Pack Like a Pro: Summer Travel Guide for Out Travelers
Here’s your gay guide to the season’s essential travel gear.
As the sun proudly unfurls its golden rays, we're ushering in another vibrant season filled with thrilling getaways and joyful memories. Whether you're planning a sandy beach retreat, a city sightseeing expedition, or a quaint countryside staycation, packing the right necessities can make your travel experience both comfortable and stylish. I've compiled an exciting array of summer travel essentials, many of which will make traveling easier — from sleek luggage to stylish sunglasses and beyond. Get ready to pack your bags and embark on your journey with confidence, flair, and an extra dash of rainbow sparkle. Let's get you travel-ready for a summer of unforgettable adventures!
Revolutionize Your Travels with Royce & Rocket’s Innovative Luggage
PHOTO COURTESY ROYCE & ROCKET
Royce & Rocket, a family-owned luggage brand founded by Rana and Camryn Leibowitz, revolutionizes travel with stylish, functional, and sustainable designs. Driven by personal travel frustrations, the mother-daughter duo created better packing solutions with Castle Shelves, their patent-pending shelving technology. This lightweight yet durable built-in suitcase shelving allows organized storage and display of belongings, enhancing efficiency for those living out of their suitcase. With sleek 360-degree wheels and a robust polycarbonate shell, the luggage ensures effortless travel and wardrobe protection. What sets the brand apart is their commitment to sustainability. Their luggage, predominantly made of recycled vegan materials, mirrors the founders' dedication to environmentally responsible production, offering travelers a unique and guilt-free travel experience. The Castle Carry-On Expandable, at $415, is perfect for any journey with its two extra inches of expandability. For more room, consider the 31-inch Castle Classic at $595. Or for the ultimate luxury, opt for The Full Set, priced at $700, featuring the Castle Classic, a unique luggage tag, privacy mesh, and six packing cubes, enhancing the overall travel experience.
Zipplicity: Your Solution for Overpacking
PHOTO COURTESY ZIPPLICITY
Zipplicity is a remarkable innovation in travel gear – the $50 empty zipper bag ingeniously doubles as a neck pillow when stuffed with clothing. This unique accessory effortlessly blends comfort with practicality, allowing you to carry more items during your travels, all the while keeping your valuables within easy reach. For chronic over-packers like myself, Zipplicity is nothing short of a lifesaver and literal money-saver. Those stressful airport moments, discovering your suitcase is a tad too heavy, are a thing of the past. Zipplicity's genius solution? Simply remove a few items from your suitcase, tuck them into your Zipplicity, and seamlessly carry them onto the plane, disguised as a neck pillow. Its smart, streamlined design ensures it's easy to handle, and the concealed storage compartment means you can effortlessly bring along all your essentials without having to pay those overweight fees!
Track Your Belongings with Ease with Apple AirTag
PHOTO COURTESY APPLE
AirTag provides a straightforward solution to monitor belongings while traveling. Fasten one to a keychain or wallet, tuck another into a suitcase, and voila! They appear on the Find My app radar, allowing you to effortlessly locate them, along with the rest of your Apple devices. AirTag has been an invaluable tool, especially in those anxious moments when my suitcase has yet to appear on the conveyor belt upon landing. With the ability to check its location, I can now breathe easy. For a price tag of $29 for one or $99 for a four-pack, this simple-to-use game-changing accessory offers a level of peace of mind that every traveler deserves.
Blissfully Organize Your Toiletries with Cadence Capsules
PHOTO COURTESY CADENCE
With Cadence, travel becomes a symphony of organized bliss. These beautifully designed, hexagonal, magnetic, TSA-compliant Capsules bring outstanding convenience to storage solutions. Made from recycled ocean-bound plastic, Cadence not only offers practicality but does so with an environmental conscience. Cadence's compact, leak-proof Capsules are ideal for housing toiletries, vitamins, jewelry, and other essentials. The recent launch of their Complex Flex System allows these Capsules to store even larger items or perfectly serve your extended trips!
Gone are the days of rummaging through a chaotic bag – Cadence brings order to your belongings and ensures everything is readily accessible. What sets Cadence apart, though, is its personalization options. The brand’s website lets you customize your Capsules’ Tiles with text and icons to make identification a breeze, ensuring you never mix your shampoo with your body wash again! But it's not just the functionality that impresses. The aesthetic appeal is undeniable. Their minimalistic, stylish design is complemented by a range of vibrant colors, making them as pleasing to the eye as they are to use. Prices start at $76 for The Originals - Set of 6.
Stay Hydrated and Healthy with LARQ, the Self-Cleaning Water Bottle
PHOTO COURTESY ELANA LOO ON BEHALF OF LARQ
LARQ Bottle PureVis™ offers an innovative solution to on-the-go hydration. The self-cleaning water bottle combines style, utility, and environmental responsibility, and with its proprietary UV-C LED technology eliminates up to 99% of bio-contaminants such as E. coli. One feature that truly stands out is the bottle's ability to purify water from streams or public fountains. As an avid hiker, I've found this especially handy. The comfort of purifying and safely drinking local water when traveling, without the added worry of falling ill, is an undeniable perk of the LARQ bottle. Moreover, LARQ's commitment to sustainability is commendable. Not only are these bottles designed to reduce single-use plastic waste, but a portion of each purchase also contributes to Well Aware and Oceana, two nonprofits aiding global water security efforts and intercepting ocean-bound single-use plastic waste. Aesthetically, LARQ bottles are a delight to carry around. The modern design, coupled with a variety of vibrant colors and thermal regulation of the LARQ bottle, keeping water cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, further enhance its practicality. Pricing begins at $89 for the non-insulated bottle and $99 for the insulated model.
Power on the Go: The ChargeCard is the Ultimate Portable Charger
PHOTO COURTESY AQUAVAULT
The ChargeCard by AquaVault is a trailblazer in the world of portable chargers. Priced at $59.95, this credit card-sized device redefines convenience and functionality for on-the-go charging. With its built-in cables compatible with both iPhones and Androids, it eliminates the need for carrying bulky chargers. Designed to fit seamlessly in your wallet's credit card slot, the ChargeCard ensures you're always prepared to instantly charge your phone with its ultra-fast charging technology, providing a 30%-100% emergency boost when your battery dies. This compact charger combines a sleek design with powerful performance, offering three stylish colors: black, platinum, and rose gold. Whether lounging on the beach or exploring a new city, the ChargeCard provides a reliable power source without the hassle of carrying around tangled cables or extra accessories. Bid farewell to battery anxiety and embrace the convenience of this credit card-sized phone charger. With the ChargeCard in your possession, you can confidently venture forth, knowing you'll never be caught with a dead battery again.
JBL Clip 4 Eco is the Speaker for Summer Adventures
PHOTO COURTESY JBL
Be energized by music while honoring the environment with the JBL Clip 4 Eco. This remarkable speaker is designed with sustainability in mind, using eco-friendly materials to reduce its ecological footprint. Made with 90% PCR plastic for the mechanical construction and 100% recycled fabric on the speaker grille, the Clip 4 Eco showcases JBL's commitment to Mother Nature. But don't let its compact size fool you - the Clip 4 Eco delivers impressive sound quality, producing rich audio and punchy bass, allowing you to enjoy your favorite tunes to the fullest. Take it with you on all your summer adventures, as its IP67 water and dustproof rating ensure durability and reliability even in challenging environments. Equipped with a conveniently integrated carabiner, the Clip 4 Eco can be easily attached to your backpack, lounge chair, or bike, allowing you to listen to music wherever you go. This remarkable speaker, priced at $79.95, offers a selection of three captivating colors that draw inspiration from the beauty of the outdoors: Forest Green, Ocean Blue, and Cloud White. Choose the hue that resonates with your sense of adventure and personal aesthetic and embark on your summer journeys with a speaker that complements your style.
Don’t Just Sanitize Your Hands, Nourish Them with Noshinku
PHOTO COURTESY NOSHINKU
Noshinku hand sanitizers have redefined the personal hygiene routine. More than just a sanitizer, it's a perfect blend of functionality, style, and conscious choice that fits right into your pocket to always have on hand. Made from organically grown ingredients such as Jojoba, Rosehip, and Argan, Noshinku elevates the sanitizing experience by taking care of the skin while eliminating 99.99% of harmful bacteria. It leaves hands feeling soft, moisturized, and refreshed, which is a significant upgrade from the sticky residue left by standard sanitizers. The sleek, travel-friendly design of the Noshinku spray bottle makes it a convenient companion for on-the-go hygiene. On top of that, the brand’s attention to the planet and personal hygiene is commendable. Their refillable bottles reduce plastic waste, and the sanitizers themselves are formulated from sustainable, earth-friendly sources while using zero synthetic fragrances. Pricing starts at $26 for their Pocket Sprayer Discovery 3-pack.
Protect Your Skin and the Earth with Soleil Toujours SPF
PHOTO COURTESY SOLEIL TOUJOURS
Experience the pinnacle of sun protection with the Clean Conscious Antioxidant Sunscreen Mist SPF 30 from Soleil Toujours. This exceptional sunscreen mist not only shields your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays but also sets itself apart by offering clean, conscious, and highly effective protection. Soleil Toujours has gone above and beyond by carefully formulating this product to be free of harmful chemicals, parabens, and toxins, ensuring you can confidently protect your skin without compromising your health or the environment. The antioxidant-rich formula of this sunscreen mist provides an added layer of defense, protecting your skin from free radicals and keeping it healthy and radiant. Infused with hyaluronic acid to boost moisture, Vitamin C to brighten and firm the skin, and Vitamin E to nourish and defend the skin barrier against environmental stress, this sunscreen mist truly nourishes and cares for your skin. Its effortless application and quick absorption leave no white cast or residue, making it perfect for daily use. Soleil Toujours offers the same exceptional formula as an SPF 50 option for those seeking even higher coverage. Both are priced at $36.
And don't forget your lips! The Mineral Ally Hydra Lip Masque SPF 15, priced at $26, offers 100% mineral-based sun protection. Infused with peptides and organic oils, the lip mask boosts collagen production, promoting a plumper and more youthful appearance while deeply hydrating and nourishing. What I love most about the brand is its commitment to environmental conservation. Soleil Toujours' products have never included Oxybenzone, Octinoxate, or Octocrylene, UV filters commonly found in many other SPF products that have been shown to have detrimental effects on coral reefs.
Reboot Your Sun-Kissed Skin with Pietro Simone Skincare
PHOTO COURTESY PIETRO SIMONE SKINCARE
Dewy Reboot by Pietro Simone Skincare is a remarkable multi-skilled serum that brings a radiant transformation to your skin, providing an intense epidermis reboot. Infused with Photo-Glow and Skin Barrier Drone Delivery System, this powerful combination offers a stable Vitamin C and Glutathione complex, a 4-dimensional hyaluronic moisturizing system, and advanced anti-pollutant skin shield technology. These elements work harmoniously to rejuvenate and revive your skin from within. Pietro Simone, the visionary behind this exceptional product, emphasizes the importance of hydration and nourishment. He recognizes our skin's challenges during different seasons, including extreme air conditioning, jet lag, and sun exposure. Dewy Reboot effectively addresses these concerns by infusing rich hydration, essential peptides, and probiotics. This powerful combination replenishes the skin with moisture, antioxidants, and revitalizing active ingredients while ensuring a balanced ecosystem and promoting skin health management to protect against uncomfortable summer discomfort. What I love most about this product is its ability to deliver these incredible benefits without leaving a greasy residue often associated with other dewy glow-promising products. Priced at $120, Dewy Reboot truly redefines the concept of nourished and hydrated skin.
Discover BITE’s All-Natural, Zero-Waste Products
PHOTO COURTESY BITE
BITE (an acronym for Because It's The Earth) is an extraordinary personal care brand that embodies sustainability and conscious living. With a strong commitment to the environment, BITE offers a range of all-natural, zero-waste, tube-free products that are 100% vegan, gluten-free, and cruelty-free. Their mission is to become the world's most sustainable personal care company, and their dedication shines through in every aspect of their brand.
What initially started as an oral care brand has expanded to include a wide array of non-toxic personal care products. From toothpaste and mouthwash to deodorant and body cleansing bars, BITE offers a comprehensive selection of items that prioritize both your well-being and the planet's health.
Two standout products that truly shine in their lineup are their Toothpaste Bits ($34 for a 4-month supply) and their refreshing Mouthwash Bits ($20 for a 2-month supply), crafted with the highest quality ingredients and formulated to provide exceptional performance while leaving a minimal environmental impact. A bonus is their convenience when traveling. These solid toothpaste bits provide a refreshing and hassle-free way to keep your smile bright without any liquid limitations holding you back, making them the perfect companion for exploring new cities or island-hopping adventures. Enjoy the freedom to pack light this summer and breeze through airport security.
Stay Hydrated and Refreshed On-the-Go with Bouy Drops
PHOTO COURTESY BUOY
Bouy is an essential addition to any traveler's bag. These innovative drops provide a unique and convenient solution for maintaining hydration and feeling refreshed on the go. The brand offers three options to cater to your specific needs. With their Hydration Drops, you can enjoy a daily dose of electrolytes and 87 trace minerals. These drops effortlessly transform any drink into a hydrating beverage with a single squeeze, without adding sugar, sweeteners, or altering the flavor. For a boost of energy without the jitters, Bouy's Energy Drops combine green tea, l-theanine, and electrolytes, providing a natural and sustainable source of vitality. For those seeking immune support, Bouy's Immunity Drops offer a 3-in-1 solution. Packed with vitamins, antioxidants, fortifying minerals, and electrolytes, these drops help bolster your immune system, which can often face stress during travel. If you want to sample all three, Bouy offers the Daily Wellness Bundle for a one-time purchase of $43, or their monthly subscriptions start at $33.
Bouy also takes sustainability seriously and recognizes the excessive use of single-serving plastics in the hydration space. That's why they have consciously decided to eliminate new plastics from their packaging. Their bottles are made from 100% post-consumer recycled materials, and they have significantly reduced the materials used per serving compared to other hydration products on the market. When you order from their website, your purchase is shipped carbon-neutral, arriving in planet-friendly packaging.
Scent of the Season: Capture Summer's Spirit with Creed's Aventus
PHOTO COURTESY CREED
As the weather warms, it's a perfect time to explore fragrances that embody the essence of the season. Creed’s Aventus, priced at $495 for 100ml, is an exceptional choice for fragrance enthusiasts. The captivating scent exudes confidence and sophistication. With its blend of fresh, citrusy, and woody notes, it creates a harmonious balance that is both refreshing and alluring. The fragrance opens with a burst of juicy pineapple and bergamot, followed by a heart of jasmine and patchouli, and settles into a warm and sensual base of oakmoss and vanilla. I also love the longevity of the scent, ensuring that you will smell fresh and captivating throughout the day.
For those looking for a more feminine floral fragrance, Creed recently relaunched Spring Flower. Its captivating blend of fresh and vibrant notes beautifully captures the essence of blooming gardens, creating a truly enchanting scent.
Transition from Vacation to Work with Charlie by MZ
PHOTO COURTESY CHARLIE BY MATTHEW ZINK
Charlie by MZ's Work Shirt is a hidden gem in their collection, showcasing the brand's versatility beyond swimwear and underwear. This 100% Cotton Chambray Men's Work Shirt, priced at $125, is perfect for those seeking a versatile shirt that effortlessly transitions from vacation to an afternoon Zoom call. Available in four shades of blue, from barely to dark, this shirt is inspired by designer Matthew Zink's signature style. With button cuffs, a front placket, a collar featuring hidden undercollar buttons, and an embroidered logo on the chest pocket, it combines practicality and sophistication. The brand's commitment to exceptional quality and fit is evident in all their fabrics, made and printed in Italy using the finest materials, ensuring a luxurious experience for the wearer.
Elevate Your Style with these Shades from Oliver Peoples
PHOTO COURTESY OLIVER PEOPLES
When it comes to summer travel essentials, a pair of sunglasses is an absolute must-have item. Not only do sunglasses provide vital protection for your eyes against harmful UV rays, but with the right pair, they can elevate your style and enhance your summer lewks! These Desmon Sun shades from Oliver Peoples, priced at $482, are a perfectly versatile choice for the discerning traveler. With their timeless design and impeccable craftsmanship, these sunglasses offer both functionality and fashion-forward appeal, which can be worn with various outfits. The high-quality lenses ensure optimal clarity and sun protection, while the sleek and sophisticated frame – available in many other colorways – exudes confidence and refinement. Whether you're exploring sun-soaked beaches, wandering through vibrant city streets, or attending a summer event, the Desmon Sun shades should be your go-to accessory, shielding your eyes from the sun and adding a touch of elegance to your summer ensembles.
Timeless Sophistication and Versatility with these Suitsupply Trousers
PHOTO COURTESY SUITSUPPLY
Priced at $199, these Suitsupply Sand Pleated Braddon Trousers are an excellent choice for summer travel. Crafted with impeccable tailoring and timeless appeal, they offer a perfect balance of sophistication and versatility. The lightweight fabric and pleated design ensure breathability, keeping you cool and comfortable in warm weather, and the sand color adds an understated elegance, suitable for both casual and formal occasions. The Italian-crafted fabric, composed of soft and durable cotton with a touch of elastane, provides stretch, strength, and comfort. Whether paired with white sneakers for a relaxed look or dressed up with loafers, these trousers will effortlessly elevate your summer style.
Standout in Comfort with this Rainbow Henley from Trina Turk
PHOTO COURTESY TRINA TURK
Trina Turk's Douglas Pride Henley is a true standout in comfort, style, and vibrant aesthetic. Priced at $278, this casual shirt effortlessly combines luxury and versatility. Crafted from 100% Pima Cotton, it offers unparalleled comfort and a lightweight feel, ideal for summer evenings. The prideful rainbow stripes add a bold and expressive touch, making it a versatile and eye-catching addition to your wardrobe. The contrasting crew neckline adds a stylish detail that elevates the overall design. Whether paired with shorts or pants, this Henley delivers a summer-ready look that can be effortlessly worn throughout the week.
Sun, Sand, and Self-Discovery: “Boyslut” is this Summer’s Read
PHOTO COURTESY BOYSLUT BY ZACHARY ZANE
As the sun shines and the temperature rises, there's nothing quite like lounging by the pool or relaxing on the beach with a captivating book in hand. And for those seeking an enlightening and liberating summer read, look no further than Boyslut: A Memoir and Manifestoby Zachary Zane
Boyslut is a collection of essays that delves into the author's journey of self-discovery and sexual liberation. Zane fearlessly shares his personal experiences as a bisexual man, exploring the challenges he faced while coming of age and coming out. Through heartfelt memoir-like narratives and thought-provoking manifestos, he dismantles the shame and societal stigmas associated with sexuality. With candid and tantalizing anecdotes ranging from drug-fueled escapades to navigating relationships, Boyslut offers a refreshing and unapologetic perspective on sex, relationships, and the harmful impact of sexual shame. Zane’s compelling blend of humor, introspection, and empowering storytelling has Boyslut reminding us that we can all lead healthier lives free from societal judgment.