10 Summer vacation packing essentials

Summer is just around the corner, and you know what that means! It’s time to take a break, get out of town and relax in the beautiful sunshine. Enjoy your summer getaway to the fullest with our vacation packing checklist.

woman trying to close packed suitcase

Bathing suits and cover-ups

Hit the beach and show off your curves with the cutest swimwear in town. Trying to put on wet, sandy swimsuits is a drag, so make sure to pack at least a couple of suits you love. A nice sarong or stretchy sundress makes a great cover-up so you can head out directly from the beach to other activities.

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Flip flops, sandals, sneakers

Summer vacation is all about fun, so pack a variety of shoes for all occasions. A comfy pair of flip flops is perfect for the beach or pool, but if you plan to go out at night you might want to dress up. Bring along a trendy pair of wedge sandals which will put the finishing touch on any outfit. And don’t forget your sneakers for hikes, sports or other casual activities.

Double-duty clothes

Save on suitcase space by packing plenty of double-duty duds. Your favorite sundress can work overtime as a casual beach cover-up before it converts into swanky nighttime apparel with the right accessories. A silky camisole can be paired with shorts for a lazy day on the shore or dressed up for a night on the town. Pack a light jean jacket that will keep you warm by the campfire at night, but can also add a bit of flair to any outfit.

Sunglasses and sunscreen

It’s fun to play in the sun, but keeping your skin healthy and protected is crucial. A trendy pair of sunglasses will shield your eyes while you protect your whole body from the sun’s damaging rays with plenty of sunscreen. Be sure to choose a sunscreen that is water resistant and reapply every few hours.

New sunscreen guidelines: What you need to know >>

Warm clothes

Even if sunny skies are predicted for your entire vacation, it’s good to come prepared with a few warmer items. You never know when a cool front or rainstorm might blow through, so toss at least one pair of jeans into your suitcase along with a hoodie or light sweater.

Extra Tip Can’t close your suitcase? Fear not. Space saving compression bags are here to save the day! You can pack up to twice as much with the help of a handy compression valve and these Space Saver Bags from Samsonite.

Multi-gadget charging station

Got gadgets? We sure do! Keep your smartphones, tablets, cameras and other favorites charged up and ready at a moment’s notice with a multi-gadget charging station.


Make the memories last forever with fun vacation pics. Bring along a camera and capture every moment of your adventures. If you have kids, consider bringing along a durable and easy-to-use kids’ camera for them to share. It will protect your camera from grimy little fingers while keeping them busy and entertained.

5 Fast tips for better photos >>

MP3 player

Pump up the vacation jams while you kick back at the beach. An iPod or other MP3 player is also a great way to pass the time during long car trips or airplane flights.

Tablet loaded up with favorite books, movies, magazines

Need a little downtime? Don’t forget your iPad! Before you leave home, take time to load up your tablet with plenty of good books, movies and magazines. It’s less bulky than bringing a backpack full of paperbacks and DVDs — and you’ll always have something entertaining on hand.

Travel first-aid kit

No one wants to get sick on vacation, but it’s always best to come prepared. Stay on top of your game during all your adventures with a small first-aid kit outfitted with everything you might need in case of allergies, colds and flus, motion sickness or minor cuts and scrapes.

Family travel

Discover fun family destinations with our Family Travel Guide. From museums to amusement parks, we’ve got you covered. Summer awaits — start planning your vacation now!

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