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Everything You Need to Buy for Your Summer Vacation

Prep for this summer by getting your travel-buys in order.

One thing that has continued to save our spirits mid-pandemic has been online shopping. While the world might be a mess, having a package delivered to your door brings that necessary (albeit short) mood boost. Money might not buy happiness in the long run, but UPS ringing the doorbell to remind you of the jacket you ordered a week ago might do the trick for a day.

With warmer months approaching and serotonin always welcome until then, we figured there’s no better time to get our summer buys in order. Needing a shopping-list for summer? We’ve found the best products to help you on your summer travels, whether you’re headed to the local pool or finally going on that long-awaited camping trip.

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PHOTO: Courtesy of Altra
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Hiking Boots

For some, the summer is all about the sand and sea but, for others, the warm weather is a calling to pack a bag and pitch a tent at the nearest park. If you find yourself drawn toward exploring national and state parks during summer months, do yourself a favor and invest in a new pair of hiking boots. Altra, known for being equally comfortable and supportive, recently released the Lone Peak Hiker boots, which work great for new or seasoned hikers (and, in ice flow blue, will make every hiking picture snapped look that much cooler).

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Lawn Chair

Maybe it’s for the tailgate, family BBQ, or beach—regardless of the why, you’ll need a new lawn chair. While we all have a few $20, “grabbed this at a beach shop because I forgot to pack mine” lawn chairs, what we deserve for our day in the sun is something nicer; something that won’t leave us with a backache and that won’t lose shape after one sit. There’s a reason why dads are obsessed with their Yeti products: they’re good. The Tailhead Camp Chair is the perfect product for just about any moment of relaxation. It’s light enough that you won’t feel weighed down on your walk to your destination and FlexGrib fabric is sturdy—a nice contrast to typical lawn chairs that fold under adult weight.

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PHOTO: EB Adventure Photography/Shutterstock
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Kayak/Paddleboard

Okay, so maybe this purchase wasn’t quite on your radar because how often do you really go kayaking? But how often did you really go to Soul Cycle before you decided to buy your Peloton or bake before purchasing a KitchenAid? The thing about nearly all quality purchases is that, once you’ve paid for it you’ll use it, and a kayak or paddleboard opens you up to some incredible exploration opportunities. It’s not often we get to explore local waterways—at least not without treading water and quickly losing energy. These options give you the chance to easily and peacefully see the world in ways not before granted. While it might be a splurge, it’s sure to open your summer up to a whole new world of travel opportunities.

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Beach Towel

There’s nothing that can put a damper on a beach day quite like a towel that seems both unable to dry and is a magnet for sand. You hop out of the ocean ready to dry off and instead just pat on a nice layer of course sand that will surely make reapplying sunscreen painless (just kidding). To avoid that all too common but still horrible summer scenario, there’s Doc & Bay’s microfiber towel. This towel is both quick drying and sand resistant, meaning a quick and easy shake should get the beach remnants out, ready for all day, in and out of the water use.

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Sunscreen

Selfcare has been all the quarantine rage, meaning you’ve likely done a deep dive into the world of skincare, watching each Hyram video and reading every Rio post, trying to figure out how to make your skin look like glass (or at least, this has been my experience). After much research, it seems the answer to good skin is pretty simple: sunscreen. Nothing is better for your skin in terms of aging and safety than SPF. While we should be wearing this layer of protection year-round, summer is when it is its most essential, as we spend more and more time under those strong UV rays—so let’s add some to the cart. In 2020, Fenty Beauty launched their SPF 35 moisturizer, which promises no white cast and to be “truly invisible on all skin tones.” While Fenty’s moisturizer is a great option for everyday wear, if you need something stronger (for a day in the sun you do) Supergoop, a company that has made a name for itself in the sunscreen world, has an unbelieve selection of SPF 50 products to choose from, including oils, sprays, and sticks.

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Beach Read

While in the winter we commit ourselves to eating better and exercising more, in the summer we finally decide, “Yes, this season I’m going to read.” With the sun up longer and beaches to lounge on, we have more time, energy, and will to read. Stock your beach bag with books you’ll actually want to read by subscribing to the Book of the Month Club. Each month five books are selected for members to choose from, with the selected title shipped right to your door. It can be hard to keep up with new releases and Amazon can be, to say the least, wildly overwhelming. This service makes it easy and keeps you on track to read (at least) a book a month (or hoard them until your vacation, your reading habits are none of my business).

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Swimwear

There’s plenty of decent swimwear out there, but we don’t want decent–decent fades in color and pills after two wears—we want something good, that will last us this summer and the next. For women, Solid & Striped is a brand dedicated to creating swimwear both wearable and stylish, important because, at times, designer swimwear can become a little unpractical (or pricey) for a dip in the pool. The brand has everything from stylish one-pieces to athletic, supportive tops to more traditional (but unbelievably fun) bikinis. For men, swimsuit shopping can be less than thrilling—choose between an athletic pair of trunks at Dick’s or something maybe a little too trendy at younger stores. J.Crew found the perfect medium, making shorts for all: everyone from you to your boyfriend to your dad are sure to want to wear. The trunks can be patterned or simple, and come in everything from the six-inch (the “it” length, but understandably not everyone’s thing) to the longer nine-inch board short.

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Tote Bag

When shopping for a summer bag to carry a beach towel, sunscreen, and book in, you want something that will be both durable and, ideally, can be carried outside of just the pool. Rareform creates tote bags that do just that. This company creates bags out of old billboards, meaning that what you’re buying is both completely unique and environmentally friendly. The finished product is durable, lightweight, and waterproof—meaning it can join you at the pool, grocery store, or work. They offer five different tote sizes. To ensure you can get all your summer buys to the beach, we recommend either the Blake or Hudson.

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