Peak vacation season is right around the corner. And while that’s cause for celebration, in many cases summer travel packing is something you may not be quite as excited about.
It probably comes as no surprise that I’m a big fan of lists. Creating a packing list has become my favorite sign that vacation (much like winter) is coming.
But I know not everyone agrees with my choice in hobbies.
To make packing for your next summer getaway a little easier, here are some great tips to make sure you strike the happy medium between packing light and remembering everything you need.
Where are you going?
You can’t make a complete packing list until you know where you’re going and when. My list for a summer week in Miami would be very different from my list for a summer week in Buenos Aires, for example. Check the average temps for your visit dates, and make your list accordingly.
Footwear is extra important in extreme weather. Will you need sandals or will you need snow boots?
What are you doing?
Beyond knowing the general climate you’re headed to, it’s also important not to forget about any special activities you have planned. For example, on my next trip to California, I’ll be spending a day at Disneyland. That means I have to remember extra comfy shoes and my favorite pair of Mickey ears.
Hiking and your cousin’s black tie wedding demand very different gear. Will you need a sports bra or will you need formal wear?
Make an [exhaustive] list.
Now that you have the basics at the forefront of your mind, it’s time to write everything down… and I mean everything.
For me, it helps to think of myself from top to bottom. What do I need for my hair? Shampoo, brush, bobby pins, etc. What do I need for my face? Cleanser, moisturizer, make-up, etc. And so on, all the way down to my shoes and socks.
If you think there’s anything you might possibly need, write it down.
Edit, edit, edit.
As with any good writer, the magic happens in the editing.
Now that you have a very complete list in front of you, cut as much as you can off that list. Do you need to pack your prescriptions? Of course! Do you need every pair of sandals you own? Probably not.
Unless you have very specific activities planned, you are probably safe packing one outfit per day plus a couple of extras depending on the length of your trip. As for shoes, three is a magic number: a day shoe, a slightly fancier evening shoe, and one special (sandal or boot, depending on your destination).
*BONUS: Always pack a swimsuit.
I know; it sounds a little weird. I recently came across this tip and quickly realized how smart it is! Headed to cold climate? What if your hotel has a heated pool? Or what if your Airbnb has an amazing hot tub on the deck? The odds of needing a coat in Jamaica are pretty slim, but you could literally need a bathing suit anywhere in the world!
Do you have any travel essentials I left off my list? Let me know, and let’s get packing!