Pura Botanica Blog

What to Pack for a Summer Getaway



Traveling abroad is not as simple as buying a ticket and hopping on a plane. The top priority should always be safety, no matter where you travel and part of staying in an unfamiliar place is dressing to blend in. So, before you get out your suitcase and pack for that European getaway, here are some things you should leave in your closet.

 It is wise to dress conservatively in any country abroad, especially those holding deep religious views. Women should avoid miniskirts, tank tops and even shorts. Revealing dresses and cleavage-bearing necklines are also a huge no-no. The safest bet is to wear pants, long skirts or dresses. It is smart to always carry a shawl in your purse. Certain museums and tourist attractions will actually deny entry if they feel you are dressed immodestly. When in doubt, stick to pants, long-sleeves or maxi dresses.

Europeans are very particular about their shoes. Sneakers are used for sporting events ONLY and are not to be used as everyday walking shoes. What we consider to be ‘nice shoes’ are what Europeans wear on a day to day basis. To blend in, wear comfortable leather shoes in the city and be sure to always keep them polished and in good shape. People WILL notice.

Say no to shorts!

Yes, we Americans do love our shorts, but most other cultures don’t wear them for everyday walking around town, in fact, they may never even wear them at all. Most Europeans do not like to wear shorts because they do not view them as modest and classy, no matter the season or how close they are to the Equator. So leave the khaki shorts for beaches, parks, tennis clubs and hiking trails. Our habit of dressing down to be comfortable is puzzling to most people overseas. Rarely will you see locals wearing shorts unless they’re off to play soccer at the stadium.

Planning a backpacking trip? Then a large backpack is practical and probably a better bet than a rolling suitcase. It will become a burden to lug onto trains and travel between destinations. But always bring a secondary bag, like a small fabric tote bag, for everyday touring around cities. Any kind of backpack, big or small, will mark you as a tourist and make you immediately stand out among the locals.



The summer time is a popular time of the year to see some of the natural wonders of the United States. People from all over the US come to explore, but unfortunately many of these places are in locations that experience extremely oppressive heat and are found in very remote spots. While some people may have experience hiking outdoors, others are new to the activity and don’t know what to take into account when trekking through the summer heat. Hiking safety isn’t one of the first things that people think of when they go on a hike, but it should be. These simple tips could help save your life.

 Pack enough food!

You spend a tremendous amount of energy while hiking, especially when trying to stay cool. Double your caloric intake of carbohydrates and salty foods in order to maintain constant energy. Because hiking suppresses your appetite, this is essential.

Walking uphill on a hot summer day can cause excessive sweating. Therefore, the fluids and electrolytes in your body must be replaced. Too little water will lead to dehydration and can become a life threatening heat stroke. Be cautious of symptoms of heatstroke and stop to take short hydration breaks.

 Stay wet and cool.

The key to improving your hiking performance is keeping your body temperature low and cool. When walking through the hot summer sun, soak your hat and shirt with cold water. This will help keep your body’s internal temperature relatively low and prevent excessive sweating. If the idea of hiking in wet clothes makes you uncomfortable, wear a wet bandana around your neck. This will serve the same purpose and can prevent a heatstroke. You may also want to carry a spray bottle with you to cool off your face when needed.

Remember: Travel as light as possible. The heaviest items in your pack should always be food and water.



Sun and sand top the list of favorite summer vacations. But it can be hard to feel fully free when you’re constantly dragging too much around. Here is a way to streamline your list of hot weather must-haves so you look cool, even when the temperature isn’t.

Light and breezy items should dominate your wardrobe choices. We know you want to be comfortable while still looking cute, so skip the faded, baggy t-shirts and aim for more of a polished summer look. While you may want to concentrate on getting to your location, make sure you create a game plan on how you’ll transport wet and sandy items back home. Pack extra plastic bags if needed. There is nothing worse than a suitcase full of sand upon arrival.

ESSENTIAL: No beach vacation is complete without a swimsuit. Although you may hate shopping for them, buy more than one so that you always have something to wear and make sure to bring them along in your carry-on bag.

A great alternative to dresses are cover-ups. They are perfect for wearing both on the beach when it gets too hot as well as that walk along the boardwalk to prevent over-exposure.

For evening attire, statement jewelry can add some quick glamour to a sundress. Men should bring breathable and lightweight button-down shirts for dinner at those nice restaurants.

In order to stand out on the crowded beaches of Cancun, choose a mesh or nylon beach bag or umbrella with a very distinctive pattern or bright color. This will make it easy to spot among the crowds and make sure all bags have pockets, preferably waterproof, that can be used to store valuables and small electronics such as a cellphone or headphones.

An insulated tote bag for drinks and snacks is a must-have. It is a lot easier to lug around than a bulky cooler and usually keep drinks cool for longer periods of time.

SAFETY FIRST:  No matter how good it may feel, the sun is not your best friend. Be sure to pack plenty of strong sunscreen that you can reapply throughout the day. If you are traveling by plane, look into sunscreen towelettes that won’t explode or leak. Don’t forget your face when applying sunscreen and be sure to always wear a hat when spending long periods in the sun.