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Hottest Summer Travel Tips: Guide to Having Fun Under the Sun + Checklist

Posted by Bea Manzano on
Summer travel ready with baby

The sun is out, the sky is clear, adventure is waiting for you, my dear! Haven’t packed yet? Don’t know where to go or what to do? Well, we’ve got the hottest summer travel tips just for you. 

Seriously though, despite all that terrible rhyming, we do have something up our sleeves to make your summer trip even more memorable and fun! The secret lies in knowing these sweet summer vacation tips and hacks. Let’s get started.

Things to Know Before You Go

We know you’re excited to pack and be on your way, but there are a couple of things that you need to know before heading out.

1. Pick an underrated destination (that isn’t so crowded) 

The last thing you would want for your summer vacation is walking along a street packed like sardines. Too much skin to skin contact with strangers is definitely a no-no! If you want to savor your break this summer, avoid going to cliche places that are expected to be flooded with tourists. Choose a spot where you can have peace of mind and your very own piece of paradise. 

Two young ladies hiking in Summer

No idea where to go? Check out this amazing post on the best  underrated summer destinations around the U.S.

2. Think ahead: Book in advance!

Be one step ahead when it comes to flights, hotels, attraction passes, tours, car rentals, and all that jazz. When you’ve made up your mind where to go, the next big step is to book your tickets, hotel reservations (or Airbnb), passes, tours, and rental cars, so you’ll have your peace of mind and ample amount of time to prepare. Advanced booking (of some, if not all, sorts) can also save you time and money with the possibility of special deals and promos you can find. 

3. Work the paperwork

Ready your travel documents such as your passport, ID, travel visa, tickets, and insurance plan details. Double, triple check their expiration date and validity, if applicable. If they’re not up-to-date, do the necessary process to get them renewed. If you’re traveling with children, secure their travel documents beforehand as well especially if you’re planning to travel abroad. Check out this awesome website to find out the important documents you need when traveling with kids. 

4. Sleep comfy with AC  

Great scenery, fair price, good location, instagrammable spaces - these are all ideal features of a place to stay when traveling. However, considering the summer heat, you might want to make sure that your room has air conditioning. Not all accommodations have this amenity, especially in some rentals in Europe and Asia. Another thing to consider is the location. A rental in (or near) the city center makes it very easy for you to retreat back to the comfort of your room when it gets too hot outside. 

Unpacked suitcase with essentials laid on bed

5. Lock up the house checklist!

As much as you plan for the safety of your trip, it should equate to the safety of your home you’re leaving behind. Be sure to secure doors and windows by locking them before you leave. Unplug appliances except the freezer, refrigerator, and items you have put on the timer. Place a hold on mail, newspaper, and other deliveries while you're gone. An overstuffed mailbox will be a blinking light for everyone to know that nobody's home. More importantly, consider installing timers on various lights with motion detectors around your house to make it look like someone’s home. Or you can always ask a friend to house sit for you while you’re away. 

The Best Tips for Summer Travel 

Now that you know what are the essential things to do before you go, brave the heat with the best sun-proofed tips we have in store just for you!

Tip #1: Save a packing list to your phone

Sometimes you just miss the most basic things, like your charger or toothbrush, when packing for a trip you’re so excited about. A simple packing list helps you avoid all that trouble. You can even refer to the same list when packing again to head home so you won’t leave anything behind.

As you read this guide, you will find checklists that you can use or tweak according to your needs. We’ll just give you a head start on the basic essentials.

Packing essentials on the summer travel checklist

Tip #2: Plan your summer outfits

Ladies, do you usually end up using half of what you packed while your hubby ends up wearing the same thing everyday?

Try to visualize. Create a mental look book of what you want to wear for the entire trip to help you get started. Since it’s summer, remember to pack light-colored clothes with soft and breathable fabric such as cotton. Wearing colorful clothes will help you beat the summer heat.

Use this packing equation. It’s simple math, we promise! 

1 outfit per day  + pajamas + 3 extra shirts 

For example, if you’re traveling for 6 days, pack 6 outfits, pajamas and 3 extra shirts. This is a great hack to keep you from over-packing.

Organizing clothes in blue packing cubes for Summer trip

Here’s a sample outfit checklist that is perfect for the summer heat:

✓ Comfy, airy pants

✓ Shorts

✓ Sundress that you can dress up or down 

✓ Jacket that you can wear to the airport or a night out

✓ Scarf to cover up when needed 

✓ Silk / cotton pajamas 

✓ Sun hat (wear it, don’t pack it)

Tip #3: Pack light and smart with packing cubes! 

Carrying heavy bags can be very unpleasant on any trip, but most especially during warm, summer days. Make sure to pack light and right by rolling your clothes rather than folding them. This will help maximize your luggage space and prevent too many creases on your garments. Use this Starter Set to help you stay organized. Its clear design enables you to see what’s inside the cubes for easy access to your travel essentials.

Stacked Green Starter Set for Summer travel

**Thanks Kaycee from Cordially, Kaycee for this photo!

• Extra Small Cube  - The perfect size cube for organizing your hygiene kit, toiletries, first aid kit, snacks, and more!

• Small Cube  - The ideal size cube for keeping your swimwear, undies, socks, etc. organized. 

• Medium Cube  - Best for packing your summer clothes such as shirts, sundresses, shorts, tank tops, and blouses.

• Large Cube  - Great for packing bulkier clothes like jackets or pants.

Tip #4: Separate the dirty from the clean 

You don’t need to be sniffing through your clothes to tell whether this top’s still good or that shirt’s not. This Travel Laundry Bag will save you all that trouble. It's cute, foldable and most importantly, keeps your dirty clothes separate so you don’t contaminate the clean ones!

Tip #5: Leave the bulky shoes (and heels) at home

Slip-on shoes and sandals are your feet’s new best friends. They don’t take too much space and also fit perfectly in this Travel Shoe Bag.

Flat sandals in a shoe bag for summer vacation

Rule of thumb: Pack 3 types of shoes max for your summer trip. Wear the heaviest pair on the plane! Here’s what we recommend:

For Women

✓ Slipper Shoes - This Amazon Brand-find Women’s Soft Low-Top Slipper Shoes are light, comfy, and classy! Walking has never been so good with these shoes.

✓ Canvas Shoes - Not only are these Teva Women's W Freewheel Washed Canvas Shoes comfortable, they are also cute & trendy! Go out for a walk, but make it fashion.

✓ Flat Sandals - These lovely Flat Sandals from Plaka are perfect for any summer look! You can wear them walking around on a day tour, going on a night out with friends or frolicking along the beach.

For Men

✓ Loafers - This Men's Leather Suede Loafer is nailing warm-weather with its versatility. They have a relaxed design that works well with many outfits, be it a casual or a night out getup.

✓ White Sneakers - Everyone has a pair. It has become the staple footwear for any occasion, especially during warmer months. This Stan Smith Leather Sneaker from Adidas will look great with any of your summer outfits. 

✓ Leather Sandal - These Men's Yucatan 3-Strap Sandal from ECCO are great for a lengthy walk or hike. They have 3 adjustable straps at the ankle, toes, and heels for better support and added stability. Walking on a pair of them is like "walking on air." Now, that makes walking under the heat of the sun seem like a breeze.

Tip #6: Lose the backpack, go for a tote bag

Wearing a backpack in the summer heat might not be the best idea. It can be hot and you’ll end up soaking in sweat especially if you plan to do a lot of walking. Totes are tote-tally the best when it comes to safekeeping your essentials and keeping you comfy in warm weather. Go for this cotton travel tote bag for a stylish strut under the sun.

Organized summer tote bag with clear packing cubes

Tip #7: Stay fresh on the go!

You don’t want to feel icky and sweaty while you’re exploring places. When you’re out and about, make sure to bring your Hygiene Kit so you can freshen up any time you need! Here are the basics:

☑ Hand Sanitizer

☑ Wet Wipes (perfect for when showering is not an option)

Deodorant Wipes (yup, they exist!)

☑ Alcohol

☑ Tissues

☑ Breath Mints

☑ Sunscreen (to prevent burns)

☑ Lip Balm With SPF

Hygiene Kit in a clear circle pouch

Pro Tip: This Circle Pouch Set is the best way to organize your hygiene essentials. It’s cute, the perfect size for any tote bag and provides easy access when you are on the go.

Tip #8: Update your First Aid Kit

The summer heat means different kinds of health and safety risks. Stay one step ahead by updating your First Aid Kit with the essentials you’ll specifically need for summer emergencies. Let us help you with the basics:

☑ Bandages

☑ Bug Spray

Disposable Ice Pack (place on your neck / wrists when you’re feeling way too hot)

☑ Hydrocortisone Cream (for bug bites / rashes)

☑ Aloe Vera Gel (for sunburn relief)

☑ Tylenol / Paracetamol

☑ Ibuprofen

☑ Anti-Diarrhea Tablets

☑ Alcohol Wipes

☑ Antibacterial Ointment

☑ Antihistamine Tablets

☑ Motion Sickness Pills

First aid kit for summer trip

Pro Tip:  Pack your on the go essentials in an Extra Small Cube. It’s super handy and fits in a small tote or day bag. Then organize your larger first aid essentials in another Small Cube or Medium Cube before packing them in your suitcase or car.

Tip #9: Simplify your toiletries

Let’s be honest: who has the time to complete a 10-step skincare routine when traveling?? And the summer heat mixed with your lotion is a whole sticky situation you don’t want to be in. Here are the only items you’ll need in your toiletry bag when traveling in the summer: 

☑ Shampoo & Conditioner

☑ Soap / Body Wash

☑ Deodorant

☑ Toothbrush & Toothpaste

☑ Floss

☑ Moisturizer

☑ Sunscreen / Sunblock

☑ Hydrating Facial Spray

☑ Baby Powder (has lots of uses - for dusting off sand, setting makeup, absorbing oil in hair, etc.)

☑ Razor

☑ Nail Clippers

Travel size toiletries for summer trip

Tip #10: Pack snacks that won’t spoil in the heat

Yup, snacks are essential...but don’t just pack any snack. Pack foods that won’t spoil in the warm weather. Trail mix, granola bars, dried fruits and pretzels - these are healthy and perfect for the summer heat. You can also pack any fruit with peels (like bananas) and PB sandwiches. 

Snacks in extra small cube for summer travel

Pro Tip: This Extra Small Cube is a cute and perfect fit for handy snacks you can grab while walking.

Tip #11:  Cool down with a misting fan

Portable misting fans are the unsung heroes of traveling under the hot sun. This handheld cooling device will surely make your long summer walks more enjoyable. Be sure to keep one with you at all times, especially if you’re heading out during the day.

Tip #12: Hydrate & Hydro Flask!

Staying hydrated is very important especially during the summer time. While it keeps you cool and fresh when you’re feeling hot, drinking water also helps replenish the fluids your body lost by excessive sweating. It also keeps you from heat-related illnesses such as heat stroke, heat exhaustion, heat cramps, fainting, and rashes. Be sure to bring your own Hydro Flask Water Bottle every time you go out.

Snack bag and water bottle for summer trip

Tip #13: Cover up when you’re out and about 

Here comes the sun, doo-doo-doo-doo, do wear a hat or sun visor when you’re out catching some UV rays. Getting tanned is nice, but doing it while protecting your skin is even better. Here are the best ways to enjoy the sun without any worries:  

✓ Apply and reapply sunscreen

✓ Cover up with beach dress or light-colored sarong 

✓ Wear a floppy hat and sunglasses

✓ Use an umbrella

Tip #14: Timing is everything

Be flexible with your travel time. You'll enjoy walking around more when the place is less crowded. Generally speaking, try to avoid visiting a popular tourist spot or attraction between 9:30 am to 11 am, or at the exact time they open. This is when lines are the longest. Find out the most popular peak hours for the place you're going and go at the opposite times! 

Tip #15: Slow down the sightseeing (every other day)

Ever experienced returning to your hotel room dead tired from all those sightseeing in just one day? Take it easy, relax! Slow down. Don’t get too attached to your packed itinerary by trying to check off as many boxes as you can in one day! Sip coffee at a cute bakery and people watch or take a towel to the park (with takeout dinner) and enjoy the outdoors. Be open to new experiences that exist outside your list and connect to the world around you. 

Tip #16: Find attractions that are naturally "cool"

Avoid attractions that can get hot and cramped up, especially ones with poor ventilation. At the peak heat hour or each day, make sure you are doing a “cooling down” activity, such as swimming in a lake, beach or pool or exploring a museum in an air conditioned building. Keep calm and keep cool.

Starter set in a cool summer travel destination

Tip #17: Take an Afternoon Chill Break 

Take a break in between your activities or walks by finding a cafe to sip some refreshments (or eat ice cream!) or by lying down under a shady tree, if you’re somewhere near a park. Spend 30 minutes to an hour to rest and cool off in order to recharge your energy before going on with your day. 

Tip #18: Bring an extra shirt for a lengthy walk

Although sweating is good for the body, nobody wants clogged pores or  unpleasant smells before lunch. Bringing an extra shirt is always a great idea.  One rolled shirt won’t take up too much space in your tote, so go for it.

Tote bag essentials organized in clear packing cubes

Tip #19: Beat the heat - the local way!

Beat the heat in a delicious and refreshing way by eating ice cream, shaved ice desserts, slushies, fruit shakes, and more! Ask locals for recommendations for their staple summer snack. Also, try summer fruits like watermelon, mangoes, papaya, pineapples, to mention a few, to keep your tummy satisfied and healthy.

ip #20: Turn the shower water to COLD for 30 seconds

After a full fun day of walking and sightseeing, make sure to take a nice long shower or a cool bath to get relaxed and comfy before going to bed. The cold water will help lower your body temperature and help regulate your circadian rhythm, helping you can fall asleep easier.

Travel essentials for summer in a half moon pouch

**Thanks to @anna_saol for this awesome photo!

Pro Tip: Take a cold shower 1.5 hours before bed. Taking a shower too late can actually increase energy levels before trying to hit the pillow. Use this to your benefit in the mornings if you need help feeling energized before your day out. 

Congratulations! You’ve reached the end of this guide. Remember these awesome summer travel hacks and tips when you go on your next adventure. Beat the heat with a warm smile and positive energy! Now, start packing and make this trip your most memorable one yet.

What was your most unforgettable summer trip? We bet it was amazing!

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