Travel and More

The Urban Addiction: 7 Summer Vacay Essentials Everything

Author : Daisah Riley |

Summer is finally here, and I think we’re all due for a much needed break. Music festivals are going strong all summer, Google Flights is holding it down with the prices, and who doesn’t want to escape to a beach? Now is the perfect time to pack your bags and explore with your squad.

Now if you’re anything like me, packing is a HASSLE. You wait until the last minute, get distracted by singing, and you probably just give up and watch an episode of Grey’s Anatomy instead. Of course you need your swimsuit and sunglasses, but there are other must-haves you may not remember to pack for your getaway. Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered. Check out these vacation essentials to help make your next trip the best one yet!


Who has time for extra stubble on your legs and bikini area, while trying to be summertime fine on your trip? Lord knows I don’t. To avoid being stuck with any unwanted hair on your vacation, be sure to pack a few disposable razors.

Pro Tip: Try swapping your shaving cream and lotion for a jar of coconut oil! Coconut oil is not only a summer vacation essential, but a LIFE essential. We all know and love this product for its longevity and versatility. Double up on space in your luggage by packing this as a shaving cream alternative, and moisturizer. You can even use it to protect your skin from the sun, as coconut oil has an SPF of 4!


Birkenstocks. Jandals. Chacos. Or even the good o’l $5 sale sandals from Charlotte Russe. Comfy sandals are the way to go if you will be doing a decent amount of walking on your next summer adventure. Hoewever, crusty toes and cute sandals are a no-go! Be sure to treat yourself to a pedicure before leaving so your feet can be on point. You never know who’s Snapchat you could end up on…just saying.

Pro Tip: The sandal comapny Teva teamed up with Jhene Aiko for new festival-friendly designs. Check out the Teva x Jhene Aiko collection here. I’ll be placing my order for the Original Universals soon!


Talk about ESSENTIAL. Depending on where you’re going, your large Michael Kors or Kate Spade may be more of a hassle than helpful. While on vacation you want to do as much as you can in the time you have. With all all the food to eat, places to see, and people to meet, the last thing you want slowing you down is your over-sized handbag. On this trip, try ditching your everyday purse for a chic shoulder or cross-body bag. They’re big (or small) enough to carry your necessities, out of the way, and can add a cute touch to your outfit.

Pro Tip: For quirky accessories I always check out Gypsy Warrior. They have a nice selection of shoulder bags and even small clutches/pouches that I’m almost positive you won’t see anyone else wearing.


The wide brimmed hat is definitely my favorite fashion trend from the past few years. Add some edge to your beach-side bikini + sandal combo, then swap your swimwear for a cute dress on your night out. For a summer trip I would opt for a neutral color such as black, grey, camel, or olive green to pair with several outfits. This is the perfect must-have for when you want to spice up your vacation wardrobe, or save yourself from a bad hair day!

Pro Tip: Ditch your sunglasses one day to rock your wide brimmed hat instead! Not only are you protecting your eyes from the sun but you’re doing your skin a favor by avoiding annoying indents on the bridge of your nose, and a even worse- an uneven tan on your face. Yikes!


Whether you are waiting to board your flight or taking a road-trip to your destination, you are sure to have some idle time. You’ve liked every picture and status on your Facebook and Instagram feed, refreshed your timeline on Twitter 1,913 times, and even watched every last one of your Snapchat friends’ stories. Now what? Well…books are always cool. I’m the biggest nerd and LOVE getting lost between pages in my free time, but every body is not built the same. If novels aren’t really your thing pack some of your favorite magazines including Essence, and Cosmopolitan.

Pro Tip: If you want to save some space in your luggage or would much rather listen to your book of choice, download the free Audible app to your smartphone or tablet!


Do people still use these? I feel like I’m the only one. Either way, I’m deeming portable chargers as a summer vacay essential! Let’s be real, we Snapchat and photograph EVERYTHING, then get mad when our battery is at 20% by 11:00AM. Why not keep a portable charger handy for when you need a pick-me-up and aren’t near an outlet (because you probably won’t be).

Pro Tip: Turn on your phone’s battery saving setting when you notice your percentage dip below 50%. Thank me later.


Maybe I’m over-dramatic, but it is too doggone hot to be wearing a full face of makeup everyday while out in the sun. Trust me I get that you wanna be picture ready for Instagram or even a potential “Bae” that you meet on your trip…I do too. But in this heat? Nah. In addition to your foundation, be sure to pack a tinted moisturizer or BB/CC cream (with SPF is a plus!) in your makeup bag. You’ll get a lightweight coverage that is a perfect fit for the summer heat.

Pro Tip: As a dark skinned woman, I know the struggle of finding the perfect shade all too well when it comes to cosmetics. Luckily, Shea Moisture has recently introduced a line of CC creams with SPF, perfect for protecting women of color and all of our glorious melanin from the sun’s damaging rays.

Leave a comment and let me know what your summer vacation essentials are for your 2016 trips!

Daisah Riley is a senior Marketing major at the University of North Texas, as well as the founding editor of Connect with Daisah on Twitter and Instagram at @OMGDaisah.

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