What to Pack for a 4-Day Trip in the Summer

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Summer’s here, so that can only mean one thing: vacation! You’ve just booked a 4-day summer trip, which usually means a short trip such as a weekend trip, vacation to the beach –or anywhere with warm weather, and other summer adventures. But what do you pack for your summer travel?

Packing light for your next trip or weekend getaway is always great, but it could mean missing out on some essentials that leave you stranded on your dream vacation. 

Worry no more, as we have taken the guessing out of packing for such a short retreat. Read on for must-carry packing ideas for a 4-day summer trip and some nice-to-have packing tips.

Current Travel Issues:

With the current travel situation, most experts and even frequent travelers are recommmending carry-on suitcase only for air travel. Unfortunately, you may find yourself with a flight change on travel day, or even worse, a lost checked bag. With multiple airline issues possible, it takes stress out of the travel if you are able to carry on your luggage. Of course, carry on luggage is always a good idea for shorter trips anyway. Bring the basic essentials, and choose small, light weight clothing that can be packed tightly without issues.

womens two-piece swimwear target- packing a swimsuit for 4 day weekend trip

1. Swimsuit

What would a summer holiday be without a trip to the beach? And you know what that calls for—a day out with your favorite bathing suit. So, the first item in your packing bag should be your swim suite, sun hat or baseball cap, and pair of flip flops.

Sure, bikinis are for swimming, but they are pretty versatile. You can utilize them for relaxing, sunbathing, and even working out! Bikinis are perfect for summer trips since they are lightweight and comfortable. For long days poolside or even to water parks, tankini styles and two pieces in general can be easier to wear than a full one piece suit. You can always add a cover up, or add maxi dresses or a long button up for heading to out to eat or sightseeing off the beach.

A bikini is a way to go if you’re looking for something different from a tank top or a t-shirt. Moreover, bikinis come in many styles, from simple to elaborate, depending on what type of swimwear you prefer. You can buy a bikini at any department store, such as the bikini website Bananamoon.com.

2. Sunscreen

Summer means the sun’s out most of the time. While that means a chance to get a cool tan and some vitamin D, extended and unprotected exposure is said to harm your immune system. Thankfully there’s an answer for that: sunscreen.

Sunscreens are great for protecting yourself from the sun’s harmful rays. Apply sunscreen before going out into the sun and reapply at least every two hours. When applying sunscreen, use a broad spectrum SPF 30 or higher. If you’re using a spray-on product, follow the directions on the bottle. Bring a lip balm too, especially if you are prone to sunburn around lips and face.

Keep in mind as you're choosing sunscreen and travel essentials, often these cost much more if you purchase them at your destination. Find great deals on sunscreen and beauty products at your local drug store, and then just ensure they are in a leakproof container or double bagged in your luggage to prevent spills. Having a small bag dedicated to any liquid products is good travel advice.

3. Sunglasses

Speaking of sunshine, you’ll want to wear proper eye protection if you’re out in the sun for long periods. If you don’t have sunglasses already, now would be the perfect time to pick up a pair. Bring along other gear for a sunny day and add to your day pack. A reusable water bottle, hand sanitizer, and wet wipes are a few specific items to bring if you will be beach side for much of your getaway.

Vintage Sunglasses- what to pack for a 4 day weekend trip

4. Flip Flops/Sandals

Flip-flops and sandals are perfect for the beach, poolside, and even walking around town. Plus, they’re super comfy and won’t take up much space in your suitcase. With more supportive sandals in style, you can use yoru personal preference and decide if flip flops or a sturdy walking sandal is better for you. For long periods of walking, the best option is going to be a supportive sandal that fits well.

5. T-Shirt

T-shirts are undeniably the most popular item to wear throughout the warm summer months. A t-shirt is a versatile piece of clothing you can use for many activities ranging from the most conventional to the most outlandish because they come in various prints, colors, and designs.

Different outfits, such as button up shirts, a denim jacket, and sundresses are also great pieces to bring along. Keep in mind, bring what you typically wear. Changing your style and only bringing dressy or stylish pieces of clothing may keep you from feeling the most comfortable. Bring clothing that reflects your personal style. If you are confident in what you're wearing and comfortable, you will be looking your best.

6. Floral Shirts

Shirts with floral patterns are always a unique choice for warm-weather destinations. Whether paired with pants or shorts, they lend a look that fits summer. That means they are perfect when heading to the beach, a beach bar, or partying late into the night at a club.

If you're not a fan of floral patterns, bring a couple of extra items with a pop of color or a fun pattern. These can help change the look of an outfit with mainly neutral colors.

7. A Long Sleeve Shirt

Consider packing a long-sleeved shirt if you plan to be outside after sunset. These are essential for keeping you warm when temperatures plummet and will keep you comfortable even after you get sweaty.

Planes can also be chilly, so having a long sleeved shirt is something to think about as you pack clothes.

8. A Good Pair of Shorts

You’ll need them for the beach, pool, and maybe even some hiking if you want to escape the city. Shorts will always be a summer staple, and there’s always a pair that fits current trends.

Shorts are also road trip essentials if you are heading out on a long drive. We prefer sticking to non-denim materials, since heavier fabrics can bind or feel tight after a long day of travel. Look for lightweight cottons, linen, or stretchy fabrics.

9. A Hat

A hat is always an excellent addition to a summer trip. Whether going to the beach, engaging in sports, or just hanging out around town, having a hat handy will protect you from sunburn and the elements. Hats with wide brims offer the best protection. 

Vacation Travel

Again, only pack items you will likely wear. If you don't like how you look in a ballcap or fedora, skip it! Find a good hat or even headband or scarf that you will wear as to prevent wasting space on un-worn items. If possible, try out your new hat on a normal day of errands around town. If it's comfortable and works well, add it to your packing checklist!

10. Waterproof Shoes

Waterproof shoes are great for rainy days and hikes. If you’re planning to do any water sports, make sure you pack some waterproof sneakers or

11. Waterproof Clothing

If you plan to do anything that will get you wet, such a longer hikes or possibly being out in the rain, be sure to bring a waterproof jacket. Waterproof clothing helps prevent moisture from getting trapped inside your clothes, making it easier to stay cool and dry. Avoid cotton clothing since it absorbs sweat and becomes heavy. Instead, opt for synthetic materials like polyester.

Much of this depends on your travel destination, so some places may require much more in the way of waterproof clothing than others. Keep in mind, for last-minute trips, plan to check the local weather at your destination as well.

12. Versatile Sundresses

Pack a plain dress versatile enough for wearing throughout the day and night. The sundresses must have a variety of uses and be breathable. Many travelers suggest dresses when giving ideas on What to Pack for a 4-Day Trip in the Summer.

Sundresses are versatile enough to pass off as a swimsuit or sightseeing dress. If needed, a sun dress can make a great choice for the evening when dressed up with various accessories.

13. Sweater

A sweater is a great way to stay warm for those odd days with windy or rainy weather. Throw one in your bag before heading out for the day, and you’ll be ready for anything. For a day trip in the fall or spring, sweat shirts are a must-have! Yes, even if you are thinking about What to Pack for a 4-Day Trip in the Summer, a warm extra layer is often great to have a long for cold indoor areas and more.

Other Packing Tips for Your 4-Day Summer Trip

Here are some other packing tips for your summer fun trip:

Pack Light: When packing for a trip, try only to pack the essentials. You don’t want to lug around excess weight; it will balloon your traveling costs. 

Bring Water Bottles: Relying on water fountains or tap water is a tricky strategy. You might find none, or the water may not be clean. Carry enough bottled water for excursions.

Bring Food: Pack snacks and meals that are quick and easy to prepare. Avoid heavy foods that require refrigeration. Bring food that doesn’t spoil quickly, and packing some that you can eat without heating is idea.

Emergency preparedness: Make sure you have some cash on hand for emergencies. Similarly, keep a list of emergency contacts close by. Phone batteries can fade more quickly when out of your normal cell phone home area. This means you can easily need a backup to your phone, whether it's a list on paper or having a secondary battery. We always add a spare battery pack to our weekend packing list.

First Aid Kit:Accidents are just that: they happen without warning. Pack a first aid kit for out of the way destinations.

Final Words

Packing for a 4-day summer trip can be stressful, but not if you follow the above tips. Ensure you protect your body against the sun, carry versatile clothing, prepare for an emergency, and get your beach gear ready for a memorable summer trip.

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