Setting aside the obvious essentials (toothbrush, unmentionables, etc.), no matter where you go, no matter what you do for your summer vacation, these are some items that will make all the difference.

 

The Perfect Pair of Sunglasses

These are great because not only do the polarized lenses protect your eyes, but they fold up into a compact box so you can easily pack them and the smooth plastic won’t get stuck in your hair when you throw them on top of your head.

 

A Great Hat

Hats are tricky, but if you find the right one, it can upscale any outfit while protecting you from the sun and offering a contingency plan when there’s no time to bother with your hair.

 

A LBD (Little Black Dress)

Dresses are great day-to-night items and require very little in the matching department. Really any simple dress will do. This one’s nice because it can double as a skirt.

 

Boyfriend Jeans / Shorts

If you’re going somewhere a little toastier, you may want to opt for the shorts, but these pants are great because you can dress them up, dress them down, and not worry a bit about diving into dessert!

 

Baby Wipes

I know, I know, this seems odd, but you’ll be happy you have them when you’re sticky under the Tuscan sun or accidentally drop some gelato on your leg. Seriously, they’re a must and they’re less than $2.

 

Face Lotion with SPF

Thankfully we’ve got a lot more options when it comes to sunscreen these days and combination lotion is one of the best. This one is great because in addition to the moisturizing and SPF 20 it’s also tinted so you can trade the usual sunburn for a nice glow.

 

A Bangin’ Swimsuit (That Won’t Fall Off at Inopportune Times)

Ok.. so maybe we won’t look EXACTLY like Miranda Kerr in this Mara Hoffman one-piece, but the high sides and plunging neckline are flattering on most people while the single construction will hopefully prevent Janet Jackson-esque wardrobe malfunctions.

 

Chic AND Comfortable Shoes

Perhaps the most elusive find of the bunch, a good pair of shoes for walking, biking, dancing, etc. is essential for any vacation. Though every foot has its own requirements, this pair of wedges is chic with a low enough heel in cork to make walking in them a breeze. Plus, with every pair of shoes sold, Toms donates a pair to a child in need.

 

The Perfect Crossbody Bag

Every traveler needs a good companion - this leather bag (in 16 different colors) has an external pocket for your smart phone and clips that let you wear it across your body or on your belt loops for hands free adventuring. Bon Voyage!