Summer Vacation Essentials You Positively Need

Friends, family, and couples look forward each year to spending warm, worry-free days together during sun-filled summer vacations. Imagine the soft feel of the sand on your feet, a cold drink in hand, and your loved ones nearby. What could be better!? As you prepare for your ultimate trip, we’ve put together the ultimate summer vacation packing list to ensure a fun, safe, and unforgettable vacation! Check out these 12 must-have items to pack, and get ready for an extraordinary trip.

Sunglasses and Hat

Warmer weather means stronger sun! Staying equipped with sunglasses prevents you from needing to squint during peak-sun hours, making your days just a bit more comfortable. If laying back and reading a book or magazine, sunglasses will make it that much easier to be out in the sun! Not only do sunglasses increase your comfort, but they also protect your eyes from long-term damage and sunburn (yes, your eyes can get sunburned!) Including a hat provides extra shade and protection for your eyes, and it has the added benefit of also shielding your face from the sun!


Sunscreen, sunscreen, sunscreen! Nothing can add a damper to vacation like burnt skin! Remember to pack sunscreen at the right SPF for your skin and to re-apply as necessary. If you’re packing for the family, you can go for easy-to-apply spray sunscreen for the kiddos. Pairing your sunscreen with sunglasses and a hat is a perfect recipe for ultra sun protection — and comfort!

Bathing Suits

If you’re going to the beach or a resort or hotel with a pool or hot tub, be sure to pack at least two bathing suits. However, we’d suggest packing one or two more! Bathing suits can take a while to dry and may get covered in sand. In the case that you don’t have a washer and dryer on hand, you’ll be happy you have a dry, fresh suit to put on! We’re also always in favor of having different swimwear styles to choose from — from classic bikinis to sexy, newly designed styles — so you can wear the bikini that matches your mood and vibe!

Swim Cover-Ups

Make sure to remember a comfortable cover-up, perfect for walking to the beach, on the boardwalk, grabbing a bite between lounging out, or grabbing a drink at the nearby bar! Opt for a comfortable cami and loose shorts, a dress, or a beautiful sarong or skirt to add an effortless touch of elegance and beauty!

Outfits for Every Occasion

If you’ve planned out your vacation schedule ahead of time, select a few outfits that you love — and that go with each activity! One helpful tip is to pack in the order that you’ll use each outfit, so you don’t have to rummage through and end up disorganized. Consider choosing a few staple items — like a comfortable t-shirt or pants — that can be part of multiple outfits, saving room in your suitcase!

Comfortable Shoes

There’s nothing worse than aching feet, blisters, or slicing your foot on a rocky beach, when you just want to adventure and relax! Make sure to pack your most comfortable shoes or sneakers for days when you’ll be spending a little extra time walking. Extra support for your feet can go a long way!

Reading Material

Not only might you want to kill some time on the plane or car ride, but you might want to do some reading while lounging around at the beach or by the pool! Choose a book (or two) that you’ve already perused and know ahead of time that you enjoy the writing style and content. Or go for a magazine that you can flip through to stay up to date on the latest! Packing some reading material is a great way to unplug from electronics — and experience more blissful, present time while vacationing!

A Backpack or Tote

Depending on how much walking you’ll be doing, a small backpack can be an excellent way to carry around your necessities in a comfortable way. If possible, choose a backpack with various pockets to stay organized as well as a water bottle sleeve to protect your belongings from water condensation. If you won’t be doing too much walking, a tote may suffice to make sure you have your necessities on hand.


If you’re traveling to your destination by car, pack a cooler for the car ride and for your days at the beach, pool, or exploring a new town. A cooler is perfect for storing food, snacks, and drinks — a great way to stock up on your favorites to enjoy throughout the day! Be sure to include a cup or koozie as well to keep your drinks cool and make them more comfortable to hold onto!

Reusable Water Bottle

Stay hydrated while being environmentally friendly! There are many reasons why using a reusable water bottle is beneficial, including the fact that you won’t have to spend money on plastic water bottles. A reusable water bottle can be filled up at any water fountain, eliminating the need to carry around multiple plastic bottles and weigh down your backpack or tote. What’s more, you can fill your bottle with a pre-made cocktail drink to enjoy throughout your day at the beach or pool!

Hand Sanitizer & Wipes

Having hand sanitizer in your pack is a great way to stay healthy. Hand sanitizer is perfect for enjoying snacks on the go or sanitizing after the plane ride or after visiting crowded public places, like amusement parks. Keeping wipes on hand can help you quickly clean any spills or messes in the car (if you’re road-tripping), during a picnic while hiking, or on the beach. If you’re traveling with kids, wipes and hand sanitizer are a double must!

Plastic bags

Keeping extra plastic bags in your suitcase can be a great help. Versatile in nature, you might end up using a plastic baggy for something you hadn’t anticipated! Purchase a new pair of earrings? Secure your new small pieces of jewelry in a plastic bag. Want to bring your phone to the beach or pool? Placing it in a plastic bag can protect your phone from sand. Plastic bags are also excellent for creating snack packs for the whole family.

This summer, prepare for your best trip yet by including these 12 essentials! Whether you’re headed to the Caribbean, the local beaches, national parks, Europe, and beyond, don’t forget to check out this summer vacation packing list! Nature lovers, sea-admirers, and adventure-seekers alike will appreciate having the necessities on hand for a remarkably awesome, seamless trip!

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