What to Pack for Summer Vacation
You've put together a basic packing list for your summer vacation with clothes, toiletries, and other essential items. What is left to pack for your trip? Most likely what you already have packed will be enough to suffice, but there are a handful of other items that will make your trip complete.
Tip: If you take great vacation photos, you may be able to include them in one or more articles about your trip.
One of the easiest and most popular ways to capture your vacation memories is with a digital camera. It is inexpensive to take digital photos, and there are so many possibilities for them from a simple digital album online to an elaborate, decorated scrapbook. If you're planning to create a scrapbook or detailed travel journal afterward, consider carrying a small notebook and/or audio recording device with you as well.
Nothing can ruin a trip quicker than a nasty sunburn. Many vacation spots sell sunblock, but there's no reason not to throw a bottle in your bag so you're prepared right from the start. Even if you don't burn easily and don't need to use sunscreen on a regular basis at home, you will need it on vacation if you'll be outside for extended periods of time. Be particularly careful when you are out on the water (i.e. on a boat or using water skis) or are spending time in the water. For longer outdoor excursions, bring the sunscreen with you so you can reapply later in the day.
Similar to sunscreen, you may be surprised how quickly you miss your sunglasses when you're outside much more than usual. Purchasing a sunglasses case will make it easy to throw sunglasses in a backpack or purse without them getting damaged. If you are traveling with kids who are too young to wear sunglasses or simply prefer not to wear them, consider hats or visors to shade their eyes and faces.
Packing Tips and Tricks
What To Pack For A Cruise
Waterproof Flip Flops
Even if you don't wear flip flops on a day to day basis, they are a great item to pack for most summer vacations. Many big box and clothing stores sell inexpensive waterproof flip flops throughout the spring and summer. A single pair that you only wear to the pool or beach will last you at least a couple years.
Pick up a great t-shirt or two from a local shop.
A Few Extra T-Shirts and Warm Clothes Items
There is always a fine line with packing clothes. You don't need to prepare for every possible weather situation, but you don't want to be under prepared either. Make sure that you have at least one or two extra t-shirts and other essential clothing items. You never know when you'll get wet, sweaty, or dirty and will need a clothes change in the middle of the day.
When you're traveling in the summer, it's also important to be prepared for cooler weather. There may be a cooler evening or rainy, cold day at any point during a vacation. Pack at least one long sleeved shirt, a sweat shirt, and a few pairs of socks.
Windbreaks are a very versatile clothing item that you can use for a number of different of vacation settings. In addition to being waterproof, windbreakers can be layered with either cooler or warmer clothing. Bring it on a day trip when there is a chance of rain so you can throw it on over your t-shirt to stay warm and/or dry. Alternatively, when the weather is cooler, put a warmer layer under it and then take the windbreaker off later if you don't need it.
This is not a practical item if you're flying, but if you're driving to your vacation destination, I would always include an extra towel or two in the trunk. You never know if you'll need an extra towel at the beach or pool when yesterday's towels didn't dry out as quickly as expected or when you'll have a major water or juice spill in the car or kitchen.
Even if you aren't planning to go swimming or spend time at a beach or water park, a swim suit is an easy item to include because it doesn't take up much room. Look for swim suits at the end of the season to get a clearance deal.
At Least One Fun Book
One of my favorite times to get caught up on my reading list is on vacations. Hit the library or the bookstore before your trip and pick up a book or two that you've been meaning to read for a while. If you'll be spending a lot of time in the car or on an airplane and enjoy audio books, consider picking up a couple of those as well.
Some Good Music
Another great way to pass the time in the car and on an airplane is with some good music. Listening to music is also a great option for solo time on hikes and at the pool. Load up your favorite digital device with music before you hit the road. Don't forget the charger!
While many places do accept credit cards, there are still a number that don't. Some places do accept checks and not credit cards, but this is becoming less and less frequent. Avoid paying a lot of ATM fees on the road by bringing some cash with you.
Travel Makeup and Packing Tips
More Packing Tips
- Beach Vacation Checklist
We maintain a master vacation check list. We add or subtract items based on each vacation we are taking. Consider using our checklists as a starting point and save time and stress during your vacation planning!
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- The Best Way to Pack a Suitcase - Real Simple
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