10 Travel Essentials For Summer Vacations

June 4, 2013  |  
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Well divas, the air is getting warmer by the day which can only mean one thing – summer is here! So maybe we have to wait until the official day to throw our fabulous hats in the air, but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start planning memorable vacations.

As we continue to think about dreamy destinations this season (10 Summer Vacations You Should Be Planning for Right Now), it’s important to also think about the things we need to bring. Sure you will remember that awesome maxi dress or fierce pair of sandals you just purchased, but what about some other essentials? Do you know the important staples you should pack in your bag?

Here are ten you should not leave behind when traveling or on vacation.

Updated passport

If you are making plans to head out of the country, please update your passport… right now. In fact, it’s always smart to keep your passport up-to-date as you never know when the opportunity to vacation make strike. According to the U.S. Department of State (as of June 2013), processing times for passports now average between four to six weeks. Sure you can pay extra for expedited service, but just keep in mind that a month to month-and-a-half can really chew into your vacation plans if you wait till the last minute.


It doesn’t matter if you are heading to the tropics or a family member’s house, you are going to need sunscreen. Overexposure in the sun can not only lead to burns and poisoning, but also cancer that could have been prevented. When outdoors, it’s always important that you use sunscreen with an SPF 30 or higher. Tip: Always remember to reapply for longer time in the sun and before and after water activities.

Travel-size toiletries

When traveling, you can scale down on the amount of products you need – unless you are planning to stay somewhere for several weeks or months. One great idea you may want to consider are travel-size toiletries that can pass through security in a carry-on bag. This is a wonderful idea for things like hair products and cosmetics you will need on your journey.

Foldable flats

Even if you are a Carrie Bradshaw at heart, you should pack at least one pair of flats for your vacation. Flats will come in handy during those late nights out when you may have to walk back to your hotel, or just to have in the event you will be on your feet for a long period of time. If you are anti-flats, consider a foldable pair that you can stash away in your tote in case of emergency.


This might be a duh, but trust that someone will leave their favorite (or only) pair of sunglasses at home by accident. Sunglasses are not only a fashion statement, but also help protect our eyes against harsh sun rays. You are definitely going to need a pair of sunglasses to keep your eyes fresh while on vacation.


Water is even more an essential while you are traveling to your destination. You would be surprised how many people neglect to drink the right fluids during their travel. Kudos if you only have an hour or two on your journey, but those traveling far need to stay hydrated. And this does not mean with coffee, juice or soda.

Everyone knows that airports overcharge on the simplest things, so here is a tip when you need to nourish your body with water (and don’t want to pay $5 for it). Pack an empty water bottle in your carry on or refillable container (also empty, and eco-friendly). Once you pass through security, fill it up at your nearest water fountain.

Closed-toe shoes/tennis shoes

It’s always wise to pack a pair of sneakers or tennis shoes for the just in case. You never know what you will sign up for on a vacation – a mini hiking trip, walking tour or some other physical activity. They are just good to have around in the event the weather turns yucky. If you aren’t into athletics, try to find a manageable pair that will coordinate with your wardrobe.

Clutch with strap

When traveling, you may be tempted to lug along an oversized bag that you can put all of your finds in. This makes sense but can also make you (and your things) a target for quick hands. One alternative that is great for summer is a clutch with a strap (much lighter in weight). Though you will lose a bit of space, you will have more room to move around and a little security with a strap you can put around your wrist.

E-reader or tablet

One of the perks to a vacation is doing absolutely nothing with your downtime. Some may opt for more active adventures while others find solace catching up on a good book or stack of magazines on the beach. If you find yourself enjoying the latter, pack light with an electronic reader or tablet. This will not only free up some much-needed space in your luggage, but also prevent unruly back, neck and shoulder pains from lugging your reads around.


Don’t let the days of summer fool you. Nights can be really cool. Rather than pack a small jacket (if you can fit one, go for it), consider a cardigan that will be your saving grace while traveling and on vacation. This will truly come in handy if you are ever trapped in an area with crazy cold air conditioning.

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