18 Summer Essentials for Any Warm-Weather Trip

18 Summer Essentials for Any Warm-Weather Trip

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It’s undeniable that my all-time favorite season is summer, without a doubt.  I was always a summer lover.  I grew up in New York staying up past my bedtime chasing fireflies in the warm breezy nights, spent the days either too far out in the ocean or splashing around with cousins in my backyard pool.  So it’s self explanatory that I take my summers very seriously 😛 , and therefore aim to make the most of them (have I mentioned that I’m going to 17 different countries this summer?)  Thumbs up if you’re as excited for summer as I am!

laguna beach in february

seashell on laguna beach

laguna beach pier

However, with all that excitement, there a few items I swear by when it comes to summer.  It just wouldn’t be summer without them!  Some are more practical than others, and some just give me that old summer lovin’ feeling.

The Absolute Necessities

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It’s absolutely imperative that you protect your eyes from the harsh summer sun.  But that doesn’t mean you can’t look cute while doing so!  I love sunglasses and have quite a few pairs.  Absolutely been loving these lately, and they’re currently on my wish list!

Sunscreen // Aloe

Unfortunately sitting out in the sun has it’s negative effects as well.  And although I’m prone to tanning, I still make sure to lather some sunscreen all over (especially my shoulders!) to prevent the inevitable – burning!  These are great for traveling since they are only 3oz and will fit nicely in any carry on bag.  This new formula from Aveeno also moisturizes the skin – double bonus!  I always make sure to take along some aloe as well in case my skin kills so much it’s hard to function.  Aloe cools the skin, giving it a fresh sensation, ultimately relieving it from any sun burn. I prefer Aloe lotion to gel, since I hate when I feel all gooey and sticky.  Even better if your aloe smells like coconut papaya.  😉

Face Lotion with SPF

Oh so important!  When I’m out and about I try my absolute hardest to apply this daily face lotion everyday!  I sometimes opt to put sunscreen on my face, but when I remember, I prefer to use moisturizing face lotion so my skin doesn’t dry out in the summer sun.  Two brands I recommend: Eucirin (SPF 30) and Aveeno (SPF 15).

Lip Balm with SPF

Your lips need sunscreen too!  I swear by this lip balm from Palmers.  It leaves your lips lightly moisturized without feeling goopy or waxy.  The swivel stick is on the larger side, so you may get a few stares from people thinking your smothering your face with a glue stick (ha!).  This little baby has dual purposes, as I’ve also used it for dry and cracked skin.  Plus, it smells amazing.  A staple for me anytime of year.

biotin tablets for hair and nails

My hair and nails really get the brunt of it over the summer.  I’m constantly washing (and therefore brushing) my hair, and these help promote healthy luxurious hair.  With all that time spent in the water (ocean, pool, and hot tub, I’m looking at you), my nails tend to get soft and brittle.  The biotin really helps keep them strong as can be – plus, who wants chipped nails after you’ve got them freshly polished?

I’m super horrible at taking pills, so these fast dissolving tablets are perfect for me.  And they taste like strawberries — what could be bad about them?!

Reusable Water Bottle with Straw

Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate!  Nothing is more important than keeping your body hydrated in the summer (well, that and an obnoxious amount of sunscreen).  I prefer water bottles with straws (like this one) so that I can drink on the go without worrying about spilling on myself – I have a hard time drinking while walking, don’t judge!

Hair Protector

The summer heat does wonders for your mind, body, and soul, but leaves horrible effects on your hair.  I suggest using a product, like nourishing milk, to leave your hair shiny, soft, and manageable.  All that time in the water (especially salty ocean water) makes my hair super dry, and I’m always wishing I had a magic potion to cure just that.  This nourishing milk promises soft and shiny hair, while getting rid of frizz – yes, please!

Just for Fun (But Still Very Important)

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Picnic Blanket // Picnic Basket

Summer wouldn’t be summer without a few picnics.  While a picnic basket (this one’s super cute!) and blanket aren’t the most practical to be taking on a overseas trip, they are absolutely essential for any nearby road trip!  I suggest taking a picnic blanket that is waterproof – this way any morning dew won’t seep through the blanket onto your cute summer clothes.


Besides it’s usual use – a beach coverup – a sarong can be used for so many different purposes.  As a thin blanket for chilly airplanes, a sheet for the beach, to cover up when visiting European churches, etc.  Even better – it hardly takes up any room in your suitcase!  I like bright and colorful ones because what’s summer without a little color?


Repeat after me.  I will wear sunscreen.  I will protect my eyes and face with a hat.  I know guys, a hat isn’t always the most fashion forward, but believe me, a sunhat will come in handy when your face is bright red (even after modestly applying sunscreen).  And there are a bunch of cute ones:  here, here, and here.  I promise!

Beach Bag

What’s a day at the beach without lugging around all of your beach essentials?  A few favorites here, here, and here!

Flexible Flip Flops

I used to buy those cheapie flip flops from Old Navy (raise your hand if you’ve had about a million different colors), but they always killed my feet after a bit of walking.  I find the material on these Havaianas just so much softer and more flexible, meaning they mold better to your feet and are not as stiff.  They’re a bit more expensive (still under $20!), but are so worth it to get rid of sore feet!

Statement Necklace

Looking to spruce up any outfit?  Add a statement necklace to your ensemble!  My favorites are from J. Crew (expensive, but you can find some awesome ones on sale, especially at the outlet), HM, and the odd piece at Banana Republic.

Kindle Paperwhite

Summer just wouldn’t be complete without my kindle by my side.  I literally take it eeeverywhere I go, and that includes  – it even has it’s place in my work bag so I can get a little reading done on my lunch break if I’m so inclined.  I’ve read so many books this year so far because of it!  Although I do love the feeling of opening up an actual book (and smelling it’s pages – you know you do it too!), the kindle is just so much more practical.  I can have dozens of books at my fingertips at all times.

Portable Mini Speakers

Okay, so this is definitely not a must-have item in your bag, but what’s summer without a little fun in the form of music?!  Tote one along and you’ll be making new friends like crazy wherever you are!

Coconut Oil

One thing I’ve never used before, but am excited to try out this summer, is coconut oil!  I’ve only heard amazing things, and you can do just so much with this one little product!  Hair masks, moisturizing body oil, cuticle softener,  under eye cream – check, check, check, and check.  Better yet, it only costs a few bucks!

Steve Madden Flat Sandals

I’ve been looking for a pair of flat sandals for a while now, and every pair I purchase just isn’t comfy after a while.  These sandals are just perfect – super fashionable, yet functional.  I can walk for miles in these and my feet don’t kill.  Plus – there’s no strap between the toes to get irritated or annoying (a definite positive in my book).

Fun + Brightly Colored Nail Polish

Let’s face it.  Summer wouldn’t be as fun without some bold nail polish.  I haven’t yet jumped onto the gel manicure craze yet, partially because I can’t stand it when I can’t take the polish off myself when they start chipping.  And because I just love to change the colors so often.  🙂  – If I’m not being lazy, that is.

Colors I’m crushing on now: Viva Antigua, Hiking Heels, Aim to Misbehave (limited edition), and Coconut Cove.  Don’t you just love all the fun names as well?

What summer essentials are your favorites?! Tell me what else I should check out!

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