15 Summer Weekend Getaway Essentials

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Don’t let the fear of packing deter you from experiencing something incredible this season! With only a few good weekends left to enjoy the heat of summer, now’s the perfect time to pencil a getaway into your calendar and book that reservation to somewhere special. Below, Taylor offers her own personal packing tips in order to make the process as easy and pain-free as can be!

I hate to admit this, but my husband and I are terrible at planning big summer vacations. I think we have a fear of commitment. By the time summer gets here, we always wish we had planned something, but to be honest, with my work, a toddler, a dog and now a baby on the way, it’s pretty tough to commit to big, long trips. So, most of the time we plan a lot of quick getaways—nothing longer than three nights (most commonly on the weekends, Friday through Sunday)—and that typically means we stay in California. However, sometimes we do travel outside of our state, which makes packing that much more stressful.

When packing for a weekend getaway in the summer, I have a variety of things that I find to be essential. Below, I’m breaking it all down piece by piece to help inspire your own weekend getaway this season!

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1. Carry-on suitcase: For me, I want a chic, durable suitcase that I can easily fit all my stuff in. Even though this is a weekend getaway, I typically overpack. Having a nice suitcase keeps me a lot more organized than just a duffle bag. I recently came across the cases at CalPak and immediately had to have the pale pink set. I love them. They are super durable, have nice storage and are very cute (and not too expensive!). I share them with my daughter too, so we match when we take trips together.

2. Easy, casual dresses: When it comes to summer weekend getaways, I am all about dresses. Usually I don’t want to do anything but lay by the pool, so I always pack a few dresses that can also be used as cover-ups. Vintage is a go-to for me. I love a vintage Mexican crochet dress or anything by Jen’s Pirate Booty. When it comes to taking dresses from day to night, I usually pack at least one option that looks a bit more chic for evening like this Hatch Caftan in black.

3. Comfy T-shirt: I don’t pack a lot of other clothes other than dresses for a quick summer getaway, but usually a comfy tee is a must (also works for pajamas, too!). I love my Clare Vivier longsleeve tee or Wilt boyfriend tee.

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4. Denim shorts: Also a great staple to wear with your tees or with your swimsuit. Vintage Levi’s are my fav.

5. Sandals: For my last weekend getaway, I packed nothing but sandals and didn’t miss any of my other shoes. Because it’s summer, it’s totally acceptable. I packed two pairs of casual sandals for the day and by the pool, and then one pair that feel a bit more dressy but can still be worn day and night (like this pair by Marais USA). I want everything to be very versatile when packing for a weekend trip.

6. Jean jacket: I find jackets for summer getaways to be tough. I don’t want to pack too many and never really know if I will even need one. However, you can’t go without, so I usually take a denim jacket that I know will most likely go with all of my outfits. Plus, it’s easy and can be rolled up into the carry-on bag.

7. Swimsuits: Naturally, you’re going to want a swimsuit. I used to pack all different suits for a trip, and I like to say I have narrowed it down to one, but I usually bring two. That way, if one gets really grungy at the beach or just sopping wet, I have a backup! Right now, I love my Marysia Swimsuit in Papaya and Target one-piece in black.

8. Beach bag: Because most of our summer vacations are to a hotel with a great pool or a beach town, I always have a beach bag with me. I don’t love to pack anything that is too large and cumbersome. So, typically I pack something super simple, like a canvas tote bag or I will bring a straw bag with me as we travel filled with my beauty products and other gadgets, and then just empty it out before heading to the beach.

9. Small cross-body purse: Because it’s a quick trip and I will also have a beach bag, I usually pack a small cross-body bag (so I can easily be hands-free with my toddler). I love this one by Baggu.

10. Large hat: I always bring a large hat with me on summer getaways. As annoying as it is, I find that I never regret having one to protect me from the sun. Currently, I am loving my Lack of Color hat—sadly, it’s currently sold out, but here’s a similar one to consider for your own getaway!

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11. Sunglasses: Another no-brainer. I always have them with me. I love Free People for cheap, cool sunglasses.

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One thing that I find very hard to skimp on when traveling is skincare and beauty. I like to stay in my routine even when traveling, and it’s nice to pamper myself while on a vacation. However, I do try to condense my makeup bag. When it comes to skincare, here are some products that always travel with me:

12. Sunscreen: A must! I recently tried some SPF products by AMOREPACIFIC Skincare and they are really cool and convenient. There is a Sun Protection Stick that is so easy to just roll on your face and keep in your handbag. I also really love Sun Bum and COOLA products with SPF.

13. Lotion: I always bring my own lotion. Most hotel lotions just don’t cut it. For summer trips, I love smelling like the beach and coconuts. This lotion by Mountain Ocean is a current favorite.

14. Moisturizer: I am often so dry and tight after a day by the beach, so a good moisturizer is a must. I love Glossier Priming Moisturizer or Earth Tu Face Skin Stick.

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15. Pouches: OK, this is a weird one and may not be essential for everyone, but for me I can’t travel without pouches—even if it’s a quick trip. I use them for everything. I pack my camera in one, my skincare in another by Baggu, and my jewelry and headphones in separate pouches. It may seem excessive, but it really works for me. Many times I just use those little reusable bags that you get sent stuff in the mail. They work great!

A few other things: Don’t forget good reading materials and a passport if you need one!

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1. Sandals // 2. Small Cross-Body // 3. Sunglasses // 4. Striped Tee // 5. Hat // 6. Denim Shorts // 7. Swimsuit // 8. Carry-on Suitcase // 9. Lotion // 10. Pouch // 11. Sunscreen // 12. Jean Jacket // 13. Moisturizer // 14. Summer Dress // 15. Beach Bag

Thanks to CalPak for gifting us this set of suitcases!

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Author: Taylor Sterling

Taylor Sterling is the founder and creative director of Glitter Guide. When she's not working on all things GG, she can be found reading and sometimes art directing photoshoots for @LolaJayne. She enjoys spending time with her family and eating french fries (not necessarily at the same time, although that's definitely the best combination). Follow her at @TaylorSterling

  • Love the list! I have the Amorepacific stick and loving it. Question re: the pink luggage. Worried that it will get badly scuffed after checking?? Otherwise would get.

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