What To Pack For A Summer Vacation, Because You're Ready To Hit The Road ASAP

Summer is right around the corner, which means you've been planning your seasonal getaways for months. Though you might have your trips all planned out, now comes the difficult part: packing. Packing is something you know you have to do, but it gets to be super frustrating and tedious if you jump into it without any direction. That's why I put together a list of what to pack for a summer vacation, complete with every staple item you can keep packed in your "go-bag" for the rest of the season and beyond.

I like to think of myself as something of a packing aficionado. As someone who travels pretty regularly, I've mastered the art of cramming everything I need into carry-on luggage and a duffle bag. Part of my "system" — I promise it's not actually that fancy — includes my go-to packing checklist that I use for every single trip. I have a general list with essentials like my toothbrush and shampoo, but I also have more specialized lists depending on the season or type of trip.

Below are some of the things I absolutely cannot go without on a summer trip. If you're headed on an adventure in the next couple months, make sure to pack these things. They'll be true lifesavers — I promise.

1. A Bathing Suit

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This one probably seems obvious, but you'd be amazed how often I forget to bring a bathing suit, so I always keep it on my packing list. Even if you're not headed to a destination by an ocean or lake, there's always the possibility that you'll need a bathing suit. Whether it's to get in the hot tub at your hotel, or you decide to have a spa day and need a bathing suit for the sauna, having one on hand is always a good idea.

My current fave is the set pictured above from Urban Outfitters. The bottoms are high-waisted, and the top helps my "girls" feel completely secure, but is still super stylish. Plus, it comes in a variety of different colors to choose from.

2. Sunscreen

Milles Studio/Stocksy

Sunscreen is an absolute must whenever I'm headed on a summer getaway. (I even put sunscreen on my face every day in the winter time!)

Investing in travel-size bottles is definitely worth it. Another trick I always do is squeeze product from my full-size bottle into an old jar from an empty beauty product so I can bring it with me. One that I've been bringing with me everywhere is Coppertone's Glow With Shimmer Sunscreen, which has a little bit of sparkle so you can be totally glowing while you're laying out at the beach.

3. A Hat

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Don't underestimate the power of a good hat. A hat can complete an entire outfit, make you feel like a million bucks, and of course, can shield your eyes and face from the sun.

I frequently travel with a straw sun hat or a felt wide-brimmed fedora (or both, TBH). The ones I'm currently loving are this straw hat from Lack Of Color and a fedora that's super similar to this one from Brixton.

4. Sunglasses (In Cases!)

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I'm notorious for packing too many pairs of sunglasses on every trip, but I love the way they can totally change up your look when you're on the road. You don't have to bring five or six pairs like I do, but a couple of different options are always great to have on hand.

Opt for at least one polarized option, just in case you go out on a boat or have ultra sensitivity to sunlight. My favorite sunglass brand ever, Quay Australia, has a ton of polarized options in super chic — but affordable — styles. Make sure you pack them in hard cases so they don't break in your bag. (I learned that lesson the hard way!)

5. A "Go Girl"

Amazon

Especially if you're doing something outdoorsy, you never know when you're going to need to... you know, go. As someone who frequently travels with my boyfriend, I have seen how easy it is for guys to pee whenever and wherever they need to, and I'm totally jealous of it.

Enter the "Go Girl." It's a collapsable, medical-grade silicone device that makes it easy for girls to stand up when they need to go. This thing has saved me on numerous occasions, from music festivals to hikes, and everywhere in between. It's super convenient and easy to clean, and it comes in its own little tube so it doesn't get any of your other belongings dirty.

6. A Woven Purse

@kristincorpuz_

No accessory screams summer quite like a woven purse. It's stylish and convenient, and makes for a killer pic for the 'Gram.

I've been traveling with this one from Lulus. It's small and easily fits in my carry-on luggage, but it can fit a surprising amount of stuff inside it. Plus, it matches pretty much anything I would want to wear, so it's often the only bag I bring with me on a trip.

7. Cooling Sheet Masks

Glow Recipe/Sephora

I've written quite a bit on why I always travel with sheet masks, but I always think it's worth mentioning again. They're great for long trips on planes, buses, or in cars, because my skin gets super dried out.

A cooling mask like Glow Recipe's Watermelon Glow Jelly Sheet Mask is necessary to bring on your summer getaway. I don't get sunburned very often (my skin usually tans pretty well), but if I do, I cut up a small piece of the sheet mask and let the serum sink into my skin. It works like a charm.

8. A Good Pair Of Sneakers

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Sneakers are always a must-have on any kind of trip. I always recommend that people invest in a pair that look cute and can go with a dress, but also work well if you go on a hike or even just a long walk.

I have a pair of Nike Air Maxes similar to these that I never leave for a trip without. They're my go-to airport shoes, and they're perfect for the days when I'm running around doing errands. I love how bouncy they feel, and they still have some grip if I have to walk on rocks or sand.

9. A Fanny Pack

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I could not be happier that fanny packs have made a comeback. They're a super convenient way to store essentials like chapstick, sunscreen, and a portable charger when I'm on-the-go. The best part is that they're hands-free, so I can carry whatever I need to when I'm running around with my travel bags.

I'm currently crushing on my The Daily Edited one pictured above. I love that it's monogrammed, and the saffiano leather looks super chic. The belt is also removable, so I can use it as a normal belt on its own if I need to — which makes one less thing to pack.