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 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 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 from Sunday Afternoons
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Carry $50 in your shoe when going out at night. If your purse or wallet is stolen, you still have cab fare.
- 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.