases that I’ve hoarded. I plan it out so that everything loosely works together color-wise. I make sure to take one plain black bikini so that I can mix and match with my others. This time I brought five suits since that’s what I wear most of the time.
I also packed two pairs of flats, five pairs of sunglasses (hey, a girl can never have too many, plus they change your look without taking up much room), a clutch, a tote, a good read, plus a few choice beauty products, and I was ready to hit the beach.
Click through the gallery to shop Ali's travel essentials and see her make a splash in her Flagpole swimsuit ($208; flagpoleswim.com) in the clip below.
—Ali Pew; coordinated by InStyle’s Senior Market Editor/Digital Correspondent Dana Avidan-Cohn
1. Mar Y Sol$105; shopmarysol.com
Shop InStyle Market Editor Ali Pew's picks for a Mexican beach getaway.
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"I always pack an extra clutch or pouch to use while on vacation. Who wants to carry around a large bag? I love this straw clutch with the pom poms for any beach trip," says Pew.
2. Rachel Comey$650; clubmonaco.com
"This Rachel Comey leather perforated beach tote is sporty and chic. It's my favorite travel-to-the-beach bag!"
3. Mara Hoffman$245; net-a-porter.com
"Sometimes you need a bright colored suit to throw into the mix and Mara Hoffman always has you covered for just that!"
4. Marc by Marc Jacobs$98 (top) and $72 (bottom); bloomingdales.com
"I like to try surfing, snorkeling, or something active on the beach so, this Marc by Marc Jacobs surf top is super practical for being active on the beach."
5. Ancient Greek Sandals$200; ancient-greek-sandals.com
"Slides that can go from the sand to dinner means less to pack!"
6. Mykita$525; contactsandspecs.com
"Sunglasses are an easy accessory to up the color factor on the beach! I love the pink tint on these Mykitas!"
7. Karen Walker$329; karenwalker.com
"I also love a big framed sunglass for extra coverage - Karen Walker is my go-to!"
8. Bumble and Bumble$28; bumbleandbumble.com
"My blonde hair goes golden way too quickly in the sun - this hair polish with UV protective keeps my hair in the icy tones I prefer!"
9. Benefit's Dream Screen with SPF 45$32; benefitcosmetics.com
"I'm a bit of sun worshipper but I've learned sunscreen is a must - I really like this Dream Screen, and the travel size!"
10. Bumble and Bumble$15; bumbleandbumble.com
"After the beach, I prefer to wash my hair and let it air dry. A little surf spray gives it the just the right amount of waves - like one of those surfer girls!"
11. Tom Ford$32; saksfifthavenue.com
"A bright colored nail polish for touch ups while on vacation is always good to have just in case!"
12. The Bridesmaids$16; friedaandnellie.com
"I love a quick read for beach vacations. My friend Eimear Lynch just published her first book 'The Bridesmaids' and she sent me an early copy. With wedding season coming up it was really entertaining and great to be reminded of all the dos and don'ts," says Pew.