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Ultimate Summer Travel Essentials for Packing Light

Summer Travel Essentials for Packing Light

Being as its summer I couldn’t help but not do a video for it. Summer is the perfect time to pack light, as you can get away with wearing a lot less clothes!  However, as light-weight as these outfits can be, if you choose your wardrobe is a smart way , you’ll be able to get more three to five looks from one a couple of items. And you’ll have more space in your luggage for souvenirs!

Summer travel essentials for packing light

These days, I’ve gotten really good at packing light. I’m almost a pro. Well, sometimes I fall off that wagon and you’ll see me jamming in clothes at the last minute.

  1.  When we travel, most of us only wear the same two outfits all the time.  
    Yes, the same two.  So packing anything extra is often for peace of mind as an optional variable to go to. Packing an outfit per every occasion is just a much of a fallacy as is the myth that our bodies require three full meals a day. Really, we can survive on a lot less and our bodies will be happy for us ( our bodies  expends more energy digesting and processing food, when it could be doing repair work, etc… By eating too much we’re really clogging the pipeline of bodily tasks!)
  2.   Be a mix and match smartie.
    Most pro packers, choose outfits that are versatile to different styles and occasions.  If you find a couple of versatile wardrobe pieces, you might be able to pull four or five outfits out of it.

Here’s a list of some of the versatile pieces I use as well as, other summer essentials I’ll bring on a trip!

 The “Beach” Wearables

Packing light for summer travel, travel essential for summer, packing tips for summer

Packing light for summer travel essentials: Donning a coverup and Sanuk flip-flops


The Bikini bra

Due to the fact its summer, its perfectly acceptable to see more bikinis underneath. Bikinis are perfect substitutes for bras and if you ever needed to change tops and you didn’t have a dressing room, voila! Being that i’m from Hawaii, I love Roxy halter top bikini tops or a simple solid color Roxy string bikini top.


Tankinis are another type of bathing suit top (tank top + bikini). They look like a tank top and if you pick the right pattern, you can easily transform it into a blouse/tank top/ gym workout  substitute.  The one I wear in my video is Tommy Bahama‘s Halter Top Tankini.  The only problem I find with the one I’ve chosen is that the countries I tend to lean towards are more conservative and the frontal V dips rather low. Makes for a sexy evening blouse, but in a conservative country, I need to throw my white long-sleeve shirt over it.

Tankinis, Summer Travel Essentials for Packing Light, Tommy bahamas tankini

Pareo /Sarong/Scarf

If you saw my carry on video you know I’m a  fan of scarves! During the summer , my favorite green pashmina scarf is too warm for the beach, so I’ll bring a scarf that acts like a pareos (aka sarongs). These tend to be more stylish in pattern. These stylish wrap-arounds beach skirts make great scarf substitutes, beach towels, coverup dresses and blankets.  Tip:  If I’m packing a pareo (and depending upon the one I bring), sometimes I leave my towel at home!  It helps me pack light.

pareo, scarf, sarong


These days, coverups come in all styles~ from zip up hoodies, pseudo dresses, to sheer tunics, lacy throws, the beach style just got more fun.

Tip: Choose a tunic which is versatile to your wardrobe.

la blanca island tunic coverup


What to wear on the Boardwalk

Summer Travel Essentials for Packing Light, packing light for summer

packing light for summer: Sports cap & lightweight wrinkle free UV proof shirt

Convertible skirts

The convertible skirt-dress are a 2-in-1 Transformer combo. You can either wear it as a skirt or sun dress.  Some are simple skirts that you pull up to create a sexy sun dress.  Others, you may find at kiosks which have a model out front showing you how you can use your convertible 100 ways.   While the latter is useful, I also find it rather complex to remember or suit up, even if you have a diagram in front of you.

Tip: You might even pair this with your tankini.

Classic Blacks

I like to add a classic black polyester cami and black stretchy skirt to my wardrobe as interchangeable, mix and match items. They are great for tight spots, when you’ve packed like a backpacking bum and then find yourself wanting to go nightclubbing in the evening.

Tip: Just throw a scarf, blouse or jacket over them for a stylish look!

Wrinkle-free lightweight shirt

I absolutely love Alpine Design’s long-sleeved sun shirts. They’re a Sports Authority brand. They’re wrinkle-free (yes, the wrinkles actually loosen when you wear it, so it kind of irons itself out), lightweight and I don’t get hot in it.  I’ve worn this in countries like Bangkok ( the three seasons are hot, hotter and hottest) and it was just as breezy as wearing a t-shirt.  They’re also 100% UV protected and these days, due to global warming and the prevalence of skin cancer due to the harmful rays of the sun, every ounce of sun protection is well advised.

Convertible pants

Convertible cargo pants  convert pants into shorts or capris. They’re the smartest clothing tool for an adventure traveler or backpacker. I’ve been a fan of NorthFace Convertible pants  for years.  It’s got a travel-safari look that I like and it’s helpful to strip down to shorts on hot days, without having to find a changing room. Although they look stiff, the pants get softer as you wear them. But you’ll also appreciate a little protective layer, when you hit rugged terrain and adventure activities.


Black leggingsare great for any occasion. Form fitting, they can act as workout pants, casual evening wear or perfect for sightseeing.  They take up such little space in my luggage and day pack that I don’t know what I’d do without them.

Summer Travel Essentials for Packing Light


Sun, sun, sun! The sun is a criminal worse than any pickpocket or thief! It can rob you of good and healthy skin and at worse, ruin your health and vacation.

BB cream or CC cream

BB cream or CC creams are musts for me. They are mostly an all in one, foundation, concealer, moisturizer and SPF 20. My consistent brands are Face shop FACEIT CC Cream  and recently, Stila CC Color Corrector Cream.

Lip Balm

Lip balm is an essential for hot and dry locations.  These days, even lips require moisturizing and protection from the sun’s harmful UV rays. I use Burt’s Bees Lip Shimmer (Rhubarb), which moisturizes in dry environment, while adding a little color to my lips!

Sun hat or sports cap

 A wide-brimmed sun hat or sports cap is helpful to have for extra protection on a hot day’s trek or for lounging at the pool.  I always prefer my Korean-styled sports cap for activity, but these days, I’ve been going for more coverage in a floppy wide foldup hat.

Wide floppy brims are great for coverage against the sun, but horrible if you’re going on a cruise or somewhere windy. If you’re going to go with a wider brim, make sure the brim is firm and not floppy. Additionally, any headwear which is floppy, expect the wind to catch on it and blow it up or push it down against your face. The second thing to consider is if it’s a packable hat or crushable vs. not (just think… airport carryon).  Kooringal is an Australian brand but has a good selection of sun hats. Otherwise, pick one up at your local beach shop.

Kooringal - Marcoola Floppy 3495


Due to the fact the sun’s rays are only getting more harmless, it’s essential to pack sunscreen or buy it upon arrival. As I pack for carry on luggage, I usually buy my sunscreen when I arrive at my destination, however, keep in mind, at some destinations it can be expensive.  However, my facial sunscreen I pack with me.

I have two favorite facial sunscreens which I can easily pack in my purse : Peter Thomas Roth’s SPF 30 Brush-on Powder and Coppertone Sport Stick SPF 55, which is great to take on the go. Sprays allow for greater coverage and easier application than creams. However, if you want to feel protected, creams are usually the way to go.

Tip:  Reapply your sunscreen every two hours.

Sunscreen for summer, Summer Travel Essentials for Packing Light

Sunscreen for face



A two footwear rule

When I really want to travel light, I follow a two foot wear rule:  I only take two types of footwear…. jogging shoes and flip-flops.  However, if I want to be fashionable because I know I’m hitting an urban or nightlife scene, I’ll make it a three footwear rule and throw in my best pair of fashion shoes or sandals.  The only time you’ll need more than that is if you’re a fashion Instagrammer!

Jogging shoes or hiking shoes

They fit every athletic occasion and can take the long haul.

New Balance running shoes are my favorite brand. I like how they have good shock absorption and they cradle my high arched feet. I can last hours in them without my feet hurting.

Tip: As I’m on my feet all day long, I always throw in a padded insoles or gel cushions to absorb extra shock, so I don’t wear my tootsies out too quickly.  The padded insoles are also perfect for when your shoes begin to smell. You can easily wash the insoles and hang them to dry as you walk around in your normal shoes.

Flip flops

They’re  just a good idea for any trip, hostel stay or beach vacation. At some point, you’ll want to resort to them.  Comfort can come at a price. If you want slippers that provide comfort over long walks, my favorite brands are:

Reef – Made from a surf clothing company. Lightweight and comfortable. Easy to pack.

Sanuk – Sanuk claim to make your feet happy and they don’t lie. They’re made from  real yoga mats, so your feet will feel like chanting OM as they walk on heaven.

Havianas – Made in Brazil, they don’t feel like flip flops. The rubber is smooth, soft and lightweight. Sometimes I don’t feel them at all.


Havianas for summer

Havianas for summer

What would  you recommend for the summer travel?

Let me know if you liked this post and anything else you’d like to see. You can follow my journey on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Bloglovin and YouTube!

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Summer Travel Essentials for Packing Light


  1. Hi. I love your Blogs and Vlogs. I am concerned on one thing. Traveling alone, how to keep your personal stuff safe while you’re in the water?

  2. Megan Indoe says:

    Love this post! I have a black convertible dress from American Apparel that you can wear many different ways! This LBD was a handy little item backpacking. No one but Scott knew it was the same dress 😀

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