avatarAs American Airlines announces that they are going to start charging for all checked luggage and plane ticket prices spike across the board to cover rising fuel prices, you might be feeling that your future summer plans are about to fly out the window without you. Don’t worry, summer does not have to be spent next to the waving ribbons on your grandma’s window-mounted air conditioner.

Many travel sites are touting excellent options that miraculously avoid airfare to Europe (and with the dollar weak on top of all this, it may be a blessing in disguise). A variety of cruise ships dock along both the east or west coasts which means a shorter and less expensive flight than going anywhere across the ocean directly. Also many cruises are all-inclusive, which is a great way to stretch your dollar as well as more transit fun than being crowded into a germ-filled airplane with no leg room. 

Unlike boats requiring traditional deck shoes, cruise ships mean your feet don’t even have to get close to water if you don’t want them to. So bring on the summer styles! Most ships (and the ports you dock at) will also have ample opportunities to dress up too, so don’t forget about the heels (my favorite for beachy lo-cals are always espadrilles).

The trend-setters in NYC, now vacationing all over the world, are wearing strappy gladiator styles (like my first pick below which is of the cool, studded variety) and flip flops with medallion embellishments like these pretty gold ones by DKNY (no one I’ve read has printed on this trend much, surprisingly, but you’ll see it everywhere). One trend that people have been talking about (forever) are metallic colors and there is no better way to wear it than with summer-bronzed skin (or super-pale-covered-in-sunscreen skin works too!). These Fornarina heels have a great metallic gold color and I really dig the braided straps and wooden sole.

Via Spiga Wint DKNY Fornarina Sand

Though hot right now, sometimes gladiator styles can be a little too high-drama for many women. But there are always ways of incorporating any trend into anyone’s wardrobe (give me a challenge!): this simplistic version in black in my second row are killer on-trend now and yet won’t look like last season’s garbage for many summers to come.  On the other end of the spectrum is a trend that you might consider timeless or just something to try for a season (or never): the Birkenstock style. If you love it, you might die for the neon green Michael Kors below. But, like it or not, I’d expect to see at least one or two of these cushy, foot-molding soles in your local trendy stores next summer, so get ready. Philip Lim may even be credited with starting the trend.

And if you don’t plan on vacationing this summer? Throw away your dirty old flip flops from last year and treat yourself to a new pair with a little dressy spunk to them. My last selection by Dr. Scholl’s have your basic flip flop comfort and are begging for a luau (ok, backyard bbq!). Hey, your shoes might just inspire you to build your own Hawaiian island retreat at home (don’t forget a blender and some coconut shells for the pina coladas).

Steve Madden Signature Bele KORS Michael Kors Grand Pri Dr. Scholl's Lyric

Happy Summer planning! Summer officially begins June 21st.
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