Pack Like a Pro: Summer Essentials & Tips

Use this cheat sheet to remind yourself of what—and how—to pack for the sunny days ahead.

By Kyle Ver


1. Sunscreen

Whether you’ll be hitting the beach or hiking in the mountains, prepare for the sun to be out in full force. Opt for a broad-spectrum sunscreen, which protects you from sunburn as well as the long-term effects of sun exposure. Consider throwing in some aloe as a backup!

2. Hat and sunglasses

Sun protection doesn’t stop at sunscreen. A baseball cap is better than nothing, but a wide-brim sun hat has the advantage of shading your neck as well as your face. For your eyes, bring along a durable pair of polarized sunglasses. Without all that glare, you’ll wonder how you ever got around without them.

3. Portable charger

It’s likely you’ll be spending the majority of your summer vacation away from power outlets. Invest in a portable battery charger to keep your phone and camera batteries replenished on the go. Consult the Staying Charged on the Road article from the Fall 2015 issue of Endless Vacation® magazine for a list of our favorite portable chargers.

4. Sandals

A pair of sandals goes a long way if you plan on getting wet. Let your feet breathe easy on the walk back from the beach or lake.

5. Summer reading

When you have downtime on the plane or after you’ve landed, immerse yourself in a book or two. Of course, you’ll want to make sure to bring that latest edition of Endless Vacation® magazine!


1. Zip it up.

Pack your travel-size (and TSA-approved) liquids in a re-sealable plastic bag to prevent a messy suitcase spill. Since many airports require you to unpack liquids from your carry-on, this method has the added benefit of helping you move more efficiently and quickly through security.

2. Save space.

To maximize the real estate in your bag, store smaller belongings inside of larger ones. For example, hiking boots offer a sturdy and inconspicuous home for cellphone chargers, adapters and other gadgets you’ll want to keep in tip-top shape en route to your destination.

3. Roll or fold.

Both packing methods have a time and place. If you’re bringing a duffle or tote, rolling works wonders with t-shirts and jeans. Folding comes in handy when you’re toting a structured suitcase and packing wrinkle-prone or tailored clothing, such as dress shirts, woven skirts and trousers. Also remember to choose fabrics wisely: blends containing nylon or elastane resist wrinkling, while anything with texture or a busy print helps conceal fold marks.

4. Split your belongings.

If you’re flying with another person, consider packing half of your items in your bag and the other half in your companion’s bag, and vice versa. If your luggage gets lost en route, you will still have enough clothing and essentials to get by without it spoiling your vacation.

5. Toss it out.

To make extra room in your suitcase for souvenirs, pack shampoo bottles that are almost empty and that can be used up during your vacation. If you have clothes or books you no longer want by the end of your experience, ask if there are any local charities where you can donate them.

  • NOTE: Information may have changed since publication. Please confirm key details before planning your trip.
  • Published: April 2016