Whether you’re sailing the Caribbean, hopping around the Greek Islands, or heading to a long beach weekend, here’s my list of must have summer essentials.
Three plus years of non-stop travel has taught me a thing or two about packing, especially when it comes to hot and humid summer weather. And even though now I've pretty much mastered the art of packing a suitcase for any climate, it hasn't always been that way. I'm ashamed to say that I've made many packing mistakes -- like that time I tried to wear a long sleeve polyester cover up in the Maldives. Or when I forgot to bring along sunscreen when heading to Cambodia.
But I’ve learned from my mistakes... well sort of. I still might overpack a bit, but at least now when i overpack, i'm overpacking the right things! So after many years of trial and error, below is a summer packing checklist of the items that you will always find in my luggage when were heading out for warm weather destinations.
- Vilebriquin Boyfriend Long Shirt - This is your best friend for hot weather. The fabric naturally breathes and it’s super light! I love my dress from Vilebrequin that makes the perfect cover up or stylish dress for a beachy dinner.
- Burberry Silk Scarf - Last year Chris bought me a beautiful silk Burberry scarf for Christmas and I wear it year long. Quality pieces should last and be versatile :) It adds a pop of color in winter and makes the perfect sarong in Summer
- Bold and Bright Bikini - There are so many different cuts of bikinis available nowadays, but I’ll always favor a bright simple string bikini with triangle top, like this one from Heidi Klein
- Alice and Olivia Simple Beach Dress - In tropical weather I need simple, light and breezy. This dress from Alice and Olivia is perfect for a beach dinner under the stars.
- Manebi Wedge Sandals - Leave your heels at home and go for a wedge. You’ll be able to walk on sand easier and you can easily wear these for the airport, and back in the city. Manebi has a range of classic colors (think navy and taupe) and fun neon colors that just make me smile. The quality of suede is apparent and the ribbon straps actually hold onto your foot.
- Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi Perfum - Packing light is our mantra, but I just can’t forgo fragrance. My absolute favorite for summer is Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi. It has this light sweet yet musky smell to it. Perfect for breezy days and nights. Plus the bottle is beautiful and when I take it out, set it on our hotel bathroom or dresser, it makes me feel a bit at home.
- Biologique Recherche Protection UV - Chris and I love to lay in the sun, play in the water and basically get all the UV rays we can...but as we get older we are realizing more and more that we need to take care of our skin. So we each use this really high quality face SPF from Biologique Recherche.
- La Roche Posay Anthelios XL Body Cream - For our body we rotate between good ol’ Tropicana tanning oil (with 4 SPF) and La Roche Posay Anthelios XL cream for our body and face when we are spending long hours in the sun, like on a boat, or a long tour.
- SachaJuan Hair Oil & Paste - I don't know about you, but in tropical climates my hair goes from silky smooth to a frizzy mess in a matter of seconds... so I've learned to roll with it. I stop blow drying my hair, I embrace my random curls and just rub Sachajuan Oil in it as soon as I get out of the shower and let it air dry. I also sneak some of the SachaJuan Hair Paste that Chris uses to help get the piecey look
- Guerlain Bronzer & Illuminating Powder - When we’re staying in tropical climates, I use very minimal makeup. I keep it basic and use only bronzer, mascara, gloss and eyebrow gel. I love the subtle glow from Guerlain’s Terracotta Bronzer (I actually use this year long) and their Meteorites Illuminating Powder
- Loeffler Randall's Cruise Tote - We’re constantly carrying our camera, our drone and other random things, so a bag is a must. For summer I stay away from leather and go for fabric bags or fun textures like raffia. This tote from Loeffler Randall not only looks great on or off the beach, but also can pack in everything we need for a day out!
- Tom Ford Alicia Sunglasses - For obvious reasons sunglasses are a must for a beach vacay, but there are a few things I always keep in mind while looking for a pair for summer. Metal frames always get stuck in my hair especially when it’s wet, so thick plastic frames are ideal and I also look for oversized lenses in order keep the sun out! My personal favs are the Alicia Sunglasses from Tom Ford.
- Amazon Kindle - I have a love/hate relationship with the Amazon Kindle. I love the feel and smell of real books, but our lifestyle isn't conducive to traveling with an array of heavy books, so I relent, and use the Kindle. I love that it holds a charge, is way easy to read (even under direct sunlight) and I have at least 8 books on it at a time!
- GoPro with Underwater Housing - When were at the beach, the last thing we want to do is bring our big, expensive DSLR camera. Aside from the obvious issues (it getting stolen, or getting sand in the lens), its just not practical to lug that equipment with us. And while our iPhone could work, we don't want to risk dropping it in the ocean! Our GoPro however is small enough to fit in our pocket, takes great high quality video, and is waterproof! Score. How else would we capture these awesome moments.
- TEP Portable WIFI - Staying connected is pretty important to us and sometimes islands and beaches don't have proper wifi (yes Bali, the Caribbean and Cruises I’m talking to you). With our TEP Wireless device, we’re able to create a hotspot anywhere you get a phone single