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Travel tips

What to pack for your summer trip

Jun 22, 2016 by Jamie Burke

Whether you’ll be basking in tropical breezes or exploring a bustling city, summer is the perfect time for an adventure. Read on to see our list of what to pack for a summer trip, no matter what your travel plans entail.


A city tour

Don’t leave home without: sunglasses and a scarf

Paris, London, Barcelona—whichever city you’ll land in, you’re sure to be surrounded by plenty of stylish citizens. A scarf and sunglasses aren’t just effortlessly chic, they’re practical, too! Keep the sun out of your eyes while you’re sightseeing, and wrap up in a colorful shawl to stay warm while you dine alfresco late into the night.

Make a little extra room for: an instant film camera

This one is just fun. Lovers of vintage film cameras will find the 21st-century version still has all the charms of the classic. Capture the moment and print the photo right away (it’s okay to shake it if you want).

Book to bring in your carry-on: Splendid Cities: Color Your Way to Calm is the perfect way to pass time during flights or bus rides.


A national parks adventure

Don’t leave home without: hiking shoes and binoculars

Whether you’re walking through the Rockies or standing beside a towering redwood, you’ll definitely want to be wearing a good pair of hiking shoes. Boots will offer more support for your ankles and protect your feet from the elements, while a walking sandal will be lighter and help keep you cool. Also, don’t forget binoculars for getting a closer look at the landscape and wildlife!

Make a little extra room for: a camera lens for your iPhone

Take your phone photography to the next level with an easy-to-carry, easy-to-use lens for your iPhone. Your landscape shots (and selfies!) will look even more amazing, and the add-on is easier than carrying around a heavy-duty camera.

Book to bring in your carry-on: Lost in My Own Backyard by Tim Cahill, the founder of Outside magazine, captures the writer’s time exploring Yellowstone—just 50 miles from his house.


A beach getaway

Don’t leave home without: reef-safe sunscreen and a rash guard

If you’re jetting off to paradise, make sure you bring along a sunscreen that’ll be kind to the sea life. Chemicals in some sunscreens can damage delicate corals, which provide home to thousands of fish. Opt for a sunblock with natural mineral ingredients like zinc oxide, and avoid ones containing oxybenzone. You can also protect yourself from the sun with a rash guard, which’ll keep you comfy whether you’re lounging on the shore or splashing in the waves.

If you have a little extra room in your suitcase: a beachwear bag

There’s nothing quite as annoying as unpacking and finding what seems like half the beach worth of sand in your suitcase. Toting around this handy bag means your suit, sandals and snorkeling gear stay separate from the rest of your clothes, so the important stuff stays dry and sand-free.

Book to bring in your carry-on: Bill Bryson’s One Summer brings readers back to 1927, when Charles Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic, Al Capone controlled Chicago and Babe Ruth hit his 60th home run.


An African safari

Don’t leave home without: a hat and light layers

What Audrey Hepburn said of Paris applies to light layers, too—always a good idea. In Africa, layering is a must, as mornings and evenings can be surprisingly chilly and you can expect to be out on long game drives, far away from your suitcase. You’ll also want a hat for a little extra protection for the famously hot African sun.

Make a little extra room for: an inflatable seat cushion

Safari vehicles have limited space, which means luggage size restrictions are strictly enforced. You’ll have to pack smart to keep your duffel bag under the size and weight limits, but making a little room for a seat cushion is a great idea. This self-inflating version packs up small—perfect if you’re short on space—and can help keep you comfortable during game drives.

Book to bring in your carry-on: The Hairdresser of Harare, written by African author Tendai Huchu, portrays life in modern-day Zimbabwe through the eyes of Vimbai, the best hairdresser in the city.

What’s on your summer travel wish list? Have an amazing trip coming up soon? Let us know on Facebook!

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About the author | Jamie Burke
Always on the lookout for the next best meal ever, Jamie loves exploring the world—and all the great food in it. When she's not working to inspire new travelers, you'll find her biking around Boston, eating at her favorite sushi place, or hanging out at home with her family (and cat).
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