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!
The photos below are Amazon Associate links, meaning that if you click to purchase any of these items, you are also helping me grow my business! I would never give advice or suggestions I wouldn’t take myself, so I never link to products or companies I don’t use, trust, or believe in.
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 by Sak Gear
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.
Safety first! Neutrogena is my preferred sunscreen because it’s not greasy, works well, and so far has not made my skin break out, which is a problem with past sunscreens I’ve used. It also comes in 3 ounce tubes, which are the maximum size you can take in your carry-on!
Similarly, keeping the bugs at bay can keep you from getting sick and keep you from getting uncomfortable, itchy bites! And here is a tip from the nurse who gave me my travel vaccinations: apply sunscreen first, allow it to soak in for 15 minutes, then apply bug spray. Sunscreen needs to absorb, but bug repellent needs to sit on top of your skin. Lotion also lasts longer than sprays and is more controlled when applying.
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! Check out my Packing page for all my packing strategies and sample packing lists!
The Best Dress
You’ve seen me in this dress if you’ve seen me in many of my travel pictures, and you may have read my recommendation for it in other posts as well. It’s my favorite dress because it’s flattering, moisture-wicking, machine washable, adjustable, goes seamlessly from the beach to shopping to dinner, and comes in several colors and patterns! If you only get one, I recommend basic black. Fair warning: once you try it out, you may be like me and want to get it in three or four more colors!
Bathing Suit Cover Up
The dress above is a great cover-up, but if you prefer something a little more beachy, I am loving this style:
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.
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.
Beachy Trucker-style Hat
I don’t always think “scarf” when I think of beachy, summer trips, but I am always glad I brought one. They are perfect for a light covering when the sun goes down, for overly air conditioned restaurants and shops, and it can totally change the look of an outfit!
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 these days!
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!
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 Kyte 36 Liter
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 Liter
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.
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. Love this post? Pin it for later!