IMAGE VIA @graciemercedes

Summer is made for vacations, but the preparation can be stressful. Flights, hotels, and activities can be costly. And getting everything organized is time-consuming. When our highly anticipated trip finally arrives, we are probably staring at our closets, trying to figure out the most efficient way to pack. Since vacations give us a time to relax, we want to look and feel good. Take these steps to make sure you are packing well for your curls.


Before you pack for your vacation, you usually plan your outfits in advance. You can do the same for your curls! Think about the place you will be attending and the activities that you will be engaging in. Are you going to the beach and plan to enjoy the water? Will you hike and undertake other outdoor activities? Your vacation plans should be a factor in your styling.

If you plan to be very active and enjoy the outdoors, you may want to consider wearing a protective style during your trip. This will allow you to spend less time on your hair and more time on your activities. You can choose from styles such as box braids, Marley twists, and cornrows. If styling your hair during your trip does not seem like a hassle, wear your favorite everyday style. This can include twist-outs, braid-outs, and wash and go's. It is best to have an idea of how you are going to style your hair — that way you are able to pack properly.


Packing is already tough, especially when you are trying to squeeze all of your personal belongings into your bags. When packing, be sure to bring travel-size containers of your favorite products, especially if you are carrying your bag on the plane. Trust me, it will break your heart if airport security makes you throw out a fresh bottle of your holy grail leave-in conditioner! If you are not able to purchase travel-size versions of your favorite products, no need to worry! You can purchase travel-size containers or ziploc bags and fill them with your must-haves. These containers are affordable and you can find them at drug stores or online. To help you pack products that you will actually use, we've put together a guide to products you should bring based on the hairstyles you plan to wear on vacation:

Wash and go's: Since there are multiple steps to a wash and go, you will have to pack more products. Consider packing a shampoo, conditioner, leave-in conditioner, and curl definer. If you are running low on space, skip the leave-in conditioner and loosen the consistency of your conditioner by adding water. Before leaving for your trip, make time to perfect your wash and go method so you can have your desired results going to your destination.

Twist-outs/braid-outs: Pack a twisting cream and light oil, so you can re-twist/braid at night if needed. Also, consider packing accessories to brighten up your hairstyle. If possible, try keeping your twists/braids in when traveling. This will allow the most curl definition and less maintenance for your hair while you're on the road.

Protective styles: You may want to pack hair oil and curl refresher to revive your hairstyle. Accessories such as hair ties, headbands, and scarves should also be considered if you want to switch up your look during your trip.

 What to pack

Need some inspiration for your travel bag? Check out my curly travel essentials:

When traveling, I usually wear my hair in a twist-out. Twist-outs are low maintenance for me, especially since I have already perfected my product combination and technique. While arriving at the airport, my hair is usually in two-strand twists to prevent frizz from traveling. When packing, I transfer my products to travel-size containers since I already have the containers in my home. I bring the following in travel-size jars:

Mielle Organics Brazilian Curly Cocktail Curl Cream

Mielle Organics White Peony Leave-In Conditioner

Design Essentials Natural Honey & Shea Edge Tamer

I use the leave-in conditioner, along with a fine mist of water, to refresh my curls with moisture. The curl cream is used if I need to re-twist my hair at night. I'll use the edge tamer to smooth my edges for my hairstyles. In addition to these products, I bring my hair scarf, satin bonnet, stretched hair bands, and satin hair ties. These accessories allow me to maintain my hairstyle at night and also put my curls in updos. The “puff” is my favorite go-to if my twist-out is too old. It allows me to pull my curls away from my face and enjoy my vacation.

How will you pack your travel bag for the summer? Tell us in the comments section below.

And if you're looking for more curly travel tips, check out 16 Packing Essentials for Every Curly Traveler.