17 Items to Make Summer Packing Easier

by Marika Flatt on June 5, 2024 in Gift Guides, Travels,

As a travel writer of nearly 22 years, I stopped checking a bag in 2017 for many reasons … let me count the ways. Waiting at the luggage carousel for 15+ minutes to retrieve my bag, praying my luggage isn’t lost in never-never land, and overall accessibility are all important to me. Don’t even get me started on the high cost of checking bags these days!

I’ve packed a carry-on + backpack for 2-3 European press trips in the past. If I can do it, you can, too. The items below can help you pack efficiently and effectively so that you can travel as light as possible for a lengthy trip, be it summer vacay or any time of year. We’ll be sharing our packing tips on Daytime TV. 

Consider these your tools for seamless travel and packing. And check out my friend Jan Schroeder’s tips here for more great info!

 Arden Cove Backpack and Crossbody Bag

An Arden Cove Backpack and Crossbody Bag is the perfect combination of versatility and practicality. We love the Carmel Convertible. Perfect for traveling as you can wear it as a backpack, handbag, shoulder bag, or crossbody, pack your everyday traveling needs into this product. The MB Packing Backpack is great when you need a little more room. With anti-theft and waterproof features, they are made with vegan leather and designed to be slash-proof. Pair it with the matching Crossbody for the ultimate convenience when traveling. $210+ backpack / $169 crossbody

Kuru FLEX Via or ROAMA sneaker

“Feel the flex.” While these shoes are literally quite flexible and comfortable, they are also flexible for various events in your travel schedule with a clean, minimalist aesthetic. FLEX Via flexes to fit your outfit and style as does the white ROAM sneaker. Aiding in relieving foot pain with adjustable fitting and heel support, this shoe is ideal for your next trip– easily walk around all day in it and get away with a sneaker with a dressy outfit for dinner. $130


Joyasol Ava Sandals

The Ava sandals are the perfect to pack for any summer eveningwear. With a memory foam insole, gold hand-braided double straps and leather soles, they are both elegant and comfortable for beach trips or more upstyled events. These are easily packable and can pair with any evening outfit. $175



If you’re spending some time this summer on the coast/beaches, the Bohemian Plunge Button Front One Piece features a sweetheart neckline with covered button details down the front of the suit. With adjustable straps and made with recycled plastic bottles from its home country in Colombia, vacation in comfort and style. Pair with a matching adorable cover-up! $168


Miami Beach Bum sunscreen


Stay protected from the summer sun with Miami Beach Bum’s SPF 50 collection with the Save Face Serum and Blocked BOV Spray. Packed with reef-safe mineral sun care infused with broccoli and algae, protect and build healthier skin as you spend time outdoors this summer. In addition to their sunscreen, their leave-in hair conditioner Hair Shield protects hair from sun, ocean and pool damage. Price Varies


Wrap Me Up Dress and Travel Blazer from Foreign Fare


Houston-based brand Foreign Fare presents the Wrap Me Up Dress! Versatile for daytime adventures or nighttime events, this dress is a perfect addition to use for elegant dinners while on vacation or a simple day touring around a new city. With wrinkle-resistant fabric that comes in green and black, you can easily stuff this dress into a suitcase with no worries. Add to your carry-on their black blazer which doubles as the lightest rain jacket you’ve ever experienced. $150


Katie Kime Designs PJ set

Katie Kime’s Animal Kingdom print pajamas are perfect to relax in on your next vacation and pairs with her Après Ski Robe. The pajama set features an adjustable ribbon waist and fits all shapes and sizes. The robe is perfect for lounging and layering over the pajamas or other sleepwear and has flexible sizing and a removable tie for custom fitting. We love a great travel pajama set that can be worn in front of others (if you’re sharing a room). Animal Kingdom PJs retail for $115 Aprés Ski Robe retail for $128


Classic One Piece Swimsuit from Knix

Travel in style with this swimsuit, designed with full butt coverage, removable cups and adjustable straps. Plus, with discreet, built-in protection against leaks, feel unstoppable this summer. We love how classy this suit is and it’s paired with the most adorable wrap/sarong to wear down to the hotel pool or to the beach. $100 USD/ $35 USD


 Free Fly Men’s Apparel

For the guy or gal who plans to spend some time in the outdoors (think fishing, boating or hiking), this blend of bamboo and polyester provides sun protection of UPF 20+ and is also naturally odor resistant. Its ultra-soft and lightweight feel helps keep you cool while also being perfect to stuff in a suitcase. Free Fly has a plethora of shirts and tops that are unisex and ideal for the outdoors. Also try the Men’s Elevate Lightweight Tee or Hoodie. $58


Wild Zora

 For long travel days, hiking trips or road trips, Wild Zora offers gluten-free paleo-friendly snacks, meals, soups and even quinoa bowls made with organic fruits, veggies and sustainable meats. These high-protein products can help sustain you through your next summer vacation. We love these as a healthy on-the-go option. Just add hot water! $5.49 – $92.99 (depends on product)


Tula Blue’s Classic Clique Necklace Stack with Labradorite Pendant


The Tula Blue Classic Clique Necklace Stack comes with a freshwater pearl necklace and a labradorite pendant. Designed to wear together or individually, this set will have bold adventurers feeling their most beautiful selves while exploring some of the most beautiful places on the planet – whether it’s in the depths of the ocean or tops of mountain peaks. It’s waterproof and adventure-proof for balanced lifestyles. We can’t get enough of this fashionable brand that fits our every outfit! $90


Eclectique Noir Tortoise Square Shade Polarized Sunglasses


Stay shaded in style this summer with Eclectique’s sunglasses. With their sleek tortoise design and offer UV protection in category 3, they are perfect to accent your summer outfits while protecting your eyes from the high summer sun. $100


NOMATIC’s Toiletry Bag 2.0


Keep all your toiletry items in one secure location with this hanging toiletry bag. Durable and water resistant to ensure no leaks and protected toiletries, this is the perfect addition to organize your packing materials this summer. $54.99


Justine Jogger Pants

Justine Jogger Pants are made with full-elastic waists with an internal drawstring. Ranging from XXS to 5X and even tall or petite options, these pants are the easiest to pack and wear all day long. These pants have six pockets making them the perfect travel pant. $35.99




Revolutionary Powder Formula for Sustainable Living: Embrace innovation with our powder-based amenities, reducing weight for transportation and leaving a lower carbon footprint. Activate the powder with water for an eco-friendly, convenient, and revolutionary self-care experience. $34.99


Community Goods Fresh Mint Toothpaste Tablets

Perfect for on-the-go, spill-free travel necessities, each Community Goods Fresh Mint Toothpaste Tablet jar replaces two to three typical plastic toothpaste tubes. Useful for those flying, avoid security hiccups with these tablets and their jars which are made of recyclable glass and aluminum. Made with nanohydroxyapatite instead of fluoride to strengthen enamel and reduce tooth sensitivity, these tablets will help reduce toothpaste tube waste and aid in reducing overall pollution of harmful chemicals into food and water supplies. $29 for four month supply.


My Pilly Pal


For those who love traveling and organizing, this product is for you. The viral TikTok pill shaped container contains label stickers for pills, vitamins and even jewelry to place everything where it needs to go. Compact and easy for travel, it can be easily tossed into a suitcase or purse for on-the-go needs. Choose from various color options to mix and match. $21.99


Cover Photo by JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash

Marika Flatt, Outstanding Austin Communicator 2021, is the Travel Editor of Texas Lifestyle Magazine. She began her travel writing career in 2002, and can be seen as a contributor on TV shows across Texas, such as KVUE, Daytime (FOX), San Antonio Living, Good Morning Texas, and KXAN!  Marika spent five years as the voice of the “Weekend Trip Tip” on NPR’s Texas Standard pre-Covid. She doesn’t enjoy packing but does love efficiency!