Summer Travel Essentials with The Weekender

By Lauren Smith Ford
Cute Couple in San Miguel

It was on a trip to Ireland when she was eight years old that Lauren Greenberg caught that elusive and impossible to shake travel bug. “I took pictures with my mom’s Minolta and wrote in my travel journal every night,” she remembers. Since that first trip, she has travelled the world — celebrating along with the Spaniards in Barcelona following their World Cup victory, trekking through a jungle to find secret hot springs in Taiwan (that day ended with eating grilled squid on a stick at a bustling night market), cruising all around Paris and the Champagne region by Harley and watching the sunrise over Machu Picchu. After years of sending itineraries and travel advice to friends, she decided to turn her expertise in to a blog and just launched, The Weekender, that showcases her highly curated itineraries for her favorite destinations. She’s mastered the art of packing light, so we asked Lauren to share a few of her summer travel essentials.

featured image by brandon kidd photography

Lauren Greenberg, founder of travel site, The Weekender, with her number one traveling partner, husband Sean, in San Miguel Allende where they were married.

photo by brandon kidd

Lauren in Patagonia where she walked on the Perito Moreno glacier — “the mini-hike ended with a whiskey on the rocks chipped off the glacier’s ice,” she says. Here’s what Lauren can’t leave home without on summer trips: 


The Weekender Bag by Annie Williams — The inspiration behind my travel site, The Weekender. It’s classic, easy to pack in a moment’s notice and the perfect size for any adventure.

Trilogy Rose Water Spray — Part of my in-flight ritual of staying moisturized and fresh-faced. The scent is very calming.

Antik Batik Woven Cotton Scarf — I love oversized scarves with a worldly, bohemian feel. Pair it with a jacket on a chilly morning or tie it around your waist as a swimsuit cover-up.

Sony Cyber Shot & Noah Marion Camera Strap — The infamous Leica cameras are all made with Carl Zeiss lens and this Sony model is a great (less expensive) alternative. Personalize any camera with a handmade leather wrist strap.

David Lerner Black Coded Leggings — It’s important to be comfortable while traveling and these leggings are a fashionable alternative to Lulu. Wear them with converse on the plane or throw on heels for a night on the town.

Costalots Sunglasses — The easiest accessory to glam up your look on vacation. I found these at the Austin boutique, Sunroom. 

Sweet Bee Magic Cream — Kind of like an organic version of Aquaphor, this cream can heal dry skin, bug bites, sunburns, you name it…

Gravel & Gold Canvas Dopp Kitt — I usually have a few smaller bags floating around in my luggage for easy access to toiletries and electronics. I love the bright, colorful designs on these canvas ones.

Rag & Bone Boots — I’ve always struggled with what shoes to pack on a trip other than my Converse. These Rag & Bone boots dress up any outfit, they’re easy to clean and above all, they’re comfortable! Money well spent. 

Live with Intention Cuff — A daily affirmation to be present and enjoy the moment. It’s the sole reason for why I love to travel.  


“I came up with the concept for The Weekender after years of sending travel advice to my friends and family. I realized I had my own unique travel style and I wanted to share my experiences. I spend a crazy amount of time researching a destination before I go so that I can design the perfect itinerary with a mix of travel guide “musts” and “in-the-know” favorites,” she says. “You’ll find these highly curated itineraries on the site, as well as daily “Field Notes” highlighting cool things I find along the way!”

One of Lauren’s favorite travel memories is from a road trip to Elba Island, Italy during a time when she and her husband, Sean, backpacked around Europe together for several months. They stayed with an Italian family and per their recommendation, visited this tiny little island. She remembers: “It was an incredible off the beaten path experience.”