If you’re venturing out for day trips this summer, or even going on your first UK holiday in years, there are definitely some essentials you’ll need to take with you for enjoyable and safe days in the sun. I think it goes without saying that sunscreen is an essential if you’re going to be spending any time outdoors, but there are other things that you should add to your ‘summer essentials’ kit and here are just a few:
Have you ever arrived at a day trip destination (or are on en-route to a UK getaway) when you realise that you haven’t got the ONE thing you need? The thing that’ll keep you protected from the weather or will help you feel more comfortable in the heat? It can be tempting to take everything with you just in case but there’s no need to go overboard – as long as you have these essentials stowed in the boot of your car or tucked into your backpack, you’ll be ready for most summer days…
The first thing I always recommend if you’re going outside in the summer is a pair of sunglasses. They’re so important in protecting your eyes from harsh UV rays and I wouldn’t spend any time outdoors without them. I have a couple of pairs so that I always have a pair of sunglasses in the car (sometimes I even need to wear them while driving in the low Winter sun) and I always carry another pair in my bag in my glasses case. The polycarbonate lenses in my Tommy Hilfiger frames provide full protection from UV rays and I love how lightweight the acetate frames are.
If you need prescription glasses, definitely make sure you that you have an extra pair of prescription sunglasses for the summer. Standard prescription glasses start at just £6 at SmartBuyGlasses (which is where I got my last pair of specs) but you can add on UV400 lenses, colour gradients or a polarized finish, so you can get prescription sunglasses delivered for around £40 in the colour and style of your choice.
While we’re on the topic of eyesight, you can help to shade your eyes by wearing a hat. Not only will it stop you from squinting in the bright daylight, but it’ll also protect your scalp from burning in the sun. We often cover our bodies in sunscreen but completely forget our about heads – I’ve often ended up with a red parting or a burnt crown! Definitely cover up your head with a hat – a sustainably-sourced cotton canvas cap with UPF 50 protection like this one from Animal means those harmful rays have no chance of reaching your scalp. It’s also wise to choose a wide-brimmed hat as it’ll help to shade more of your neck and face too. A reversible sun hat like my Mountain Warehouse one is a handy option if you’re going away because it offers you 2 different looks for wearing on the beach or even just in the garden.
It’s at this time of year that I quickly over-heat if I’m wearing the wrong kind of clothing. Some fibres are much more breathable than others so, even if something looks lightweight, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to keep you cool. Look for clothes that are cut from natural fibres like 100% linen or cotton fabric, as this will be more breathable in hot weather and helps to wick moisture away from the skin. My pastel rainbow T-shirt from Neon Sheep is 100% cotton so that’s a hot-weather favourite of mine.
I think it’s a sensible idea to always carry a bottle of water with you in the summer. It’s so easy to get dehydrated when the temperatures are soaring and there’s nothing worse than being stuck in a car in traffic with nothing to drink. Stay plastic-free and get a double-walled water bottle instead. This will help to keep your drink cooler for longer and you can refill it countless times so you’ll always have something refreshing with you to drink on hot days.
Let’s face it, this is the great British summer so you can expect an unexpected downpour at any time. So, at the very least, carry an umbrella with you! It doesn’t need to be a wintery one – how about a summery bee umbrella in pastel colours? You can also use it as a parasol to provide shade when it’s really sunny (yes I DO do this!) and you’ll have it ready for when autumn hits, so now’s the time to grab one and pop it in your car.
What else would you add to your ‘summer essentials’ kit? What’s the one thing you always bring with you on days out? Let me know in the comments below and please feel free to share your tips for surviving these crazily-hot days we’re having!
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