Guys, it’s officially summer! What are your travel plans for the coming months? A trip to the beach or somewhere far away? I personally have some very exciting things written on my calendar. Before we all pack our suitcases and head off elsewhere, I thought it would be great idea to post my summer travel favourites of 2016. Among my favourites are a few helpful tips and tricks, so I’m sharing them with you before the summer travel season kicks off in full force.
What are my Summer Travel Favourites?
1. Paperback Travelogue
Whenever I travel, I almost exclusively read paperback travelogues. Actually, aside from academic topics, I probably read travelogues about 85% of the time. I know some people like to bring e-readers, but one book is usually enough for me. I’m normally very active when I’m travelling, so I fall asleep quite late and quickly in the evenings. It doesn’t leave me much time for reading multiple books. Then again, I never go to the beach without taking a book with me, so I always have to pack one. Paperbacks are light-weight, so those are best for me! I’ve recently been reading Carolijn Visser’s travel stories about faraway destinations.
2. Gladiator Sandals
When you’re travelling, never underestimate the importance of good footwear. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. I once wore flip-flops when I was out exploring the streets of Trogir, climbing lots of stairs and strolling along the wharf. I didn’t even feel a thing. When I got back to my room, the skin between my toes was completely destroyed. Of course, summer temperatures can make sneakers uncomfortably stuffy, so closed footwear isn’t always an option. Since then, I’ve always made sure to invest in a good pair of summer sandals.
I personally like gladiator sandals, since they wrap around your entire foot and give you good stability. They don’t cut into your skin at one specific place like flip-flops do. I wore last year’s pair to death when I was in Beijing for Summer School. This year, I’ve planned some exciting summer trips, so I got a new pair of laced gladiator sandals from Sacha! They let me pick a pair and I immediately went for these pale green ones. Sacha has lots of cool options for summer sandals, so definitely go and check them out.
3. Big Light-weight Scarf
A big, lightweight scarf is something I’ve always worn in summer. Even when I was a child, my parents would put a large scarf around me. It can either help warm you up if it gets a little chilly, but can also act as a shield against the burning sun. It won’t stop the UV light radiation, but it will give you some relief. It’s also perfect for a day at the beach! When I’m eating out in the evenings and the temperature starts to drop, I just wrap my scarf around my shoulders. A scarf virtually weighs nothing and will always fit in your bag.
4. Budget Sunglasses
I have this weird thing I do whenever I buy something expensive: I don’t use it. I’m always super aware of how much that thing costed afraid to actually use it. Beautiful sunglasses can be really expensive, so I prefer to buy budget sunglasses for summer. Sunglasses are incredibly easy to lose or break (at least it is for me), so using a cheaper pair makes me feel less anxious. I usually bring two inexpensive pairs so I can mix and match and have a back-up if I lose the other pair. Every summer, I buy 2 pairs for about €2-5 each. It works well for me! Don’t forget to check if the glasses sufficiently shield your eyes from UV light.
During summer, there tend to be lots of parties, events or festivals that go on until late into the night. No worries, you can still save your beauty sleep by popping those plugs in your ears! Earplugs also come in really handy if you are staying at places like hostels, where lots of people come and go as they please. I personally always wake up when I hear buzzing mosquitoes flying around, so earplugs give me a better night’s rest. The only downside: if you’re a deep sleeper, you might not hear your alarm!
6. Travel-size Deodorant
Travel size deodorant is very helpful on the go. Warmer temperatures are usually a major factor in terms of bodily odor and, especially if you plan to be super active, you’re probably going to have to mind your pits at some point. Some may suffer from the stinks more than others, but having one with you will make you feel more at ease anyway. You never know!
7. Facial Sunscreen
Whatever you do, you have to bring sunscreen with you. In fact, you should even wear light forms of SPF protection in winter to avoid too much UV exposure (I always fail to do this). I like to bring a “lighter” sunscreen for facial usage too. This is more comfortable if you like to wear make-up sometimes or need to apply some sunscreen when going outside in the late afternoon or evening.
8. Mosquito Repellent and Anti-itch Cream
Wherever you’re going, even if it’s the Netherlands, it’s best to bring mosquito repellent. I strongly recommend bringing a repellent that includes DEET as a main ingredient. I never leave for a summer trip without bringing some type of repellent. You can’t always avoid getting bit, so I usually bring anti-itch cream as well. It’s a bit of a must, since my mosquito bites usually swell up to the size of a tennis ball. Evidently, my body tends to react very badly to any type of insect bite, but even if you handle mosquito nibbles better than I do, any type of constant itching is just plain annoying or even painful.
What about Jellyfish Stings?
I can’t say I’ve ever really prepared for jellyfish stings. Fortunately, I’ve never gotten one. Anti-itch cream probably won’t help you there. If you do fall victim to one of our squishy friends, salt water seems to be the best treatment. Whatever you do, don’t let anyone pee on your leg, though.
9. Summer Hat
Lastly, something else I always bring on summer trips is a hat or cap. I have pale skin and freckles, so I burn very easily. Hats give me some extra shade in my face. What’s more, they prevent the top of your head from burning. It may sound a bit weird, but I have relatively thin hair and it has happened to me multiple times. It ain’t nice.
What are your summer travel favourites for this year? Anything you would recommend or shouldn’t forget to pack? Let me know in the comments below!