7 Essentials For Your Summer Packing List

Nothing beats summer vacation. And even if you're no longer a student with the perk of having those precious months off (lucky you, wherever you are), chances are you'll find an opportunity to get out of town. Maybe you're trekking to a nearby beach spot, prepping for a hike or boarding a red-eye flight. But no matter where your summer plans lead you, there are a few things to deal with first. Most important? Packing for a summer trip.

There's no way around it: Knowing how to pack is an art. If you're good at it, you can get by with a backpack for a short trip (if you're... less good, you'll need a duffel bag). If you're boarding a flight, packing pros can squeeze everything into a carry-on — and, bonus, save on shelling out cash for checked baggage. Either way, being a strategic packer can save you money and energy. And while that's great and all, there's no worse feeling than getting to your destination, stretching your legs and immediately realizing you forgot to pack something important while you were busy rolling 12 T-shirts. So during the inevitable packing frenzy, don't forget to include these often overlooked essential items for a summer getaway. In collaboration with Tampax, we're giving you exactly what you'll need to stay calm and travel on, whether that's abroad or on a quick road trip.

1. A Good Book (Or Two, Or Three)

Sure, you could always go for a breezy beach read, but nothing pairs well with traveling quite like books about traveling. If you need ideas, our latest picks will inspire some serious wanderlust. You won't be packing light, but they're worth the weight.

2. Sunglasses

Sun, sun, sun, here it comes... and with it, a whole lot of squinting. Forget your sunglasses, and you run the risk of subjecting your eyes to harsh summer rays, which can actually damage your sight. Check to make sure that yours are UV-protective. If not, get yourself a pair that is, ASAP.

3. Tampons

Sometimes, you don't even see your period coming. (Or, alternately, you totally do and just forget to prepare — it happens to the best of us.) Don't be caught trying to track down the nearest drugstore. Instead, save room for Tampax Pocket Pearl tampons, which are super discreet (about half the size of the typical tampon tube), last up to eight hours, and don't eat up space.

4. Sunscreen

Nothing ruins a summer trip quite like a bad sunburn. Even if you're just getting away for the day, reapplying SPF is key for protecting your skin and keeping the rays at bay. If you don't want to lug a heavy bottle with you to the beach, powder sunscreen formulas are easy to brush on and won't mess with your makeup.

5. Tinted Lip Balm

Dry lips? No sweat. Just make sure to pack a liquid lip balm formula, since solid versions might turn into a pool of wax by the end of the day. Keep in mind that your lips can get sunburned, too, so make sure you're opting for a balm with SPF!

6. Deodorant

You never want to do a sniff test and realize that you're the one stinking up the car. Sweat plus sun plus life requires deodorant touch-ups. Bonus points if you pack a tiny tube that's extra travel-friendly.

7. A Sweater Or Scarf

Hot days can turn into seriously chilly nights, and nobody has time for goosebumps. No matter where you're headed, it's always better to be safe — and warm — than shivering your butt off.

This post is sponsored by Tampax.

Images: cellier S/Unsplash; Fotolia (2); Pexels (3); Pixabay; Tampax.com