Carry-On Essentials For Summer Travel


Summer may be almost over, but there’s still plenty of time for enjoying a warm-weather getaway. Whether it’s sailing the Mediterranean or lounging on a beach in Mexico (how this writer spent her most recent vacation), summer travel is about enjoying all that is easy, breezy and relaxing. 

When it comes to packing for a summer vacation, I like to take the same approach – always including things in my suitcase designed to make my travels easier and, therefore, more enjoyable. Here are some of my favorite carry-on essentials for summer trips


Comfy Footwear 

If you’re headed to a beach destination, I highly recommend a pair of Malvados. Not only do their sandals come in gorgeous styles like the Icon Plush Azure, they are so comfortable and never cause blisters – even on the hottest, most humid days in Mexico. My husband is a fan of their men’s line, as well. 

Another brand I recently discovered (and love) is Pashion Footwear – a shoe that switches from a heel to a flat in seconds, ultimately offering two pairs of shoes while only taking up the space of one (ideal for travel). 

If you plan on doing a lot of walking during your travels, you’ll want to pack a pair of compression socks. I’m a fan of Dr. Motion. These saved my legs while hiking in Tulum. They’re also great for keeping your legs comfortable during long haul flights.


“Cool” Clothing 

When selecting clothes for summer travel, I like to choose options that are soft, lightweight and won’t take up too much suitcase real estate. This summer, my go-to was the Buzios Maxi T-Shirt Dress from Koy Resort. It’s a great daytime look but can also be dressed up with some statement earrings for an effortless nighttime outfit. 

To make packing super easy, I recommend ADAY’s Carry-On Capsule Wardrobe, which includes five neutral pieces made fromtechnical fabrics that are lightweight and wrinkle-resistant.

My husband also loves the dress shirts from Tie Bar. They’re breathable – ideal for warm summer months – and non-wrinkle, so he never has to spend time ironing in our hotel room.

Nest Bedding

A Quality Neck Pillow 

This is another must-have for longer flights. My favorite: the Easy Breather Travel Pillow fromNest Bedding. This little thing is seriously so comfortable it rivals my pillow at home. I also like that it hasa removable zippered cover that helps you adjust to the firmness you'd like. And when it does get dirty, you just remove the cover and wash. 

Sofia Fima

A Great Underseat Bag

Extra baggage space on airplanes isn’t exactly easy to come by. That’s why I always make sure I take a comfortable carry-on that can fit all my in-flight essentials, while still easily sliding under the seat in front of me. 

I recently tested out the Main Squeeze Tote by Sofia Mia and fell in love. In addition to being absolutely stunning, this bag was designed smaller (11 x 14.5 x 5.5 in.) than the standard size as a typical carry-on luggage (27 x 21 x 14 in.). The accompanying Chief of Staff Organizer that you put inside the bag includes a padded secure slot for a 13' laptop, a key-leash and pockets for everything from pens to personal beauty items. 

My husband’s go-to carry-on is the Peak Design Travel Backpack. He loves that it has tons of pockets, plus a main cavity that’s divisible via a zippered mesh sleeve for easy organizing. We’re both also big fans of the Peak Design Travel Cubes.


Slick Headphones

Whether you’re watching in-flight movies or listening to a guided meditation, high-quality, noise-cancelling headphones can make a huge impact on your overall flight experience. Some of my favorites: Bose QuietComfort Wireless Headphones and Oomo 3D 5.1 Surround Sound HiFi Bluetooth Headphones.

Laguna Beach Textile Company

A Cozy Blanket 

A blanket is one of those things I often think twice about packing, especially during summer travel. The truth is, while it’s nice to have a cozy cover-up on board a cold airplane, there isn’t always use for it otherwise. 

That’s why I’m recently loving Laguna Beach Textile Company. Their gorgeous Mexican Blankets are woven by artisans in Tlaxala, Mexico, from a cotton, polyester and acrylic blend that’s both durable and soft. Outside the plane, it doubled as a beach blanket.


Immunity Boosters

Let’s be real. Airports are filled with germs that are known to cause everything from eye infections to influenza. I always make sure to travel with immune boosters like Olly Perfect Women’s Multivitamins and ItSpray BOOST Immunity Spray. I also love hydrating hand sanitizers like Touchland Power Mist. 


Extra Hydration 

If there’s one part I dislike about traveling – besides the germy planes and airports – is that flying wreaks havoc on my skin. Especially in the summer, when I know I’ll be spending a lot of time out in the sun and the salt water, I always make sure to take along products that will help my skin pack in all the moisture. Currently in my suitcase: bioClarity Garden Glow Mini Set, OYYL Nomad Oil (love this one for my hair) and Skinade Collagen Drink.

Jade Leaf

Tasty In-Flight Snacks 

Long flights and unexpected layovers call for emergency snacks. I hate relying on airport food to get me through my travels, so when I can, I pack my own. Jade Leaf Matcha Bites are tasty and because they are made with real Japaneese matcha green tea, they give you the perfect boost of energy. I also like hitting up CVS on the way to the airport for snacks like Abound Dark Chocolate Chickpeas.

Adria Valdes Greenhauff

Adria is a freelance food and lifestyle writer based in Miami, Fla. Her work has appeared in Recommend magazine,, Foodable.TV, The List, Mashed, The Quench and Hunker, among others. When she’s not trying out the city’s newest restaurants and cocktail bars, you can usually find her experimenting in her own kitchen or binge-watching the latest Netflix crime documentary with her husban…(Read More)