What To Pack For Your Dream Vacation

Summer is here, and we know you're sweating the kickoff of all things outdoors: BBQs, beach days, and of course, the vacations you've been dreaming about all year. So, to help you prep for those long-awaited summer Fridays and subsequent time off, we've gone ahead and mapped out a four fantasy travel destinations that can easily turn into a reality with a bit of research, planning, and packing.

Ahead, we tapped professional jet-setters Michael Alan Connelly, editor at Fodors.com, and Brittany Jones-Cooper, editor at Yahoo Travel, for the hot spots perfect to book a trip to now — from the majestic beaches of Tulum to the moody, wintery vibes of Reykjavik. Of course, we did our part, too, rounding up the essentials you need to pack for each locale. Happy travels, globetrotters!
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Tulum, Mexico
Forget Cancun. When it comes to Mexico vacationing, Tulum is decidedly more diverse if you're looking for a richer, more cultural experience. Where else can you go to visit the Mayan ruins and laze around on 7 miles of powdery white sand? "You can do yoga on the beach, shop at chichi boutiques, come face-to-face with jungle wildlife at the Sian Ka’an Biosphere Reserve, and sleep in beachfront bungalows," says editor Michael Alan Connelly of Fodors.com. "The summer months offer great bargains on hotels and airfare. You’ll also have the beaches more or less to yourself."
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— SPONSORED —

We won't bore you with another sunscreen lecture, but we will remind you that water can undo your SPF in a splash. So, if beach time is on the itinerary, Shiseido WetForce Ultimate Sun Protection Cream SPF 50+ is the way to go. The minerals in water actually *boost* the strength of its UV-protective veil as you swim, surf, or paddle, so you won’t be lobster-red in all your vacay photos.
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A sandal with a chunky sole makes a day of sightseeing a breeze.
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A light blue bikini set to pick up the seaside undertones.
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A compact duffel that can fit in the overhead bin with all your beachy must-haves.
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A long shirtdress is like a blank canvas — just think about all the ways you can wear this versatile piece.

Topshop Button Through Beach Shirt, $58, available at Topshop.
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Big Sur, California
Big Sur, in all its rustic beauty, is for escaping into the wilderness — the spectacular locale is dotted with plenty of chic glamping and conventional camping grounds. "Big Sur features ancient forests and a rugged coastline; a dream trip here should include scenic drives on Highway 1, hikes through sprawling state parks, and luxurious resorts like the Post Ranch Inn and Ventana," Connelly says. While the weather tends to be consistently pleasant year-round (thanks to the northern Cali climate), the evenings will dip into chillier territory.
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A sturdy weekender bag for all your glamping needs.
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A chunky turtleneck sweater to combat the evening chill.
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A pair of sweatpants for the campfire s'more roasts.
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A lightweight, straw baseball cap to keep you shady beneath the strong afternoon rays.
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Don't forget a sporty sneaker for those nature walks.
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Reykjavik, Iceland
A bonafide winter wonderland, Reykjavik is literally one of the coolest destinations on earth. But, unlike the dark winters that we experience stateside, the sun shines almost 24 hours a day in Iceland. "There's an exciting local music scene to check out, European-style cafes to linger in, and local designers to discover in boutiques," Connelly says. "And, just outside the city there's the Blue Lagoon (a geothermal spa) and the scenic Golden Circle Route that are Instagram-ready."
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The country's called Iceland for a reason.
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A beanie for that extra layer of warmth.
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A hard case on wheels for easy schelpping.
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Perfect day-to-night shades to combat the 24-hour bright sun.
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Pool slides are a must for the geothermal springs.
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Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town is an ideal vacation spot, because it offers something for every kind of traveler. "For adventurers, you can hike to the top of Table Mountain or go shark diving in nearby Gansbaai," says Brittany Jones-Cooper, editor at Yahoo Travel. "If you want a more laid-back experience, you can spend the day at one Cape Town's gorgeous vineyards or relax by the beach in Camps Bay." And, be prepared to spend massive amounts of quality time at the local restaurants and eateries, too. "The food is seriously some of the best I've had in all of my travels."
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A tourist-friendly jumpsuit for those throw-on-and-go sightseeing days.
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A lush one-piece that says you're definitely on vacation.
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Easy sweatshorts with an elastic band for post-feast lazing.
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Bouncy footwear to keep your feet comfortable on substantial hikes.
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Luggage that says you're ready for both relaxation and adventure.
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