I love Central Pennsylvania, but sometimes you've just got to broaden your horizons. Don't get me wrong, it's a great place to live.
In fact, I'm really missing it right now as I'm spending a year abroad in Granada, Spain.
Every weekend we travel to a different part of the country.
I've become an expert on how to pack light for a three-day trip while maximizing my clothing combinations.
With all the baggage fees and airport security to get through, you want to bring enough stuff to see you through the weekend, but not so much that you're struggling to lug your bags around the island, mountain or resort.
Here's what to pack and what to pack it in.
2 bras - one T-shirt bra, one convertible strapless.
3 pairs of socks - the invisible kind that disappear in ballet flats.
4 pairs of undies - make sure one is a thong.
1 white button-up top.
1 black top.
1 fancy tank top - I mean with sequins or beads on it.
1 pair of white or tan Capris.
1 nice sarong or pareu - to be worn as a bathing suit cover-up, a wrap should you get chilly or a halter dress.
1 pair of black or tan shorts.
1 bathing suit.
1 pair of metallic sandals - these puppies can go from day to night in a flash.
1 pair of ballet flats - I like the foldable kind you can carry in your purse and they double as slippers.
1 straw hat - get one at Target, they have tons in a variety of colors and styles.
1 thin scarf - brightly colored or neutral, they'll both look great.
A couple of wooden or metal bangle bracelets.
1 pair of stud earrings.
1 pair of hoop earrings - gold or silver, the choice is yours.
1 pair of sunglasses - foldable if you can find them.
The Basics combined with the accessories will yield these combinations:
1. Black top with Capris, ballet flats, studs, scarf used as headband and bangles.
2. Bathing suit, sarong or pareu, metallic sandals and straw hat.
3. Fancy tank top, scarf as a belt, Capris, metallic sandals, hoop earrings and bangles.
4. Black top, shorts, ballet flats, studs, bangles and straw hat.
5. White button-up over bathing suit as cover-up, metallic sandals and straw hat.
6. White button-up with sleeves rolled up, tied at waist with shorts or capris, metallic sandals and scarf as a headband.
1 toiletry bag
1 pack of facial cleansing pads
Tinted moisturizer with sunscreen
Tinted lip balm or gloss
Toothbrush and toothpaste
2 hair bands - preferably your own hair color
Shampoo and conditioner
Sunscreen - always, always, always wear it
Keep your make-up and hair simple - you're on vacation after all!
You'll want to spend your time out having fun rather than spackling on makeup and tackling a fancy up-do.
1 day tote - to haul sunglasses, sunscreen, beach read, wallet, phone and keys.
1 clutch with strap - for when you hit the club.
1 big carryall - it can moonlight as a beach or grocery bag.
1 carry-on suitcase with wheels.
If you still have a little room:
Bandana - use it as a headband, hair tie, hand towel or to cover your germy airline pillow.
Dental floss - doubles as sewing thread or a lightweight clothesline.
Duct tape - fixes just about anything, gets lint off clothing and hides electrical outlets from curious kiddos.
Safety pins - pin up hems, broken zippers or missing buttons.
Travel mug - transport sunglasses or breakable souvenirs, use as a hiding place in your hotel room for valuables.
Wet Wipes - clean off hotel remotes, spilled lotion and remove stains from clothing.
Zip-close bags - contain wet bathing suits or leaky toiletries or blow up to cushion fragile items.
Hurry, the summer you thought was endless is almost over.
Now is your chance to score some last minute get away deals before classes start up again.
Squeeze that last little bit of summer out by taking a three-day vacay because pretty soon you'll be carting your kids back and forth to school or soccer practice.
McKinney may be reached at diystyle@ sungazette.com.
Her column is published on the second Friday of each month as part of the Lifestyle section's "Fashion Friday" features.