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7 Affordable Summer Must Haves

As summer quickly approaches, finals end and my stress finally begins fading away, I find myself occupied with summer shopping. If you’re anything like me, it can be overwhelming to see all of the TikToks, Instagram posts and influencers telling you exactly what you need for the summer. Luckily, after watching all of these, I’ve compiled a list of the more affordable essentials, so you don’t have to. Whether planning for a vacation or a stay-cation, here are seven summer essentials to make your life easier.

A versatile tote bag

As someone who uses a tote bag almost every day, I can vouch that it’s the most useful bag I own. Not only does it fit everything I need, but it can go with almost any outfit. Whether I’m bringing it to the beach, pool or shopping, it’s the perfect accessory for the summer. I’ve had my eye on this particular tote bag, but Etsy has so many options, you’re sure to find one that matches your style.

A trendy pair of sunglasses

Everyone knows that sunglasses are a summer must, not only for eye protection but for the perfect accessory. I always find myself breaking or losing sunglasses, so this $12 pair from Target is a perfect solution. The shape is super trendy, and the color matches almost anything, making them the ideal pair of summer shades.

This white linen shirt

After seeing every influencer sport some variation of this shirt on TikTok, I knew it was time to add it to my list of essentials. Not only is this an easy basic, but it can be worn on so many occasions. Whether used as a coverup, styled with shorts or worn for a job interview, this shirt is a great staple piece for your summer wardrobe.

A new pair of sandals

Summer is the time of year for the beach, pool and sundresses, which means sandals are a necessity. While living in Florida, I always find myself in need of a pair of sandals to throw on, and this pair from Lulu’s is perfect for just that. They come in several different colors with cute neutral options for any occasion.

Self tanning drops

If you’re pale like me or burn easily, self-tanner is usually the way to go when it comes to looking bronze in the summer. You can add these self-tan drops to any lotion or moisturizer, making it easy to apply and add to your everyday routine. With the dropper applicator, you can control how tan you want to be, or even gradually build up your tan.

Your new sunburn savior

Like I said, being pale, tanning doesn’t come easily, but sunburns do. For those days that I forget to reapply my sunscreen or get a little too much UV exposure, this Sunbum product is my personal savior. It contains aloe, cocoa butter and jojoba oil, making it moisturizing and soothing for burns.

This cute sarong

Every time I’m heading to the pool or the beach, I always find myself in need of a cover-up, and can never find the perfect one. This sarong from Aerie is perfectly versatile and comes in so many colors. You can tie it around your waist, wear it as a top, or even wear it as a bandana.

Whether you’re staying in or jet-setting around this summer, I hope this list gave you some inspiration, or even cured your boredom by giving you some online shopping ideas. With or without these essentials, I hope you have a great summer, with all the fun and relaxation you deserve.

Leila is a current writer for HerCampus at UCF. Presently, she is a sophomore majoring in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and an active member of her sorority. She loves Taylor Swift and pasta more than anything in the world. If she's not studying, you can probably find her grabbing a coffee, watching a rom com, or shopping with friends.
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