Take These Essentials on Your Summer Vacation

Hydro Flask in Plum in 21 oz., $39.95
Hydro Flask in Plum in 21 oz., $39.95

By Lori Bosworth

Most of us can just about taste summer, which means planning for summer getaways. Whether you are taking a day trip or trekking across Europe, it’s important that you are equipped with the essentials for your summer vacation. Read further to find out what are must-haves for your summer vacation, plus some important travel tips.

Birkenstock Gizeh in Shiny Snake Cream, Birko Flor, CA$129
Birkenstock Gizeh in Shiny Snake Cream, Birko Flor, CA$129

Birkenstock Women’s Gizeh Sandals

One of the sandals you are going to want to throw in your suitcase is the Birkenstock Gizeh women’s sandal. This sandal provides excellent support via its cork-latex footbed and deep heel cup. I purchased the Gizeh sandal in Shiny Snake Cream from Walking On A Cloud for CA$129. I have to admit that it took me a few weeks to break these sandals in. At first, they were a bit uncomfortable on my feet. But once broken in, these sandals are very comfortable. The Gizeh sandal comes in so many different colours that I could easily see buying a few pairs to match different outfits. It’s a great sandal if you are doing a lot of walking and need good arch support.

Hydro Flask in Plum in 21 oz., $39.95
Hydro Flask in Plum in 21 oz., $39.95

Hydro Flask in 21 oz.

Whether you are hiking in Peru or on the Niagara Escarpment, you need to keep hydrated. Hydro Flask isn’t just any water bottle though; it will ensure that your drinks are kept cold for up to 24 hours (or hot for up to 6 hours). This is due to Hydro Flask’s temperature insulation, TempShield™, which features double wall, vacuum insulated technology. There’s nothing worse than hiking for several hours and then opening your water bottle to taste luke-warm water. I also like the Hydro Flask for hot coffee during road trips. The pro-grade stainless steel protects against the transfer of flavours. The 21 oz. Hydro Flask, which sells for $39.95, ensures that you’ll keep hydrated for several hours. I love the Hydro Flask in Plum (shown); however, the flask comes in 14 bright and neutral colours.

Ultra Adventure Hat in Blue Mountain, CA$60, from Sunday Afternoons
Ultra Adventure Hat in Blue Mountain, CA$60, from Sunday Afternoons

Ultra Adventure Hat from Sunday Afternoons

When you are doing a lot of walking during your summer vacation, you’ll want to make sure you’re wearing a comfortable and cool hat. The Ultra Adventure Hat, CA$60, from Sunday Afternoons will protect you from the sun’s harmful rays with its UPF 50+ Sun Rating. This hat is very light and can easily fold into your suitcase. The crown of the hat features ventilated material to keep your head cool and the wicking sweatband prevents sweat from dripping on your face. The hat’s neck cape prevents the back of your neck from getting burned. That is my favourite feature since most hats leave your neck exposed. The hat even has a Sunglass Lock™ to keep your sunglasses in place. The width of the hat can be adjusted. You’ll definitely want to add an Ultra Adventure Hat to your essentials list for your upcoming summer trip.

The Perfect Sunscreen from Consonant Skincare

Sunscreen is an essential on any summer vacation and The Perfect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 from Consonant Skincare, $45 (50 ml), is a great choice. This product is free from oxybenzone, which is a synthetic estrogen that can play havoc with your hormone system. The Perfect Sunscreen is also free from Vitamin A or retinyl palmitate, which can cause tumours to develop faster. In fact, The Perfect Sunscreen Lotion SPF 30 scored a perfect ‘1’ on the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s report on sunscreens due to its lack of harmful ingredients. The lotion is slightly tinted so others won’t know you’re wearing sunscreen. Purchase at Consonant Skincare at 2379 Yonge Street or 120 Adelaide Street West in Toronto.

Travel Safety Tips

Live and Invest Overseas, an online resource on investment, real estate, retirement and living overseas released their top tips for the summer travel season. Here are a few of their essential travel tips:

  1. Take two debit cards and two credit cards. Your credit card company will assure you that you’ll have no trouble using your card overseas if you contact them in advance to let them know where and when you’ll be traveling. Don’t believe them. In today’s world, credit card companies are uber-sensitive. Break your usual pattern of card use and your card will be declined. You need at least one backup.
  2. Do not use your debit card to pay for things when traveling abroad. Save it for use in ATMs only. Debit cards are easy targets for fraud.
  3. Buy a local SIM card upon arrival. You should be able to do this in the airport. With a local SIM card, you can use your phone to access translation apps and google maps, for example. Plus it means you have a local phone number to give to local contacts and new friends. If you’re traveling in a group, it makes communicating and staying in touch much easier.
  4. Walk with confidence and act like you know where you’re going. If you need to consult a map, for example, step into a restaurant, a shop or a hotel lobby to reorient yourself.
  5. Carry $50 in your shoe when going out at night. If your purse or wallet is stolen, you still have cab fare.
  6. Try to step away from the tourist zone. Never go where tourists go… never shop where tourists shop… never eat where tourists eat. Tourists pay the highest prices and get the worst service.


  1. Those are some of the cutest Birkenstocks I’ve seen! And OMG so true about the bank cards. I used to travel a lot for my job (over 175+ days a year) so I always had a note on my accounts on whether I’d be in the US or International and what cities I’d be going through. I’d still get flagged. I appreciate they were looking out for me, but yes – to avoid the hassle, bring extra cards and always have cash on hand!

  2. Great tips! Being prepared is so important. I am one to always forget something lol. I love the Birkenstocks! They look super comfy.

  3. I am going on a trip for 4 of July and I need those sandals, the hat and the sunscreen on my bags. Nothing like products that are stylish but protect you and keep you comfortable.
    I love the putting money on your shoe. I use a lot of sandals, but my hubby usually has tennis shoes. I am going to put the money on his shoe under the insert sole.

  4. These are definitely some interesting tips here about what to do and what to bring different places. I know that debit cards frequently get hacked. I have heard about people getting robbed so often. It’s kind of scary about that. And then thinking about putting the 50 dollars in the shoe. It is good advice. It’s just kind of sad that it needs to be that way.

  5. Great tips. I have to be honest I get so excited about vacation that I don’t think of some of these things. The money in the shoe tip is a great one. I also love that sun hat.

  6. Yes! Love your picks for summer essentials. I am dying to get me some burks this summer, yours are the cutest. I definitely hear summer calling.

  7. What wonderful tips! I especially liked the idea of buying a local SIM card once you reach your destination. Also the hint about money in your shoe. I do this all of the time too. Every afternoon when I go out for my walk I put $5 in my shoe. Just in case I get far out and need to stop and buy a drink of water. It’s literally saved me a couple of different times x

  8. Great vacation items for sure. The local SIM card is interesting. I never thought of this. I always have to have a book on vacation and sunscreen. Those are my two must haves! I have those burks in black, they are the best!

  9. Amazing tips! When I traveled to Europe for my honeymoon we consulted so many different blogs for different tips. These are perfect! I always carried some Euro in my bra LOL, I never thought about carrying money in my shoe! We do cruises but on one excursion we walked far away from a tourist area and the most amazing lunch ever!

  10. These are all fantastic tips. We’ve not been abroad for years, but I’d love to travel again soon. And I just say how much I love those sandals as well? They’re so pretty 🙂

    Louise x

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