10 Things to Buy at Costco to Pretend You’re on Vacation

updated May 11, 2022
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Take one look at this map of the U.S. right now and you’ll realize that traveling pretty much anywhere simply isn’t a great idea this summer. Although your highly anticipated trips may be canceled, you can still create vacation vibes with some smart shopping at Costco. (Yes, it’s a serious suggestion.) Here’s what to pick up to make the most out of your staycation this year.

Credit: Patty Catalano

1. Mangoes, $3.89 for 6

While a tropical vacation might not be in the cards this year, you can get pretty close. Buy a six-pack of mangoes to help you pretend you’re lounging somewhere beachside. Slice them for an easy snack, turn a few into a relish for grilled fish, or make a boozy Dizzy Whip.

Credit: Patty Catalano

2. Pork Spare Ribs, $3.29 per pound

If your summer plans usually involve driving the backroads of America and refueling at smoky barbecue joints along the way, this year you’re going to have to take matters (and meat) into your own hands. Start by getting a big pack of ribs from Costco and turn them into heavenly oven-baked ribs with Kitchn’s foolproof method.

Credit: Patty Catalano

3. Coho 30-Can Soft-Sided Cooler, $49.99

This cooler is the perfect size for backyard picnicking or socially distanced lounging at the lake. It can fit up to 30 cans (if that’s your jam), but feel free to split the space between seltzers and snacks.

Credit: Patty Catalano

4. Shea Moisture Daily Hydration Shampoo and Conditioner, $17.99 for 34 ounces

Enjoy the tropical scent of ultra-hydrating coconut oil shampoo and conditioner and make every shower feel like a getaway. Take a sniff and pretend like you’re at the beach.

Credit: Patty Catalano

5. Body Glove Beach Towels, $13.99 each

Last year’s beach towels are likely faded and worn. Restock your supply with these soft and colorful towels for backyard picnicking and sunbathing.

Credit: Patty Catalano

6. Best-Selling Books, from $14.49

Has the ritual of summer reading stuck with you since high school? Well, you’re in luck because Costco stocks bestsellers in its center aisle stacks. Pick up this year’s hottest book-club picks and get lost in a great story.

Credit: Patty Catalano

7. Greenerways Organics Debt-Free Bug Repellent, $9.99 for 20 ounces

If you’re lucky enough to locate a spacious camping spot this summer, don’t forget to pack bug repellent. If camping isn’t in the cards, you’re still going to want to have some of this stuff on hand to keep away unwanted guests when dining out in the backyard.

Credit: Patty Catalano

8. Hidden Wild Double Travel Hammock, $24.99

Hang this light and packable hammock between two trees (or on a hammock stand in the backyard) and listen to the cicadas sing. The swing does double duty, converting to a blanket if you happen to find yourself car camping.

Credit: Patty Catalano

9. Coppertone Sunscreen, $16.99 for a pack of three

Sunscreen is essential whether you’re walking the city streets, sitting poolside, or hiking this summer. Buy this three-pack of protection so you’ll have enough to keep one in the car, in your bag, and on your bathroom counter.

Credit: Patty Catalano

10. Thermos FUNtainer Lunch Set, $12.99

This stainless water bottle and insulated cup set is just right for keeping kids hydrated. It’s also a great way to make them feel responsible for their own container of cubed of watermelon. Fill the bottle and pack the snacks before you set out on a neighborhood adventure.

What are you buying at Costco this summer to satisfy your wanderlust?