It doesn't even need to be said that going on holiday is the best. Even the build up towards it is so exciting. Packing though? Not so much! It doesn't matter if you're going to visit a tropical heaven that only requires minimal clothing, or perhaps to a snowy wonderland that will see you lugging puffy jackets, boots, gloves and the works around. No matter where your final destination is, all holidays rely on your packing skills to deliver the best possible experience. And this is why so many people succumb to the stress and chaos that can go hand-in-hand with preparing for a holiday! The pressure to remember everything needed for the climate you're visiting can become overwhelming. This is where us list freaks excel 😉 But, for a beach holiday in particular, there are a few things that I especially cannot go without while I'm there. As someone who has never experienced the snow (I really, really want to!) I've become rather good at deciding what I seriously do need when at the coast and what is actually just going to take up unnecessary space in my bag, no matter how much I think I'll definitely use it! Here are just a few of my beach holiday essentials...
1. The straw beach hat
This is a number one fave! During the summer months you can't page through any style magazine or browse online shops without being flooded with pictures of straw hats and big, floppy beach hats. They seriously take over and become the main must-have accessory for every fashion enthusiast. It is such a win-win item: it's super stylish and plays the role of sun protector, while sitting on the sandy beaches. This is not to say it takes the place of sunscreen - though it's way more aesthetically pleasing!
2. A good pair of shades
Sunglasses are a really great way to add a little something extra to an outfit. But more than this, they protect our eyes from the sun's harsh UV rays. I know I'm stating the obvious, but now that that's out of the way I can get into the good stuff! There are so many different styles and designs of sunglasses, they can be so much fun to experiment with and can quickly become part of your signature style. My biggest problem is always finding ones that actually fit me! I have a tiny face and glasses I try have a tendency to make me look like a bug (sad but true) It's a rare occasion where I can put on sunglasses that don't make me look ridiculous, so I was very happy to find these. A perfect size, nice and small, they were from Billabong and I got them on sale too! They sort of have an aviator shape, but not as pronounced. I obviously like them a lot because they fit me! But they are also an interesting style and I'm obsessed with the black. Perfect for those bright, beachy days.
3. A cute cover-up or sarong
There are many exciting things about going to the beach, and one of them is dressing for the beach! Taking something that you can easily just throw over your costume to go get some ice cream or some lunch - whatever it is - eases the pain of having to pack clothes, just to take them right off again. You can have so much fun with styling sarongs too. The most used style is probably to tie it around your waist as a skirt, which is fail safe, looks really beautiful and always makes me think of the Hawaiian ladies from Lilo and Stitch! My colourful striped one I've got here was a gift from one of my best friends. I think it's from Kenya (how cool!?) I'm crazy about the different colours and the stripes - I can wear it with any colour costume and that's a big bonus. The texture is also great. It feels kind of like cotton, which means that as well as looking very styled, I'll be kept warm if my costume is wet and there's a slight sea breeze as is very common.
4. Some pastel pink, comfy slides
Okay so the slides don't necessarily NEED to be this shade of pink, though I've personally been obsessed with this colour since it was dubbed 'millennial pink'! Slides in general are about the comfiest shoes you will wear. They can be found in extremely casual trends, right up to the more glamorous looks. I love these shoes so much. I get a lot of wear out of them because they go with literally anything. I also find that whether I pair them with some denim shorts or with a smarter, black dress, they adapt to each outfit amazingly! When you've got limited packing space, you'll want to be wise about what goes into the suitcase. Packing items that can double up as both casual and more sophisticated is a huge achievement! (More space then for some extra make-up maybe...)
5. Argan oil
I'm not sure if this one is a strange thing to mention, but nonetheless it is one of my essentials. The reason I've made this a priority when traveling to the beach is purely because I don't wash my hair everyday. I never have. Being the carrier of a thick head of hair, I know first hand that drying times differ greatly from those with thinner locks. It's no joke, my hair can honestly take a full day to completely air dry! Because of this I became accustomed to washing my hair twice a week since I can remember. I'm getting sidetracked though! When I swim in the sea or even just the pool and do not wash my hair, it can dry very coarsely. I started applying some argan oil to the ends of my hair after swimming, to get rid of that coarse, dry texture, and also eliminate the need to wash it more than twice a week. I mean, you're not going to come to the sea and refuse to swim everyday because of a stubborn hair-washing routine! This oil really works nicely and allows me to feel relaxed about the state of my hair while enjoying the beach. I wouldn't apply it in large amounts all over my head though, otherwise you'll just end up with a greasy head of hair. And that's just as bad, if not worse! Also having dyed my hair blonde makes it more prone to dryness. Applying some of this oil to the tips of my hair really helps, and now I can't go to the beach without it!
This is actually my most important, so it should be the first essential on this list. I guess it's an obvious one though and maybe that's why I've left it so far down. Whatever the reason, there is no denying how important and vital this little container is. I will be the first to admit that I am extremely overprotective when it comes to the sun's rays. I prefer to apply a factor 50 sunscreen! Even though this means that tan lines are few and far between, it's not something that has really bothered me. Though in my December holidays I managed to catch a really good tan even while sporting a good factor 50! I'm used to my pale complexion in general though, so failing to achieve that sun-kissed look isn't something that particularly gets me down. I'll always opt for being the safety nerd first.
7. A good lip balm and bright summer lipstick
One of my favourite perks about visiting the ocean is the air. There is so much moisture filling the air that it's hard for anything to feel too dry. For me and my lips this is a big celebration. But even so, I always feel safest to be prepared, which means carrying my lip ice with me everywhere regardless of moisture levels. My lip ice is basically an extension of me! I feel very, very lost when I lose it or leave it somewhere. Going on a beach holiday is no exception. For me, a summer holiday also automatically means summer make-up. The best, most glowy kind there is! A bright lip and summertime go hand-in-hand. Of course you can take bright lips over to the other seasons as well, or indulge in a darker lip shade in the summertime too. But when I think of summertime, my heart eyes immediately start throbbing at the thought of beautiful oranges, bright corals and popping fuchsia lip colours! Something of the sort will always be in my make-up bag, ready to be brought out for a beachfront lunch, sunset drinks or even just a casual walk on that beach. No one ever said lipstick is for special occasions only. (That would be so sad...)
Maybe you hate packing and maybe you love it. I know I would waaaay rather pack than unpack! But still, both can become quite the task when dealt with incorrectly. Once you have your basics down then the rest becomes pretty simple I think. And if you have a list of essentials or must-haves, your life becomes even more manageable! For me, that's all the things mentioned in this post. I know if I'm going somewhere sunny (which is 100% of the time because, like I said, I have yet to experience snow) then I already have an idea of 7 things that without a doubt have to come in my suitcase. Except for the straw hat - you've gotta wear that on your travels, or you'll arrive with a very oddly shaped hat from being squished in your luggage!
Can you relate to any of my essentials I've mentioned in this post? What are your own travel essentials? (regardless of season!) Let me know in the comments!