Heading out 

People: Take your damn vacations.

We’re all a lot happier for it.

It doesn’t matter if you’re heading to Thailand or just a time-share in Texas: Vacation is important. Also important? Packing right.

I have become a pro at packing smart and light over the years. Seriously, it’s not cute when you overpack; it’s annoying. And I say that as someone who once packed eight pairs of shoes for a summer trip and only wore three.

It’s easy to shove everything you need in a weekend bag (no rollie luggage!) with these tips: Pick a color palette so everything goes together; stay away from anything wrinkle-prone; roll your clothes — don’t fold; and keep the toiletries simple.

So, let’s get ready for vacation. At On a Whim (5850 N. Classen Blvd.; 848-3488), I love the floaty scarves by Brightly Twisted. They’re a great way to add color to a plain outfit, and the ethereal tie-dye is perfect for hot destinations. Also check out the simple maxi dresses and skirts that can go from day to night; the light material lets you pack them up super-tiny.

As far as what you’re packing in, I really liked the small toiletry bags by Kate Spade and Moschino. Check out the Kate Spade bag in black with white giraffe silhouettes and the Moschino trio of bags in different sizes. There are also larger totes by Moschino, perfect for weekend getaways.

For trekking around cities, the cross-body Kate Spade bags are perfect. They’re small and zippered, meaning they’re safer and you can’t be tempted to throw a bunch of shoulder-gouging crap in there.

Gil’s (7644 N. Western; 848-0334) has some fun, strapless dresses for beachier vacations. The ones by M. Rena have a ruched top and a tropical pattern, making them perfect as a cover-up that can take you on to lunch. And check out the fun bangles and bracelets to give your clothes some summer pop.

The quintessential clothing for vacation, however, are jeans, and Gil’s has a ton. I really liked Siwy’s that come in two classic shapes: dark-wash flare and light-wash skinny. Plus, the lightweight denim makes for easy packing, and you can go a few wears between washing. Ever tried to do laundry in a sink? Trust me, you don’t want to.

Next door, I popped in at The MakeUp Bar (7646 N. Western; 810- 1226) for travel-sized toiletries and bags.

I love the handmade woven bags in different sizes and colors by Mar y Sol. For what to put in those bags, check out tiny Mistral soaps and the sanitizing towlettes by Giovanni in either Peppermint Surge or Lavender Calm.

A great find for me were the small Keihl’s conditioners. I took the olive fruit oil to Italy and still have some left. Finally, for makeup, I love the compact Balmbini by The Balm that includes shadow, blush and lip gloss.

Now pack that bag and get out of here!

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