12 Essentials I Packed for a Long Girls' Weekend in the Colorado Mountains
One of the best parts about getting married is the bachelorette party (don't tell my fiancé). For mine, 10 of my closest friends and I took a trip out West to the Denver, Colorado area where we rented a house for a long weekend full of hiking, swimming, dancing, and eating. This was the first trip that any of us had been on in a very long time (thanks, Covid), and I for one needed to stock up on essentials for this vacation in particular.
Related: 10 Best Travel-size Hand Sanitizers
I made a list and decided that I needed things like hiking boots, a white bathing suit (it's a rule), matching bottoms, a dress for the night we went out, a fun float for the pool, and sunscreen, to name a few key items. My natural instinct was to go to Target to see what I could find and, unsurprisingly, I wasn't disappointed. I was able to get all 12 of the items on my list for under $350, and every TSA-approved thing is listed below.
A New Day Coco Slide Sandals
These sandals are cute, comfortable, and check the bridal box for being at least partially white. They paired perfectly with my bathing suit and poolside coverup, and nothing terrible happened to them when they got wet. They were inexpensive at $25 and I'd buy them again in a heartbeat.
To buy: target.com, $25
Sun Squad Unicorn Pool Float
Every bachelorette party that includes a body of water requires a unicorn pool float. Our house had a big, beautiful in-ground pool in the backyard that had a stunning view of the mountains in the distance, so it only made sense to add a majestic creature to the picture. This float stayed inflated all weekend long but didn't include an air pump, which we luckily had on hand.
Made By Design Tech Accessory Organizer
This handy little organizer was designed for tech accessories (think: chargers and cords), but what it's really perfect for is keeping bracelets, necklaces, rings, and earrings separated and tangle-free while you travel. The small pouches kept my different pieces together and away from others, while the elastic loops held onto chains and kept them from knotting up for both legs of the trip.
To buy: target.com, $12
A New Day Soft Weekender Bag
I pride myself on not over packing and never being the friend who makes everyone wait at baggage claim when we're all itching to get to our destination, so I have a healthy collection of weekender bags. This being a special trip, however, I wanted to pick out a new (but still affordable) option to bring my long weekend essentials and this one did just that. There's a compartment for a laptop, should I ever want to pack it, and it's big enough to fit clothes, a toiletry bag, and a pair of boots.
To buy: target.com, $40
A New Day Sleeveless Dress
This dress was the soft, breezy bathing suit coverup I was searching for. The stripes give it a nautical feel and the boxy shape makes it comfortable enough to wear over a slight sunburn. Plus, it has pockets.
Hue Studio Mid-Rise Pocket Leggings
Speaking of pockets, I jumped on these leggings with built-in side pockets as soon as I spotted them. We went hiking on one of our days in Colorado (more on that later) and it was essential to be hands-free as we traversed the steep rocky trails instead of buried in my phone. These leggings were breathable, comfortable, and kept said phone within reach for photo opportunities along the way.
Banana Boat Sport Performance Sunscreen Lotion, SPF 30
We didn't go to a beach destination, but it was plenty hot and sunny the entire weekend we spent near Denver. With temperatures reaching 95 degrees daily, we were constantly reaching for the SPF while hiking and at the pool. This bottle in particular was the perfect size to slip into my carry-on, so I stocked up at Target and packed four for the trip — and for my forgetful friends.
To buy: target.com, $4
Timberland Ellendale Hiking Boots
The most expensive thing on my list ended up being these hiking boots, which I didn't mind splurging on since the hike certainly required sure footing. I also live in New York City, so I know I'll get more use out of these when it snows and for weekend day trips to hiking trails upstate. These kept my feet dry through a stream, and I didn't slip or lose my balance on rocks made slippery by dust.
To buy: target.com, $120
Wild Fable Sleeveless Knit Bodycon Dress
We planned one night out in the city and this $10 dress was the perfect body-con shape. It was comfortable and appropriate for the occasion thanks to a slightly short length and deep-V neckline.
To buy: target.com, $10
Shade & Shore Ribbed Bikini Top
This bikini top is so comfortable and fits so well, I picked it up in both black and white. The white colorway never became see-through, even when wet, and the light lining didn't feel bulky. The strappy back felt fun and the straps themselves were a thick, quality material that didn't come unknotted easily.
Shade & Shore Ribbed Bikini Bottom
The matching bottoms to the tops listed above had the same ribbed detailing, but with a cutout design on the sides. They fit true to size and offered enough coverage without feeling uncomfortable or too revealing.
To buy: target.com, $18
All in Motion Crewneck Sweatshirt
It was late August, but being at a high altitude meant that nights out and early mornings in Colorado were cool (in the upper 50s), and required a cozy sweatshirt. This one has a trendy and very on-brand for our party tie-dye pattern. Best of all, it has a front pouch pocket and thumb hole details, too.
To buy: target.com, $24
Love a great deal? Sign up for our T+L Recommends newsletter and we'll send you our favorite travel products each week.