• Bikini •
This one may seem obvious on a summer trip, but a comfortable bikini is a must! Bikinis are small enough that they’ll fit easily in a backpack (see below) or small bag. When you are on a summer holiday, you never know when you might be going for a swim.
On my Queensland holiday, I brought a cute black and white bikini from Kmart with mint green trimmings. You don’t really need to bring more than one, especially if you are trying to pack light, as long as you remember to hang it out to dry every night.
• Bikini bag •
The best thing to bring when you’re going to swim after a bikini: a bikini bag! Often you will leave the beach with a wet bikini and you’ll need somewhere to put it after you’ve changed back into your day gear. Putting your bikini in with all your other things may get them wet, or worse, ruin your electronics. This is where the bikini bag comes in. You can often purchase cute little bikini bags that’ll keep your other belongings dry whilst safely holding your bikini in bathing suit stores. I actually got mine from a gorgeous little knick-knack shop in Cinque Terre, an array of sweet little Italian towns that are right on the beach front.
• Rain jacket •
This is especially important in humid places! Even though you are going on a summer vacation, you always want to be prepared for the rain. A thin, plastic raincoat can be packed into a very small size in order to fit into your suitcase or carry-on luggage. I wished that I had had a raincoat when I was in Queensland, as it rained a fair bit there (and it wasn’t even wet season!), but there were often cases where an umbrella wasn’t a viable option.
• Comfortable walking shoes •
Comfortable walking shoes are so important, especially if you enjoy hiking and nature walks when you travel! However, even if this isn’t really your thing, as many travellers will know, when you go on a holiday you are often trekking all over the city/countryside in order to see various landmarks, attractions and sights. Sneakers can get incredibly sweaty and uncomfortable in the heat, so when I am travelling in the summer, I always wear Birkenstocks. They really support the foot, allowing you to walk around for the whole day without your feet getting too sore, and they also allow the feet to breathe. They’re so perfect and I wore them almost every day on. my Queensland holiday!
• Sunblock and Aloe Vera Gel •
This is perhaps THE most important thing to bring on a summer holiday, especially if you are holidaying in Australia, where there is a hole in the ozone layer. I would recommend bringing at least an SPF 30+ sunscreen, with water resistant properties and at least a 4 hour protection period. I personally find that ones that come in a tube are better than spray-on ones, because you can be more sure of the coverage and that you are protecting every exposed area of your body. I used a see-through spray sunscreen when I was snorkelling on the Great Barrier Reef, and I wasn’t able to easily determine which areas of my body were covered. As a result I was severely sunburned, and this is where I needed the aloe vera gel! This is available at most pharmacies, and really helps to cool and soothe the skin.
Mr Czech has told me of European sunblock habits such as using sunscreens with less SPF as you become more tanned, and even using oil on the body in the sun. This is really not advised in Australia, as it can be quite detrimental to your health to go without sunblock. I wouldn’t do it in other countries either, as I think protecting my skin is very important. I like to use Le Tan sunscreen.
• Towel •
If you are packing light, it is a good idea to bring a microfibre towel. They can be bought from places like Kathmandu or Patagonia, and they pack easily into quite small 10 x 15cm pouches. They do feel a little weird to dry yourself with, but they dry really quickly and their small packaging makes them ideal for hiking trips and shorter holidays where you might be going to the beach or staying in places that may not provide towels.
• Waterproof phone case for your phone •
It depends what kind of camera you are bringing on your trip, but as I am usually travelling with Mr Czech, he brings his Nikon camera and I use my iPhone 6. I absolutely LOVE taking photos on my iPhone, as I find that I can get a really good focus if I want to take a close -up (for example, of a plant or a shell), but I can also get quite good scenic shots. When holidaying in a place where there will be lots of water around, whether it be rivers or the ocean, it is important to protect your phone if it happens to take a dive ! I have used the LifeProof case in the past, which is completely waterproof and very sturdy as well.
• GoPro and waterproof cover •
When Mr Czech and I went to Queensland, we borrowed a GoPro from one of his workmates, and honestly it was so much fun that we are now considering buying one ourselves!
Since we snorkelled and dived in the Great Barrier Reef and near the Whitsundays, we loved being able to use the GoPro to document all of the beautiful plant and animal wildlife around. It was so magical to see the brightly coloured fish, turtles and coral; and to be able to share this with our family through our footage was truly special.
• Backpack •
It is always handy to have a good backpack that you can fit in your carry on. I recommend a backpack that has all of the security measures built in, including mesh wiring built into the underside of the bag which prevents thieves from cutting into your backpack, and a front part with an RFID scan protector. I bought a backpack from Pacsafe, which is the perfect size.
I also decided to get the bag in black, because I don’t particularly want to draw a lot of attention to a bag that may have my camera and valuables inside it. It is an unfortunate but inescapable fact that people do try to steal in today’s world; whether from need or desire, so it is important to have your things as well-protected as possible!
The bag is also just so good for ANY trip I do, whether it be a day road trip in the Adelaide Hills or a holiday that requires a long plane journey.
• Opaque or flowy t-shirts •
When it is super hot and humid and you literally feel like you have dunked your bra in water before putting it on: take if off! Bringing a couple of opaque or flowy t-shirts gives you the option of going braless without entirely showing off to everyone. Of course, if you are comfortable with that, then feel free to do that too, but preferably in a country where this wouldn’t be criminally offensive. Whilst this option may be slightly easier for those of us with smaller chests, it is nonetheless a suggestion that I recommend for everyone who feels comfortable with it. It is incredibly freeing and brings just a little bit more comfort on a hot and sweaty day, which makes your sightseeing day so much more enjoyable!
And those are my top recommendations for what to bring on a summer holiday! I hope you have found some helpful tips for your next vacation.