I’m off to Washington, DC to kick off a week of champagne, girl talk, glamping, and killer music at Firefly Festival. Working through the details of what to bring on the trip, the bridesmaids and I put together a spreadsheet chock-full of festival essentials, tips and tricks, and a detailed packing list that is universally handy for any hot and humid summer festival – especially if you’re flying!
From wardrobe to beauty bag to handy tools, this list covers everything I’m taking to DC and Deleware for six days… And it’s carry-on friendly! Save the glamping supplies and groceries, I’ve tucked every item on these lists into one Bric’s duffle and an Everlane backpack (more packing tips right this way).
And whether the hot summer weather takes you to Firefly (say hi?) Bonaroo, Coachella, Hangout, or Ultra – and whether you’re camping, glamping, B&Bing, or couch surfing – safe travels and travel well!
(Hover above to shop favorites from the below list)
- Rain jacket
The Everlane Anorak in Stone is my lightweight, match-everything go-to. And it’s long enough to cover your bum!
- Lightweight cardigan
Long sleeves are handy in case you get sunburnt or it’s cold at night. Lou & Grey makes my favorite cardis.
- 2 bikinis
Bring two and you’ll always have a dry set. For a rainy or humid day, wear the top as a bra.
Love my Lisa Marie Fernandez “Lauren” bikini in black (on sale).
Undrest makes awesome neon and neutral swimwear (and bikini grab bags).
- 2 cotton t-shirts
At $15 a pop, you really can’t beat Everlane‘s Made in LA v-neck tees. I have them in grey, black, and white.
- 6 cotton, linen, or silk tank tops
Go for lightweight neutrals that will match anything you pack and bring a couple spares to use as pajamas.
My favorite summer tanks are the Everlane Ryan, Lou & Grey linens, and H&M’s Conscious Cottons.
Thrifted silk and linen tanks also seem to last forever. Look for 100% natural fibers that breathe and won’t pill up.
- Black leather shorts
Leather and vegan leather shorts are impossible to stain and require zero upkeep. My two year-old pair from ASOS still look brand new!
- Vintage festival jorts
Mine were a $1.99 5-minute Goodwill DIY project. What are jorts? jeans + shorts. Jorts, jorts, jorts. Jorts!
- Lined nylon track shorts
Behold the Swiss Army knife of bottoms: they’re shorts with panties baked in, swim coverups, pajamas, yoga-friendly, and they give you no excuse to forgo that little morning run.
- Black elastic-waist swing shorts
Nothing fancy needed – I grabbed a pair off Poshmark. These also double as pajama bottoms.
- Statement mini skirt
Because, honestly, nothing says “I came here to party” like a bedazzled bell skirt.
- 2 lightweight bras
- 8 pairs of panties
As a general rule I pack less clothing and more underwear than I think I’ll wear. Pop your unmentionables into a freezer bag, deflate, and stuff them inside your shoes to save on packing space. Once you’ve worn them you can stuff them into a gallon freezer bag and use your dirty laundry as a waterproof pillow! Just kidding, that’s weird.
- 6 pairs of ankle socks
- 2 pairs of thick camp socks (for your rain boots)
- 1 pair rain boots
Hunter “Tour” packable rain boots are awesome. I put a pair of sandals inside each boot then roll the boots up and tuck them in the bottom of my duffle.
- 1 pair of old tennis shoes
After three days of walking around, your feet will thank you for packing comfy sneakers that keep your toes from being stepped on.
Go for classic Keds, Converse low-tops, or light-as-a-feather Onitsuka Tigers.
- 1 pair black flat sandals
Minimal black sandals are your “cute” shoes for the airport, nice dinners, or (praying for) nice weather on festival grounds.
- 1 pair old synthetic sandals
If you camp, you’ll want these for the shower and muddy walks. Avoid flip flops and slides like a bad ex-boyfriend and grab a pair that will stay on your feet.
Teva‘s the gold standard here, but anything comfortable will do. A beat up pair from Target have seen me through FIVE years of trips to Africa, Europe, Central America, and California to DC.
- 1 pair breathable, adjustable flats
Much like those Tarjey sandals, a thrifted $6 pair of MIA lace-up cage shoes have proven to be unstoppable.
BAGS + ACCESSORIES
- 1 duffle bag
This Bric’s duffle and a backpack were my only luggage for 11 days in Europe last summer. It’s super lightweight and has wide, comfortable straps and multiple pockets. It’s totally replaced any of my rolling luggage. Take that, $25-a-checked-bag fees.
- 1 backpack
Everlane’s Twill Snap Backpack is my daily commuter bag and trip pack. It’s really roomy inside and has a padded laptop area and convenient drawstrings and flap closure.
- 1 small crossbody bag
I love a good teeny-tiny black crossbody. All I really need is room for an iPhone, lip balm, cards, and cash. A Barbie-sized bag also makes me feel like I AM Barbie. Accessories are necessities! Anyway.
- 1 pair sunglasses
Love my prescription Ray-Bans for long distance!
- 1 straw sun hat
Handy for sun, rain, and helping friends find you in a crowd.
- 2 Buffs, bandanas, or dust masks
A big must-have to cover your mouth and nose at dusty festivals. A buff or bandana will also double as a headband and scarf.
- 2 large summer scarves
It’s a scarf, a makeshift bag, a blanket, a wrap for cold airplane rides. Love these two from Nordstrom.
- 2 long gold necklaces, 1 shorter gold necklace, 2 bangles, 1 watch
For me, this is just enough jewelry to mix and match but not so much that I’ll worry about losing pieces.
- Tickets and parking passes
- Photo ID, cash, credit cards
- Phone and charger
- Printed map of festival, music schedule, directions, friends’ contact info
- Extra car keys (helpful if you have a group of friends in one car)
- Camelbak or reusable water bottle
- External cell phone battery charger
- A dozen earplugs (else prepare to pay $5 a pair on site)
- Sleep mask (or just use your bandana)
- Lighters and a candle (Dipytque’s Feu de Bois mini candle lasts forever and is my luxe splurge)
- Gallon and sandwich-size Ziploc bags (to separate items in your suitcase and store food, dirty clothes, and keep your phone dry)
- Reusable grocery bag (for dirty shoes, hauling water bottles)
- Bottle opener and corkscrew
- Mini flashlight or headlamp
- A good book
- Pen and index cards for journaling and notes
- Lightweight camera (Love the Fujifilm X series)
Think free samples and single-servings. Only pack a week’s worth of each product, even if that means taking 45 seconds to squeeze sunscreen into an empty two-ounce vitamins bottle. You won’t have to check a bag and your back will thank you!
- Sunscreen (non-aerosol – better for the planet and allowed into festivals)
- Mini toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash
- Hand sanitizer
- Lotion (or coconut oil)
- Salt spray or dry shampoo
- Shampoo, conditioner (use the shampoo as body wash, conditioner as shaving cream)
- Shaving Razor
- Baby wipes, cotton balls, Qtips
- Mini first aid kit: Tylenol, Imodium, Bandaids, Neosporin, tweezers
- Multivitamins, Emergen-C, Calms Forté
- Teeny hotel sewing kit with safety pins (can use thread as floss)
- Mini hair brush, a bunch of hair ties, bobby pins
- Makeup bag
- Lip balm!
AND IF YOU’RE GLAMPING
- Cooler with layer of dry ice on the bottom
- Plastic bucket (for washing hair and hands, flip it over for a seat)
- Water bottles and unfrozen popsicles (just drop them in the cooler to freeze instead of buying ice)
- Drinks: orange juice, Gatorade or coconut water, champagne, drinks/mixers, tea bags or instant coffee (Sun tea!)
- Proteins: peanut butter, jerky, nuts
- Carbs: crackers, cereal bars, chips
- Fruits: bananas, apples, oranges, lemons, whatever’s in season and won’t spoil in a tent.
- A couple of thin towels (use for washing and as a picnic blanket)
- Insect repellant
- Febreze or Lysol
- Camping multi-tool
- String and/or duct tape
- Folding lawn chair
- Playing cards
- Ping pong balls (Mimosa pong, anyone?)