For everything that the Internet at large makes us feel like a complete novice to (there’s a 15-year-old somewhere on YouTube schooling us on), there’s one thing we feel that we’ve truly nailed, and it’s the art of packing. We can squeeze in just under a week’s worth of outfits into a carry-on (layers are key, people!) and have our in-flight beauty routine down to a freakish science. So when it comes to nailing the clothes-to-Instagram-worthy pool float equation that is packing for a long weekend away, we’re pretty confident when we say we’ve got this one. Here’s what you’ll need.

1.The Suit

This is likely the most sage piece of advice that’s about to come your way on the summer packing front (aside from the classic roll, don’t fold), so listen up: when you find a good swimsuit, hold it tight and don’t ever let it go. Norma Kamali’s renowned for doing the damn thing on the one-piece front for a reason, while this nautically-tinged halterneck bikini offers slightly more secure coverage. That, and stripes and bathers usually make for a happy-making equation. Take your pick.

2.The Cover-Up

We’ve all been there: after a decent dip, you just don’t have the kind of energy necessary to put on anything with zippers, pulls or anything consisting of more than one article of clothing. Enter the cover-up: airy enough to toss on over a wet suit, but with just enough substantial coverage that you can run to pick up a trashy tabloid and peaches to toss on the grill, or pass out on the sand (with SPF, under an umbrella) without issue.

3.The Dinner Outfit

You only need one (it can be repurposed for the ride home), so make it a good one. We like a little shift dress in feel-good fabrics and weather-appropriate hues. Or just toss on a pair of cut-offs and some heels with your cover-up and call it a night. We don’t judge.

4.The Accessories

Consider these the pieces that will take your casual, beach bum self from mermaid to fitting in with everyone else. A pair of beautiful leather sandals, a straw hat to plunk on your IRL beach waves, a crocheted shoulder bag, vaguely whimsical-without-having-to-smell-like-patchouli jewelry.

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