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The Ultimate Summer Vacation Packing List

Whether you're a solo traveler or a millennial wanderer in search of new international adventures, preparing for the perfect getaway is no easy task. From booking your flight to stepping foot in your dream destination, the journey calls for thoughtful planning and flawless packing. But with so much to consider, where do you begin?

We've taken care of the hard part, so you can kick back and relax without fretting over what to pack for your summer getaway. If you're still brainstorming your summer vacation plans, don't worry! We're here to help. Complete a profile, and a member of our Community Team will reach out with recommendations that suit your preferences.

Summer Vacation Packing Lists

Essential International Travel Checklist

When preparing for international travel, certain items are non-negotiable for a smooth and hassle-free experience. Here’s a comprehensive checklist of essentials you should never forget for any international trip:

  • Valid Passport: Your passport is your key to the world, so ensure it is valid for at least six months beyond your return date, which some countries strictly require.

  • Visas: Check the visa requirements for your destination well in advance. Some countries offer visas on arrival or e-visas, which can be more convenient.

  • Travel Insurance: Protect yourself against unforeseen events such as trip cancellations, medical emergencies, or lost luggage.

  • Medications and Health Documents: Carry any prescribed medications in their original containers, along with a doctor’s note. Also, consider carrying copies of your prescriptions and any necessary health documents like vaccination certificates.

  • Credit Cards and Cash: Inform your bank of your travel plans to avoid any fraud alerts when you use your card abroad. Also, have some local currency handy for smaller transactions.

  • Copies of Important Documents: Keep digital and physical copies of your passport, itinerary, travel insurance, and emergency contacts.

  • International Power Adapter: Different countries have different plug shapes and voltages, so an international adapter is a must-have to keep your gadgets charged.

The Universal Packing List

No matter your destination, these 15 items are indispensable for any summer vacation. Ensure you have these packed, and you’re one step closer to lounging in paradise.

  1. Sunglasses for those beach days Protect your eyes and enjoy the sights without the squint. Persol is our top-choice for shades.

2. Sunscreen for lounging by the sea If you’re heading to the sea, consider going reef safe. Blue Lizard is our favorite (it contains no chemical ingredients).

3. Reusable water bottle to beat the heat Stay hydrated on the go and ditch the single use plastics. Hydro Flask is the leader in insulated and stainless steel water bottles.

4. Swimwear to keep you cool and stylish Essential for any beach, pool, or lake activities. We love Cupshe’s one pieces.

5. Beach towel to dry off quick Choose a quick-drying, compact option. These options from Pamuklu are also sand-resistant!

6. Comfortable walking shoes for the adventurer For all the exploring you'll do. New Balance should do the job.

7. Flip-flops for taking it easy Ideal for beach days and showering in shared facilities. Reef’s are always a safe bet.

8. Wide-brimmed hat for catching rays in style Keep the sun off your face and neck. We love Furtalk’s style.

9. E-reader for flights and lounging poolside For leisurely reading by the pool or beach. The Kindle Paperwhite is the winner here.

10. Portable charger for all those tech needs  Make sure that phone or Kindle never dies. Grab an Anker for peace of mind.

11. Waterproof phone case for the perfect shot Protect your phone from water and sand. Hieracool will do the trick.

12. First aid kit to be prepared Packed with plasters, antiseptic wipes, and any prescribed medications. We’re fans of everything Protect Life offers.

13. Travel-sized hand sanitizer to keep it clean For cleanliness wherever you go. Never lose the Purell.

14. Daypack for easy adventuring For day trips and carrying your essentials. Sea to Summit can’t be beat for durability and convenience.

15. Noise-canceling headphones to relax Block out unwanted noise on flights or trains. Never listen to a crying baby again with Bose’s Quiet Comforts.

Men's Summer Vacation Packing List for One Week

When it comes to men's fashion for the summer, comfort, versatility, and style should guide your choices. Here’s a curated list of essential men's clothing items for a summer vacation:

  1. Lightweight Linen Shirt (2-3)- Breathable and stylish for those hot days.

  2. Short-Sleeve Button-Up (2)- Perfect for casual outings or a night out.

  3. Underwear for a week (7)- Boxers or briefs

  4. Cotton T-Shirts (3-4)- Staple items that pair with anything.

  5. Board Shorts (2) - Ideal for the beach or a day at the pool.

  6. Chino Shorts (2) - For a smart-casual look during the daytime.

  7. Lightweight Blazer (1) - For dressier occasions or dinners.

  8. Denim Jeans (1) - A versatile option for evenings out.

  9. Casual Sneakers (1) - Comfortable for walking and exploring.

  10. Baseball Cap (1) - Protect your face from the sun.

Women's Summer Vacation Packing List for One Week

For women, packing for a summer vacation means including items that are fashionable, functional, and versatile. Here's our list of essential women's clothing items for a summer getaway:

  1. Maxi Dress (2) - Easy to dress up or down, perfect for any occasion.

  2. Lightweight Skirts (2) - Breezy and comfortable for exploring.

  3. Underwear for a week (7) - Always better to pack more!

  4. Tank Tops(3-4) - Versatile and can be layered if needed.

  5. Bikinis and One-Piece Swimsuits (2-3) - For beach days and poolside relaxation.

  6. Kaftan or Beach Cover-Up (1) - Stylish protection from the sun.

  7. Denim Shorts (1) - A casual staple that's perfect for daytime.

  8. Evening Dress (1-2) - For romantic dinners or nightlife.

  9. Sandals (1-2) - Ideally something that can transition from day to night.

  10. Wide-Brimmed Sun Hat (1) - Fashionable sun protection.

Packing Tips for International Travel

Packing's certainly not everyone's favorite task, but it's a sure sign that you're one step closer to living that summer vacay life you've been dreaming of. A few pro tips should be all you need.

The Carry-On Connoisseur

Don’t check a bag if you don’t have to! Traveling with only a carry-on bag isn’t just a matter of convenience; it’s a strategic method to ensure a seamless and efficient travel experience. Not only will you save time at the airport by skipping checked bag lines, but your odds of losing a bag go to pretty much zero (hello, peace of mind). It's also a savvy move for your wallet, as you'll dodge those pesky checked bag fees and potentially save money for more enjoyable activities during your trip.

When it comes to choosing the perfect carry-on bag for your summer adventures, consider the following features:

Durability: Look for high-quality materials that can withstand the rigors of travel.

Size and Compatibility: Ensure the bag meets airline carry-on size restrictions to avoid last-minute check-ins. Opt for models that offer a bit of flexibility in size, with features such as expandable compartments.

Organization: A bag with multiple compartments and pockets will help keep your belongings organized and easily accessible. This is especially useful for items you need to reach quickly, such as documents, electronics, or snacks.

Mobility: Choose a carry-on with smooth-rolling wheels and a sturdy handle. A four-wheel spinner bag provides superior maneuverability through crowded airports and tight spaces.

Security: Features like TSA-approved locks and tamper-resistant closures provide additional security for your valuables.

Our favorite:

We go back and forth on our favorite carry-on luggage, but we’ve always had luck with Samonite’s products.

Weather and Activities

Before you start packing your favorite outfits, you need to think about what kind of climate you're heading to, what the weather will be like, and what activities you’ve got lined up. While summer generally promises warmth, evenings can be cool, and even rainy (so, prepare for that!).

For the adventurers among us, specific gear might be necessary; think swimwear for beach destinations, comfortable walking shoes for city explorations, or hiking boots for mountainous treks. If you plan ahead, you’ll make sure that you’re comfortable no matter where your travels take you.

Pack Like a Pro

We can’t stress enough just how important it is to pack smart. We’re talking maximizing space, minimizing weight, and organizing items in a way that makes your travel experience seamless and hassle-free.

Incorporating packing hacks into your travel prep can transform the daunting task of packing into a streamlined process. These hacks not only allow you to pack more efficiently but also ensure you can access what you need, when you need it, without rummaging through your suitcase. 

Roll it!

The rolling revolution is upon us (OK, that may be a tad dramatic, but seriously, roll your clothes!) It can drastically reduce the space your clothes take up in your luggage. And that means more going out outfits for that summer vacay in Barcelona.

Rolling your clothes also leads to fewer wrinkles and creases, keeping your clothes looking fresh and ready to wear upon arrival. And, it’ll make it easier to organize everything and access anything without disrupting everything else in your bag. It's not just about saving space; it's about traveling smarter, lighter, and more efficiently.

Cube it!

Consider investing in packing cubes. Compact and lightweight, these will enable you to compartmentalize and categorize your belongings into neat, manageable sections. Seriously, it’s amazing how much more you can pack when you throw everything in a cube (well, roll everything into that cube, like we just discussed). 

On top of all that, using packing cubes will also make finding things way easier. So, not only are you maximizing available space in your luggage, you’re also ensuring your clothes and accessories remain neatly organized (and wrinkle-free throughout your journey). 

Our favorite: We’re big fans of Eagle Creek when it comes to cubes. They’re durable, well built, and always reliable.

Best Summer Travel Destinations

Summer's our favorite season to explore the world. Each continent has hidden gems that shine brightest during this season, offering everything from cultural festivals to serene natural beauty. These are some of our favorite summer travel destinations:

Best Destinations to Visit in Europe

Europe is a stunning destination year-round but summer in Europe is exceptionally breathtaking. From the sun-kissed beaches of the Mediterranean to the Slovenian Alps, the continent comes alive with bustling cities, charming villages, and an array of outdoor festivals and events.

Summer in the Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site in southern Italy, dazzles visitors with its dramatic cliffs, azure seas, and picturesque villages like Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello. Travelers can explore historic cathedrals, enjoy the stunning coastal drive, and savor the fresh, Mediterranean cuisine. In summer, the Amalfi Coast enjoys warm, sunny days with temperatures ranging from 75°F to 85°F (24°C to 29°C), perfect for beach outings and boat tours along the scenic coastline.

Summer in Amsterdam

Amsterdam in the summer is a lively mix of cultural festivals, open-air markets, and serene canal cruises under the blue skies. The city’s museums, including the Van Gogh Museum and the Anne Frank House, offer insights into its rich history and artistic heritage. The Vondelpark becomes a hub of outdoor activities, with free concerts and picnics. Summer weather in Amsterdam is moderately warm, with average temperatures hovering between 55°F to 70°F (13°C to 21°C), and occasional rain showers.

Summer in the Basque Country

The Basque Country, spanning the northern coast of Spain and southern France, is renowned for its unique culture, languages, and gastronomy, especially its pintxos and Michelin-starred restaurants. Visitors can explore the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the charming streets of San Sebastián, and the tranquil beaches along the coast. The summer climate is mild and pleasant, with temperatures usually between 65°F to 75°F (18°C to 24°C), ideal for enjoying the region's outdoor festivals and lush landscapes.

Summer in London

Summer in London transforms the city with bustling street markets, outdoor cinemas, and verdant parks like Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens in full bloom. Historical landmarks such as the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and the Houses of Parliament can be explored alongside the modern attractions of the London Eye and the Shard. London's summer weather can be unpredictable, with temperatures ranging from 60°F to 75°F (15°C to 24°C), alongside unexpected rain, making an umbrella a necessary accessory.

Summer in Sardinia

Sardinia boasts some of the Mediterranean's most stunning beaches, such as Costa Smeralda and Cala Luna, along with ancient Nuragic ruins. The island’s interior offers rugged mountains and quiet villages, offering a glimpse into traditional Sardinian life. Summers in Sardinia are hot and dry, with temperatures often climbing above 85°F (30°C), making it a perfect destination for sunbathing, swimming, and sailing.

Summer in Slovenia

Slovenia, a hidden gem in Europe, entices with its majestic Alpine scenery, verdant forests, and the crystal-clear Lake Bled. The capital, Ljubljana, is known for its pedestrian-friendly historic center, bustling with cafes and galleries. The Postojna Cave and the Skocjan Caves are remarkable for their karst formations. Summer brings warm, sunny days with temperatures ranging from 65°F to 80°F (18°C to 27°C), ideal for hiking in Triglav National Park and exploring the country's diverse landscapes.

Best Destinations in Africa

The continent is a treasure trove of cultural richness, history, and biodiversity. From 1,000-year-old medinas to sandy Saharan treasures, it's a place of incredible landscapes.

Summer in Morocco

Summer in Morocco is an exhilarating time, blending heat with the bustling energy of cities and landscapes. From June to August, temperatures can reach the 90s (32°C) in many parts, particularly in cities like Marrakech, Fez, and the desert regions. What's truly great about Morocco in summer, is there are less crowds which brings a more of an authentic experience. This is the perfect time for exploring the historic medinas, majestic palaces, and vibrant markets.

Best Destinations in the Americas

Summer in the Americas is a kaleidoscope of landscapes, cultures, and experiences. From the misty jungles of Costa Rica to the electric energy of Medellin, the continent offers a diverse array of destinations to explore.

Summer in Belize

Belize, with its Caribbean coastline fringed by the world’s second-largest barrier reef, is a haven for scuba divers and snorkelers exploring the underwater kaleidoscope of marine life. From June through August, temperatures average around 82°F to 88°F (28°C to 31°C), with the warmest days often tempered by coastal breezes, particularly in destinations like Caye Caulker. This season marks the beginning of the green season in Belize, where the landscape bursts into a vivid display of life, with rainforests and jungles becoming even more lush and inviting.

Summer in Colombia

Colombia offers a mix of vibrant cities, serene beaches, and lush coffee plantations. Medellín, once infamous, now shines as a city of innovation with a spring-like climate year-round. The Caribbean coast dazzles with Cartagena’s colorful old town and Santa Marta’s gateway to the biodiverse wonders of Tayrona National Park. In Colombia, the concept of summer is somewhat unique due to its equatorial location, which leads to minimal variation in seasonal temperatures. However, the months considered to be summer in the Northern Hemisphere, from June to August, coincide with a drier period in many parts of Colombia. In coastal areas, such as Cartagena, the weather remains warm and tropical, with temperatures often hovering around 86°F (30°C).

Summer in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is a paradise for nature lovers, boasting a biodiversity unparalleled in much of the world. From the misty cloud forests of Monteverde, home to an array of exotic wildlife and plants, to the pristine beaches of Manuel Antonio, there's a landscape for every kind of adventurer. During the summer months, Costa Rica is enveloped in its "green season" (roughly from May through November). This period is characterized by warmer temperatures and higher humidity, with daytime highs typically ranging between 77°F to 86°F (25°C to 30°C). Mornings often start sunny, with short rain showers more common in the afternoon and evening.

Summer in Oaxaca

Oaxaca is a region rich in indigenous culture, artisanal crafts, and gastronomy. Its capital, also named Oaxaca, is known for its colonial buildings, vibrant markets, and the nearby Monte Albán, a pre-Columbian archaeological site. Summer in Oaxaca is characterized by its pleasant climate, with temperatures typically ranging from 60°F to 80°F (16°C to 27°C). It's an excellent time for visitors to explore the region’s rich cultural heritage and natural beauty. Occasional showers cool down the otherwise warm days and helps maintain the lush greenery of the landscapes, making outdoor activities like hiking in the Sierra Norte or visiting the ancient ruins around the city more enjoyable.

Best Destinations in Asia

There’s never a bad time to visit Asia. The region boasts some of the world’s best beaches, lush jungles, beautiful temples, and bustling markets. No matter what the weather is like, there’s always something to see and do! From the bustling streets of Tokyo to the tranquil rice terraces of Bali, the continent offers a captivating blend of history, culture, and natural beauty.

Summer in Bali

Enchanting Bali, with its picturesque landscapes, golden shores, and lush terraced rice fields, is Indonesia’s crown jewel among global travelers. During the summer months, Bali enjoys a tropical climate that's relatively dry and sunny, making it an ideal time to explore. From June to September, the island sees less rainfall compared to other times of the year, with August being the driest month. Temperatures are comfortable, typically ranging from 77°F to 88°F (25°C to 31°C). The evenings are cooler, providing a pleasant respite from the daytime heat.

Summer in Japan

From the dense, neon-lit streets of Tokyo to the tranquil Zen gardens of Kyoto, Japan is a juxtaposition of the ultra-modern and the deeply traditional, making it an unforgettable destination in summer. This time of year also brings the vibrant Tanabata Matsuri, where streets are adorned with colorful decorations and lively parades celebrate this star festival. Tokyo, a city that never sleeps, pulses with energy, offering everything from historic temples and shrines to cutting-edge technology and fashion. Between June and September, you'll find warm temperatures and high humidity, with the occasional rainy periods in June and early July. Expect temperatures from 77°F to 95°F (25°C to 35°C).

Summer in Vietnam

Vietnam mesmerizes with staggering landscapes, historical monuments, and vibrant culture. During the summer months from June to September, the country experiences a mix of climates, which can vary greatly depending on the region. In the northern part of Vietnam, including Hanoi, expect temperatures to reach into the high 80s°F (30°C). Moving to the center of the country, the climate reaches its peak in terms of heat and dryness, with temperatures sometimes climbing above 95°F (35°C). In the southern part of Vietnam, particularly in and around Ho Chi Minh City, temperatures during the summer months are consistently warm. The average temperatures hover around 27°C to 35°C (80°F to 95°F), providing a tropical climate experience that is both humid and hot.

Safe Travels with Your Summer Staples

Remember, the joy of travel lies in the unscripted moments, the cultural connections, and the breezy ease that comes from being well-prepared. If you're interested in exploring the world with FTLO, check out our incredible lineup of summer destinations!


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