Oh yes! It is the height of summer up here in the Northern Hemisphere and I am not ready to give up on my vacation just yet. I will have to start my third year at university from September onwards, but I hope to go on a few short trips before that happens. Accordingly, I thought it would be a good idea to blog about the travel essentials I take with me in the summer months. Even if some things may seem a bit obvious, I’m sure this post will be helpful while packing for your trip!
DISCLAIMER MUY IMPORTANTE: I’m writing this post about summer essentials specifically, so these are the “extra” things I tend to bring with me in warmer months/to warmer destinations. Of course you are also going to need things like….shoes. This post does NOT mean you are exempt from your usual tooth brushing or toilet papering responsibilities either. Travel responsibly people!
- Firstly, I advise you to take at least two bikinis/bathing suits/pairs of swimming trunks. Believe me, I speak from experience. There is a good chance your swimwear will still be all wet and icky from your previous swim when you decide to go for another dive. Swimwear doesn’t weigh much anyway, so don’t worry about wasting space in your suitcase/backpack.
- You will also be needing two pairs of sunglasses inside your bag. You often hear about skin protection, which is definitely important, but UV rays can also be hugely damaging to your eyes. You can read more about it here. Protecting your eyes is crucial and you should always have a second pair with you, just in case. Besides, squinting causes premature wrinkles. Just saying.
- Travel size deodorant is very helpful on the go. Warmer temperatures are usually a major factor in terms of bodily odor and, especially if you plan to be super active, you’re probably going to have to mind your pits at some point. Some may suffer from the stinks more than others, but having one with you will make you feel more at ease anyway.
- Something else you’ll probably be needing is a hat or cap. These are very helpful with giving your face some shade and preventing the top of your head from burning. It may sound weird, but this has happened to me multiple times. It ain’t nice. Obviously, this is especially important if your hair is thinning and/or you are (partially) bald.
- Anti-itch cream is a must if you ask me. My own skin tends to react very badly to any type of insect bite, but even if you handle mosquito nibbles better than I do, any type of constant itching is just plain annoying or even painful.
- Another suggestion may be to actually just try to avoid getting bit at all and bring some medium to strong insect repellent. I strongly recommend bringing a repellent that includes DEET as a main ingredient.
- Whatever you do, you have to bring sunscreen with you. In fact, you should even wear light forms of SPF protection in winter to avoid too much UV exposure (I always fail to do this). I like to bring a “lighter” sunscreen for facial usage. This is more comfortable if you like to wear make-up sometimes or need to apply some sunscreen when going outside in the late afternoon or evening.
- Even more important: hardcore sunscreen. Yeah. The stronger the SPF factor, the better. I’m very pale-skinned so I have to be especially careful not to burn my skin while out hiking/swimming/you name it. However, even if you are not pale by all means, please apply a sunscreen of at least SPF 30 when going outside. Even if you never burn, keep in mind, all skintones are susceptable to solar radiation damage.
- ORS, or Oral Rehydration Solution packets are essential to bring with you if you plan to be moving around. If temperatures are high and you go hiking or climbing all day, you lose a lot more fluid than you may think. Still, ORS shouldn’t be a substitute to regular water intake. By all means, you should be drinking water every hour. ORS will help you absorb more fluid if you do end up in a state of dehydration. Even if you just plan to relax and lie on the beach, ORS are a smart move. When abroad, you never know when the diarrhea monster may strike. Don’t worry, these packets can be bought easily from your local drugstore!
- Something I always make sure to have readily available while travelling is a water bottle. This one in particular is perfect for travel, since it is foldable and can be clasped onto your belt or backpack. It saves room and can be reused over and over again. I recommend bringing some form of reusable water container!
- A big, lightweight scarf is something I’ve always worn in summer since I was a child. It can either help warm you up if it gets a little chilly, but can also act as a shield against the burning sun. It won’t stop the UV light radiation, but it will give you some relief, trust me. It can also come in handy at the beach!
- An (extra) small towel is something I would pack in all seasons. It is a life saver in case of lemonade spills, sweaty forheads, wet pants etc. These scenarios are probably even more likely in summer months.
- Ponchos are the best. Forget about your umbrella, those always break apart as soon as the wind grows a tiny bit stronger than the average fart. You can fold that awesome poncho into a little rectangle (or pentagon, whatever’s to your liking) so it will barely take up any space. It will be a lot more effective in keeping your clothes relatively dry during summer storms than an umbrella.