What to Pack for Summer Trips: 7 Essential Products for Women

Packing & Wardrobe, Shopping & Style, Spa & Beauty, Travel Products & Services — By on July 26, 2010 at 10:00 am

by Adrienne Supino

Hanging out with your fam at the lake this summer?  Or traveling to an exotic island to get your SCUBA diving license?  Wherever your vacation takes you this season you should always be prepared.  I’ve traveled to some hot locations myself, so I’ve compiled my list of the top seven necessities for sunny summer time travels:

1. Serious Sun Protection

Though I love a sun kissed beach glow, I’m not a fan of the “red lobster” look that goes hand in hand with overdoing the rays. To avoid burning, apply a waterproof sunscreen before heading out on a sunny day.  My favorite is Neutrogena’s Age Shield Face Sunblock Lotion SPF 55.  It protecst your skin against UVB rays, UVA rays, and harmful free radicals, and it’s non-comedogenic (which means it won’t block your pores). It’s also non-greasy so you can wear it under your make-up and it won’t melt off your face! Coppertone Sport Lotion SPF 30 a perfect ultra sweatproof sunblock for the rest of your body. It smoothes on easily and dries quickly–no sunscreen stickiness here. 

2. Skin Soothing Aloe

Now, as diligent as I am about applying and re-applying sunscreen, I have a habit of missing random parts of my body which is why I also often find myself in desperate need of aloe’s soothing properties.  Banana Boat Aloe After Sun Gel soaks in and soothes burns quickly.  Its combination of moisturizing properties and its non-filmy texture make it a great summer alternative to heavy body lotions.  Grab a 16 oz bottle from CVS and toss it into your beach bag.

3. Lip Moisturizer with SPF: Protect Your Pucker

Lips can burn too. In fact, the skin on your lips is ultra thin, and therefore ultra burnable. After just a few hours in the sun, you’ll look in the mirror to find you’ve got blistering red, painful Angelina Jolie lips.  To protect your pucker try Neutrogena Lip Moisturizer with SPF 15. Don’t worry, the low maintenance, colorless stick won’t muddle the color of your lipstick or gloss.

4. Wrap Up or Dry Off in a Sarong

Whether you like to bare it all at the beach or stay under wraps, a sarong is one of the most versatile accessories during summer travels.  Not only is it big enough to wear as a skirt or dress over a swimsuit, but it doubles as a beach towel (or bath towel!) if your staying in a hostel. When I beach hopped in Thailand, I ditched my two bulky towels in favor of my (more compact) sarongs which gave me almost a third more space in my bag!  I bought mine for $3 from a hawker on the beach, but check out www.allsarongs.com for a huge selection at pretty decent prices (Laundry tip: they won’t run in the wash).

5. The Go-To Shoe: Comfy Flip Flops

Though flip-flops may not be the fanciest footwear, they are cute, durable and necessary for a hot vacation.  As much as Havaianas are all the rage right now, my heart still belongs to Reefs.  I bought my first pair of Reefs in 2005 before heading off to Australia for a few months, and they held up until the end of 2008 after wearing them for a year straight in Thailand!  Not only are they comfortable but they mold to your feet and doubled as hostel shower shoes or sandy beach wear.

6. A Mini Umbrella

Though we’d like to think our weather forecaster can predict a sunny future accurately, that’s not always the case. Sure everyone loves dancing in the rain, but if you slip a mini umbrella in your purse or beach bag, you’ll avoid frizzy hair and see-through sundresses.  Mini Tote Umbrellas (which can be found at ToteTarget or Amazon) come in a bunch of colorful patterns and compact.

7. Deal with Delayed Planes: Bring a Good Book

For hours in the airport terminal or a relaxing day on a lounge chair, a light read is a must-have on any vacation.  Funny travel books are by far my genre of choice.  My favorite picks include anything by J. Maartin Troost (The Sex Lives of Cannibals is HILARIOUS, warning: you may attract weird looks if people catch a glance of the title or hear you laughing out loud to yourself), Holy Cow by Sarah MacDonald, and of course: The Lost Girls: Three friends, Four continents, One Unconventional Detour Around the World.

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