How To Pack For Your Summer Trip

Packing essentials tips

To get you ready for your next summer adventure with less stress and more organization, we’ve invited Hitha Palepu to share some of her valuable advice. A professional investor, mentor, blogger and traveling pro, Hitha is the perfect resource for bringing order to your next trip or vacation!

To me, summers are synonymous with traveling. Most of my childhood summers were spent in India—and these days, my husband and I try to get away during this time of year to relax or explore a new spot of the world. I love all elements of the journey—packing a beautifully organized suitcase, planning what I’ll end up doing on the plane and relishing in being completely disconnected from the world. I document my love for packing and travel on Hitha On The Go, where I empower my readers to pack faster and live better. Below, I’m sharing my favorite packing tips and hacks to help you pack for your summer getaways perfectly.

Duffel packing tips

Lo & Sons Catalina Weekender // Sole Society sandals // Sam Edelman flats (similar) // Ivanka Trump heels

How to pack a duffel bag:
With airlines’ carry-on bag dimensions growing smaller and smaller, your best bet is to pack a single duffel instead of a carry-on suitcase and a large tote. A duffel can fit in awkward spaces better than a carry-on suitcase, and will sometimes even fit in the space in front of you. Follow this step-by-step guide!

Clothes packing travel


Everlane blouse // J.Crew swimsuit // Old Navy T-shirt // Rag & Bone shorts // Sail to Sable tunic, similar

How to select and pack your clothes:
Some people swear by rolling clothes to fit as many items as possible into their suitcase. Others opt for folding, which reduces wrinkles and preserves details like collars or pleats. I suggest doing both—after selecting the right clothes to begin with.

Nearly every item you pack should be worn at least twice, with the exception of underwear and socks. T-shirts worn a few times as outfits can be worn again for a workout. Boyfriend-style jeans and shorts look better with each subsequent wear. A crisp blouse can be tucked into a neoprene skirt one night and worn to the beach as a coverup the next. Pick your favorite items—the ones you reach for again and again at home.

When it comes to packing the items, roll nearly everything—all bottoms, T-shirts and dresses. Items with embellishments (think: beading, pleats and collars) should be folded and placed near the top of the bag to prevent crushing. Watch this video for more!

Accessories packing travel

Sole Society sandals // Sam Edelman flats (similar) // Ivanka Trump heels // Hudson+Bleecker tote // Rebecca Minkoff bag // Sole Society hat (similar) // Sir Alistair Rai scarf (similar) // BaubleBar necklace // Loren Hope bracelet // Alanna Bess earrings

Accessory math:
If there’s one math equation to always remember, it’s this: A = 3+2+1+1+1. In other words, three pairs of shoestwo bags, one hat, one scarf and a pair of sunglasses. Jewelry? As much as you want, as long as it fits inside your small bag.

For a summer getaway, choose a straw fedora or Panama hat and a bold cotton scarf. On the shoe front, bring slip-on sandals, a comfortable espadrille flat and white or nude heels. A large water-resistant tote and a small handbag are the only bags you need.

Beach travel packing

What to pack for a beach weekend:
Nothing is better than a beach weekend. Napping in the sun, reading piles of books and getting a much-needed glow are all wonderful perks. The fact that this is the easiest trip to pack for is the cherry on top!

Swimsuits barely take up any room, so you’re free to bring one for every day of your trip. Pack easy dresses that can be worn as a coverup during the day and to dinner at night. A lightweight scarf can keep you warm during your travels and be worn as a sarong at the beach. When it comes to beauty, less is more.

Click here for a free printable packing list for your next beach vacation.

Hat packing tips

Sole Society hat (similar) // Sir Alistair Rai scarf (similar)

How to pack a hat:
Hats are a must-pack for summer trips. Not only does a hat protect your face and neck from the sun, but it also adds a stylish touch to any look—minimal effort required! To pack a hat without crushing it, stuff the cap with small items (a scarf, bathing suits) and pack it at the bottom of your bag, brim down. Pack larger items, such as clothing and shoes, on top of the brim.

Trip essentials packing

  • Straws: Loop your delicate necklaces through them for tangle-free packing—and to preserve your bright lip while sipping a homemade cocktail.
  • Wine corks: While its intended use is obvious (i.e. saving the last of the rosé you sipped on the beach), a wine cork is also your jewelry’s best friend while you’re traveling. It’s a great tool for packing your stud earrings—simply poke each earring into the cork! Plus, a thin slice of wine cork makes for the strongest of earring backs.
  • Coconut oil: A fantastic beauty product at home or on the go, coconut oil is at its most useful during a beach weekend. It can be applied as a protective hair mask before you jump in the ocean. It can soothe the harshest of sunburns and serve as a hydrating shave cream. It’s also an outstanding eye-makeup remover. The best part? It’s not considered a liquid when it’s in a solid form—so just refrigerate or freeze it prior to leaving!
  • Dryer sheets: Dryer sheets work wonders when it comes to removing odors from your clothing (even those left by a night out on the town in Vegas!). Just rub each garment with a sheet and you’re good to go! This will also remove static cling—and white marks left by deodorant—from your clothing.


Written by Hitha Palepu
Lead photo and last photo by Lightworks360
Other images by Hitha Palepu

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