As we head into the heart of summer, families all over the country will soon be leaving home for their long-awaited summer vacations. And whether you’re planning a trip to the beach, the mountains, abroad, or a major stateside city to take in the sights and sounds, a successful and satisfying escape often starts with packing wisely.

The truth is, wherever your vacation takes you, there are going to be certain things that you’ll want to make sure you bring with you. And while you will no doubt need to pack more than ten items, this checklist of ten must-pack items for your summer vacation will help you avoid accidentally leaving these important, but often overlooked, items at home.

A Good Book

Throwing a good book into your bag is always recommended because during any vacation there is going to be downtime. A book takes up little space but it offers a great way to spend time lounging on the beach, during rainy days, or during long flights.

Charging Cables

Most families take a variety of devices along with them on vacation, including smartphones, tablets, Bluetooth headphones, laptops, and more. And depending on the models, each of these devices can have a different type of charging cable. The last thing you want to have happen is for you to forget the one charging cable you need for your most important device, so make a list of all the devices you’re taking and be sure to collect their charging blocks and cables.

Hand Sanitizer

The worst of the Coronavirus pandemic might be behind us but it’s still out there, floating around alongside a host of other contractible illnesses. So, if you’re heading somewhere where there will be plenty of other people, then you will want to have your own personal supply of hand sanitizer on hand to make sure you’re as protected as possible against vacation-ruining illnesses like the common cold, stomach viruses, and, of course, Covid.

Eye Drops

Planning a visit to a place with a dry, sunny climate? Then you’ll want to make sure you have a fresh bottle of eye drops in your bag to help keep your eyes from drying out. In fact, having a bottle of eye drops in your bag is a great idea even if you’ll be staying in a luxurious hotel because the air conditioning inside of most hotels can cause the air quality to be a bit on the dry side.


Unless you’re planning on spending your vacation inside, you will want to make sure you bring sunscreen along with you to protect your skin from the sun’s dangerous UV rays. This might seem like a no-brainer, but sunscreen is one of those things that always seems to be left behind in the bathroom cabinet.

Sunglasses and Hats

Sunglasses, hats, and vacations go hand in hand in hand. And in most vacation spots, sunglasses and hats are priced at a premium because retailers know vacationers need these items. So, don’t fall victim to paying excessive prices for generic sunglasses or unsightly hats – make sure yours are safely packed in your travel bag or stowed in your car the night before you leave for your trip.

Sunglasses Retainers

Packing a few sunglasses retainers in your travel bag will ensure that you have the one thing you need to keep your favorite sunglasses from getting lost or stolen. Retainers are comfortable and affordable, and wearing one on your sunglasses whenever you’re out and about will keep your sunglasses safe and secure, whether you’re white water rafting, deep sea fishing, hiking rough terrain, or hopping from shop to shop.


Nothing can ruin a vacation faster than forgetting your medications. You will be forced to spend hours on the phone talking to your doctors and local pharmacies trying to get your scripts filled, so you don’t miss a dose. Before you leave for vacation, make sure you have enough of each of your medications to get you through your trip and then, make sure you pack them!

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is most common for protecting travelers when taking trips abroad, but purchasing a policy might even be beneficial if you’re taking a domestic vacation. The reason is because not all health insurance companies provide adequate coverage for out of state travel. To be safe, you should always check with your health insurance provider to see if you and your family will be covered for any emergency room visits or other health-related issues during your travels.

Important Documents

Any time you’re leaving home for an extended period of time, you should have copies of whatever documents you might need while you’re away. Some things you might want to bring with you include copies of the following:

  • Driver’s license
  • Passport
  • Travel insurance policy
  • Health insurance cards
  • Rental car confirmation
  • Emergency contact list
  • Travel itinerary

Pack Wisely and Enjoy a Low Stress Vacation

Vacations are supposed to leave us relaxed and refreshed. But that can’t happen if you’re stressed out because you forgot to pack an essential item. Before leaving home for your summer vacation, print this list out or copy it down in a notebook and refer to it once again when packing. Having these items in your travel bag will help you enjoy a more relaxing and carefree vacation.