my summer travel essentials

summer_travelTravelling is one of my very favourite things to do. I love it; I love planning it all out, booking flights and trains, hotels and hostels. I love exploring new places. I even love packing. Each trip I take teaches me new things and I learned pretty quickly that I’m a serious over-packer, (shocking, right?).

I’m slowly but surely learning how to travel a little lighter, and the following are my TOP FIVE travel essentials for summer trips!

1. MAXI DRESSES

These are an absolute must when the heat is inescapable. Comfortable and chic, a dress like this will keep you happy. They’re also great when you’re traveling to warm climates where it is culturally respectful to be a little bit more covered up, or places like Italy/Spain, etc. where you’ll perhaps be visiting historic churches or religious sites, where it is expected that you be covered up.
[TIP: Carry a lightweight silk scarf or pashmina in your day bag to drape over your shoulders when planning to visit these types of sites. If you don’t have something, you’ll be turned away or made to pay to borrow one.]

2. SANDALS

Find ones that are comfortable and that strap on to your feet (flip flops are a major no, the last thing you want is to loose your shoe in a crowd). Wear them around for a while before you leave. I find with sandals, no matter how comfortable they are when you try them on, they will rub you in a couple places at first until you get them a little worn in. These ones from Aldo are cute, and the bone colour will go with just about everything that you’ve packed.

3 & 4. SPF

I’ll admit, I’m not the biggest sunscreen user. BAD, I KNOW. It’s partially laziness and partially that I really like having a tan. But sun protection is important and Aveeno has a couple of products that are great for people like me who don’t necessarily think to lather on the sunscreen. Aveeno Positively Radiant Daily Moisturizer is lightweight, oil free, hypoallergenic and comes in SPF 15 and 30. Use this every morning on your face, neck, collarbone and shoulders and you’re adding sun protection right into your daily routine. I also love their Essential Moisture Lip Conditioner with SPF 15, because really, a sun burn on your lips is kind of the worst.

5. GREAT LUGGAGE

This is one of the only times where by “great” I mean something durable and generally sensible (normally my “great” means something beautiful but completely ridiculous and unreasonable… it’s more fun that way). Something carry on size is best, even if you’re going to check your bag. If you’re traveling from place to place, as opposed to staying in one spot, a big, cumbersome suitcase becomes a bit of a nightmare. This Givenchy Nightingale Carry-On bag is fantastic (and it should be for $4,660… a girl can dream, right?).

Some of my other MUST PACK items include a wrist watch (you’ll be glad to not have to pull out your smart phone constantly to check the time), a deck of cards (an easy way to pass time with your travel companions on the train), a good book (when you don’t want to talk to anyone else for a while), and lots of clean underwear (washing them in hotel sinks isn’t that fun, neither is paying for laundry service).

PS. On a not-entirely-unrelated note, I go to NYC in a week! My excitement is getting the best of me, so I decided to post some pictures from my last trip there during the summer of 2010. Can’t believe it’s been three years! So excited to be heading back. 
Click here to check out those pictures… 

 [Image sources: left / top middle / bottom middle / right]

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