As frequent travelers, we have finally figured out packing! If you pack well, it means you look your best for any occasion while traveling, and packing efficiently saves you from that dreaded dragging of your over-stuffed suitcase. For summer travel, the extra bonus is that you save space and weight from not having those bulky cold-weather items in your suitcase, so you have the space to pack more light summer items and travel essentials for women if you choose to.
From a road trip in Spain to exploring Indonesia and relaxing on the seaside in the summer to other fun trips, we’ve learned a thing or two about what we actually wear on a trip and how we wear the pieces we bring. So we thought we’d share our must-have fashion staples for summer and a few tips that we have found helpful about the packing process.
Must-have fashion items and travel essentials for women
For the summertime, there are definitely some summer essentials that you will want to have with you, both for functional and fashionable purposes.
A mini, midi, or maxi dress is such a simple and easy way to look fashionable while on holiday. You can dress it down during the daytime with natural hair, make-up-free, and a pair of casual sandals. Then for a night out on the town or out for dinner, you can wear the same dress with colorful lipstick, fun earrings, and a pair of high heels.
We also love that with one clothing item, you are done (or at least you can be!) If the material is light, it can also be a space-saver in your suitcase rather than adding another 2-piece outfit to your ‘options’ list. Check the convertible Kosan’s Go travel dress for hidden pockets and maximum versatility.
Basic tees are a year-round favorite. In the summertime, you can pair them with denim shorts or tuck them into a pair of wide-leg trousers.
A basic tee comes in handy when you just want to walk down to the beach, go out for a coffee or a casual lunch, and not fuss over your outfit but also have that ‘effortless’ fashionable look.
No matter the season you are traveling in, you always want something to keep you warm just in case. So pack a cardigan that you can throw on in case that morning walk on the beach has a chill in the air or if the air conditioning in a restaurant is running a bit too high for your comfort level.
Especially if you stick to the capsule wardrobe with a set color scheme, one cardigan can work for any outfit.
High heels (optional)
High heels are one of those items that you may not need until you really need them. In case you want to dress up for the evening or pair a top, jeans and heels together for an elevated casual look to an event, you’ll be happy to have not only a pair of heels but one that you know you like.
Always make sure to bring along a versatile colored pair that can go well with almost any outfit. If this staple is missing from your wardrobe you should definitely take the plunge and invest, e-stores like Luisaviaroma carry a lot of top designer brands like Roger Vivier, a staple for women’s heels, and a gorgeous option for a classic pump.
Beach sandals or fashion sandals – both equally important for your summer travels. Play off your mix-and-match clothing and decide whether you need a classic sandal that will go with everything or a fun one that will give your outfits that summer touch.
Whichever way you go, make sure the pair you choose is comfortable! Some sandals take a while to break in, and you’ll want to be sure you do so before you travel.
If you dig the great outdoors and some walking through nature is on the plans, make sure to bring a comfy pair of sneakers. Also, if you like running or exercising during your travels.
All About Vision have a nice infographic on why you need to take care of your eyes and how to do it while on vacation.
A tote bag
A tote bag gives you the space to carry your necessary items but doesn’t sacrifice style. There are gorgeous tote bags with a zipper that would be ideal for traveling, both for security and so that your items don’t spill out. When you head to the beach or pool with a book, sunglasses, water bottle, wallet, phone, keys, odds, and ends, etc., you’ll be happy to have the extra space and an item that pairs nicely with your outfit.
Related read: How to take beautiful island pictures
The classic summer hat is a must for holiday, both fashionable and purposeful. If you are like us and take time in finding the right hat, find one before your trip so you don’t spend time on holiday searching for one and ending up with one you don’t like as much.
Like thongs, that offer both comfort and stylish design, thanks to their soft and breathable materials. They are ideal for travelers with limited packing space or weight restrictions, as they are space-efficient and lightweight.
Additionally, thongs dry quickly, making it easy to maintain hygiene while on the go. Their seamless appearance eliminates visible panty lines, allowing for versatile outfit choices. Furthermore, comfy thong underwear is suitable for different climates, providing minimal coverage in hot-humid weather.
Anti-chafing shorts are definitely a summer travel essential that should be packed into any suitcase. Although they’re invisible to everyone else, they’re super functional and help you to be more fashionable on your travels — allowing you to wear whatever you want comfortably.
Moisture-wicking anti-chafing shorts like these ones are basically an extra layer that you can wear under dresses and skirts that will save your poor thighs from rubbing, sticking, and becoming sore on those hot summer days. So whether you’re exploring the cobbled streets of a new city, sitting down to a romantic dinner in that maxi dress you love or catching a flight, they’re perfect for feeling pretty and practical.
A few useful Summer packing list tips
When it comes to packing the ‘right things’ and the actual packing process for a trip during the summer, here are a few things we have found to make it easier:
Pick a color scheme
A mix-and-match wardrobe, referred to as the capsule wardrobe, is the way to go for any trip, any season.
To do so, pick a color scheme so that your items can be paired together and worn in different ways. For summer, we have found it particularly helpful to go mostly for neutral colors for my wardrobe (with a couple added fun and colorful pieces), and then play with and add in some colorful jewelry and lipstick. We have found it helpful to stick to 4 or so color options and to lay out and finalize outfits before we pack.
If a weight restriction for your luggage is of concern, wear your heaviest items on the plane: Save yourself a bit of your weight allowance by layering. Planes often run extremely cold as well, so you’ll be happy for the extra layers.
The shoe ‘option’ situation
Summer shoes may not always weigh a lot, but any shoes do take up quite a bit of space in your suitcase.
- Without a weight restriction for your luggage: You always want to make sure you have a pair of comfortable walking shoes and/or outdoor shoes if you plan on going on excursions or being in nature. If you choose one, wear that option on the plane. If you choose both and you have a weight restriction for your luggage, wear the heavier pair and pack the other. You’ll also want a pair of classic shoes that pair with everything (slides, espadrilles, etc.), beach sandals, and a heeled option.
- With a weight restriction for your luggage: Depending on what your summer itinerary looks like, try to stick with one walking shoe, one pair of sandals, and one pair of heeled shoes.
Pack items that you know you’ll wear, not just that you’d like to wear. It is fun to be fashionable when you travel, but be realistic about what you will actually wear to your final destination.
If you know that you struggle with heat, for example, be mindful of the fabrics that you pack so that you don’t just end up reaching for the same one or two items that are actually breathable.
Or if you know you will be going on excursions that you would be more comfortable in wearing long pants for even though your denim shorts would look more fashionable, pack those longer pants!
Tailor any clothes before you travel
If you pick up any new items or want to bring any items you currently own that perhaps don’t fit the best, be sure to tailor these items before you travel.
We have packed a blouse before that worked perfectly with multiple outfits for our trip, but it had a bit too much fabric in the straps so we were tugging at our blouse each time we wore it. We love the blouse and have gotten it tailored since, but we wish we had done that before we left for our trip so we were more comfortable!
Roll the items instead of folding.
This may feel foreign to you if you have never done it before, but rolling your clothes rather than folding actually saves you space and helps to avoid extra wrinkling of your clothing items.
Linen and cotton are popular fabrics for the summertime and these are very prone to wrinkling, so anything that might help with this, we are all for!
Use shoe covers.
Have you ever arrived at your destination only to find that the bottom of a shoe somehow left a stain on your white jeans? We know we have. It’s best to pack your shoes in zipped shoe covers for sanitary reasons regardless, but you’ll also avoid unnecessary wardrobe mishaps this way too.
Pack the heavy items on the bottom of your suitcase or backpack.
Near the wheels of your luggage or bottom part of your backpack, pack the heaviest items so that your luggage doesn’t topple over and then strategically place your items to make the most of your luggage real estate. The Thule crossover 32l backpack is a great choice.
Take your essentials with you.
If you bring a carry-on and check a bag, make sure all your essentials are in your carry on. On the off chance that your checked luggage is delayed or it runs into some other issue, you want to make sure that you have your essentials no matter what.
This could include contacts, a swimsuit, any medications, your passport, chargers and converters, and at least one or two changes of clothes.
Are there any fashion items that you always make sure to bring along on your summer trips?
- Fund Your Travels: 10 Unexpectedly Cool Ways!
- Travel Safely: Tips to Protect Your Home
- Vacation Hacks: Get the Most from Rental Homes
- Smart Travel: Lightweight, Low-Maintenance Gadgets
- Stylish Travel: Outfit Ideas on the Go
- Find Joy: Embracing Simple Travel Pleasures
- Ready to Go? Quick Checklist for Long-Term Travel