The trip you’ve been waiting for all year is finally here. But before you get in the car or head to the airport, it’s time to pack for that late summer vacation, and forgetting an essential item could spell disaster. Here are four must-haves when you’re packing for summer vacation.

Tote Bag

For traveling, a tote bag is a must — it’s more roomy than the average purse and can hold not only small items, but bigger objects as well. You might think your purse is more attractive than a tote bag, but think again. There are many tote bags out there that are just as stylish. A tote bag can also be used as a carry-on if you’re flying.

The Herschel Mica Shoulder Bag is a great place to start. It comes in several colors (try the navy-and-white stripes if you’re going to the beach or the chic coral-and-brown option for the city) and is made of canvas and cotton. Inside, you’ll find a striped fabric liner and a segmented storage sleeve; the main compartment is zippered for extra safety and stability.

Buy it here

Water Bottle

Dehydration while traveling is common. You’ll probably walk a lot on your summer trip (potentially in a warmer climate than you’re used to). You also may be drinking more alcohol than usual, which can help cause dehydration.

The best tip for staying hydrated while traveling is simply to bring your own water bottle along and always keep it with you. S’well’s 17-ounce stainless steel water bottle has triple-wall construction, which means it can keep your drink cold for 24 hours (or hot for 12, so save this for winter vacations as well). Since the bottle is condensation-free, its exterior will stay dry — meaning your hands or backpack pocket will, too.

Buy it here


Pack some sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful ultraviolet rays this summer (and to look stylish while you stroll the European streets or sunbathe in the Caribbean). The Uluwatu Whisky sunglasses by Maho Shades, an independent sunglass brand that produces classic eyewear with performance lenses, are a great choice. Inspired by Uluwatu, Bali, these sunglasses will flatter just about any face shape and size. They have an acetate matte finish and polarized amber lenses, making them a great value for the money; they also ship within 24–48 hours, so no worries if you need to finish packing and get on the road fast.

Buy them here

Dry Shampoo

Dry shampoo absorbs the oil from your scalp and makes your hair look fresh. Although dry shampoo doesn’t replace washing your hair, it is a good way to go longer between washes — convenient for long travel days, or trips when you’re just too busy having fun to take a break. Plus, it can save space since you won’t have to pack shampoo or conditioner.

We recommend the 1.6 ounce dry shampoo by Batiste (it comes in a pack of three — handy in case you run out). This clean-smelling shampoo will instantly revitalize your hair, giving it more body and texture with no water required. This shampoo is vegan and is not tested on animals.

Buy it here