The majority of Americans travel at least once during the summer. If you’re planning on joining that group over the course of the next couple of months, kudos to you!
There are tons of fun places to go both domestically and abroad that can change your outlook on life.
For many though, picking where they’re going to go on summer vacation pales in comparison to the stress that they encounter when figuring out what to bring with them.
If you’re susceptible to what we like to call “severe packing stress”, stop stressing. We’ve got you covered.
Below, we touch on a handful of summer traveling essentials that’ll get you on the right track.
1. Important Documents
You may not be able to (and certainly won’t want to) travel anywhere if you don’t have all of your documents in-hand.
What kind of documents are we talking about? We’re glad you asked…
Passports, insurance papers, consulate phone numbers, doctors notes, hotel confirmations, plane tickets, etc.
These are all things that you’ll want to have physical copies of in case your tech fails you. You may even want to have dual copies of some of these things and store them in a separate area in your suitcase to ensure extra safety while you backpack through Europe, traverse South East Asia or go on any other adventures.
Near the top of just about every summer, traveling list is sunscreen. We probably don’t need to tell you why that is… But we will anyway.
When you travel during the summer, depending on which hemisphere you’re in, you’re going to be dealing with some pretty severe temperatures.
Sunscreen will keep you from getting burned and possibly save you from needing to take an emergency trip to a foreign dermatologist.
Buying sunscreen in your destination might not be a great idea either. Many places don’t sell sunscreen due to low cultural demand and if they do, the sunscreen they carry is likely to be formulated differently than domestic products or very expensive.
Nothing says summer quite like whipping out your sandals. We love sandals while adventuring because quality pairs are so darn versatile.
You can throw on some brown sandals made by this footwear company and they’ll match with just about anything. You could also go for more colorful sandals so your feet pop.
Whatever you choose to do, remember that sandals are a great addition to any adventurer’s bag.
4. Versatile Clothing
When you’re visiting new places, it can be tempting to fill your bag to its brim with all of your favorite outfits. We recommend that you avoid doing that.
The more bags you bring with you when on an adventure, the more likely you are to run into checked bag fees. Those fees are likely to bankrupt you if your itinerary includes hopping between multiple countries in Europe.
To give yourself the best of odds of just needing to tow around a single carry-on bag, opt for clothing that’s versatile.
A nice shirt that is just at home worn out during a Sunday walk along the beach as it is worn to a casual dinner on a Tuesday night is a good example. Shorts that are as appropriate on a hike as they are exploring a city’s bustling downtown area is another great go-to.
Bottom line, pick clothes that can pull double-duty so you don’t have to pack multiples of everything.
5. Day Bag
When you’re out exploring an area, you’re not going to want to be tugging your suitcase behind you. You’re going to want to be able to leave your suitcase in your room and just carry around your essentials.
To do this, you’ll want a day bag.
There are a lot of different things out there that could qualify as a day bag. In our opinion, the best way to go is to pick up an affordable draw-string backpack rather than a traditional school backpack or fashionable purse.
Drawstring bags breathe and can roll up into your suitcase when they’re not being used.
If you rely on medications you must get your prescriptions pre-filled to ensure that you have enough to get you through your trip.
Pre-filling prescriptions usually takes giving advanced notice to your physician. For that reason, make sure that you clue them into your travel plans as soon as possible so you don’t end up getting left out to dry.
Pro Tip: Always keep your medications inside of a bottle that’s labeled with your name and your prescription information. If you funnel your medicine into a non-marked case, foreign authorities might accuse you of using drugs illegally.
Just because a product is sold in the USA does not mean that it’s sold abroad. So then, if you have a favorite bathroom/beauty product that you can’t live without, add it to your summer travel essentials list.
Some of our team members were shocked to find when going through Europe that they couldn’t purchase Neosporin without getting a doctor’s note. Don’t get caught surprised the way they did and make sure that you bring key items with you from home.
8. The Right Payment Methods
If you’re abroad, you may get charged foreign transaction fees by your debit or credit card provider. These fees are likely going to be anywhere from 1-3% of your purchase price and can really add up.
To save a lot of money during your travels, pick up a payment method that doesn’t carry this charge. To save even more money, try and find a debit card that refunds ATM fees.
Wrapping Up Summer Traveling Essentials
We hope that our summer traveling essentials above have added some clarity to what should end up in your bag when you hit the road this summer.
While there are of course other things that you may want to consider bringing with you on your trip, this list should lay a solid foundation for you that’ll make the rest of your packing woes a lot simpler to navigate.
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