Pick up these items for your next trip, and every single one thereafter.

I’m a Travel Editor and These Are My Summer Travel Essentials, Year After Year.

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A young woman with blond long hair is packing her suitcase for a vacation trip or beach vacation

Having spent nearly two decades traveling the world both professionally and for pleasure, I’ve garnered quite the routine, especially when it comes to packing. And while many things have changed, like the rise of trackable smart luggage and the advent of apps that can translate menus instantly (finally, no more culinary surprises!), there are certain items that have stood the test of time that I always pack on a summer trip. Here are my essentials.

Courtesy of Nomatic

Nomatic Packing Cubes

I used to be a firm believer in the military rolling method, but after being put onto these packing cubes, I changed my tune. Now I use a combo of the roll plus the sleek black cubes, which come in various sizes to fit your luggage. The zippered compression system can save up to 50% of space, allowing you to pack more than you think is possible, and to save room for items picked up along the way.

Nomatic Packing Cubes 3-Pack, $79

Courtesy of Forah

Forah Sunscreen and Face Oil

Sun protection is key year-round, and it’s ultra-important to make sure to use reef-safe sunscreen that protects the ocean from harmful chemicals. B.C.-based Forah makes an excellent everyday mineral SPF, as well as a cleansing oil and serum that rehydrates the skin after a day of traveling or splashing in the water. 

Forah Everyday Mineral Sunscreen SPF 30, $55
Wyeth Harley Hat

Courtesy of Wyeth

Wyeth Hat

As a proud owner of a full-blown hat wall that I’ve adorned with finds from across the globe, it’s safe to say I’m a bit of a connoisseur, and this SoCal milliner makes some of my favorite affordable options around.

Wyeth Harley in Natural, $84

Courtesy of Cayla Grey

Cayla Grey Roller Ball Perfume

I used to put my perfume in travel-size atomizers, but that was before I discovered this scent from Cayla Grey made in the West. Using clean ingredients, this rollerball perfume somehow manages to smell like an actual dessert without being cloyingly sweet. With notes of whipped cream, tonka bean, and coconut, it’s romantic and can easily go from day to night.

Cayla Grey Crema, $36

Courtesy of Amazon

Tide Stick

This essential hardly needs an introduction. Being the person that somehow always manages to get red sauce on her crisp white tee, it’s a must for me. Pack it in your carry-on, and be sure to bring it along in your purse for evenings out.

Tide Stick 5-Pack, $14
July Carry on Luggage

Courtesy of July

July Luggage

I recently started using the duo of July’s Carry On Pro paired with the over-the-handle Weekender, and am obsessed. Their roller features a polycarbonate hardshell front pocket for a laptop, and there’s an ejectable power bank so you can stay on top of things while on the move. There’s also a compression strap that works like a dream; I packed my outfits for a snow trip, including ski pants and jacket, and still had plenty of space for après gear. The best part is, it comes with a lifetime warranty, so if your luggage ever gets damaged beyond use, you’ll get it replaced gratis.

July Carry On Pro, $325

Courtesy of Hoka

Hoka Bondi 8

The first thing I throw into my carry-on is always, always a pair of trainers. I recently ran my first half marathon, and this pair got me and my wonky knees through training and race day. I brought them on my recent trips to Lanai and Punta Mita, and the vibrant colorway always gets compliments.

Hoka Bondi 8, $165

Courtesy of Target

Downey Light Fresh Wrinkle Releaser

Being a card-carrying member of the carry-on-only club, I do sometimes find it really difficult to pack bulky jackets, boots, and sweaters for a snow trip. This wrinkle release spray helps keep things looking and smelling fresh if they got a little squished in the suitcase.

Downy Light Fresh Wrinkle Releaser, $2

Courtesy of Target

Earplanes Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are absolutely one of my travel essentials no matter the season. While there are certainly fancier noise-cancelling ear plugs out there, I love the fact that if I inevitably lose one of these, it won’t break the bank.

Earplanes AEP Earplugs, $7
Satin Lavender Weighted Eye Mask

Courtesy of Kitsch

Kitsch Eye Mask

I’m such a light sleeper that the slightest disruption to my surroundings will throw off my nighttime mojo, and blocking out the light really helps get my circadian rhythm on track, especially when time zone changes are in play. I like this one because it’s satin and smells delightfully of lavender.

Kitsch Eye Mask, $24
Beam Caramel

Courtesy of Beam Organics

Beam Melatonin

While there is emerging science that relying on melatonin for a prolonged basis isn’t the best for your brain, when it comes to getting acclimated to a new time zone, it can be real help. I always stick to below 5 mg to get myself adjusted, and personally like the Trader Joe’s option which clocks in at 3 mg. If you’re looking to splurge, Beam makes an appropriately named Dream powder that has the most delicious, cozy combo of CBD and melatonin in a salted caramel flavor that sends me off to nod in no time.

Beam Dream, $68

DripDrop Electrolyte Powder

DripDrop has B3, B5, B6, and B12 vitamins to promote healthy energy, metabolism, and proper cell function, as well as magnesium, potassium, vitamin C, and zinc for immune support and recovery. Personally, I think it tastes better than other hydrating options like Gatorade or Pedialyte, and is easy to tuck into a pocket or backpack, too. Use this after a night of one too many cocktails, or simply add to your in-flight water to prevent dehydration or mountain sickness.

DripDrop Electrolyte Powder for Dehydration Relief, $10

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