Updated August 28, 2022.
Spring is here, but summer is coming! I truly love summer travels: beaches, sunshine, waterfall hikes, ocean breezes, hot and humid temperatures. I love it! Whether or not you love summertime travels, I’ve put together a list of the very best summer travel gear and products I truly love!
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Beach and Outdoor Gear
For me, summer travel means beaches, sunshine, and hiking in the jungle! Here is some of my favorite gear for a day at the beach, whether you want to be in the water or sunning on the sand.
These are handy in a variety of situations: laying on the beach, getting out of the shower, cleaning up an unexpected mess, using at the gym, the list goes on! They dry quickly, pack up tiny, and are all-around ideal for travel purposes. Steve and I each have one, and we are always glad when we take them with us!
Waterproof Phone Case
If you don’t have and don’t want to purchase a waterproof camera, but you still want some watery pictures or to just have your phone nearby in the water, I highly suggest getting a waterproof case for your phone. There are several options out there, but LifeProof makes a great waterproof everyday case.
If you’re like me and you like the case you already have, you can get a waterproof case to slip over your phone as needed. My husband has a LifeProof case, and I have the other kind; we recommend either! Just make sure you get the LifeProof case that fits your smartphone version.
Dry Bag (10 L)
This is one of the best purchases I’ve made for my travels, and I will never take a beach trip without it! I use mine as a day bag when we go hiking (especially if I think we’ll be taking a dip under a waterfall or end up at the ocean!), and it is my dedicated beach bag. It keeps sand out of my belongings, keeps everything dry, and I can even take it into the water with me when I’m traveling solo so I’m never leaving my things unattended onshore. I have the 10 Liter size, and it’s large enough to hold both Steve’s and my phones, wallets, travel towels, snacks, and water bottles.
I recommend water shoes for any beach or lake trip, but especially to places with volcanic activity nearby to protect your feet from sharp lava rock. Coral, rocks, and potential litter (like broken glass bottles) are all rough on your feet, but water shoes go a long way in protecting them. This style comes in men’s and women’s colors and sizes!
Reef Safe Sunscreen
Safety first! Reef safe sunscreen is so important because it works on your skin, but it also keeps our reefs and fish safe from the chemicals in regular sunscreens. And the solid options are the absolute best because they don’t take up prime packing real estate in your liquids bag!
Bugs are not just irritating on vacation, they can sometimes make you sick. The best antidote for that is prevention, and this stuff works! My husband is like a bug magnet, and we tried tons of things before finding this product. I highly recommend it, and the cherry on top is the fact that it’s a wipe, so it won’t take up space in your liquids bag at TSA!
More here: The Ultimate Guide to Solid Toiletries
When choosing what to pack, I am always looking for versatile, wrinkle-resistant, light clothing. I’ve come up with some perfect go-to options, and I hope you’ll love them, too!
The Best Dresses
I am all about a comfortable travel dress! I have a couple of go-tos that I have in several colors, and I keep going back to them because I like a winner! If I’m flying, I like a maxi dress for the extra leg coverage (airplanes are cold, y’all!). For a day exploring an island, I go for sleeveless and midi- or above-the-knee! The best dress will take you from a walk on the beach to dinner with a view.
Bathing Suit Cover Up
Similarly, a swimsuit cover-up that doubles as a dress is such a great way to make your luggage do double duty for you! Both of these are so fun, and I wouldn’t hesitate to wear either to dinner, too!
Comfortable and Supportive Sandals
Unfortunately, Teva does not make my favorite sandals anymore! But this style is similar, and they feature the same elements I love about my Teva sandals: the ankle strap and the arch support. I learned after my foot surgeries just how hard our toes have to work when walking around in flip flops or backless shoes. The ankle straps alleviate much of the stress on your toes, and the arch support will help keep your feet comfortable when walking around all day, especially on uneven terrain.
Essential Info: How Travel Affects Your Feet
Running and Walking Shoes
It’s true that the pros say to use your running shoes only for running, but let’s be real here: when packing light, I don’t have room for extra shoes! I love the Zoot brand because they fit well and are easy on my knees. They are always ready for a run through a new city or a mad dash through the airport to make that tight connection!
I’ve never been much of a hat girl, but in the summertime I appreciate the shade for my eyes and the sun protection for my face. I also prefer a visor because I like to pile my hair up on top of my head so it’s off my neck. Here are a couple of summery options!
Even in a tropical climate, I’m always glad I brought a scarf! Whether it’s a blast of a/c when I walk into a business, dressing up my beach dress for dinner, or covering up from a light breeze while I’m still wet from a dip in the ocean, a scarf comes in handy!
Keep reading: What Every Woman Should Pack for Every Flight
Food and Drink
Whether you’re on a long-haul flight, hiking for several hours, or lounging at the beach and don’t want to interrupt your time there with a lunch run, proper hydration and these snacks will keep you going as long as you need!
I always keep a 32-ounce water bottle with me whether I’m going to the gym, the beach, the hiking trails, or just out shopping. Staying hydrated is so important, especially in the summer sun and the heat of the day.
Collapsible Water Bottle
Hate wasting space and carrying extra weight? Check out collapsible bottles like the one below! Fill it up first thing before you go out, drink it up, and then fold it back down to take up less space in your bag. When we go for long hikes, I take both my solid water bottle and a collapsible water bottle and drink the collapsible bottle first.
The ultimate in lasting, lean protein is jerky. It’s light weight, travels well, and it’s way more than Slim Jims these days! There are all kinds of flavors out there, as well as a variety of protein sources. You can find salmon, beef, turkey, buffalo, and more jerky now!
Protein bars are a lifesaver when hunger strikes in the wild! They can withstand extreme temperatures, come in tons of flavors, travel well, and last a long time. They usually have a good amount of fiber, calcium, and more nutrients to really fuel your body well for long, active days.
The original energy snack is still a winner! This mix from Trader Joe’s is a little sweet from the dried fruit and supplies healthy fats from nuts!
Also helpful: The Best Snacks to Pack for the Flight
So now you’re all excited for your trip, but you have to get there first! These are my favorite things that keep me going carry-on only all around the world.
I’m a fan of Osprey; it’s not a secret. Their lifetime repair or replace policy can’t be beat, and they have really taken a variety of body types and physical needs into consideration. These are the two I have, but I imagine you’ll be satisfied with any Osprey pack that you choose!
Osprey Sirrus 36 L
As a petite woman, I can appreciate the number of ways this pack can be adjusted for a long or short torso. When I wrap those straps around my hips and chest, I can run through the airport as if this pack is a part of my body!
Osprey Porter 46 L
I just can’t get over the number of pockets this pack has! The straps are adjustable and can tuck away into the pack if I don’t need them. It also has a dedicated, padded laptop pocket for trips when I need to take it with me!
I have just recently been converted to using packing cubes, and I’m glad I finally came around! Not only will they compress your clothes and travel accessories, they will also keep you organized. All your socks and undies can go in one, all your bathing suits and beach gear can go in another, etc., etc., etc.
Also important: How to Pack the Perfect Carry-on
I hope you’re excited for your upcoming trip and that you found some of these products helpful! Let me know what you think in the comments.
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