>  Books   >  8 Summer Travel Essentials- From A Flight Attendant

Guys, Summer is HERE!

With the summer season upon us, we are making travel plans and we are packing differently. Namely, lighter. This list of 8 Summer Essentials for Flight Attendants are things that frequent-flyers will love, but they’re great for even a weekend road trip or chilling in your own zip code all summer long. Read on for more flight attendant-approved Summer Essentials.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. You won’t pay any extra, but if you buy a product through the link, I’ll earn a small commission. No presh, per usual.

Summer Travel Essentials


Flight Attendant-Approved for light bags and good times.

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1. SPF

Did you know that flight attendants and pilots are 3 times more likely to get skin cancer than the general population? This is because we are constantly at high altitudes, where the UV concentration is more concentrated and more dangerous.

Because of this it is so, SO important for us to be wearing a good SPF Every. Single. Day.

People, I don’t care how young you are, you won’t look that way forever and especially if you are exposing yourself to

The Sunscreen I swear by is Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen. It has an SPF of 40, and is unscented, dermatologist tested, and leaves no white caste—cause it’s clear y’all! The consistency is smooth like a makeup primer and is not oily AT ALL. Also, for those of you who want more ethical products—this one is reef-safe and cruelty free. Seriously a great company and a fantastic product. I will never stop recommending Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen.

Get it on Amazon

Order from Supergoop!


This next one is an honorable mention because two of my friends (with very different skin) swear by it, and I’ve tried it and liked it, too. This one is Elta MD UV Daily Sunscreen. It’s a mineral-based sunscreen with an SPF of 40 and a bonus of Hyaluronic acid. Does it make you look younger? I’m not sure. But it does protect your skin from sun damage. Be friends tell me it is non-greasy and can be worn by itself or under makeup.

Get it on Amazon

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2. Packable Microfiber Towel

If you ask me, a packable towel is absolutely essential for summer travel. Going camping? Packable towel. Beach day? Packable towel? Hostel-hopping across Europe? Packable towel. Picnic in the park? You guessed it, packable towel.

A lightweight microfiber packable towel is perfect for any trip for three reasons:

  1. They are small and packable, duh.
  2. They dry 100x faster than a normal beach towel. (*This is not an actual statistic.)
  3. Sand does not stick to them! This part is, in fact, a miracle.

They come in a million colors and sizes (though on the size front, I recommend bigger. No one wants their calves resting in the scorching sand at the beach.) You can grab a packable towel for $10-30, which I’m telling you a steal. You WILL use this thing.

The packable towel has become not only my favorite travel accessory, but I’ve also given several as gifts and they were well received indeed.

Check out some microfiber packable towels on Amazon.

3. Packable backpack

Are you seeing a theme here?

When you’re on the go as much as I am, lightweight is *KEY* for any addition to my suitcase. I’m someone that likes to go hiking, both on layovers and on my personal trips. But I don’t want to take up more space and weight with a real backpack. Enter one of these lightweight, fold-up backpacks—game changer. Now I can bring all my hiking essentials (water, snacks, my ID in case I’m mauled by a bear, and my phone) without carrying extra weight or having my hands full. Win-win-win.

These little babies fold up small enough to stuff in a tiny pouch and they weigh basically nothing. Save space for souvenir shopping, and leave your bulky backpack at home.

Check out some flight attendant-approved packable backpacks here.

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4. An Every Day Insulated Water bottle

Put that plastic throw-away bottle down you sick litterbug, and get yourself a real water bottle.

I love my Camelback 32 oz insulated bottle because it keeps my beverages cool all day and the handle on the cap makes it easier to carry around. (When it’s full, I think of it as a just-in-case weapon in the woods!) Plus more stainless steel means less plastic.

Get it on Amazon

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5. And if You’re Me, an Every Day to-go Coffee Tumbler

Coffee is a daily necessity for many a flight attendant. (Multiple times daily, for me, if we’re being transparent.)  I am obsessed with my 20oz Yeti Tumbler, and I think everyone should have one. I brew coffee at home, then pour it into my Yeti. After getting ready for work, driving two hours in brutal traffic, walking through the airport, and finally getting on the plane my coffee is still piping hot. I have kept my Yeti filled with ice overnight and found it still solid the next day. These tumblers are just great. So great, that I’m considering buying a second one. There are TOO many good colors to choose from!

Check out some of the plethora of colors and sizes, and get your Yeti Tumbler here.


FYI when it comes to coffee tumblers, I say go with standard size. I used the XL size tumbler for a work trip once and it was not great. It didn’t fit well in cupholders, and I found it far too bulky.

*Lightweight* is the goal, remember?

6. A sizzling summer read

A beach day ain’t a beach day without some sweet summer reading. I’m currently reading The Girl Who Played With Fire, by Stieg Larson. It’s the second in The Millennium Series (AKA The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.) I am so into this series right now, and I CAN NOT WAIT to lay in the sand listening to the waves, while I finish the final chapters.

Recommended Summer Reads (Some old, some not so old, all loved by me.):

The Glass Castle, Jeannette Walls

This is one of my favorite books of all time. A memoir documenting a not-so-ordinary childhood. Family drama, ups and downs, all the good stuff. You will fly through it. If you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favor. Then, go and pick up her other book Half Broke horses.


Between The World And Me, Ta-Nehisi Coates

Between The World and Me is a series of essays in which Coates, in beautiful, succinct prose and honesty tells his son, and us the readers, about his experience of being a black man in America. He tells stories and the revelations that resulted, that shaped the way he looked at himself and his place in the world. He doles wisdom, advice, experience. The passage about travel on page… stopped me in my tracks and I re-read the page several times. I knew the feeling. Do yourself a favor and open yourself to Coates’ words and impeccable writing.


The Midnight Library, Matt Haig

Ever wish you could live more than one life? See all the endings of your choose-your-own adventure? “What if I married that guy?” “What if I took that trip?” “What if I’d taken that job?” Life is full of choices that can change everything.

The main character in the Midnight library gets to do just this—go through an infinite number of books (in the Midnight Library, of course) to see how the story would have went, if one thing went differently.


Station Eleven, Emily St. John Mandel

After society collapses, what will be left? In St. John Mandel’s world, there is still plenty of room for art. A traveling Shakespeare troupe performs for the small groupings of people that have formed after the pandemic wiped out society as we know it. (Don’t worry folks, this book is so far from what we have gone through in real life that it won’t trigger your COVID fatigue.) A Hollywood actor, a comic book, a cult-like figure, and of course Shakespeare, all come together in this dystopian world. If you have ever liked dystopian or post-apocalyptic material, please do yourself a favor and get on this one NOW. HBO liked it so much it’s now a series!


Check out some of my other book recommendations in this 2020 post:

What I’m Reading—COVID Edition –


Not convinced? Check out these summer reading suggestions by

What’s the Buzz: 40 of the Best Summer Reads for 2022 | Book Riot

7. Condoms

What? Safety first. 2022 is officially the summer of (IRL) love. Whether you’re out there looking for love or just seeking some fun in the sun, make sure you’re being safe. <3

(And getting consent and respecting boundaries.)

Get your D jackets De-livered to your doorstep.

8. An Everyday Pair of Sandals

We flight attendants are not about to pack more than one pair of sandals “just in case” we go out on our layover. Get some sandals that don’t make you look like a degenerate going into a restaurant, but that you also don’t mind messing up with sand, water, dirty city streets, etc. And as we flight attendants know more than anyone, feet are important. Try to find sandals with at least some support. This means no Old Navy $5 sandals, thank you very much.


Shop travel sandals on Amazon

These summer accessories are absolute essentials as far as this flight attendant is concerned. This list will help to protect your skin and your nether-lands, keep that suitcase light, save the planet, and keep your big, beautiful brain full of sweet stories. What are you waiting for? Summer is HERE!


What are your Summer travel essentials? Anything I missed? Let us know in the comments. Also, share your summer reading picks with the class!

Thanks as always for stopping by. Have a safe, fun, and extra long summer. <3 plane logo

Looking for more summer content? Check out these posts from the archive:

Why Flight Attendants Love (And Hate) Summer Flying –
New England Summer Week 2019 –
Top 10 Things We’ll Miss About Summer in New England –


Get planning your trip to New England today. Thanks for stopping by!

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