As we round the corner toward the second half of summer, I’m sure a lot of you are in the midst of planning some exciting summer road trips, jaunts to the beach or outdoorsy adventures. What better time than now to share my Top 5 Summer Travel #JustHaves? You’ll notice they all same a similar purpose – to make your summer trips less stressful, more organized and focused on fun!

Summer Travel JustHave  No. 1 – The Daypack.
When I first discovered this collapsible backpack, I wondered where it had been all of my life! Carrying a beach bag or separate backpack can take up a lot of precious room in your luggage, but this handy backpack (typically made from a very durable parachute-like nylon material) actually folds into an attached zipper pouch to about the size of an eReader.  Sure, it’s wrinkly when you unfold it – but it’s also incredibly versatile! It’s perfect for carrying snacks, a sweatshirt and water for a daytime hike or your swim essentials to the beach. And, when your day trip is done, the pack folds right back up into itself. Clever, right?

Summer Travel JustHave  No. 2 – The Compression Cube.
Packing cubes aren’t anything new – and are absolutely essential if you’re traveling for more than a handful of days. What I love about the double-zip compression cubes you can find on eBags and Amazon are that they can be compressed down by about a third of their size! If you try to be a “carry-on only” traveler like I do, definitely give these a whirl. Just know that they’re not cheap – so you might want to slowly build your collection over time.  

Summer Travel JustHave No. 3 – Pocket Blanket.
If you tend to get chilly on airplanes and fly economy, you might not get handed an airline blanket – plus, they re-use them and I for one find that potentially icky. Enter the lightweight camping blanket! What I love about these “pocket blankets” isn’t just that they fold up to about the size of a soda can, but that they can serve so many purposes including: travel blanket, beach/picnic Blanket and water-repellent camping ground cover. Genius!

Summer Travel JustHave No. 4 – Sunblock Stick.
This is one of those no-mess essentials that any sun-worshipper can appreciate. They look just like a stick of solid antiperspirant and won’t explode in your purse or have to go into your “liquids and gels” bag.  I would recommend getting two – one for your face only and one for your body – to help avoid potentially pore-clogging cross-contamination on more sensitive facial skin.  It really depends on how prone you are to break out.

Summer Travel JustHave No. 5 – Insect Repellent Wipes.
Zika is no joke and is spreading. So, anyone traveling to the woods or to tropical climes must have DEET-containing insect repellant in tow. Unfortunately, the airlines do not allow you to carry aerosol spray in your carry-ons, and just imagine the inconvenience of a bug spray leak inside your checked luggage? Yucko. Solution? Insect Repellent Wipes! All of the major brands make them – typically in resealable packages – and you can keep them handy in your purse or pack.   

What Are Your Go-To Travel Essentials?

Now I want to know the products and tools that you swear by for travel. Tell me via the #SummerTravelJustHaves tag on, @JustineSantaniello on Instagram and @JNSantaniello on Twitter.

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